Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Grifos Nero Muse "Bog Oak" Fountain Pen

I have heard about Grifos brand pens before and have always been intrigued. I recently met a new friend at the Pelikan Hub that was held on September 22nd and this belonged to that person. I had a pen I was not happy with and this Grifos was a pen that this new friend didn't care for either. A swap was made between us and now I have this lovely pen that I really enjoy. Let's take a look.

This is one very attractive pen. The cap and section are made of 925 silver and features a Guilloche pattern with Ruthenium or Black Gold plating. The plating adds a touch of depth to the Guilloche and it can be very mesmerizing.

The body of the pen is also rather stunning as it is an ancient wood known as “bog oak,” found in the swamps of eastern Europe and carbon-dated to be up to 5,460 years old. That is actually really fascinating. It even came with a Certificate of Authenticity.

The issue I had with the pen was the nib. After filling the pen, it just would not write reliably and so many hard starts. I did some research and found that it was a very common theme amongst other owners of the pen. It had a F steel #6 nib on it and I decided to try a spare #6 nib from Goulet Pens and voila, the pen writes like a champ.

Overall a fascinating pen to look at and to write with. It is a lighter pen when uncapped as the silver in the cap has most of the weight. A well balanced pen that truly is a piece of art.

This review is based off of my experience and opinion. I do not represent Grifos in any way nor am I being compensated.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Franklin Christoph Model 31 Omnis

I have a Franklin Christoph 19 that I thoroughly enjoy so it made sense to look at the Franklin Christoph table when I visited the Dallas Pen Show. I walked away with a Model 31 Omnis and I find that I cannot stop writing with it, which is ultimately a wonderful thing.

The best description of the Franklin Christoph 31 is from the F-C website itself:
“The Model 31 encompasses features from several F-C models. The grip section is like that of the 40 Panther, the silhouette is a slightly slimmer version of the 19, precision posting like the 20, 45, and 03, cut grooves and recessed nib like the 20.“

It is definitely slimmer than the 19 but I really love the recessed nib. For whatever reason, I absolutely love the look of this feature and the gold nib is quite striking.

The nib itself is the medium in 14k gold and has some bounce to it as opposed to the steel counterpart of the same nib. Jim at F-C tuned it before handing it over to try it and that personal service resonated with me. A very nice and personal touch.

The pen material is quite interesting as well. It is a matte finish and the pen blanks for this pen model come from Jonathan Brooks at the Carolina Pen Company. It looks remarkably like granite in person but without the weight that would go along with it. In certain light, there is an iridescent quality to the blank that really adds to the granite likeness here as well as develops a richness overall.

I love the heft of the pen, the thickness, the material and the writing experience I get with this pen. Franklin Christoph has a reputation for quality and I find that to be quite true with both F-C pens that I own.

This review is based off of my experience and opinion. I do not represent Franklin Christoph in any way nor am I being compensated.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Dallas Pen Show 2017

My first pen show and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It can be a tad overwhelming at first as there are so many people and things to see. 

It was so much fun to meet so many people who share the same passion for pens, paper and ink.

There were a list of vendors I had planned on visiting first and that I did. I had planned on visiting:

  • Franklin Christoph
  • Vanness Pens
  • Anderson Pens
  • Papier Plume 
  • Dromgooles
  • Pendemonium
I spent the most time and money at the Franklin Christoph table as they had all of their nib options in pens to test out and try. 

After much deliberation and testing, I chose a beautiful Model 31 with a 14k gold nib. The hands on touch here is quite nice as I then got to choose what Franklin Christoph ink I wanted it filled with and then Jim would personally tune the nib before handing it to me.

The nib felt butter smooth and the ink is quite lovely. I went with Black Forest which is a dark green that still has beautiful shading.

I then went to Vanness Pens because of their vast ink selection and are the only vendor I know of in the US that carries KWZ ink.

Here I finally got to meet Lisa Vanness and Anna from The Well Appointed Desk blog. More money ran from my wallet here too. P.W. Akkerman Dutch Masters Ceruleam Blauw Van Vermeer, P.W. Akkerman #13 Simplisties Violet, KWZ Iron Gall Gummiberry were soon in my hands as well as a new Col-O-ring. 

By this time, I was pretty beat and the show was to be ending and we hadn't had dinner yet. 

Day 2 of the show started at 10am and I was down shortly thereafter. I checked out the silent auction pieces, which were plenty and consisted mainly of vintage pens and some books. 

I then was able to meet Papier Plume and browse their wares.

I have bottles of Sazerac and Red Beans & Rice already but what else do we have? I ended up having a nice discussion about ink here and purchased some stationary and ink for my mother as a thank you for staying home with my kids. 

Next happened to be a visit to Anderson Pens. 

Brian and Lisa Anderson are very nice people. Lisa and I spoke about the Midwest as they are in Wisconsin and I tried out some Sailor pens. I really like the look of the Pro Gear over the 1911 model but man are they small pens. I have big hands and I do not like to post my pens. 

Dromgooles and Chatterly Luxury were there and I visited their tables but their offerings were a bit past my allotted budget. We had some great pen discussion and all is good. 

I also visited Luxury Brand to see the new Noodler Ink inks but that was a disappointment. Polar Purple and a blue were not what I was hoping for and I didn't stay here very long. I was hoping for a new and exciting ink offering. 

Pendemonium has Iowa roots from Fort Madison, Iowa which is also the former home of Sheaffer pens. 

Sam and Frank are super knowledgeable and quite friendly. It was nice to touch base with them and reminisce a bit. 

I did buy some more stuff. A Franklin Christoph A5 journal in grid format, some silicone grease and Franklin Christoph Loden ink. A nice haul from a great show. 

I will definitely come to this show again. I met some great people and was really in pen heaven. With some restraint, I may be able to buy some more pens but can I save during the year with all of the other great pen things out there? We will see what happens. Thanks Dallas, it was super fun!

The Journey to the Dallas Pen Show 2017

I have not posted in some time and I do apologize for that. My wife and I spent a week traveling to the Dallas Pen show from Iowa and turned it into a road trip of sorts. I packed the wrong power adapter for my laptop and well, I couldn't post. 

Days 1 and 2

Chicago is not a terribly far distance to go from central Iowa. We like visiting Chicago but had never explored downtown, until now. We stayed in a hotel adjacent to Michigan Ave and had a wonderful time. I had never realized how amazing the architecture is here. 

Stunning views. During our time here, we took a bus tour of the area and made stops at Soldier Field and Navy Pier. 

While on Navy Pier, we had to ride the big Ferris wheel and also took a boat ride on Lake Michigan where I got to see this lighthouse and I just love lighthouses.

A great start to the pen show journey.

Day 3

Mainly a travel day from Chicago, IL to Memphis, TN. Wow, Illinois is one damn long state but we reached our destination in 8 hours and we were both in no mood to go anywhere. 

Day 4 

Memphis is most notable for Elvis and Graceland. I am not a fan of Elvis but my wife is so we went to this attraction and spent a few hours. I am so glad that the style trends in fashion and home decor are no longer popular. 

After Graceland, we got back in the car and traveled to our next stop which was Branson, MO. We both were curious as to what was here so we needed to see for ourselves as to what all of the hype is about.

Day 5

Branson is quite the tourist trap type of place, much like the Wisconsin Dells and the Ozarks. The views are quite breathtaking beyond all of the ad signs for country music shows, tattoo shops, old timey photos and Vape shops. We took a ride on a DUKW (pronounced Duck) which is a WWII era vehicle that drives on land but is also amphibious. We had a nice tour and saw some amazing sites. 

After the tour we did some shopping for the kids and took a ride on a train, which happened to be the most disappointing part of the trip.

Day 6

Travel to the Dallas Pen show. We left Branson and headed down to Dallas, TX which was around 6 hours long. Once we got checked in, I was down to the show to see the goodies which will be in my next post.

Day 7 saw more pen show activity but we took a break to explore the plaza where President John F Kennedy was assassinated at in 1963. The museum and tour was very well put together and photos were not allowed. So after the tour, we went outside for a couple of pics.

It was humbling to be in the same building where the shots occurred but definitely worth the trip to visit history.

Day 8 was the trip back home which is roughly 11 hours in the car. It was a great getaway trip and we saw some wonderful sights as well as met some great people. I may need to do this again but with different stops along the way.