Gel pen wins this round

I just opened my back of “Drink Local” edition Field Notes and started writing in the golden Pilsner notebook. It’s gorgeous, and the 120# “Dull” coated cover is amazing to touch, and holds up well in my back pocket.

My only problem? The inside cover. It’s black, and none of my pencils can leave a visible mark.

At Target today, I found a five-pack of gel pens on clearance which included one in white. It has the smeary, skippy ink flow that many cheap gel pens have, but it does the trick:

White Gel Pen in a Field Notes cover

I guess gel pens do have their uses outside of tweens doodling in notebooks. I guess I’ll keep this pen around for just this occasion.

Pen Addict blogger Brad Dowdy is making a pen case!

My internet-friend and inky colleague Brad Dowdy of The Pen Addict blog and podcast just announced something really, really exciting — In September, he’s launching a Kickstarter for a pen case!

Nock Co. prototype. Image from <a href="">the Nock Co. blog</a>.

Nock Co. prototype. Image from the Nock Co. blog. Click the image to visit Nock Co.’s website.

Teaming up with Jeffrey Bruckwi, a tailor who specialized in sewing bags, they’re creating Nock Co., a company specializing in little pen/notebook holders that fold up into a bag! This is great for those who — like me — travel with several different writing instruments to use in case the situation or my mood changes.

One request, Brad: any chance there might be one for wooden pencils in the future? The sleeves would have to be slightly taller and skinnier, and the bottom might need to be a bit stiffer to prevent bending and breaking of the pencil tip.

In any case, this is very exciting, and I can’t wait to pledge once the Kickstarter launches! Everyone congratulate Brad and Jeffrey over at The Pen Addict!

The Pen Type-A

While I love pencils, and use them as much as I can, sometimes you need a good, sturdy ink pen. And I’ve often run into the problem of a disposable pen that has a great ink cartridge and rollerball, but is encased in a crappy barrel.

That’s why I got excited when I surfed The Pen Addict the other day, a great blog I check every day that feels about pens the way I do about pencils.

Apparently there is a pen called the Pilot Hi-Tec-C, a gel pen I haven’t tried (but the Pen Addict really likes!) Unfortunately, the barrel is a bit cheap and plasticky.

There’s a small design firm in Brooklyn called CW&T who found a solution to this problem — they started a Kickstarter projectfor a product called the Pen Type-A, a stainless-steel replacement barrel for the Hi-Tec-C cartridge.

The Pen Type-A

This thing is really beautiful. It’s milled from a single block of stainless steel, and the minimalist barrel fits into a square sheath (that has a ruler on the side!) so well, it almost has a pneumatic sliding effect.

If you pay $50 towards the (fully funded!) Kickstarter project, you’ll get one of these pens, which is a deal, because it’ll retail for $99.

I’ll admit, I’m thinking about it. It’s supporting a small, creative venture, and this thing really is gorgeous.

Check out CW&T’s Kickstarter Project to watch a quick video about why they decided to make this thing. And if you’re on Twitter, go follow Che-Wei Wang, the CW of CW&T: @sayway.




Lego pen actually writes!

Yeah, I know this post is about pens. You should know by now that I don’t stick exclusively to pencils. But this is about something greater than a mere ink transference utensil. It’s about a pen made OUT OF LEGOS.

That’s right. I love me some Legos. I don’t even know how much money my parents spent every year when I was a child to keep me in Legos, but I have a whole bin full of them. seller derekseiple creates customized Lego pencils that actually write. And for just under $14 per pen, it’s not a terribly high price, either. Though you might be able to go to a Lego store yourself and buy the parts to make your own, you’d have to drill a core and stabilize the reservoir, and you don’t want to do that, do you?

Link to Etsy store. Found via Wired GadgetLab.

Gorgeous video of how printing ink is made

This blog, of course, is about wooden pencils, but I imagine you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who really likes pencils who doesn’t also like other writing paraphernalia, like paper, pens, typewriters, and ink.

I found this video at Apartment Therapy, a great home style blog. It’s about nine minutes long, so you might want to come back and watch it when you have a little time. But, I guarantee you, you’ll be riveted the whole time. The promotional video for the Printing Ink Company in Canada, it’s well-edited, doesn’t jump around from shot to shot like on How It’s Made, and — dare I say? — just beautiful. The founder and narrator is introspective, poetic, passionate, and there is bright, airy classical music behind it, romanticizing this busy, grimy manufacturing floor. It really shows the craftsmanship behind ink making.

Without further ado, check it out (or click here to watch it in georgeous HD on YouTube.):