Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Noodlers Konrad Flex Pen

I did a few quick sketches to try out my new Noodlers Flex Pen. The flow of the ink and the flexibility of the nib depends on how the nib and the ink thingy (not sure if that is the technical term...) are aligned and how far in the pen you push them. This video explains it. I think I have sorted it out now, and am very happy with the pen.

I know that I am not really using the flex nib feature yet. I think as I use the pen more and more, I will instinctively use the flexing feature. I'm looking forward to practising that.

I did have thoughts of using the pen for fine copperplate calligraphy. I think now that the nib of the pen is a bit thick for copperplate writing (that is, if you are actually using it to write a letter or something, where you need the letters to be very small). So I will still use a traditional copperplate nib dip pen for that. For larger calligraphy it would be fine, I think. But I am looking forward to using the Noodlers pen for sketching anyway.
I also ordered the Noodlers Black Ink. I'm not an ink expert, but it has quite a different feel to it than Winsor & Newton ink that I have used previously. It is so black, it is almost startling to put on the page. I can understand now why people use the ink fountain pens, so they can use these inks, rather than just felt-tip pens, although obviously there is a place for both. I will definitely be ordering more Noodlers ink, possibly in a sepia colour next time.

When using the Noodlers Flex pen, you almost get 3 thicknesses. The very fine line when you move the pen sideways to the nib, the fine line when you move the pen in the direction of the nib, and the variable thickness when you actually press the nib down to split the nib. So I think it is a very versatile pen to have.


Oh dear, hold the phone... I have, too late, alas, discovered one of the flaws of the Konrad pen. There is not a lot of room in the lid - a approx a micro-nano-meter between the nib ending and lid beginning. If you have the nib in any position other than at, or near, its furthest into the pen, you run the risk of bending the nib when you screw the cap on.  Unfortunately, I had the nib a bit further out, as per the video instructions, as that was the only setting where the pen did not gush too much ink (especially when flexed). Bit disappointed with that. Luckily I think I have been able to bend the nib almost back to its original position (kinda, but not quite, grr grr grr), but this does mean that with the nib further in, the pen gushes more ink that I would like. I've tried having the black ink rod slightly askew from the nib, but this hasn't  made any noticeable difference. I do notice that if I store the pen, nib end up, this does seem to make it gush a bit less when I use it. There is always the option of moving the nib out each time I use it, but while possible, this is a very messy procedure, and not really one that I want to do every time, if I can avoid it. The pen is still useable, but when you flex the nib to get a thicker line, and then cease flexing it (to try and get a thinner line again), the ink still comes out so much that the line remains thick. Anyway, I will keep using it, and we'll see if it comes right.

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