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Posts Tagged ‘Organics Studio’

Hassan Chop!

Posted by Dirck on 28 August, 2013

Of the various little items of personality I’ve let past the filters of mistrust-of-internet, the influence upon me of Warner Brothers cartoons of the post-war golden age is certainly prominent.  One of the things I enjoy about these cartoons is the re-writing of Daffy Duck from a mere ball of anarchic chaos into a venal, grasping, cowardly backstabber; this because the former frequently vexes the undeserving while the latter generally pays a heavy and hilarious price for exercising his weaknesses.

So it was, when I read this announcement by Organics Studio offering free inks and a pen to people posting reviews of their work, I said inwardly, “Oh, I’m gonna do that, on account of I am greedy.”  Since pre-existing reviews aren’t to be counted, I will now revisit my sadly small experience with their inks.  Because I want to avoid heavy and hilarious come-uppances, I will also mention that I’m doing this because I actually like what I have seen of their product and want them to thrive, and given the likely outpouring I don’t really expect to be pushing a comedic wheelbarrow loaded with ink into my hidden cave of wonders.

The paper:  H&P 32lb laser paper, because all the other kids say it’s good.  Frankly, it’s no Clairefontaine.

The pen (for the samples):

…because it’s easy to clean

A European version of the Pilot Plumix; where it’s from and thus its cartridge standard is neither here nor there, as I was using it dip-wise.

Let’s begin:

This is what I think of when I think "cobalt blue"...

This is what I think of when I think “cobalt blue”…

...but this suggests that I'm being a little provincial.

…but this suggests that I’m being a little provincial.

On my site’s profile of this ink, I ponder the colour as being a little too much on the purple side for the name.  It appears I may have to retract that, as a look about the net shows my expectations were imperfect… as ever.  I do, this internal debate aside, like the colour; it is in the same line as Herbin’s Poussière de Lune in being a covertly non-standard hue which one can enjoy the small thrill of using neither blue nor black ink without the big boss leaning out of his office to yell, top hat on a column of steam and monocle askew.  {Edit: After writing this, I troubled myself to look in at the company’s website, where I find they’ve reformulated the Cobalt since I got mine; anything I say about the precise colour is probably imprecise}

It’s also quite well behaved in the areas of feathering and bleedthrough, and it’s not so saturated that it loses out on shading.  It’s also not a notable trial to clean out of a pen.  Whether it’s radioactive or not I cannot comment; probably not, and just as well.

Other pens I’ve had this stuff in: Parker “51” Vacumatic (and if I’m not complaining about cleaning it out of that, you can bet there’s no complaint forthcoming), Sheaffer Targa.  No explosions, clogs, or failure of in-flight systems occurred.

Next:

I don’t complain about expectations in my previous examination of this ink, although I discover in preparing for this writing that though it might not look just like the ionic solution (no picture, but described as bright blue) but it definitely gets something of the manganese right.  I also describe it as a modern blue-black which does a rather better job than a lot of the major manufacturers at being that colour.  Months later, with no evident fading in the sample, I stand by that statement.  It’s still much the same colour as it was when it hit the paper, and the careful archiving of the sample sheet on an unprotected shelf in a frequently-humid kitchen suggests it’s going to stay that way a good long time.

It's a little hard to see here, but that lower-right sample is THE SAME colour as the ink; click to go to the giant source.

It’s a little hard to see here, but that lower-right sample is THE SAME colour as the ink; click to go to the giant source.

My problem with this ink it its apparent affinity for linen.  I’m pretty good about not dribbling on myself (at least, from pens), and yet I keep finding this ink escaping from containment.  It may not be linen in general, but a specific shirt whose wearing happened to coincide with this ink’s outings, but either way it’s a bit of a pain.  In keeping with the findings in the previous paragraph, is it a remarkably colour-fast ink; when it gets onto linen, Amodex and straight ammonia have both proved unable to entirely shift it, no matter how briskly applied.  So, good for important documents, but not good for shirts.  It is otherwise as well behaved as the Cobalt, and the only reason I haven’t pursued getting more is that I’m ankle-deep in blue-blacks and can’t convince even my own crazy brain that another is a good idea until I’ve run out of something.

Other pens I’ve had this stuff in:  Sheaffer 300, Waterman Prefacé.  No issues bar that shirt thing.

In general, I’ve heard no ill about this company’s inks, and I’m looking forward to eventually trying more out.  If there happens to be a vast great heap of them, with a shiny pen perched fetchingly atop, all the better!

Today’s pen: Mabie, Todd & Co. Blackbird
Today’s ink: Pelikan Brilliant Brown

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Twit (a reflexive noun)

Posted by Dirck on 22 February, 2013

This morning, I had a brief look at my long-neglected Twitter account, and found that almost exactly at the time the neglecting began, I got a most unexpected greeting from a noted calligrapher.  I mention this because the look coincided with me thinking, in a nervous tone, “Gosh, what am I going to put up as the Friday film?”  I may be a negligent twit, but I will also accept inspiration when it leaps across my path.

Today’s pen:  Parker “51″ (the same burgundy ’49 lodged in the mid-’50s gold-filled cap)
Today’s ink: Organics Studio Cobalt

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A Father’s Lament

Posted by Dirck on 20 February, 2013

I think I’ve mentioned that my son is in a preschool that aims to provide remediation for autistic and other special-needs kids.  Did I?  Well, I just did.  The format of the school is to combine a half-dozen of the aforementioned sort of tots with a half-dozen “normal” youngsters with excellent social skills to act as models.  I can’t, as an aside, begin to imagine how the latter group is recruited.   Apart from a really high teacher/student ratio (1:4, plus an on-site speech therapist!), the daily activity of the school is not much different from that of a Kindergarten.  Indeed, the point of the process is to make sure that when the kids are of an appropriate age to start in Kindergarten, the whole routine will be just that from the point of view of the special-needs part of the team; think, you Big Bang Theory fans, how well Sheldon reacts to sudden change in his environment.

Included in the curriculum is getting familiar with numbers and letters.  For my son, this is pretty old hat; he has been interested in text since he could focus his eyes, and has been reading the titles of Thomas and Friends segments at us for about a year as they flash past on the screen.  He has, however, been somewhat disinterested in the productive side of literacy.  He will watch daddy writing in journals and letters, but when invited has lost interest after the second stroke.  Pencils, you see, are for making large swooping circles covering the whole of the page.  The only way to get him to make anything legible was to hold the pen and ask him to help by pushing the parental hand around, as was done to the delight of all grandparents with the Christmas tags this past December.

Of course, working with various mark-making devices is something school includes (still).  So, in recent weeks, we’ve been getting things that he’s drawn with his own autograph on them.  Joy! Admiration!

I asked him, over the weekend, to write his name for me, offering him a handy pencil.  Stunned amazement out of dad at this point, as I watched him adopt… an alien grip!  The tail of the pencil pinched lightly between thumb and fore-finger, the body of it slanting down across the finger-tips, to rest between the pads of ring and pinkie fingers.  And then, the huge, little-kid letters.

My wife is interested to see him adopt what is more or less an artist’s brush-holding posture.  I am too, in the academic way in which a biologist will gaze down a microscope at something nondescript; is it a pathogen, a sybiont, or something neutral and of neither use nor danger?  It argues somewhat for the retention of past lives, since this is neither an instinctive posture for writing nor one he’s ever had modeled.  But, as a powerful promoter of fountain pens… it troubles me slightly.  I’ve given it a try, and while cursive writing is possible with a pen held thus, I’m not sure how protracted that writing can be.  It will certainly make the “THOU SHALT HOLD IT THUS!” portions of his Griffix and abc pens somewhat useless, if not actually oppressive, and will incline him towards longer, slimmer pens.

It’s early days, yet, of course.  There’s plenty of room to undo any habits that look like they’ll be a problem, which some may read as “stifle his natural inclinations” (to which I may respond with a fallacious parallel in which toilet training has the same label).  If I could undo some habits of letter formation which were in place for decades, surely I can let him enjoy holding a writing instrument how he pleases for a few months more, so long as he is, at last, adding writing to his reading.

I gotta learn to relax.

Today’s pen (held in the relaxing Classical Tripod):  Parker “51”, which in an anti-February effort I’ve stuck my burgundy ’49 in the extra-decorative mid-’50s gold-filled cap– very fetching!
Today’s ink: Organics Studio Cobalt

post scritpus– on the subject of relaxation, I’ve managed to almost undo the backlog I got under InCoWriMo-wise, through application, judicious rescheduling, and a savage suppression of the urge to prolixity.

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Revelations 11:30

Posted by Dirck on 30 November, 2012

Between going from the office for lunch and a train across my return path, I’m a little late posting this result to The Big Draw (and also a little late closing the competition, so it’s all fair).  If my lovely assistant Gladys (a one-eyed elderly orangutan, who throws herself into the role by wearing a spangled leotard) will hand me the letter…

…and give me back all my fingers, thank you Gladys, the new owner of Eula M. Edwards’s burgundy Parker “51” Demi is:

This is it! The big moment!

…the notable ailurophile and mysterious presence behind Gourmet Pens!  I’ll be making e-mail contact presently (which, as I mentioned yesterday, is hardly contact at all) to discover where in this great wide world the pen must now travel.  Thanks to all for participating, thanks to all for looking in even without participation, and here’s hoping that I have the resources and wit to do a similar potlatch for my site’s second anniversary.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Targa
Today’s ink: Organics Studios Cobalt

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Ramblyblargle

Posted by Dirck on 28 November, 2012

That’s the noise my head is making when I try to apply myself to writing today.  I’ve got some microbe striving mightily to take control of my frame, and the sounds of the conflict are terribly distracting.  I think I’m going to creep in under my desk and have a nap.  I or the collective consciousness of H2N5 will be back tomorrow.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Targa
Today’s ink: Organics Studios Cobalt

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Seasonal Sock Song

Posted by Dirck on 26 November, 2012

Well… not a song, exactly, although if it were to appear in the 1930s, someone would almost certainly try to stick it into a tune; those folks were pretty desperate for entertainment.

There was a challenge uttered over at the FPN to write a poetical ode to thermal socks.  Well, given the rank misery which much of November has offered, I am even more than usually fixated on winter, and I took a few minutes to bang out something rather… well, long.  However, the fixation remains, so I’m replaying it here, with some edits and (hopefully) improvements.  For readers from a country with less ferocious winters; this is the sort of thing that long dark cold parts in a year will make one think is art.

So driven by the bitter gales
are winters multitudinous teeth,
human frame for protection wails
nowhere moreso than far beneath.

Where in Zephyrus’ season
thin nylon stocking may suffice,
no one with trace of reason
wants their toes encased in ice,

And so we turn to wool,
that sovereign natural fibre,
for socks to turn the cool
of dark December’s ire!

Knit them thick of worsted
and of at least knee-length
for their mettle will be tested
by the foe’s unfailing strength!

Within stout boots of craggy grip,
behind insoles thick felted,
though even in some snow may slip,
by body heat it’s melted.

In thermal sock, the foot abounds
with cozy nigh-calenture;
unwelcome ice, in sliding down
joins mere skin-made moisture.

Then wick away, great ovine hair,
unwelcome perspiration
which were it to remain in there
would swift bring desperation!

Of all of human industry
back to the world’s creation
this noble accessory
deserves most approbation,

so praise and don the thermal sock,
until sweet Spring arrives,
in March (or, likely, May) to unlock
this land where grey ice thrives.

Once in a while, I get the urge to be poetical.  This, a highly typical result of giving into that urge, should keep me from it for a good long time.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Targa
Today’s ink: Organics Studios Cobalt

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“It’s in the trees! It’s coming!”

Posted by Dirck on 26 October, 2012

Rather than bore you all on Monday with what I did over the weekend, I think I shall rather bore you all with what I intend to do.  This being the weekend before Hallowe’en, when the spirits are about (and being consumed in great quantities by college freshmen wearing either Fred Flintstone or Sexy {insert profession here} costumes), and even we firmly stick-in-mud long-married couples have a sense that, damn it, some fun needs to be had.

Of course, being what we are (and not just the preceding description), our notion of fun is not quite what others might follow.  We might, but for a paucity of sitters, be almost like others; some friends are hosting a Time Traveller party which would be right squarely up our alley.  The situation being what it is, sitting quietly about the house and watching creepy films is about the size of it, but what a bounty of creepy films we have on tap!  We have cheated ourselves a bit, having already watched something that is just on the edge of “OK with the kid in the room”, which I hint at in the title (name it in the comments and earn the admiration of others; name the somewhat-old which sampled it and gain extra lauds), but good old Turner Classic Movies is really pushing the boat out on Saturday with a solid eighteen hours of largely Hammer horrors, and what’s not Hammer is just as much fun.  If nothing there suits the moment, we’ve things on disc tame enough the tiny tyrant, but with sufficient subtle terror to see us happy.

During the day, I will probably play at least one of the Dark Adventure Radio Theatre discs I’ve got.  They’re extremely cunning simulations of 1930’s radio dramas, without any winking modern irony, and all of them do at least as good a job at offering the shudders of cosmic horror as the written works they’re adapted from; in one case, certainly, even better.

Sunday night, I am going to suggest an abandonment of electronics (Walking Dead being something we definitely can’t watch with freedom); we have occasionally had reading nights, and it’s about time we had another.  There’s a couple of M.R. James’s stories that shouldn’t panic the son, who will no doubt go and pursue his hobby of staging little wooden train crashes after a couple of minutes in any event.  Stodgy?  Perhaps… but if you read “Count Magnus” with your imaginator engaged, you are apt to be amazed at how graphic it is.

At some point on Sunday, my wife and I will no doubt also have a great roaring debate, as much as ever we do, over the making of popcorn balls to hand out on the night itself in lieu of teeny chocolate bars.  She sees it as a waste, I as both a savings and a nod to a more traditional Hallowe’en.  Should the kids not be slightly afraid of the free candy they got?

Today’s pen: Sheaffer 300
Today’s ink: Organics Studio Manganate V

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Still Chewing That Bone

Posted by Dirck on 22 October, 2012

Apart from battening the outside of the house against the manifest onrushing of Winter (no snow, but the air had this taste…), the main enterprise of the weekend was making some pens write properly.  These were not my own pens, but those of a friend/correspondent/client who decided to take advantage of my recently admitted-to powers of exorcising lesser demons from points and feeds.  With only one exception, they’re all made by manufacturers with whom I’m unfamiliar, and they’re an interesting bunch.

Five pens, all wanting their points looked at.  Mainly drier than the owner would like, but there were also issues of scratchiness and discomfort in writing.  Looking at them closely, the problems were easily understood.  The corners of the tipping on a cursive italic left entirely unrounded, for example, which will of course catch on paper; while a cursive point has relatively sharp edges, there is still a bare minimum of rounding needed to prevent catching on the fibres of the paper.  Or, in the case of the most offensively dry pen, the slit compressed so tightly that ink couldn’t hope to flow down it.  Easily diagnosed, under magnification, and if not easily then at least readily sorted out.

I’m not going to name names just at the moment, because I suspect there’s a little bit of sampling error going on; one example of each, out of however many hundreds or thousands of each model have been made, and collected in one place precisely because that one example has something amiss.  I am going to cast some aspersions, but I’m going to keep them non-specific.  It’s not just because I’m afraid of the kind of lawyers a well-funded pen company might lay on.

Oh, yes, well-funded.  With one exception, none of these pens are in any way the sort of thing I would have the money loose to buy myself.  That one exception, a mere starveling available for less than $100 retail, is a bit of a pauper in the company it arrived in, as removing it puts the average cost of the bunch as something above $500 each.    That’s a shocking amount of money to spend on a pen that’s not writing well.

In the case of the very very dry pen, I think I can see some sense in it; it stopped being dry when one put the sort of weight on it that a habitual ball-point user would apply.  The slit opened up, ink came out in a reasonable torrent, and there’s your functional pen.  The others, with their grabby edges and misaligned tines, don’t have that excuse.  Three of them are Italian, and there is something of a tradition in Italian manufacturing to go for the looks rather than the function (at least, that’s my deeply misinformed notion), but bowing to the foolish bigotted pre-conceptions of stupid foreigners like me is hardly an excuse for charging a pile of money for a badly finished pen.  It’s troubling.

…and it gets back the the largely unanswerable question of “Is it worth it?” that I mirrored the asking of a couple of weeks back.  When one brushes up against such troubling examples of the pen-maker’s art gone sideways, it becomes harder to say “Yes.”   The percentage of the pen’s whole cost that someone like me asks for to make it work properly goes down with every extra zero at the end of the price-tag, yes, that’s true.*  However, it’s still adding to what is already a vast sum.  People will balk, and rightly so.  I take comfort in the notion of coicidental sampling error, because I might start to question my faith in pens otherwise.

The silver lining; now that they’re doing what they’re supposed to, they are rather nice.  Intermittent vicarious pen richness is a real treat.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer 300 (cheap, and worked properly right out of the box)
Today’s ink: Organics Studio Manganate V

*A couple of people have asked how my weekend went at The Regular Job, and the vast heap of wealth this pocket-full of pens represented was mentioned.  “Gosh,” said each of them separately, “don’t you charge more for the expensive ones?”  No.  No!  I charge for my effort, and that doesn’t really vary as a function of the cost of the pen (one of the really expensive ones was shockingly easy to get sufficiently apart).  If there’s an extra charge put on nice pens, it’s that non-monetary aspect I mentioned at the end; I get to experience an expensive pen without paying for it, and the client doesn’t lose anything for however much I gain from the experience.

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