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Archive for August 12th, 2013

Fume Hood

Posted by Dirck on 12 August, 2013

My sister-in-law has just returned from a strangely scheduled vacation to Reno, Nevada.  One of the attractions Reno has for people in this more boreal climate is that it’s warmer than here, but that relative difference is both more pronounced in the part of the year between Christmas and St. Patrick’s day than that between Canada Day and Labour Day, and rather more endurable.  Fleeing “bloody cold” for “quite warm” is usual, while trading “warm” for “bloody hot” is odd.  SIL’s trip was founded on different reasons, though, which I’ll touch on after this apparent change of topic.

Over at the Fountain Pen Network, one of the inmates has treated his fellows to a couple of very interesting revivifications of Waterman Carènes, one repainted ivory, the other not only repainted from blue to red but given a super-custom clipless cap.  While one of the lessons one can take from these projects is that the cost of the Carène is probably not too reflective of finish durability, the more interesting notion is the possibility of refinishing a metal-bodied pen to a high degree of perfection, given care, attention, materials and time.  I’ve got a Waterman Super Master with rather corrupt lacquer that is now getting frequent lookings-at with this notion in mind.

As with any new notion, it brings with its attractions some points of worry.  “Say, that’s a good idea” is but the other side of the coin from “Say, is that a good idea?”  The examples linked to above are rather well done and tasteful, but….

Let us return to SIL’s trip.  She was, for reasons of the heart, invited to attend the great Barrett-Jackson car auction— someone on the technical side of that costly enterprise offered her a chance to get away from her homestead tedium, and away she went.  Wife, I and her parents were watching the thing in hopes of catching a glimpse of SIL, and as a matter of course we saw a number of cars.  Some merely old and interesting, some restored, some hot-rodded to a greater or lesser degree.  One of them, a coupe of the late 1930s, was only slightly amended in general outline– wheel arches rearranged for more modern and broader tires, a marginal reduction of roof-height to balance the reduction in tire height– and so rather pleasing to we in the viewing audience inclined to tradionalism in our consumer design.

Except… it had a flame-job on the front fenders and the trunk lid.  You know the sort of thing— painted-on flames, apparently meant to give the impression that the thing is going fast enough to catch fire, even if sitting parked.  Horrible in the extreme to all but a small minority of tastes.

Except… this one was really well done.  The flames had been applied with an airbrush without masking, so like actual flames and unlike the usual flame-job the edges were undefined.  It had the stamp of an actual artist upon it, and even we who do not appreciate the form could applaud this particular expression of it.

Except… the flames on the trunk lid were arranged in a painfully obvious way to compose a devil’s face.  Eugh!

My nightmares are now beset with pens repainted in green kandy-flake with amateurish flame-jobs inflicted upon them.  The unconscious invents a load of hoodlums committing stylographic vandalism for me to fume over.  Yet again, the foolishness of correlating diverse elements of the world is made clear.

Today’s pen: Pilot Metropolitan
Today’s ink: Herbin Bleu Nuit

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