Tuesday, 18 November 2014

I Think therefore I Write

I'm not really a lover of the black-and-chrome school of pens. Yes, there's a certain style to, say, a whole tray full of black Onoto plunger-fillers, or black-and-gold Osmias. But I get rather bored with those colour choices, which are, let's face it, all that most department stores' pen departments want to give us.

(Oh, and if you're female, they sometimes condescend to allow you to buy a pink ballpoint.)

I far prefer colour. So this lovely Think pen (Tigerlily, if my memory is correct) drew my attention right away. If Rothko had made fountain pens, this is what his fountain pens would have looked like.Vibrant yellow and orange, colours of autumn leaves and sunshine, set off with a dark, almost black accent. Dramatic. All the colours merge and blend into each other, and there's a sort of translucence too, taking the merging into the depth of the material.

It's a biggish pen, 14 cm long and with quite substantial girth; it sits well beside a Noodler's Ahab, for instance. The section is in the same material as the rest of the pen, and appears actually to match the barrel stripe for stripe, though the cap doesn't. I like that - a black or solid colour section would spoil the looks. The lip at the cap of the section stops the fingers sliding off, and there's a very small rounded step between barrel and section, but otherwise the lines of the pen are really smooth.

The furniture is simple, which I like. No metal on the section at all. A simple, rounded cap ring with 'THINK' (highlighting the letters INK, an amusing conceit and not overdone) - the roundness echoes that of the rest of the pen. A very plain clip. A rounded inset disk with the letter T in a circle forming the tassie on top of the cap; the letter and the outside circle are in shiny metal, the rest frosted, so again there's a real simplicity in the methods used. All in good taste.

The only thing I don't particularly like is the nib. First of all it's only available in medium, which takes a lot of the fun out of things. Secondly, it's a generic Iridium Point Germany, with rather fussy scrollwork that seems to contradict the aesthetic values of the pen. And thirdly, it's rather a dry writer without much bounce or edge; really rather anodyne. But at least it isn't scratchy. It's okay. Just I would have liked something better than okay.

(Come to think of it, if this is a Schmidt nib, I should be able to replace it with another Schmidt nib of the right size...)

I should also be a tad picky and say I wish the cap walls were just a bit thicker; there's a dark show-through where the threads run. That may not be an issue with darker colours in the series. And the converter, a sort of syringe-style job, works, but it's not exciting.

Still, if you can pick these up for $40-50 on eBay, they're decent pens. And while the nib isn't great, the pen itself balances well, fits my hand nicely, and brings a little bit of sunshine to days which, like today, are a bit grey and mizzling.

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