Jump to content

What Is Meant When One Says A Nib Is Boring?



MadAsAHatter
Rate Topic 0

Recommended Posts

I've seen where people will refer to a nib as boring, uninteresting, uninspiring, bland , etc. It's a nib, it's not supposed to do a song & dance; it puts ink on paper. So, what does it mean when one calls a nib boring?

 

It's such a subjective topic, I bet whatever I consider "boring" is different from what some other people consider "boring". My boring nibs might be someone else's bread and butter for daily writing.

 

My personal view on the matter:

 

1. No line variation whatsoever without significant effort. Lamy Safari Medium nib is something I consider a super boring nib. I am not referring to flex, but rather it's a combination of ink flow rate with shape of the tipping grind where you can still control the line width with more or less pressure without much effort. Like when doing a quick flourish swirl, you can have the line going from thin to thick to thin just pressing into paper more and then less. "Interesting" nibs allow for more control over line width and also are generally not perfectly round in all directions. For example my Pilot Vanishing Point Extra Fine is somehow quite easy to get line thickness variation with, despite being ultra thin, as opposed to my Sailor 14K and 21K Extra fines, which write the same line width in all directions, and I don't dare press on them. Some nibs just write a fairly bold line no character, and it just looks like drawing with a thin felt tip marker.

 

2. Another aspect that could add to "character" is the springiness or even flex.

 

3. Texture of the tipping can add to character, meaning super smoothly polished tipping or some "pencil-like" feedback, or a very toothy nib.

 

4. Overall I would say any "spherical ball of tipping" nibs in western Fine and above are very boring to me, and I got rid of all but one pen with such tipping or had them re-ground to cursive italics. The only one I still have is a cheap Jinhao pen I use for testing ink mixes.

Edited by Intensity

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 65
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Estycollector

    13

  • A Smug Dill

    5

  • Parkette

    4

  • bayindirh

    4

A Smug Dill

My personal view on the matter:

 

1. No line variation whatsoever without significant effort.

Notwithstanding that it's your personal view, which I think is your prerogative to hold and express — and I certainly wouldn't challenge to try to change your mind — I personally don't think the Mjölnir or Excalibur is boring, even though mere mortals including myself cannot wield them (properly). I'd love to see a thousand more "not boring" nibs that only selected few masters (or dieties) can use properly, while the rest of us look on in admiration and awe (which doesn't happen if something is boring). :D

 

... as opposed to my Sailor 14K and 21K Extra fines, which write the same line width in all directions, and I don't dare press on them.

I can't say I have the same qualms.

 

...

 

I suppose my main point in previous posts is that there is a logical difference between "boring" and "displeasing" or "not worth the effort to learn or tame". I found playing the piano awfully boring as a child (and, no, I still can't play), I wasn't motivated to invest 10,000 hours or however long it takes, but I still appreciate hearing a world-class pianist play in concert and the music isn't boring, so the well-tuned grand piano he/she is playing isn't (or shouldn't be) "boring" per se either. The Pilot #10 14K gold FA nib wasn't boring, but just displeasing, to me personally; "boring" ought not be deemed synonymous with "bad", "poor" or "inferior", just because I personally don't have any interest or appreciation, because it seems to take attention away the personal responsibility, limitations and failings of the one who find it "boring" from the perspective of onlookers and bystanders. There are many on FPN who worship the Pilot FA nib, and a few who can wield it to achieve great calligraphic outcomes.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasn't motivated to invest 10,000 hours or however long it takes, but I still appreciate hearing a world-class pianist play in concert and the music isn't boring, so the well-tuned grand piano he/she is playing isn't (or shouldn't be) "boring" per se either.

 

 

Funny you should mention piano. Our house is noisy and far from boring at the moment since my son is temporarily home from college having submitted his masters thesis and now torn between returning to waapa for phd study or go to Sydney. The virus has caused so many difficulties. His degrees are Music Performance (Classical Piano), his focus the music of Liszt. Here he chooses between two old upright pianos crammed into the lounge room (long ago turned over to him). I'm sure he notices the difference from the instruments he has played as waapa, the WA conservatorium, Govt House, the concert halls (here, Melbourne and Vienna) and others, but he doesn't complain and to our ears the quality of the instruments is easily compensated by his ability and artistry.

 

What was it I said earlier about some nibs being boring? I was wrong. It's always the person drawing with it, not making a more creative effort!

It's all about the greys...

Link to post
Share on other sites
A Smug Dill

I was wrong. It's always the person drawing with it, not making a more creative effort!

 

You make much more out of the Sailor Fude de Mannen pen (that I put in the Aussie FPN pass-around box) than I ever could. It isn't the pen or nib that is boring, and you've just proven it. :)

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Notwithstanding that it's your personal view, which I think is your prerogative to hold and express — and I certainly wouldn't challenge to try to change your mind — I personally don't think the Mjölnir or Excalibur, even though mere mortals including myself cannot wield them (properly). I'd love to see a thousand more "not boring" nibs that only selected few masters (or dieties) can use properly, while the rest of us look on in admiration and awe (which doesn't happen if something is boring). :D

 

 

I can't say I have the same qualms.

 

You press down on those nibs far more than I would dare. I want my Sailor EF nibs to last decades in good condition in terms of tipping wear on paper fibers and keeping tine alignment. Any pen can produce line variation with sufficient effort and pressure, and you have trained yourself to really push on downstrokes, which I try to avoid doing. Some pens and nibs need practically no effort, like my Pilot VP EF nib. It just naturally writes with variable line width, and I’m pretty light-handed at both writing and typing.

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Christopher Godfrey

Excalibur is boring, even though mere mortals including myself cannot wield (them)...>

 

I thought Excalibur was safely back in the lake?

 

And @Beechwood: <...>there are not many interesting or exciting nibs to me, I can only think of three which are special and different when in use>

 

How can you leave us guessing, you rotter?! ;^)

Edited by Christopher Godfrey
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Announcements


×
×
  • Create New...