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Tag: Montegrappa

My Brand “Grudges”

Posted in Fountain Pens

As I mentioned in my survey results post, I was surprised to find that this topic got the most votes. But, ask and you shall receive. This post is inspired by Emily Hanhan‘s video MAKEUP GRUDGES BRANDS, PRODUCTS, & TRENDS I HAVE BEEF WITH! // YES, THIS IS A RANT!

Now, by definition, a grudge is “a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury.” However, I don’t necessarily have ill will or resentment towards these brands. Rather, most of them I’ve simply had one or more negative experiences that make me wary or unwilling to purchase more from them. There are only two brands on this list that I would, and have, actively warn people against buying.

2021 New Pen Releases, The Tag

Posted in Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

This post is based on the “New Makeup Releases | THE TAG” video from Angelica Nyqvist. She’s done this tag for several years, and I thought it would be fun to adapt it to the fountain pen world.

This tag is about evaluating the releases — in this case pens & inks — from the past year.

My 2021 Top Pens

Posted in Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

My planning from last year has paid off. This year, I’m revisiting my 2020 Top Pens and seeing what differences there are in comparison to my 2021 top pens.

As I said last year, I tend to sell or trade pens that don’t make me happy to own. I’m getting closer to all of my pens being favorites, but I made myself narrow them down to a top 10 and top 20. I kind of cheated with the Always Inked section, but don’t judge me too harshly.

This was so much harder than I expected it to be. I slightly adjusted my judging criteria this year. I did my best to put these pens in order of which ones I’m most disappointed to un-ink (clean out). And so, I give you my top pens as of the end of 2021.

Delights from my Dislikes

Posted in Fountain Pens

As promised, I’m back with delights from my disliked pen brands. Once again, this is based on a video from Angelica Nyqvist.

Disclaimer: I’m calling this “dislike[d]” brands, but that’s really for the alliteration. I don’t necessarily dislike the brands, it’s more that their pens don’t tend to work for me.

Montegrappa

I’ve had hard starting issues with most of my Montegrappa pens. It’s the reason why I’ve sold the ones that I have. But, my Extra 1930 Shiny Lines/Dove is a true delight. The nib is wet. The material is stunning. The nib and cap band are beautiful. The only thing I would change is the ink capacity, as I keep writing it dry.

Montegrappa Shiny Lines/Dove

My 2020 Top Pens

Posted in Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

In working on blog posts for the new year, I wanted to revisit last year’s favorite pens, only to realize I hadn’t previously written such a list. So, to have something to revisit next year, I give you my top pens as of the close of 2020.

I tend to sell or trade pens that don’t make me very happy to own. I’m hoping to eventually get to a point where all of my pens are favorites, but I was able to come up with a top 10 and top 20 this year. It was difficult to do, but these are basically the pens you’d have to pry out of my cold, dead hands.

Year in Review – 2019 Pens

Posted in Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

I purchased a great deal of pens in 2019. More than I should have. I’m a little embarrassed, actually. Some I adore, others I seriously regret. However, despite regretting some of them later, they have all helped me on my fountain pen journey; they’ve all taught me more about what I do or don’t like.

I figure there isn’t much better a way to welcome a new year than to have a retrospective look at the previous. I’d originally planned to go through all the pens I acquired this past year, including some information about each.

But, after some thought, I don’t think it’s really necessary. Instead, join me in a look back at a selection of my pen purchases of 2019, including my biggest regrets, my favorites, and my best new discoveries.

The Montegrappa Fortuna Saga

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

With one exception, my experiences with fountain pens have been fantastic. Today I’m going to tell you about that exception. Before I do, however, I want you to keep something in mind. I vacillated for weeks between sharing this story and keeping it to myself. I don’t want it to read as a smear on Motegrappa. What I want you to take away from this story is the amazing customer service offered by Cary Yeager of Kenro Industries.

Montegrappa Fortuna Heartwood Pear

I bought my Montegrappa Fortuna Heartwood Pear (FHP) on November 11 at Bertram’s Inkwell‘s yearly trunk show. I’d been eyeing the pen for a while. It’s beautiful. Cary had one at his table with the nib size I wanted, so I bought it. And so began the FHP saga.

2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 2

Posted in Fountain Pens

Welcome to part 2 of my BWIPS 2018 experience write-up. If you didn’t read part 1, I suggest you do so before continuing with this.

– – –

I walked into the large room through the second door. The table immediately to my right is, for some reason, completely lost to my memory. I’ll blame it on pen show excitement.

I walked down the row and spent a few minutes staring at the Kanilea Pen Company pens. They’re absolutely beautiful, but, for some reason, they just don’t call to me. I’ve yet to figure out why.

Just past Kanilea was Jonathon Brooks/Carolina Pen Co. Unsurprisingly, the pens at his table were absolutely beautiful.

Good Times at Bertram’s Inkwell

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I like “pimping” companies that I’ve had good experiences with. So far, I’ve discussed Edison Pen Company, Goulet Pens, and Surreal Makeup. This time I’ll be telling you about Bertram’s Inkwell.

Bertram's Inkwell

Shopping Experiences

Photo of a Red Nibbed Platinum Preppy 05Bertram’s holds a special place in my heart as the store where I bought my first fountain pen. It was a red-nibbed Platinum Preppy 05. I don’t have a picture of mine, as it sadly disappeared in my recent move, but I did find this photo from WonderPens. It was my gateway pen, and the experience of purchasing it was so pleasant that Bertram’s was forever fixed in my mind as a top-notch store.

Photo of Lamy Safari Dark LilacThe next time I visited, I picked up a Lamy Safari Dark Lilac, completely oblivious to the fact that I was buying a special edition. I just knew I liked the color and feel of it. I also picked up bottles of Diamine Meadow and Diamine Aqua Lagoon because they were beautiful, bright colors. I’ve since learned that just because a color is pretty doesn’t mean it will make a good writing ink. Meadow hasn’t gotten much use because a full-page of it can be hard on the eyes.

While we were there, Jim bought a Namiki Falcon as a birthday present to himself. I can’t recall if it was Bert or Adam (or both) who helped us out that day — I was too focused on buying my first “nice” pen — but whoever it was was incredibly patient with me as I went through all of the Lamy colors, and let me dip test a few different nib sizes. Jim was also treated very well as he tried to decide if he was actually willing to buy such an expensive pen (oh, how our views have changed).

And now the really fun part. I get to tell you about some of my customer service experiences that I feel went above and beyond what your typical store offers.