I went all out for the new Aurora 88 Flex Nib because I love Spencerian writing, but for the life of me I can't get the flex out of this pen that I see on YouTube videos. I'm using Caren D'Ache Ultra Violet ink. What am I doing wrong? How do I get this expensive nib to work like I believe it is supposed to?
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Aurora 88 Flex Nib
Posted 04 January 2018 - 10:20
Pixie dust and a hand moulded from cast iron might do it.
To be honest, I have not tried these nibs, but I have seen plenty of written reviews complaining that the flexibility of the nibs has been grossly overstated. A lot of modern 'flexible' nibs are shown on Youtube and the like doing wonderful things by very skilled hands and by writers who apply far more pressure than I would ever be comfortable using on any nib. It's worth bearing in mind too that what you see in an extreme close up against the nib and paper in a video is not what you will see when you write in a normal position in real life. The 'flexibility' can therefore appear exaggerated.
If you're chasing flex, find a cheap dip pen and a couple of very cheap and truly flexible nibs. If you can't write well with that you will likely never write beautifully with a vintage or modern (and there are very few modern nibs that do this that aren't modified in some way) flexible nib. It's your hand, skill and technique that produces the line; the pen doesn't do that for you.
Posted 04 January 2018 - 16:55
Sadly, I have always been bereft of pixie dust , and my hands are moulded from flesh with a touch of arthritis.
I was afraid that what you said was the truth of the matter, so I suppose I will have to either make my peace with this as a standard fountain pen, or sell it. I do have a dip pen and some proper Spencerian and Copperplate nibs, but I was chasing the dream of avoiding the dipping and dripping. Ah well, some things have to be worked harder for, and nothing worth doing was ever easy.
Thank you for your insight into the illusions of filmed penmanship.
Posted 06 January 2018 - 21:53
I have several modern soft/flex nibs and the Aurora flex is near the top of the performers. It doesn’t top the Wahl Eversharp Decoband with the SuperFlex nib, but I absolutely love my Aurora Flex. I got mine from the Nibsmith, and had him reduce the width just a little bit. I think a reduced width shows more line variation, which could give the illusion that the pen is more flexible than it really is.
My modern flex pens include: Wahl Eversharp Decoband with SuperFlex, Aurora 88 Flex Fine, Pilot Custom 823 with #15 Falcon Nib, Platinum #3776 Soft Fine with Added Flex by Mottishaw.
I’m just a novice with the modern flex, but I have come to love my Aurora 88 Flex! Don’t give up yet with your Aurora. You might find that it really is a good example of a modern flex. (And if you don’t, I’ll find a good place for it).
Posted 07 January 2018 - 00:57
Thanks for taking the time to offer encouragement. I have been trying to work with it, starting with using a larger grid than usual for my Spencerian writing. it is quite a broad nib for such an endeavour, and I also find that it is quite "wet", so my usual writing size becomes more like a blob or a doodle than actual writing. I wish that I had thought to have it slimmed down, as you did, but until I used it, I didn't realize that it would probably have been a good idea. It seems much better in a larger script, and it is certainly a lovely pen to hold and to use. I'll watch for increasing flexibility.
My most flexy modern pen is my Pilot Custom 742 FA, which I love. I did have a Pilot Metal Falcon with the John Mottishaw Spencerian modification, but sadly one day when I was filling it, it slipped down in my left hand while I was pushing down on the converter with my right hand and hit the bottom of the ink bottle and bent the nib back. I sent it back to John who saved the pen, but he had to remove so much damage that there is virtually no flex left.
I would love to find a Wahl Eversharp Decoband with the SuperFlex nib. I have a Wahl desk set that I lucked upon in an auction and had it cleaned and re-saced by a brilliant FPN regular, and it has the adjustable nib, which can be very flexible. I find that it is also quite a "wet" writer, and I'm still trying to find the best ink to use in it in order to tame it somewhat for smaller writing. I also have a 1938 garnet lizard Swan with a fine flex nib, that is in mint condition that I might sell, because although I absolutely love the pen and the look of it, for some reason I just don't seem to write well with it. Pens seems to be a lot like people that way, there my be absolutely nothing wrong with someone but for some reason it just doesn't work out. My Sailor 1911 Pro Gear Realo is like that. I think it is possibly the nicest pen I have ever used in many respects (love that ink window!) but for some reason I just scribble with it, even after 7 years. I should sent it off to John for italic tweaking, but that takes so long and is expensive from Canada. Maybe someday one will come up for sale that is already tweaked.
Probably the flex pen that I have the most success with is the vintage Waterman 52 with a wet noodle nib that I bought years ago from Maurizio. The last few years have been really busy, but this winter I'm settling in to re-evaluate which pens I want to concentrate my efforts on, and which ones to sell, as my investment is a bit heavy. In case you might be interested in any purchasing or trading of these that I decide to let go of, I'll be working with:
1. a 1920s Canadian Waterman 52m black hard rubber with a chased wave pattern, and a side lever with the IDEAL globe emblem. It has a gold nib in pristine condition.
2. A Wahl Eversharp ring top pencil and pen set with a Greek key design, gold plated.
3. A Mabie Todd (USA) Swan full size gold filled, wavy line pattern, with fully flexible nib in excellent condition (initials engraved on side), restored by Peyton Pens.
4. A Swan Leverless twist-fill pen in wine/silver/bronze pearl, and gold filled trim and fine flexible nib, near mint.
5. A Wahl Eversharp 1922 with black chased hard rubber finish and Greek key design, gold trim, rollerball clip, and a Fine Flexible Nib with imprint.
I didn't realize that John added flex to a Platinum #3776. I have two that I really like. I also have a Platinum 3776 Maki-e pen with a medium soft 18K nib that is two broad for me (without being an italic), and I think I'll sell that, although it is soooo beautiful.
I'll keep checking out the Aurora, and if I get some measurable flex going, I'll scan it and post it to you. If not, maybe I'll give up.
I'm back - I'll try to add the scan. Here goes -
Edited by Gracie, 07 January 2018 - 01:15.