Ferris Wheel Press Brush Fountain Pen + Tanzanite Sky Ink + Pins
M Steel nib
$165 CAD – early bird price (Kickstarter)
($185 CAD regular)
Currently Inked: Ferris Wheel Press Tanzanite Sky
Collector enamel pins: Pen+ Cap chain, Ink Bottles, Notebook
Hello first review of 2019! Honestly, January zoomed by so fast I can’t even believe it. (Rather there was no time to believe it because it just went.) Anyway, first up I decided to pick the Ferris Wheel Press fountain pen because I’ve been using it somewhat regularly and really getting a feel for it this past month. There is a lot to say about it so this may take me a few sittings to complete both doodle and writing! I bought this Junior Scribe Kit from Kickstarter back in November of last year. As I mentioned in my Holiday Haul, I had heard of this stationary company through other sources (likely an early review by Gourmet Pens — do check it out, it’s way more thorough than I am), but did not find the price tag worth swallowing at the time. Of course, if there’s a kit involved that includes the pen as well as a huge bottle of ink at the same price tag as the pen, then maybe?? Honestly the packaging and marketing was done too well to resist, so here I am, 165 dollars (not even including tax) short in my wallet and a nice fancy set of pen and ink.
Does this pen look super awesome? Pretty nice!
A simple and elegant design with a feature nugget (nut) accent gives this pen it’s minimalist but highly practical look. The design is based on the look of a classic paintbrush, evident by the tapering end of the body as well as the solid metal grip. I’ll admit I wasn’t too fascinated with the look of the pen to start, but it’s definitely grown on me. I like it very much now.
The cap and body are made of copper, according to the stats, and painted in a really nice lacquer of some sort that seems to be of high quality. I don’t actually know the details for the painting process, but from what I can see, it’s done quite nicely and gives it a very full and solid look. The grip itself is a beautiful brass with some signature Ferris Wheel Press style etching. Just below the grip are very delicate and simple tines that work quite seamlessly into the design.
On the whole of the pen when fully capped, the only decoration is the little nut that lines the edge of the cap. Very nice touch, and also the most practical idea is that the pen doesn’t roll! The nib is relatively small, with just a slit and no breather hole. On the nib itself is etched the logo, some numbers and the company logo. Nothing super fancy.
Usually my blurb about packaging just describes the standard stuff — nice box, sturdy box, simple packaging, blahblah — but this one, as expected, gets a lot more juice. It goes without saying, the packaging for both pen and ink (which I’ll talk about at the end) are both gorgeous and quality driven. On the pen box, there’s plenty of intricate deboss of gold leaf lettering and illustration on a bright sunset yellow coloured paper to match the pen. The ink bottle also comes in a nice cylindrical box, complete with a velvet carry pouch for the sphere bottle. Everything is lovely and well designed.
I guess I should mention the enamel pins that came with the kit as well. The three pins were a lot larger than I thought, each of the three pins are slotted into a single cardstock, also decorated with Ferris Wheel Press illustrations. My favourite is pretty obvious, the pen + cap chain combo pin. I don’t even know how to name it. But it’s a very neat pin idea! I have it on my bag right now along with some of my other favs.
I decided to take some side by side comparisons with some other yellow pens in my collection. I like yellow, can you tell? From left to right: Jinhao Shark Pen, Kaweco Sport Sunset Yellow, Ferris Wheel Press Brush Fountain Pen, Pilot Lucina, Pilot Vanishing Point, Pelikan m600 Vibrant Orange
Here comes the important part, once again, because this is on the upper end of expensive entry level pen. It’s tough because at a 185$ price point, steel nib pen, it really has to live up to it’s hype no? More on that in ‘Value‘, but let’s go on to the feels.
This is a very light pen! Let me rephrase; This is a very light metal pen! It feels on par in weight to the metal Metropolitan. Granted, I’ve only held that thing once, so my comparison could be off. In any case, for a pen that has brass accents and a copper body…this pen feels incredibly light. And I like it that way. Heavy pens are wonderful, but for my small hands, they get tiring when using for a long time. I could probably use this pen for a decent amount of time before getting tired based on weight alone. It’s also not too light though, like a plastic demonstrator. So if anything, it sits in a happy spot in between.
The Brush pen also has incredible balance. Sometimes you get pens that feel really back heavy (when capped), or pens that are well weighted throughout the pen. This one has a slightly more weighted front, right where the brass grip is (makes sense). Copper is technically the heavier metal, but I think because of the distribution and quantity of material used, the brass sections end up feeling weightier.
I want to also mention that the pen is quite slender. Even for my smaller hands, the pen feels quite slim. I’m a big fan of slim pens, but if they do get too thin it also gets tiring to continue gripping. That being said, this pen is on the slightly thinner end, so everytime I grab it to use, I tend to default to a fist grip to make sure I have better control. Pinching the grip and writing takes more effort and feels a little less accurate when drawing.
Now that I’ve held it in hand for a good bit, time to test the writing. This pen has a medium stainless steel nib, meaning a relatively broader stroke than I’m used to with my collection of F and EF nibs. The ink flows very well, gushy almost through those thin tines, and I did not experience any hard starts or skips. Perhaps the only slightly rough start was when I left the cap off for a while and wasn’t using the pen. The flow is consistent as is the line variation — or lack of variation. The reverse side is pretty consistent and not scratchy on paper. The line is definitely thinner, but the ink flow is a little less gushy (understandably).
I am a bit of an insensitive doof when it comes to understanding nib types. I now own several gold nib pens but somehow really am not sure the biggest difference other than price. I do find they are a little softer to use, so there’s a bit more spring. But is that all the difference? Not really sure. So, this steel nib is on the sturdier end, making it ideal for drawing more precise doodles with my heavy hand. I think I like having more precision when I’m doing more refined doodles.
Also to note is that since this is a smaller size nib, the proportion of nib to grip work out pretty nicely for me, allowing for decent amount of control when writing or drawing. I still have to fist grip to get best control on this slim pen. A quick note about the cap, it only takes just under 2 twists to close it, which I’d say is fairly good. Also, the cap adds almost no weight when posted, which makes the writing and drawing experience equally enjoyable. Mayday! I have noticed that there is some slight scratching of the paint from posting the cap on the end. And have since looked up on the website that they DO NOT recommend posting. oops. Don’t do it. 😦
I had a lot of trouble deciding what to doodle. The Ferris Wheel Press illustrations were so nice, what could I doodle thematically that could balance well with them? I’ve defaulted to my cartoons, one to illustrate my thoughts about the pen, but also because I am just so used to drawing myself as a doofy little cartoon character.
As mentioned earlier, this is a $185CAD valued fountain pen. For a steel nib pen usually that’s on the really pricey end. And the few expensive steel nib pens I’ve bought so far have never gone above 150, maybe at most 125. Even that I’d say is a steep end for me. I’ve paid for cheaper gold nib pens (vanishing point on a sale), but at the end of the day, each pen has it’s worth and value to it’s owner. That being said, this really is a great fountain pen. I imagine such a high price point is because of all the amazing quality and extra love that went into designing and producing it.
I think the best worth for getting your hands on this pen (which you should want!) is to get the junior scribe kit where you can get the bottle of ink for essentially free, or wait for their specials — I believe over the holidays they had a lot of pen deals or pen and ink deals. If you have disposable income? Yeah this is a unique find and great piece to have in your collection.
- Lightweight metal pen
- Very smooth and consistent ink flow
- Elegant but simple design
- Very slim
- Beautiful packaging
- Nut on the cap prevents rolling
- Very slim – may not fit all hands
- Cannot (shouldn’t) post
Yummy yummy deep indigo ink.
Here’s a mini thought muse about this wonderful ink that came with my Junior Scribe Kit.At first I was hesitant to get this colour, because, well I had Black Magic Blue from Private Reserve, and it’s probably one of my favourite ink colours that I own. I did a ‘swab’ test to see the differences because I really thought they were the same. But they’re not!
Here are some quick differences I noted
Ferris Wheel Press // Tanzanite Sky:
- Greyer/duller indigo purple
- Ink dries really quickly (didn’t even have 2 sec. before I couldn’t swab)
- Much darker, almost black when concentrated
Private Reserve // Black Magic Blue:
- Brighter saturation of purple
- Ink dries a little slower
- Slightly lighter when concentrated
I think because I use the Tanzanite in the Brush pen, and the ink comes out gushier, I automatically assumed it was a juicier ink, but it turns out it actually dries quite quickly. If anything, it gets absorbed by paper much quicker than the Black Magic. That being said, Black Magic Blue has always been a relatively dry ink that I use in my thinner pens because it dries quickly and doesn’t run. This makes drawing precise things a little easier than the gushers — like the Lucina. A time for each of them!
This Junior Scribe kit has definitely been a really eye-candy type product to photograph. There are probably millions of beautiful photos of it out there on the internets. Very glad I got a piece of this cool production and could try it out! That’s a wrap — one month of 2019 is already at an end, I’ll be holiday hauling in no time…in a positive way +P
So long for now!