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  1. Dear FPN'ers, We are happy to announce our latest model of Ranga Pens called "ZEAL" . It is Ebonite & Clear Acrylic Demonstrator pen. It has German JOWO Screw in nib units and German Schmidt K5 converters. This is one of our High End Model Pens. The barrel and Cap dia are 16mm app. iT COMES IN TWO DESIGNS 1. Flat Top & Barrel End 2. Round Top and Rounded Barrel End. The ink level in the converter is clearly visible in the barrel. The nibs available are Fine, Medium and Broad Points (Gold Coloured Medium Point, Gold Coloured Broad Point nibs,Two Tone Fine Point, Two Tone Medium Point, Two Tone Broad Point, White Polished Fine Point, White Polished Broad Point nibs). The available Ebonite colours for "ZEAL" is (1. Blue Ripple 2. Pink Ripple 3. Red Ripple 4. Yellow Ripple 5. Brown Ripple 6. Green Ripple 7. Olive Ripple 8. Solid Black 9. Parrot (Bright) Green Ripple 10. Light Brown Ripple 11.Olive with Pink Ripple 12. Green-Yellow-Black Ripple 13. Mottled Brown 14. Mottled Green 15. Mottled Olive Brown 16. Solid Orange17. Solid Blue 18 Solid Pink 19. Blue/Pink 20. Blue/Green/Orange 21. Blue/Pink/Pale Yellow) "ZEAL" is available in Polished or Bakul Finish. Clip or Clipless version is available for this Model. http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03648-1_zps776e03a6.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03673-1_zpsee76eb91.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03672-1_zps0f202b77.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03658-1_zps88623756.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03651-1_zps444b755d.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03662-1_zps784c5e71.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03660-1_zps8f18972e.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03664-1_zps619f1972.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03668-1_zps6a180920.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03665-1_zps97af310f.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03667-1_zps8a644ef8.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03655-1_zps24792bd4.jpg Thanks, Kandan.M.P Ranga Pen Company
  2. Most pen brands can boast a rich history that covers more than a hundred years. “Manu Propria” is a remarkable new brand at the gate of a new era. Only one man, Martin Pauli, is responsible for crafting each single pen. His motto is: 'Handmade from scratch.' Pens with a powerful shape, handcrafted in ebonite, with exquisite urushi lacquer work and 18kt gold nibs. You will be the first to discover them in the Sakura Fountain Pen Gallery. Please welcome, admire and collect your own Manu Propria pens !
  3. Just finished this one up yesterday. Made from Snakewood. Really happy with how it turned out overall. Just wanted to share.
  4. So, after individually reviewing two of my three Hakases (buffalo horn and rosewood), my Romillo Nervión and my custom Nakaya, I feel it is time to draw together some disparate threads. For many, the prospect of a fully custom pen is both alluring and daunting. With so many options the process seems fraught with danger, and the reassurance of an off-the-peg alternative, liberally reviewed and photographed here on the forum, turns the 'maybe' into an eternal 'maybe next time'. So here I will attempt to remove the mystery from the process, to shine a light on these three well-known if enigmatic makers, and to give a holistic and subjective overview of the process and the final pens. Maybe then I will help push a few of you over the edge into the abyss. Romillo Nervión, custom Nakaya, Hakase Rosewood, Hakase Buffalo Horn Communication: A friendly and knowledgeable contact is crucial, both in easing anxiety and assuring that there are no misunderstandings along the (sometimes long) way. Yet, oddly, it is the experience with the most scope for error that has proven to be the most rewarding, and then by a large margin. Hakase is a tiny company located in Tottori, a middling city in the north of Honshu, Japan's main island. If I say that its locale is known only for its pears and a sand dune, perhaps you will understand how remote Hakase is. Mr. Ryo Yamamoto is the proprietor and, now that his father and patron has retired, also the maker of Hakase's pens. From what I understand, he speaks little-to-no English, and yet... My three experiences with Hakase have been absolutely without flaw. Mr. Yamamoto's infinite patience, his pride in his products, and his devotion to his customers, has shone through in every interaction, no matter how minor. Questions were answered almost instantaneously (via Google Translate but, miraculously, still comprehensible), often including comparative photos of great skill, as well as personal guidance and impressions of the options under consideration. The little questionnaire (filled out once and then kept on file for future reference) asked for certain writing specifics and preferences, as well as a writing sample, and was always mailed back anew upon receipt of an order with an exact to-scale picture of the expected pen. Ryo even allowed my second pen to jump the queue to ensure it arrived in time for my birthday... Aftercare has also been sublime: a new nib was ground for me to match my pen (as each pen is constructed entirely by hand, it was necessary to send it back in its entirety to ensure a clean marriage between section and barrel); turnaround from Israel to Japan and back again was barely three weeks. I have had less contact with Álvaro Romillo at Romillo, but so far the signs have been good. eMails were usually promptly serviced (with a few lapses), and answers have been friendly, open and comprehensive, though they lack the overwhelming thoroughness of Mr. Yamamoto at Hakase. So where does this leave Nakaya? Not very high, unfortunately. I have had several experiences with Nakaya, both personally and through Classic Fountain Pens in California. Whereas Hakase exemplifies that friendlier nature of the Japanese national personality, Nakaya inhabits the realms of the introverted side. Even as a repeat customer, several exploratory communications with the company in Tokyo were politely rebuffed; a request for more details about the urushi craftsmen in Wajima (a town I was to visit as my latest pen was being produced) was ignored. It is no coincidence, therefore, that upon undertaking a custom design, I chose CFP to act as middle-man. Romillo size 9, Nakaya ruthenium plated F, Hakase F, Hakase F Scope for Customisation: I suppose this is the most important issue, for what is the definition of a 'custom' pen? Of the three, only Romillo is entirely made by hand, the other two relying on certain parts sourced from other manufacturers. Needless to say, this limits their creative scope somewhat. On considering a Romillo, I asked Álvaro what existed within the realms of possibility. His answer: the daunting "anything". I am not sure this was meant literally (I doubt I could order a telescoping piston without footing the bill for the necessary R&D upfront), but in dimensions and furniture, it seems that anything goes. He was even open to custom end-buttons, clips and nib engravings too, although strangely not to any material bar ebonite. A celluloid model has just been added to Romillo's website, so perhaps that is about to change... Nib, feed and filling aside, Hakase have been more than willing to alter their signature pens. Mix-and-match details from their plethora of designs, as well as a (new) choice of 14k golds or sterling silver, all to create your pen, then have Mr. Yamamoto tailor the dimensions and details to suit your taste. Materials are limited to those traditionally utilised by Hakase, but the canvas proves vast: celluloid, ebonite, various exotic woods, buffalo horn and even turtle-shell for those more adventurous, and possessed of deep pockets. With Nakaya, alterations are limited to the surface: the garnish rather than the meat. One must first choose a basic design from those already offered by Nakaya (or, as in my case, allow them to suggest one), and then work from there. Even then, there are seemingly arbitrary limitations: a request to include western text on the pen was quietly refused, as was a second nib and section. Pedantic and pointless, especially when undertaking such a project at such an expense. 'Specialness': You can find my thoughts elsewhere, but it goes without saying that one orders a custom pen for something more than brand image. More, even, than objective attributes. A handmade pen should sing in an ineffable manner alien to an object spat out by machine. It should not necessarily be without flaw, but those flaws must be evidence of the divine fallibility of man rather than lax quality control or the inadequacy of design. It is here that the Nakaya absolutely fails. It is a beautiful pen, a fantastic pen even and, imbued with so much personal resonance, I love it dearly. But it is a (relatively) mass-produced product with very beautiful embellishments. I do not pick it up and feel it was made for me, that it embodies some indelible connection between the craftsman and I. I do with the other two. Even the nib: yes, it is a good nib. Great even. But it is the work of John Mottishaw and is comparable to any of the other Nakayas or Platinums that I own, all on off-the-shelf pens and no poorer for it. The Romillo is the complete antithesis. It would not exist were it not for me, and everything about it screams 'anachronism' in the manner of an heirloom film camera or a car with a manual transmission. It is the very definition of what a custom pen should be - not a single part outsourced or produced by robot, and that nib is quite simply a marvel of character and grace. How a cottage manufacturer on Europe's periphery can do what the big boys cannot is beyond me, and for many that nib and that nib alone will pronounce the Nervión the absolute and uncontested winner here. I would not argue with that conclusion... But it is not mine. In my humble eyes, Hakase is the master of the custom pen. Everything, from the communication to the ordering to the blissful agony of the wait is exactly what I want the experience to be. The choice of materials and styles is comprehensive, and the skill exhibited in the manufacture (the threads are cut by hand!) is peerless. Yes, for some Hakases will forever be hobbled by the Pilot nib, feed and filler, yet the proof is in the writing and Ryo Yamamoto has still succeeded in translating my desires into nib form (three times on three separate pens) better than any nibmeister, let alone manufacturer. Yes, other Pilots in my collection may share the 'same' size 15 nib, but none dream to compare upon the page. I am happy to own all three and would consider none a mistake. But were I to only have one, there would be absolutely no doubt: Mr Yamamoto and Hakase would be the one to receive my only order.
  5. mongrelnomad

    Romillo Nervión

    When we think of pen manufacturing in Europe, no doubt we tend to think of Germany, of Italy, perhaps - if your tastes tend towards the vintage, or you've been in this game for a while - the UK. The rest appears a wasteland, and yet from one of the unsung corners of the continent hails probably the most interesting manufacturer outside of Japan. As is the way, I came across Romillo through this fair madhouse of ours. A relative enigma, this Spanish brand was alluded to only occasionally, and even the few lines were seldom accompanied by as much as a photograph. Further research pointed to a series of pretty if plain ebonite pens, and the idea of them never really piqued my imagination. But then, new rumblings. This tiny cottage manufacturer was doing the unthinkable and ignoring decades of received wisdom: they were manufacturing their own nibs. As if that were not brazen enough in itself, these nibs were produced entirely by hand (other so-called 'handmade' nibs are only hand-finished). 18k gold and available in sizes 7 and 9, the latter was even larger than the hallowed nib on Montblanc's 149. It had to be done. An eMail was sent to Álvaro, patron and namesake to Romillo. After a brief discussion, I settled upon the Nervión, the company's largest pen and, of course, blessed with its largest nib. Hand lathed from ebonite stock, it is available in black, terracotta, wood-grain, and my own personal choice: blue-black ripple. The nib choice was more difficult. Being hand-made, the usual rigid constraints disappear. Oblique triple-broad flexible cursive-italic? Nah. I'm boring, and so I chose and Extra Fine, though I could not decide between a 'rigid' or 'semi-flex' example. I'm not a fan of esoteric and overly-exotic nibs (I find they tend to be quickly relegated to the drawer), and I've had bad experiences with too-flexible nibs in the past, so I opted for the 'rigid' nib. More on this choice later... Money paid, approximately one month later: the pen arrived in Tel-Aviv. I usually don't comment on the packaging of pens, finding it at best pretty frivolity, and at worst, lipstick on a pig. But in Romillo's case I will make an exception. The pen itself came wrapped in a black felt wrap laid within a beautifully manufactured wooden box. The slide-out top is held in place with cord that nestles in its own carved channel: just enough space for storing the pen and its eyedropper. Yes, Romillo makes their pens either cartridge-converter or eyedropper-filler. Form an orderly queue please. Also packaged within the parcel was a gargantuan gold and black pen kimono - perhaps inspired by Nakaya - a completely unnecessary addition. An odd mis-step considering the perfectly judged nature of the rest. So, to the main event: the pen. I'm not the biggest fan of ebonite as a material with which to manufacture an entire pen. It can be dull and lifeless, inhabiting that weird neighbourhood of not-quite-glossy-not-quite-matt. I recently disposed of a Conway Stewart (RIP) Marlborough Vintage LE for exactly this reason. Ebonite is not without it appeal though: its tactility is its strength. It is soft and warm, and I am a huge fan of manufacturers that use it exclusively for the 'touch points' of their pens (yes, like Hakase), or the hidden structure beneath. And that ebonite smell is beguiling... pungent and welcoming and completely unlike anything else. Somehow, and in-spite of my misgivings, the Nervión manages to pull it off. Unadorned by jewellery (apart from the sold gold nipple roll-stopper), the cleans lines make the material work. and seems to recast the ebonite's simple idiosyncrasy upon its own terms. The only other embellishment is the sold gold emblem embedded in the barrel's tail. It is this detail alone (other than minor adjustments in length and girth) that separates the Nervión from the very similar Eo, and while I was initially worried that its weight would throw off what otherwise promised to be a very light pen, I needn't have worried. Not only is it a beautiful detail and, in my opinion, one of the defining features of the pen, it doesn't throw off the pen's lovely balance, as so much of the weight is up by the nib. Compared to the 149 and M800. I know the pen is completely hand-made, but that does not mean it is flawless. Where the barrel swells and narrows there are surprisingly visible scratches from the lathe, and the number stamped on the rear (I assume this is the serial number) is unexpectedly rudimentary. Nothing deal-breaking, but disappointing, still. The lathe-marks. But you care nothing for my disappointments. I care nothing for my disappointments. They fade to nothingness when in the presence of that nib. It is... astounding. In my time, buying, using, pseudo-collecting, I have never seen anything like it this side of a Namiki Imperial. It is simply breathtaking, so long and slender and tapering with such delicate tines and elegant curves, so daintily engraved. But a nib is nothing if it can't write... Nib size compared to M800 and 149. Yes it does, like no nib manufactured in the last fifty years. I said earlier that I requested a 'firm' EF, but the lexicon of this nib does not adhere to our modern vocabulary. It is soft, springy, more flexible even than any modern flexible nib I use or have owned, but without that snappy, violent recoil to which we have grown accustomed. This is no wet-noodle, but the feel, the spirit, reminds me of my pink Waterman 7. Yes, I am saying that of a pen manufactured in 2014. it is broader than I would have liked (a European Fine at normal angle and normal pressure) and I have yet to truly master its angles and sensitivity. These are my personal issues, though, and nothing to do with the nib itself. I have contacted Álvaro regarding grinding the nib to a finer point and he has said he would be happy to do so, and can create any width desired on receipt of a writing sample. No doubt this is something I will have to try. But no mind my failings; this pen is doubtless the single most unique writing experience at the sharp end that I've ever had. The feed - also handsome and handmade - has had no problems keeping up with the (rather gorgeous Romillo blue) ink, even when the tines are fully spread under heavy pressure. Although I have emptied the pen entirely of its capacity through use, I have never had a problem with ink blobbing as I write, a problem common to eyedroppers. That isn't to say that the filling mechanism has been problem free. This is my first eyedropper without a shut-off valve, but I was assured by Álvaro that there was no danger of... upsets in normal use. The ink reservoir is secured by an o-ring that meets the beautifully machined brass, but that has not avoided two unfortunate ejaculations of ink. Thankfully, neither leak escaped the cap, and one was the result of rather extreme barometric conditions (a quick decent from the hills of Jerusalem to the Dead Sea). Worryingly, though, the other occurred after no more than a simple bounce around Tel-Aviv in my backpack. Again, hardly damning, but disappointing. The O-ring. No, my experience with the Nervión has not been perfect, and I have not bonded with it in quite the same way as I have with my Hakases, but it is a pen I would not hesitate for an instant to recommend or to purchase again. Romillo is such a unique prospect, its pens are so different, and its nibs so without precedent or peer, that the question of price ceases to be a good representation of value. The two most unique aspects of this pen - that nib, that filling system - can also be had with the company's Essential 9 model (local VAT included) for the price of a new Writer's Edition from Montblanc. Which would you prefer to have? For me, that is a decision with a simple answer. Thank you for reading. Following requests, I have conducted a separate comparative review of Nakaya, Romillo and Hakase in order to provide an overview of the daunting task of commissioning a custom pen. If you are interested, it can be found here.
  6. I ordered this pen at a very difficult time. My darling best friend, Sufi – a mongrel my wife rescued from a building site at the turn of the millennium – was dying of a long, debilitating illness. On the eve of what would prove to be her last stay in veterinary hospital, I decided that, already wounded and seething, I would need something to remember her by when the inevitable happened. I’ve previously ordered both from Nakaya directly and from Classic Fountain Pens (CFP) and considering past experience, decided once more to approach John and his troupe in California. Dealing with Nakaya is not necessarily an unpleasant experience, but the culture and language barrier, combined with the inevitable google translate, can cause ambiguity in communication where – for this project especially – I required absolute clarity. CFP did not disappoint: a few days of email to-and-fro-ing led to a series of pictures being sent, and the conclusion of a design aesthetic: “Sufi and Chloe chasing away a crow”, both a poignant (to me) symbol of the immutability of memory, and a literal representation of one of their favorite pass-times. A maximum budget was also proposed (be clear: in the world of custom works, the maximum budget is the final cost). The brief was passed to Nakaya, and a few weeks later a sketch was delivered. It was perfect bar the order of the dogs (Sufi always took the lead; Chloe followed) – a minute on photoshop and the design was approved. By this point, Sufi was gone; euthanised as I held her (so thin, so broken) in my arms, buried in a shady spot beneath a tree. And so the wait began, and with it the process of acceptance that feels so much like forgetting. Almost a year after the process began, I got an email to say the pen had arrived, and within a week, I was opening the box in Tel-Aviv. There is a moment of recalibration with every custom pen that comes the first time the finished article is unpacked and held, the details taken in. Unlike pens mass-produced on a conveyor belt, the end result is a complete unknown. Things that are usually taken for granted (tactility, finish, texture) are question-marks, and over the course of deciding, of tweaking, of ordering, a platonic ideal builds and grows and exists in the commissioner’s mind – the pen that is expected, the pen that is desired. Then, when the actual real physical object is something different – less, or more; different – the break occurs and the new, real relationship begins. With most pens, this reappraisal process is purely physical; here, the primary disappointment was emotional. I unpacked the pen, felt its weight, the perfectly smooth black urushi, the delicately layered maki-e – silver and gold for Sufi, silver for Chloe – the stark simplicity of the design echoing the unadorned curves of the shape . And then I repacked it and put it away. I think I cried a bit too. Sufi I had been giddy with excitement, for somehow, foolishly, I must have believed that having a pen in her likeness would bring Sufi back. But a pen is a pen and my best friend is dead; I was a fool to think otherwise. Chloe A few weeks later, I was able to start again. I was able to appreciate the fine detail of the artist, the flawlessness of the work, the eerie perfect luster of the black urushi gloss. I noticed too the shape of the paw-adorned section (slightly more grooved than the one on decapod, and slightly less comfortable for it), and how the usual irritation of the four-thread cap not lining up was not an issue in this design. I felt how the rhodium plating turned the usually soft and supple 14k gold Platinum nib into a Sailor 21k mimicking nail, and decided the the XF nib was too fine and scratchy for me, even after John Mottishaw’s fettling (it would soon be replaced by a similarly rigid rhodium F). Slowly but surely, I began to use it. First it found its way into my tertiary Sage Brown case and then into my secondary. Now, finally, after six months I feel it has been sufficiently decontaminated of that initial flush of emotional impotence, to the point where it is what it should always have been (and all it could ever have been): a beautiful momento of a passed time and a missed friend; one that happens to also be an exceptionally good pen. Thank you for reading. Following requests, I have conducted a separate comparative review of Nakaya, Romillo and Hakase in order to provide an overview of the daunting task of commissioning a custom pen. If you are interested, it can be found here.
  7. Dear FPN'ers, We are happy to announce our new line of Ranga Pens which has German JOWO Screw in nib units and German Schmidt K5 converters. This is our High End Model Pens. The nibs available are Fine, Medium and Broad Points (Gold Coloured Medium Point, Gold Coloured Broad Point nibs,Two Tone Fine Point, Two Tone Medium Point, Two Tone Broad Point, White Polished Fine Point, White Polished Broad Point nibs). The JOWO nib and Schmidt K5 converter model is available for all of our Models ( MODEL 3 (DUOFOLD), 4B (BAMBOO MODEL), MODEL 4 ,3C, 4C, 5 ,8,4A,3A,5A,5AA,4AA,4CS, RANGA HANDCARVED SPL PRECIOUS EBONITE RIPPLE DESIGNER FOUNTAIN PENS)and all Ebonite colours (1. Blue Ripple 2. Pink Ripple 3. Red Ripple 4. Yellow Ripple 5. Brown Ripple 6. Green Ripple 7. Olive Ripple 8. Solid Black 9. Parrot (Bright) Green Ripple 10. Light Brown Ripple 11.Olive with Pink Ripple 12. Green-Yellow-Black Ripple 13. Mottled Brown 14. Mottled Green 15. Mottled Olive Brown 16. Solid Orange17. Solid Blue 18 Solid Pink 19. Blue/Pink 20. Blue/Green/Orange 21. Blue/Pink/Pale Yellow) All Pens are available in Polished or Bakul Finish. Clip or Clipless version is available for all Models. Thanks, Kandan.M.P Ranga Pen Company https://www.flickr.com/photos/126373317@N08/sets/72157647294100872/ http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03249-1_zps3f2f938f.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03244-1_zps7571ad48.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03251-1_zpsb7e43639.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03254-1_zps83915988.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03316-1_zps6bd21d8e.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03313-1_zps9c8a27a3.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03266-1_zpsfc6e4b7d.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03271-1_zps8ce8875b.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03273-1_zps370aa476.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03282-1_zpsa5c73fc3.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03285-1_zps93b0c07a.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03290-1_zpsc97a3bf7.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03304-1_zps09b57036.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03297-1_zps0f82d565.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03305-1_zps6b50f1fa.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/German%20Jowo%20Nib%20Pens/DSC03308-1_zps928c3e5c.jpg Thanks, Kandan.M.P Ranga Pen Company
  8. I think it is about time to do my first review (way overdue). I've always liked the looks and feel of leather notebooks but either the paper was not what I wanted or I was to scared to spoil them with my scribbles. So I opted to go for a nice leather cover. I searched a while to find a nice leather cover that could fit the notebooks I like. Most covers out there seem to be made for Moleskin and that's, well lets just say not my cup of tea. Not to long ago I came across a Dutch website www.writersplaza.nl were they sell handmade leather notebooks and covers by an Englishman named Paul Francis. Just when I was about to order the reddish one I noticed the dark brown one. I could not choose so there was only one option left I ordered both Both are just awesome. They fit about any A5 notebook I think. So far I have tried them with my favourite at the moment the Leuchtturm (currently in the brown one) and the Rhodia (web) and the thicker softcover Rhodia (shown in the reddish one). The reddish one has an extra flap where you can store businesscards, creditcard, etc. The extra flap also protects the notebook more when carried in a backpack or sorts. You can put the flap over or under the front cover. They both are pretty soft leather and lie as flat as the notebook allows. As a bonus the are made environmentally save. (http://www.writersplaza.nl/c-1443210/paul-francis-how-your-book-was-made/) They can stain a bit at the beginning. Needless to say I'm extremely happy with them and they put a smile on my face every time I see them or pick them up to start writing. After some googling I think I found his ebayshop http://stores.ebay.co.uk/The-Diary-Shop No more words let's show some pictures Some very nice diamondshape stiching
  9. riccardodebole

    New Autograph Ghibli Fountain Pen

    From January 2014 our distribution strategy is based by selling directly to the final consumer, no other intermediary like a distributor or a shop is involved. Our workshop is located close Venice, in the Brenta Canal area, well known throughout the world for its beautiful locations and for the beauty of the venetian villas with their parks. Our handmade objects are the resulting product of the story of our land, our passion, our quality, everithing that “Made in Italy” means. We like think that our works are unique, as every our customer is a unique person. GHIBLI presents “AUTOGRAPH” the new series of fountain pens. These pens can use your very own signature as the photos onboard. This GHIBLI fountain pen will be one of the most special pen you will ever own. Much like the fingerprint , your signature is completely your own, no one else has it. We hope a large success for these personalized fountain pens ! Kind regards, Riccardo http://www.ghiblistudio.it
  10. Dear All, My Father M.S.Pandurangan has crafted this Ebonite pen on last week This is Model 5 Pen with Customer supplied Nib and converter. We are introducing this new Ebonite colour Yellowished Olive with Pink Ripple. This is similar to old waterman pen colours. The capped length is 7 inches and the dia is 18.75mm I'm sharing it for All FPN'ers. Comments are welcome Thanks, Kandan.M.P Ranga Pen Company http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CUSTOM%20PENS-2014/DSC02366-1_zps6ad31feb.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CUSTOM%20PENS-2014/DSC02394-1_zps6678c3a6.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CUSTOM%20PENS-2014/DSC02392-1_zpsf262c217.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CUSTOM%20PENS-2014/DSC02378-1_zps16543cfd.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CUSTOM%20PENS-2014/DSC02385-1_zps51bdaca4.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CUSTOM%20PENS-2014/DSC02374-1_zps28560d4e.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CUSTOM%20PENS-2014/DSC02377-1_zpsc1d4f71c.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CUSTOM%20PENS-2014/DSC02388-1_zps56a50e93.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CUSTOM%20PENS-2014/DSC02391-1_zps432429d8.jpg
  11. Below is my attempt at reviewing together the four pens made by the Ranga Handmade company that I own. [i will also put up a copy of this review on my blog fpensnme.blogspot.in]
  12. Hey all, we all love fountain pens and we all want to write with them. So at one point we need to find ourselves some nice paper. In my case I also wanted a nice notebook which contains the paper. Eventually I discovered the Midori Notebooks and loved them. Simple design but a very thought through, cool looking little system. The problem that I had was the price. I just did not want to (and shouldn't at the time) spend 50$ for a notebook. So I had the idea to google a little bit and see, if there were people who made their own versions of that Traveler's Notebook. And I was lucky. I found , which explains in detail how to cut the leather and this website, which teaches you how to make your own refills and provides printable templates (if that's something you want to do). I could tell you myself how I did it, but I think these two sources are doing a pretty good job explaining everything. I just would repeating it here. I liked the passport-size, but I did not wanted to be dependent on Midori refills. So I changed the format in the way that now I can refill with small Moleskine or FieldNotes notebooks. After that, I bought some nice leather on ebay together with a cheap leatherpunch and was ready to go. Here are the first four I made. http://i1367.photobucket.com/albums/r799/manoart/PhotoGrid_1381243254004_zps0c384e16.png I must say, I'm pretty pleased with the end result and I hope you try it yourself if you have the time and the passion. It's also great as a gift if you can't or do not want to spent the 50$ or more and it comes with this special self-made charm. Enough rambling. Have a good day, Manuel
  13. There is a wise catch-phrase coined by the seminal 90s British sitcom Spaced. "Skip to the end." And so I will: This is the single best pen I have ever owned, ever held, ever used. It is so good that it has made me believe - maybe just a little bit - in the old, oft-told myth of The One Pen. There. Good. I uttered the sacrilegious words. Now that they are free and I am free too we can backtrack a bit (as I take a deep breath) and I can attempt to explain how this little cylinder of rosewood, ebonite and gold caused the furnaces of hell to freeze to ice. As some of you will remember, this is not my first Hakase. The first - a rather fetching buffalo horn torpedo - confused initially, before wrapping its tentacles firmly around my heart. This pen too came as something of a shock (no, slow down - I am getting ahead of myself), but even then there were no, even fleeting, feelings of disappointment. I had long wanted a wooden pen and after being gently guided through the options by Hakase's Mr. Ryo Yamamoto, I slowly narrowed my choices to the shape (flat-top), size (large) and wood (rosewood). I paid my deposit and began my wait. The photographs I recieved from Mr. Yamamoto in answer to my questions - 1. l-r: buffalo horn torpedo, RW15C, RW10C; 2. l-r: ebony, rosewood, cocobolo http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8245/8453562872_0895dd1ae4_c.jpg http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8374/8454014328_d5e5fd7e28_c.jpg The pen arrived with little fanfare as all Hakases do: a small wooden box wrapped in the company's steel-grey wrapping paper. Open the paper, pull the lid off the perfectly-fitting box and there was the pen. It was, and is, absolutely gorgeous. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5332/9291677875_14717ca64c_c.jpg http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3742/9294461724_e30aaa18ab_c.jpg http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5451/9291690423_71cb73d81f_c.jpg The shape is highly unusual but deceptively simple - a large cap worked to a slightly conical summit allied to a voluptuous barrel that narrows to an abrupt end (where the signature Hakase production date is carved into the wood). This allows the cap to post comfortably and securely. The pen, though large, is light and comfortable, and is is perfectly balance whether the cap is posted or not. Only the gold roll-stopper breaks the clean, unadorned lines. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3669/9294417512_51ffeb0247_c.jpg Although the pen is exactly what I expected, some details still manage to surprised. Google translate being what it is, I intended to ask Mr. Yamamoto how one could possibly fill, empty, clean and care for a pen constructed entirely from wood but could not reduce the question to sufficiently simple syntax. Not that it would have been necessary, for the apparently wooden section turned out to be the most glorious, warm, sensual ebonite, polished to a lustre that would make even the old vintage gods of yore weep. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7322/9294426386_d224a96b57_c.jpg The wood itself as I wished: it smells deep and sweet and organic and is pockmarked with veins and crevices and seams. It feels as I expected the buffalo horn to feel: rough and intimate; perfectly flawed as only a once-living, experiencing thing can be. It has been masterfully worked, from the hand-carved threads that screw on and off with the faint rubbing sound of rope being fed through an old loom, to the nearly imperceptible join where the cap's hollow section and rounded top meet. http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2831/9291638983_01167814e7_c.jpg The furniture is as to be expected of Hakase: solid, hand-beaten 14k gold. I understand from Mr. Yamamoto that white gold and sterling silver are now options but I cannot think of a single Hakase model that would benefit from a more monochromatic palette. As my buffalo pen had a circular nipple roll-stopper, I chose a pyramid for variety, and I am glad I did for it seems to catch the light and gleam in a more three-dimensional, more dramatic, way. Hugged lovingly within its trough, the band is neither loose nor tight and I find myself absentmindedly rotating it around the barrel as one would a wedding-ring on a fleshy finger: smooth as olive oil and hypnotically satisfying. Reassuring even. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3686/9291648137_16a2a0c5f8_c.jpg Nib, converter, feed: all Pilot. Off-the-shelf, yes, but of the highest quality nonetheless and perfectly integrated. For this pen I requested a fine nib and once again Hakase delivered. It is without a shadow of a doubt the single best nib for me and my illegibly cramped style of writing that I have ever used. Even by Japanese standards its line is fine, but it is so consistent and predictable, so smooth and forgiving of angle and pressure, that I have not been able to put it down. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7351/9291640201_2457222466_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7309/9291637557_c24549a04a_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2840/9299899748_67982fbe0e_c.jpg I have an obsessive methodology that governs my writing. Ever since I began work on the second first draft of Unpublished Novel #1 ™ I have changed both pen and ink every day. This was not only an excuse to amass and horde, it had at its root a practical purpose. Not all writing days are created equal, and altering the visible signature simplifies the thankless transcribing process months later. General rule: if a colour (day) begins eloquently, it will most likely remain eloquent. If not, skip ahead to the next colour (day) and fill in the blanks later. This simple regimen has remained unbroken for nearly five years, through two and a half novels and countless edits and rewrites. Until now. Since I received this pen, held it in my hands and first filled it with Iroshizuku Shin Kai, I have used no other. This is not out of necessity - I am not currently travelling (even then I carry between three and seven pens) and I have over a hundred pens and probably a good deal more inks easily to hand. No. I have, quite simply, not wished to use another pen. Size comparison - MB149, RW15C, Buffalo Horn Torpedo http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7382/9294428972_69eaea5cae_c.jpg To add insult to injury, the price is also shockingly resonable. No, you're right - calling a pen that retails for ¥162,000 (~$1,600) good value is a sure sign of insanity, but stay with me. First, because of the lack of embellishments (read: gold), this pen is several magnitudes cheaper than most of Hakase's creations. Then, when we remove immediate family from the contest and look at alternatives based upon price, all are big brand variations on a mass produced theme. And so the question becomes: would you rather pay for a fancy finish (raden on an M1000 for instance), elaborate gratuitous embellishments (MB POA 4810s, themselves 30%+ more expensive), or a unique, handmade product of singular skill and obsession where your fingers can sense the love and attention in every touch? Before we reach the foregone conclusion, allow me a brief addendum, for I bought a Hakase case with my pen and must include at least a mention in this review. Outsourced to these people, it is constructed of the most beautiful fragrant leather and is crafted as immaculately (and with the same methods, last and all) as hand-made shoes. Although I ordered it as a separate entity, it has been custom-made (without me asking) to fit this pen and this pen only. There is no strip for a clip (visible on the website here), and a little hole has been cut at exactly the height of the roll-stopper. It holds my pen, and my pen only, perfectly and it is impossible to appropriately describe how lovely it feels to have the pyramid slide into place and to see it poking out through its rabbit-hole into the light. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3767/9294445330_4ee178e111_c.jpg http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5460/9291636735_d11edc8c2c_c.jpg But forgive my brief digression, for now we've returned full-circle back to where we began. This is the single best pen I have ever owned, held or used. It is so good that it has made me believe, maybe just a little bit, in the old myth of The One Pen. Perhaps now you will understand why.
  14. Hey FPN'ers, I made this case last night. It is a A5 sized case that is capable of holding up to 3 different journals, I currently have two Rhodia and a slim Leuchtturm, by holding them in place with a strip of material that you adjust with a cord lock. I also used magnets to close the front so you dont' have to worry about elastics going or slowly pulling out of the material. I am really happy with how it turned out and I think I might start selling them on my Etsy. I would love to have everyone's feedback about what you think and if you would be interested in seeing it in a A6 or A4 size. Cheers, Phil
  15. Hey FPN'ers, I just made a post over on the G+ fountain page about making a case for carrying around four ink bottles to gage response, and one of the users made a really interesting suggestion. He said he wouldn't want anything the size of a actual glass bottle, but would want something more like the Goulet ink sample vials. I think his suggestion is awesome and would work with the design I already make for my pen cases. What I would like to know is how many ink vials would people want to be able to carry around with them? Also, if you would want a different type of marterial from the fleece/raw silk combo? I also think it would be worth while, if there are more than two ink vials, to include a strip of vynal type material above the ink vials so that users could write the ink name on a small label and place it there and easily remove/apply a new label when they change their regular inks. What do people think? Would anyone be interested in that? Cheers, Phil
  16. Hello FPN. I just started up a etsy shop that makes hand made fountain pen cases. The current ones I have will fit larger pens like the Vac700 and the M800, but I want to make sure what I create caters to the fountain pen community at large. With that in mind I have decided to take a page out of TWSBI's book and take a look and see what kind of needs are out there in the community. I am thinking of making a smaller case to fit the TWSBI Mini and the Kaweco Sport, and woudl like to know if the need is there. Here is a link to my shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/quillquivers Take a look and let me know what kind of items you would like to see in future, or suggestions to improve what is already there. Cheers, Phil
  17. GAMA ACRYLIC PENS Hi friends, I am presenting here an acrylic pen made by Mr. Pratap of Gem pens , Chennai . http://i1331.photobucket.com/albums/w583/mohancv/20130602_155344_zps793e70c8.jpg GAMA ACRYLIC WHITE OPEN VIEW. The design simple yet elegant - no bells no whistles - Don’t have even a fancy name. Simply Gama Acrylic. http://i1331.photobucket.com/albums/w583/mohancv/GAMAWHITECLOSE_zps6df7ffa6.jpg GAMA ACRYLIC WHITE CLOSED. This is a medium sized eyedropper having light weight. Comes in white, black and brown colours. http://i1331.photobucket.com/albums/w583/mohancv/GAMAWHITENIB_zps8efea184.jpg GAMA ACRYLIC WHITE NIB. http://i1331.photobucket.com/albums/w583/mohancv/GAMABLACKOPEN_zpsbd06fbfb.jpg GAMA ACRYLIC BLACK OPEN. http://i1331.photobucket.com/albums/w583/mohancv/GAMABLACKCLOSED_zps98630d2f.jpg GAMA ACRYLIC BLACK CLOSED. The pens were poor starters and skippers with their original feeds and nibs ! . I was very unhappy with the pen which remained in my cupboard for months. Later the single channel feed was replaced by a NoNonsense feed and nib by a “ pre smoothened “ no name China nib by Pen House at Kovai. Now it is a dream writer! Thanks for reading Mohan.

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