2018, Penwrapped (via Leigh Reyes). Leigh does some of my favorite writing (not to mention art) on the internet, and I always await her year-end review. She also has one of the best collections of beautifully crafted Urushi pens that I’ve seen, with an emphasis on traditional makers and craftsmanship. I’ve linked to this before, but a piece she wrote earlier this year, On Craft, Appropriation, and Distance, is a must-read.
2018 Cheers and Tears (via Well-Appointed Desk). Aptly named, and simply a great recap.
Nakaya Portable Cigar Ishime-Kanshitsu Midori (via Pen Addict). I finally caved and purchased two Nakaya pens at the end of 2018, and they pretty much haven’t left my hand since. One of these Ishime pens is now on my “someday” list.
2018 Pen Wrap Up (Top 5s!) (via Hand Over That Pen). The Trio from Hand Over That Pen each goes through their Top 5 pens of 2018. This one won’t be easy on your wallet.
Kaweco’s Sharp Little Fox Runs Away (via UK Fountain Pens). A great review of the new orange/coral Kaweco Skyline Sport, and a good summary of how the pricier “Art Sport” series can really spoil you.
What I Bought in 2018: Inks (via Fountain Pen Follies). I think I’m suffering from ink exhaustion, not pen exhaustion - I also bought MUCH less ink in 2018 than in prior years. Last week I wrote about how inks have started to interest me a bit less because I feel that the colors are becoming repetitive.
Esterbrook’s Phaeton Misses the Mark (via UK Fountain Pens). An interesting review of Esterbrook’s new lower-priced offering, which I haven’t had any hands-on experience with yet. The $68 price point is very difficult to get right. For a $15 more, you’re into Opus 88 territory, and as Anthony points out, there are impeccably finished pens available for much less money.
Chinese Pens You Need to Know Dec. 2018 (via Frank Underwater). Frank’s updates on what is going on with the Chinese fountain pen industry always make for an interesting read. You’ll be surprised at what’s apparently coming out in the near future - I know I was!
10 Stationery Podcasts in 2018 (via Mountain of Ink). Most of these podcasts I listen to regularly, but I picked up a couple subscriptions to podcasts I wasn’t aware of!
Katherine’s 2018 New Maker Recap (via Hand Over That Pen). Katherine discusses three makers that gained a lot of traction in 2018. I’ve seen the work of all three in person, and they’re worth keeping an eye on.
Stalogy 365 Days Notebook (via Pencilcase Blog). This notebook has turned my head a few times when I’ve seen it at bookstores on trips to NYC, but I’ve been waiting to see what the verdict was on the paper. Apparently it’s very fountain pen friendly.
Opus 88 Picnic Fountain Pen (via Clicky Post). I personally agree that Opus 88 Pens are a bargain at the price point, if you can handle the eyedropper filling system without any squeamishness.
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Please take a moment to visit these fine folks who help keep this blog going! It's next to impossible to keep up a steady stream of fresh review content without some form of sponsorship or affiliate relationship. I'm grateful to everyone who's helped me out along the way.
Vanness Pens. Vanness Pens carries rare and hard-to-find inks from all over the world, including Colorverse, Callifolio, Akkerman, and the full line of DeAtramentis. You can check out my recap of a visit to Vanness here.
Pen Chalet. Pen Chalet has a wide variety of available pens and offers unbeatable value on pens, inks, pen cases, etc.
Anderson Pens. In addition to having one of the largest offerings of bottled ink in the world, Anderson Pens is an authorized retailer of a wide range of brands, including Sailor, Aurora and Faber-Castell. Check out the sponsor profile I published here, and don't miss out on their new special edition bright red Diplomat Aero.
Paul's Paper & Pens. Paul features a well-curated selection of fountain pens, multi pens, notebooks, and more, including some very uncommon Pilot Vanishing Points and Decimos that we don't see here in the States.
Pokka Pens. Pokka Pens makes high quality, portable ballpoints that make for a great EDC option, including a new pressurized “All-Weather” pen developed in partnership with Fisher and Rite-in-the-Rain. Check out my review here, and don't forget to use the code GENTSTA to get 10% off your purchase!
TGS Amazon Page. I run across many more items (pens, pencils, books, accessories, etc.) in my online "travels." I can't feature them all on TGS, but Amazon has an option where I can set up an affiliate page to host product recommendations and earn fees on referrals. Amazon does not sponsor or endorse this blog in any way.
In Case You Missed It …
This week on the blog I kicked off 2019 by reviewing the Pilot Decimo, a slimmer version of the Pilot Vanishing Point that frankly, I prefer in terms of both size, weight, and balance. I also went through my “Resolutions” for 2019, which I’m proud to note that I’ve managed to keep for six days so far. This week’s Deals & Drops continued to be a mix of residual clearance sales and new 2019 releases, and you can expect to see the 2019 lineup from major manufacturers start to emerge over the next couple of months.
Happy Sunday, and as always, thanks for reading!
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