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Tools & Supplies / Re: BlueDew Flex Fountain Pen Review
« Last post by Erica McPhee on September 23, 2021, 05:47:24 PM »
Thanks so much @K-2 ! I hope you like it.   :-*
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Tools & Supplies / Re: BlueDew Flex Fountain Pen Review
« Last post by K-2 on September 23, 2021, 04:08:25 PM »
Well, I guess I know what my next pen purchase will be.  Will it replace the Elabo and/or Desiderata in my affections though?  perhaps!  (although I'm under no illusions that my writing will ever look so nice as @Erica McPhee 's example, no matter what pen I use).  Thanks so much for the review!!  -K
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Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Alternative to dip pen
« Last post by Erica McPhee on September 23, 2021, 02:24:51 PM »
Wow @K-2  - LOVE the squid illustration!

My review of the BlueDew Flex pen is up!   :D
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Tools & Supplies / Re: BlueDew Flex Fountain Pen Review
« Last post by Erica McPhee on September 23, 2021, 02:20:01 PM »
Pen details. Click on images to see close up / full size.
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Tools & Supplies / BlueDew Flex Fountain Pen Review
« Last post by Erica McPhee on September 23, 2021, 02:15:04 PM »
I have a couple fountain pens in my collection – a Waterman and a Parker – so I am not an expert but a casual user. The BlueDew Flex is a beautiful pen by any standard. I ordered the Blue which is absolutely gorgeous with black and gold accents. This is a finely crafted pen with a presence. It has a nice heft to it but not too heavy that it is cumbersome. I did experience a bit of hand fatigue about a half an hour in but this is most likely because I am not at all used to using a fountain pen but rather a super light oblique holder.

It is very clear Jeffrey, the designer of the pen, has put an extraordinary amount of thought and time into creating it. It features elegant little accents such as the nib engraving along with the name on the band of the cap and the B embossed on the top of the nib.

The ink flow was great right from the start. There was no difficulty in getting it to start and it produced a graceful, lush line which was not so overflowing with ink as to blob but enough that it felt really nice to write with it. It sailed gracefully on the paper with little to no drag or scratchiness. I tried it on smooth Rhodia paper and Southworth 100% cotton, 32 lb resume paper. Both took the ink wonderfully with little, if any bleed. I dare say, it far outperformed my entry level Waterman in terms of fluidity and joy in writing.

No fault of the pen, I quickly went through the two Waterman ink cartridges I used in just a few pages. However, they were older so may have evaporated quite a bit. There is a sudden and noticeable drag when the ink runs low, a nice alert for the user to replace or refill the ink.

As the creator suggests, slow and steady wins the race. This is not a pen to do elaborate flourishes with or with which to write quickly. The website states “never try to explore the limits of the flex” as the nib has a moderately soft and forgiving tip.  I found it to work well for both Spencerian and Copperplate (Engrosser’s Script). However, if you are an experienced calligrapher, you will find neither the fine hair lines very thin, nor the shades considerably thick. An adjustment in expectation is required in comparison to using a dip pen and nib.

This is truly an “on the go” pen. So while advanced calligraphers may not be using it to do a finished piece of calligraphy, it certainly will do if you want to pen something on the fly or while sitting watching tv or simply just to practice. Beginners will find it a joy to use for a range of projects without having to worry about dipping in ink or finessing a nib into compliance.

Where I found it to exhibit its best features is when combining thick and thin writing with a casual feel (see address and BlueDew title). There you can clearly see the considerable contrast the pen is able to produce without the taxation of trying to produce a formal script. It would also be terrific for illustrators who like to do monochrome work with variation in line thickness.

In regard to whether it is better suited to a beginner or an advanced calligrapher, there could be an argument for either. The beginner will like the minimal work necessary to produce a hairline or shade and the advanced will enjoy the subtle nuances of line quality without much effort. Overall, a very satisfying tool and beautiful pen for anyone.
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Open/Active Exchanges / Re: Pop Up Exchange 2021 Sign Ups are Now Closed
« Last post by Erica McPhee on September 22, 2021, 11:12:30 AM »
Hooray! I am so happy to hear they arrived in good condition. Thanks so much Mike for your kind words! I had a lot of fun making these.

LOL - thank you Nikki! I can’t take credit for the technical aspect… I found a teacup pop up on YouTube and knew I could adapt it for my inkwell. I love intricacies and it was so fun to figure out how it all worked together. The woman who came up with it is pure genius and must be an engineer of some sort.  ;D  I am LOVING the Flora on Point class! Thanks so much! This was a great exchange!
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Open/Active Exchanges / Re: Pop Up Exchange 2021 Sign Ups are Now Closed
« Last post by NikkiB on September 21, 2021, 05:35:06 PM »
I have 3 so far and they are all so fun @Erica McPhee your card was a technical marvel and you flora on point was absolute perfection 😍 @new2flourish I loved your classic copperplate and peacock pop up! @Calligragen your take on the challenge was so effective - thank you all so much @sabrinajones I hope to receive yours soon to complete my set! ☺️
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Open/Active Exchanges / Re: Pop Up Exchange 2021 Sign Ups are Now Closed
« Last post by AnasaziWrites on September 21, 2021, 04:17:50 PM »
LOL - thank you! It was and it was so fun! Hopefully people will like them. I will share photos once they have started to arrive.  ;D
@Erica McPhee
Wow. Mine arrived yesterday and it's terrific. Just what I needed in the morning. And the envelope--really, really nice. Just grand.
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Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Alternative to dip pen
« Last post by K-2 on September 21, 2021, 11:24:18 AM »
@Empty_of_Clouds - I totally hear you on the Desiderata.  I definitely wouldn't choose it for regular writing.

I've actually had a really fraught relationship with my Desiderata.  I was crushingly disappointed when it first came in the mail, and I hadn't figured out how to adjust it to suit my needs.  It leaked everywhere; it burped; it blobbed; it dumped; writing even draft-quality calligraphy was out of the question; it seemed like 100% more trouble than it was worth, and inferior to simply dipping a G-nib in every possible way.  I actually put it away for over a year and just didn't use it.

But then, one Inktober, I determined to only do line sketches and spend less than 15 minutes on each.  I knew I wanted the expressiveness of a G-nib, but I didn't want to fiddle with dipping for what was supposed to be spontaneous art, and I find the modified Jinhaos much too heavy for comfortable sketching.  So I spent some time and a fair amount of ink learning how to adjust it... and it still burps and splatters, but I've come to see those as serendipitous expressive elements.  And I usually have ink all over my hands anyway.

Here's a sketch I did with the Desiderata and a water-brush.  Sorry that this might be getting away from the calligraphy brief of the Forum, but probably other people here draw as well as letter.  And I swear I'm not shilling for Pierre.

Does anyone else have a flexy fountain pen that they particularly like?
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Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Alternative to dip pen
« Last post by Empty_of_Clouds on September 21, 2021, 04:59:46 AM »
I had a Desiderata, back when Pierre was first starting out.  Eventually sold it because I found that if I want to fiddle around with a Zebra G it was easier in an actual dip nib holder that didn't require the extra complication of a feed.  Liked the pen but personal choice to go in a different direction.   
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