Monday, April 12th, 2010

Should have done my homework…

Stephanie

After recently acquiring a vintage Parker fountain pen with a semi-flexible nib, I decided I’d also like to find one with a fully flexible nib (like the one shown above) for even greater line variation. I’d most likely use it for adding words and phrases to my artwork, so I’m not looking for it to be a daily writer and am not willing to make a large financial investment.

After missing the end of one eBay auction of a Wahl eyedropper pen (you fill the pen with ink via an eyedropper) with full flex, (it sold for $33) I found a different auction for the above Mabie Todd Swan pen and promptly entered a max bid of $25.

As I am such a big spender, I ended up losing the auction by a mere $485.00. Yep, you read that right. Sold for $510.00 and I felt silly, having placed a bid on something I knew nothing about. And it’s not like I’m not a member of the Fountain Pen Network… I could have asked around, but I guess I didn’t want to draw attention to the auction and lose out on it. (Ha!) I guess I should have known that the pen was something special by the inclusion of 8 high-res images and a You Tube video specifically shot to demonstrate the use of the pen.

Noticing that several images (and the video) happen to feature one of the Rhodia #8 pads, I wrote to the seller, Rob Morrison of www.vintagewriting.com to ask his permission to use one of the photos here on Rhodia Drive.  Not only did Rob agree to let us use the photo, he offered the following testimonial to Rhodia well:

“I love Rhodia paper and use it for the writing samples for most of the pens I sell. It’s the best paper I’ve found in notebook form for fountain pens — resists feathering, shows ink in true colors, etc. And the grid pattern is handy for comparing different nibs.”

For now, I’m off to do a little more research and see if there is some kind of vintage flex nib pen that I can acquire for under $50. Please enjoy Rob’s video which shows the capabilities of a full-flex nib.

Photo and video by Rob Morrison, www.vintagewriting.com
Photo by Rob Morrison, www.vintagewriting.com

8 thoughts on “Should have done my homework…

  1. Some fountain pen nibs are more flexible than others. Some are hard as nails, others slightly springy. Most semi & full flex pens that I have been aware of, are of the vintage variety. They are usually labeled as such by the seller, as I myself don’t have enough knowledge to know which kinds of pens were more prone to have flexi nibs. Semi flex means more than normal flex, but isn’t what is commonly referred to as, “a wet noodle.” (full flex) The video in this post taught me a lot more about how the nibs were originally intended to be used.

    My own handwriting depends on the day of the week and how fast my mind is working versus my hand. I’d have to honestly say that I do better (writing faster) writing with a stiffer nib like on my Safari’s. I think it all probably comes down to trial and error… trying different things and seeing what works best for you.

  2. Some fountain pen nibs are more flexible than others. Some are hard as nails, others slightly springy. Most semi & full flex pens that I have been aware of, are of the vintage variety. They are usually labeled as such by the seller, as I myself don’t have enough knowledge to know which kinds of pens were more prone to have flexi nibs. Semi flex means more than normal flex, but isn’t what is commonly referred to as, “a wet noodle.” (full flex) The video in this post taught me a lot more about how the nibs were originally intended to be used.

    My own handwriting depends on the day of the week and how fast my mind is working versus my hand. I’d have to honestly say that I do better (writing faster) writing with a stiffer nib like on my Safari’s. I think it all probably comes down to trial and error… trying different things and seeing what works best for you.

  3. Please tell us more about semi-flex and flex nibs. This is the next place I want to go with penmanship. I’m on board now with Rhodia paper, and this is the direction I want to take my steadily improving handwriting. What works best with the Rhodia “webbie” is important to me.

  4. Please tell us more about semi-flex and flex nibs. This is the next place I want to go with penmanship. I’m on board now with Rhodia paper, and this is the direction I want to take my steadily improving handwriting. What works best with the Rhodia “webbie” is important to me.

  5. You might want to keep an eye out for something in the For Sale forum at fountainpennetwork.com. There’s a member there (no affiliation) who regularly offers a dozen flex or semi-flex pens at a time, and while I can’t be sure I’ve seen many for under $50, I can’t recall seeing any for $500+.

  6. You might want to keep an eye out for something in the For Sale forum at fountainpennetwork.com. There’s a member there (no affiliation) who regularly offers a dozen flex or semi-flex pens at a time, and while I can’t be sure I’ve seen many for under $50, I can’t recall seeing any for $500+.

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