Monday, May 29, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 498

Over the last couple of years, I've been slowly accumulating fountain pens handmade by small pen makers, such as this beautiful writing instrument below...

(photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)

 ... my Walltown Pens 'Catsburg 14' "Fat Cat" fountain pen in "Alchemists Delight" colorshift resin!

The pen was made by Brett Arnold in Durham, North Carolina and purchased from the Walltown Pens' etsy store in late 2022 for $242 CAD  (including shipping to Canada). I paid for it via Klarna in four equal, interest-free installments.

This beautiful resin was made in-house by Walltown Pens and beautifully polished. It's referred to as a "colorshift" resin because (as you can see from the photos above) the colour of the material shifts based on the angle of the lighting. This is due to the addition of metallic pigments to the resin. Some colorshift resins (e.g. McKenzie Penworks' Diamondcast Colorshift resins) are described as featuring a "3-color flop". This refers to the three different hues that can be seen when the material is viewed from different angles.

 In this case, the resin (as in the alchemic process) changes from other colours to gold, thus the name "Alchemists Delight". It goes from a lovely dark greenish colour...

 to a gorgeous pinkish tone (seen even better in the photos at the end of this blog post)... a wonderfully sparkly gold colour...

(you can see the gold colour best in the very first photo of this blog post)

It's hard to capture the colour changes in photos, but luckily many small pen makers include short videos of their pens, showing how they look from different angles, in their etsy sales listings.

(you can see the greenish and pinkish hues quite well in the photo above)

A word on buying handmade pens online...

At the time I bought it, there were no other Walltown pens for sale that used the "Alchemists Delight" resin other than my 'Catsburg 14' model. I loved the larger size of this model *and* I fell in love with the resin, so I immediately bought it before it sold out. I learned my lesson, having hesitated in the past to buy other handmade pens I really loved, only to see them bought up by others. Never again!

It's impossible to predict what pen model/resin combination a small pen maker
will put up for sale at any given time (and I'm not just talking about Walltown Pens - this applies to most of them) unless they post a heads-up about this. Normally,  a small (or larger) batch of handmade pens will be released ...and then the feeding frenzy starts! Since I started buying handmade pens, I also noticed that small pen makers rarely seem to put duplicate pens up for sale at the same time -- once a particular pen is sold, you might not see another one like it up for sale for a long time. Now if you want to have one made for you, you might be able to commission a pen maker to do so (Walltown Pens do commissions, as well).

Model sizes:

I asked Brett about the sizes of the different Walltown Pens models they sell ---I was looking for a size comparison photo (for future purchases from his store 😁)----and he quickly sent me this helpful photo:

WALLTOWN PENS fountain pen models: (the models are named after places in Durham, North Carolina)

Specifications for my Catsburg 14 pen (taken from its etsy sales page)

Closed length – 145 mm, 5.5 in
Open length – 133 mm, 5.2 in
Diameter Body – 17 mm –14 mm
Diameter Cap – 17 mm –14 mm
Diameter Grip – 11.5 mm
Weight Overall – 28.6 g

And lastly, a few more photos I took on a different day: The pen's colour changes quite dramatically to a warmer (pinkish) hue!

The Catsburg 14 model has a cigar shape with very gently pointed ends; I didn't own a handmade pen in this shape before I bought this one. I suspect it's more challenging to make a pen of this shape than a flat-top pen, but Brett's workmanship is excellent--the fit and finish are superb.

The pen came with a converter and your choice of #6 Jowo steel nib width, colour and design (plain or floral nib engraving); I chose a monotone gold-coloured nib in Medium, which writes very smoothly.

The pen doesn't post, but it's a big ---but not heavy--- pen that feels substantial in the hand. In fact, it's so chunky in the hand that I tend to hold it lower down the section vs. my usual "high-gripper" area.

I usually include a lot more text in my pen reviews (lol), but this is one where a photo is truly worth a thousand words; I hope I've captured the amazing colorshift resin made by Walltown Pens, and Brett's fine craftsmanship in my photographs. This is a wonderful fountain pen---it's both a joy to use and look at--- and I'm extremely glad I was able to acquire it. Many thanks to Brett and Susan Arnold of Walltown Pens for this great pen, and their excellent customer service!

(~Blog post by Maja~)

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