Hello a new review (finally)! This time, featuring my SECOND custom pen, also picked up on a whim. It’s hard to describe the anxiety feeling you get when you’re just doom scrolling through instagram and one of the pen makers you follow posts a random availability for a pen that actually fits your taste, style agenda and price range. But it was exactly that. Now, I can’t really say it’s in my ‘price range’ but given that I haven’t seen a nice custom pen come in under $200, I’d say I was still pretty happy with it. Granted I had to pay additional for shipping, plus I got dinged on customs for it, which sucks, but luckily I have hence forgotten that I even paid customs because I have been quite happy with the pen. So not to spoil the fun anymore, here we go!
Does this pen look super awesome? Heckin yes!
Like I mentioned, this pen fit a happy medium of many things I was looking for in a custom pen. While it’s quite a bit bland to like such a thing, I was super into a flush cap-barrel pen, and the straight cylinder look. Nothing too fancy, no tapers, no notches, no pen clip. The pen had all of these things, and even had a flush dragon finial on the pen cap which was something I really admired in a Lusso pen when I first saw it. It’s honestly such a simple design that requires the least amount of work in terms of turning. Granted, turning a pen and shaping it can’t be easy and I very much respect any pen makers who have the passion to create custom pens for this wonderful community.
I looked up what ‘Agate’ really is in real life to better understand the naming of the blank ‘Teal Agate’ created by Bob Dupras (https://www.instagram.com/bobdupras/?hl=en) , and it is kind of exactly like the natural stone. According to Wikipedia, agate is a common rock formation consisting of chalcedony and quartz and comes in a wide variety of colours. I would say the characteristics tend to be more ring patterned than swirls, but I think the description was meant to be a little more broad and agate itself can come in a variety of patterns.
In any case, this pen checked a lot of those boxes of what I was looking for, and with the selection of an EF nib, this was almost a no brainer. I somehow lucked out and picked up the single pen in stock on the website almost immediately after seeing the post on instagram. I think perhaps the ‘Andromeda’ style of pen (the simple straight cylidner) is not as popular as some of his other more unique pen styles, so the pen didn’t get picked up right away.
There is a bonus in this custom pen, which is the extra engraving of the dragon logo on the Jowo pen nib that comes standard in most custom turned pens out there. As for colour, this one boasted a swirly resin pattern of dark teal, white and sparkling copper. A combination that I like very much. As mentioned, the pen features a classic #6 Jowo steel nib, mine in EF, with a dragon logo engraved on it. Everything else on the pen, from pen cap, barrel and grip is all made of the same ‘Teal Agate’ resin blank.
This is a fairly comfortable pen, both in size and weight, but I have to say it’s probably not my ideal size and weight combination. The length is quite nice, a tad shorter than my Tailored Pen Company custom pen (the only other pen I really feel worthy to compare with), but the grip is ever so slightly wider. I like the length of the pen since it is shorter, but a slightly tighter taper on the actual grip portion would fit my hands a bit better. I also tend to grip my pens very tightly when drawing, which might be a contributing factor to my preference.
Actual drawing with this pen is great and I have no complaints! The line is consistent and thin (though not as thin as the OG pilot penmanship 😉) The sturdiness of the pen feel is also quite nice in that the pen doesn’t feel cheap at all. Something I noticed when using the pen on and off, was that when it’s left for over a week, it might have a little trouble starting up again, but after a short tap on paper and the ink flows again, the pen is right where I left it. Ink flow is consistent, no extra blobs or start/stop issues. I would say this nib tends to feel a little more scratchy on paper than smooth, something in between the scratchiness of a Platinum and the buttery smooth of a Pilot.
Because the grip and overall pen diameter is a bit large, I don’t think I can use this pen for long drawing sessions, but when I’m just sketching or taking quick notes, it’s excellent. Not to mention the look of the pen certainly makes the experience more enjoyable. I think what I like most about the pen is that it’s really easy to just get back into and it just works smoothly and as I expect it to whenever I want to use it.
My sketch for this review is of some more Valorant map-ing (icebox here), practice for when I can finally get to drawing the overview map like I did with the previous ones. Drawing on the watercolour paper is great, just enough tooth with the jowo steel nib on the pen, and the ink tends on the dry side (more later!).
Custom pens fit a certain niche when it comes to value. Obviously you wouldn’t even choose to go down that route unless you really knew you wanted a certain pen blank look or pen style/shape. Most customs out there are resin blank made and follow some form of similar shape with a certain jowo nib. I also believe most custom pens are also very well made for them to remain so popular, and also all round nice to look at as well as great to use.
So when it comes to value, ultimately I think it is up to the buyer. It’s unlikely I can recommend something that is readily available or not a one-off. Granted, my custom here can probably be requested – with an incredibly long wait time – so it’s not impossible. I did actually jump on the chance and put in an order for a custom, which should be arriving for holiday haul??. This would be my first. Technically this and the last were picked up on a whim and I wouldn’t really consider them fully custom. Exciting times.
So what are you waiting for? Go jump in line, cause it’s going to be a long wait! 🙂 I would recommend both companies I have purchased custom pens from – Tailored Pen Company and this one, Atelier Lusso. Both have been wonderfully made pens that I will definitely cherish for their unique look and solid build.
- unique and (nearly) one-of-a-kind
- great writer and doodler
- smooth ink flow with a solid feeling nib – not much variation
- looks so cool
- dragon finial is a bonus
- comes with a pen sleeve
- nib comes custom engraved with a dragon logo
- not cheap
- uses standard jowo nib, which isn’t anything particularly unique or new
- may not fit all hands – slightly wider to grip than I’m used to
Oh I had so much trouble deciding what ink to use! Despite having a decent selection of teals to pick from. Or maybe that was the issue. I went with Colorverse Monsoon Storm because I haven’t used a Colorverse ink in a little while, and it just felt like a nice combination with this Teal Agate. It’s a relatively dry ink but a solid deep tone of teal which just matches this pen so well. It is also quite smooth out of the pen, despite it being relatively dry, which means my lines maintain a solidly thin and crisp line – exactly as I wanted from an EF nib.
Thanks for reading! I know it’s been a rough and review-less year, but I have been steadily keeping up with my collection (adding a few new ones here and there too!) and keeping tabs on what pens I have still to review and share with the world! I’ll see if I can crunch one more out before the Holiday Haul, but until then, Happy Holidays and Happy December!