Monday, October 19

Pens: the Kaweko Sport

Today I'd like to chat about one of my preferred weapons: the Kaweko.

Actually, the silver ink embossing on the side of the cap says "Kaweko Sport," so this shortened, compact pen must not be the standard model. Browsing Google Images for "kaweko pen", I find... little useful information. There's a picture of a special edition Forbidden City pen, a thumbnail of a vintage poster, quite a few Japanese market sites (these offer suggestions of a longer standard model), and a fairly deep examination of which pen it was Anne Frank used to write her diaries--conjecture is that it was likely a Montblanc, a Pelikan, or a Kaweko.

And it is certainly not the same Kaweko cited in Moses' bible of arcane magic, books six and seven: Altissima Dei Verba Spirituum Cactiva Mosis Aaronis et Salomonis. That's merely coincidence, I'm sure.

I like the Kaweko Sport for its size and its pleasurable nib: it's either gold or has enough gold on it to write very smoothly across the page. Mine is a medium tip, so it produces satisfyingly thick lines. Sometimes I like thin lines, provided the ink is still dark enough, and for that the Slicci is ideal. And the thick lines rather determine what font I'm going to write with, moreso than the texture of the paper. For example, if I had coarse paper I'd happily revert to a ball-point pen, but if I was using the satin-smooth Rhodia paper, I'd have a hard time justifying that. I'd either very carefully choose a favorite ball-point (lately I like the Bic Atlantis) or I'd avoid it altogether: a surface like that calls for a fountain pen, to me. And with a medium-tip Kaweko I have to write larger letters but with smooth paper I have greater control, so I can use a very nice, controlled font.

I like the Sport model in particular because it is so compact: the body of the pen screws out of the cap and then reverses to nestle in the cap, making a longer pen right there. Sealed, it can travel anywhere, in a shirt pocket, jeans pocket, or rattling around in my backpack. I don't think it has ever loosened itself and wrought inky havoc upon clothing or property. I have other pens which have done precisely this.

I wish I could remember the brand of ink cartridges I'm loading in my pen currently. (Update: Private Reserve Ink.) They're made in Slovenia, which doesn't mean a lot because an awful lot of ink comes from there. Its primary feature is that it is a fast-drying ink, which is handy for left-handed writers who are pushing their pen from left to right, rather than a right-handed writer who is pulling it from left to right. With a regular pen or most rollerballs or gel pens, the leftie gets to smudge his/her palm in a fresh trail of ink, but not so with this marvelous Slovenian fast-drying ink. I'll look it up tonight. And the colors are vibrant: I chose a musky rose ink and a deep forest ("Sherwood Green") ink, the latter of which stands beautiful and bold against a clear, perfect sheet of Clairefontaine. It is, all around, a pleasurable writing experience.

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