Tuesday, September 10, 2013

walnuts are not just for eating...

...they're for inking, too!

some goodies came in today from a good friend who shopped online with me. (yay!) there's a couple of inks,

and a few nibs to try out and play with.

i'm usually more excited about nibs, but today, i was most curious about the walnut ink. probably because it's my first time to try ink that wasn't liquid yet. it's in crystal form that should be dissolved in water. i guess the 'play' factor there is the plus.  

so as soon i had the time, i went for the kitchen for some warm water which is supposed to help dissolve the crystals faster.

then, i measured out a couple of teaspoons... (i later adjusted it to 2.5 tsps. you can add more to make it darker or dilute it for lighter washes, dyeing and antiquing paper and even fabric)

and dumped it in the warm water...

a few minutes later, voila... 

it smells kinda nice too. like the bark of a tree. (if you like that sort of thing, like me)

i first became interested in it because of the ruling pen i was trying to learn to use. practicing with it uses up a lot of ink (and paper!) since the letters are so big. i needed cheap ink that i wouldn't feel guilty wasting, especially since my letters aren't something to be proud about yet.

so i tried a few scribbles with it... i love how it looks! it feels very organic (duh! it IS organic!) and old world-ish. just right up my alley. 

i liked the way it flows smoothly from the nib. also, it FEELS like a single dip goes a long way (i have yet to test that against other inks). it's a nice transparent warm brown color and i'm digging the way there seems to be outlines at the sides of the letters. 

i put it in a nice container i recycled from sesame seed salad dressing that perfectly fits 1 cup of the ink solution. 

best thing about it is that it looks like that 4 oz package ($7.20 at Paper & Ink Arts) will go a long, long way. the only downside i can see to it is that while this ink is said to be pretty light-fast and is acid-free, it is NOT waterproof. that may be a deal-breaker for calligraphers who want the permanence of waterproof inks.

but for calligraphy practice and even for drawing/sketching, it is pretty much the least expensive ink that's hard to beat for practicality.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

pretty Sailor brush pen

been a while since i last posted in this blog. life has been busy and well, there's Facebook to get in the way of blogging. recently though, i've been thinking if i can revive ye olde blog if only because i've been bitten by a new bug... calligraphy!

but that's another story. for now, i just want to make a review about this pretty little thing called the Sailor Yubi Maki-e brush pen. i was attracted to it because calligraphy guru Fozzy Dayrit-Castro, used it and posted her lettering with it at the Fountain Pen Network-Philippines FB page. i think anything she uses, i start to drool over. you can't blame me though. head on over to her blog and see for yourself why.

long story short, i head on over to the Shangri-La Mall branch of Scribe, the local distributor of Sailor pens. The Maki-e brush pen is available in 3 designs at Scribe but i think there are 4 designs and 3 colors. Mine is the one with the iris flowers and dragonflies. i really wanted the one with the peonies and butterflies also but i can afford only one. it retails for Php1,795.00 (about US$39.-) not exactly cheap for a brush pen but not really too expensive either considering the quality. below are the photos.

this is the packaging which is kind of nice, even for a relatively inexpensive pen--a black carton sleeve with gold stamping and a black plastic flip-top box. my only complaint is that the box does not have a snap lock. you would need the carton sleeve to keep it closed.

the box is shallow but it has a suede (or velveteen?) lining. it comes with one black ink cartridge. you can use it with a Sailor converter but you have to buy that separately.

i think the ones that present best are the black resin pens over the red and white ones because the black background shows off the maki-e designs better.

the Iris flower design from one angle...

 and another angle... (note the really pretty glittery iris flowers)

and another angle. the irises here have interference colors, which means it changes color (blue to violet) depending on how the light hits it.

here is how the brush point looks. it's so good!... very responsive and snappy and well, pointy. i think the very tip is one, just one hair thick! it holds up very well to writing though. but i always gingerly close the cap for fear i'd ruin that nice tip.

i did not use the black ink cartridge yet. i wanted to try it first as an eyedropper pen. that way, it holds more ink. the barrel can fit almost 3ml of ink although i did not fill it that much. i applied silicone grease to the threads and waited for the brush to saturate with it. that takes a while. i didn't exactly time how long but it took about 15 minutes because i loaded it before dinner and when i came back after, it still wasn't loaded up. i had to dip the brush in the ink to charge it and then the flow inside eventually caught up.

below are some writing samples. please excuse the mess. i tried to do it justice but i think it will take more practice before i can really do that. the ink i used is Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses.

i like that gold cap band very much because it has the characteristic Sailor lettering and makes the pen look more expensive than it really is.

so, is it worth the buy?... for the pretty good looks and the snappy brush and point... yes, oh yes!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...