Happy Bloggiversary to weirdoforestPens!
I started this blog a year ago (according to the timestamp — I am late, because it was the 24th at 11:54pm, but who’s keeping track) *cheers*
April has actually been quite busy for me this year, I swear I was just clinking glasses and yelling HAPPY NEW YEAR just a week ago, not over four months ago. So as I look back on this past year, I gotta say, at the very least, it’s both an excitement and accomplishment that it has been just as busy busy as it has been fun fun. The momentum has certainly slowed down, but the appreciation and enjoyment of my hobby hasn’t. I reflected on this in my Holiday Haul, that at my current heading I am not able to sustainably maintain the cost of pen collecting. I also enjoy using my pens more than letting them sit there, so at some point I imagine I will need a purge. Maybe.
The bloggiversary of my pen blog also happens to coincide with my own birthday, and so for this special post, I will briefly review a gift I got from a wonderful friend of mine. (check out her wonderful illustration work on instagram) She knew and remembered I busted my first glass nib pen (poor wink D:), and sought out this super cool glass dip pen for me from the One of a Kind Show that happens bi-annually in downtown Toronto. Let’s take a looksie?
La Glasserie Glass nib Fountain Pen
Currently inked: whatever I feel like dipping because it’s a dip pen! But for this review, Colorverse CAT!
Does this pen look super awesome? It’s beautiful!
My first glass dip pen! These pens are fascinating because they’re just pure glass, but designed in such a way that it can hold and release ink relatively consistently to write and draw. I know very little about this Mississauga based glass company, but this particular pen is hand blown with some sort of glass that is apparently very bust-proof. I have not tested it, nor do I plan to.
The tip is a little different than some other glass nib’s I’ve seen on the internet. This one doesn’t look twisted, but more like an almond shape with ribs that run straight into the grip section. And then it’s formed into a small and then large bulb of glass for the grip before twisting into the end of the pen. It’s not a terribly good description, so maybe direct your attention to the photo instead!
The nib portion is clear glass, so you can see what ink you’ve dipped better. And then the entire rest of the pen is a kind of plum/maroon-ish translucent glass. Shades of purple are not my favouritest colours in the world, but on this pen it does look quite regal.
Glass nibs are definitely a different beast all together from classic fountain pens. First of all, their nib flow is a little less consistent even when attempting to control with weight and pressure. I’m also not quite used to it yet. The flow is also a lot juicier to start when first dipped, then wanes as the ink gets used up and I run out. Obvious observation I know. Overall though, it’s close to a medium/broad sized nib and level of ink flow.
Holding the pen is surprisingly quite comfortable. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the bulb of glass for the grip section fits my hand very perfectly! In all my grip options, I have found that the pen works well and stays comfortable. At the same time, I also find I have steady and good control (despite the shaky ink flow from lack of experience). And I also found the more I used it, the more fun I was having. All good signs!
I say it got more fun, because I was getting the hang of using it, and it was oddly satisfying writing with a pure glass pen. It was less practical for my review, though, as I had to keep dipping ink every few strokes, but I can see the benefit in dip pens for trying out many different inks without needing to fill up a converter every time. (Though I suppose you can turn any fountain pen into a dip, just don’t fill it up!)
On paper, the nib is a bit on the stiff side. Not surprising, as I can’t imagine there being any flex on a solid glass nib like this. I like it though, and the stiffness helps with control. It is also a little on the toothier/scratchier side compared to the buttery smooth flow of some of my other pens. For a steel/gold pen, I would probably be more upset at the scratchiness, but for this glass nib, I am inclined to be more forgiving. It doesn’t ruin my paper (other than maybe oversoaking if I dipped too much), nor does it ruin the writing or drawing experience by having the heightened resistance. But something to keep in mind, at least for this particular pen.
It’s hard for me to evaluate value with a one of a kind item, on top of it being a gift. From what my friend has told me, this was one of two special edition versions, and personally hand made versus mass produced. From the little card that came with the box, the company that made this pen is called La Glasserie, and the blurb says:
“Each piece of our collection is hand blown using Czech glass, trimmed with 22 karat gold, hand painted and fired in a kiln”
The going rate for a typical J. Herbin glass pen is around $25-30USD, which rounds up to $30-40CAD. If I had to be picky about looks as well as writing quality, I’d say this glass pen looks quite a bit more elegant and less flashy than the J.Herbins. Personal preference dictates that one though. This glasserie place isn’t a glass pen specialized manufacturer, and a majority of items in their limited online selection are around $45CAD. I’d say anywhere up to $50CAD for this unique pen is quite reasonable.
I plan to write a bit more about this ink soon with another recent pen grab, so more on that later! This pen is a very neat addition to my collection, and I’m ever so grateful for Jess for getting this for me! Next step is finding a way to display the pen while also having it readily accessible to use on a dip to dip basis.
To other thanks, all of you! — for dropping by, checking out, reading, commenting and star-ing my hobby bloggy! More to come, more busy to be done, and more fun to be had.