Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fountain Pen Review: Edison Collier Antique Marble

Edison pens are now in the Philippines! Woohoo! 

A few years ago, when I was still new to this hobby, I liked white fountain pens. I recall a time when I grew so fascinated with a white fountain pen that I saw on the internet. Google later revealed that the pen is a Mina from Edison Pen Co. I didn't take the pen, for a number of reasons, but an Edison fountain pen has always been on my list. When I found out that our beloved pen store Scribe Writing Essentials will be the official reseller of Edison pens in the country, I was more than excited to get one.

When Scribe posted the photos of Edison pens that will be available in their stores (read Edison's announcement here), the Collier in Antique Marble finish caught my eye. Its rounded form is very pleasing to look at, and the color is just irresistible. From the photos, the Collier looked like it's a big pen, and I thought it would be heavy, but the amber resin is simply unforgettable. I can't get it off my mind, and I counted the days before I could get one.

The Collier has been with me for more than a week now, and I am very happy I got it. Here's why.

The Edison Box. Having collected a few fountain pens myself, I have seen a number of pen boxes from different pen brands. I'm happy to see that Edison pens are carefully presented in the same elegant box covered in patterned maroon faux leather. While this well-made and elegant box contains a fountain pen, it could easily be mistaken for a jewelry box.

I like the Edison box because it is not oversized, yet the Collier, a long and fat pen, fit perfectly inside. While the box has no markings outside, opening it shows the Edison Pen Co. logo printed on the inside of the cover. Inside the box is the Collier, a wonderful work of artistry in a medley of warm and happy colors, lying on a bed of padded soft fabric held in place by a satin ribbon.

The Edison Collier. The Edison Collier is an award winning pen. It's Goldspot's Pen of the Year in 2011. The Antique Marble is from Edison's Production Line of fountain pens (available only through resellers). It is made from translucent amber-colored acrylic resin, buffed and polished to a high gloss. At approximately 5.9 inches long (capped), the Collier is my longest (and probably fattest) fountain pen. 

The Collier's resin is strikingly beautiful with rich swirls of black, brown, and in some parts, silver and pearlescent orange in amber. It's amazing! It's like seeing thin strips of satin suspended in lovely amber. Also notable is that the Collier's parts — barrel, section, and cap — are made from the same translucent resin. It's as if the pen came from a huge blob of real amber!

For such a long pen, the Collier is surprisingly light at 30 grams. Uncapped, the body is only ~5.2 inches long (barrel, section, converter), and lighter at 20 grams, which makes writing comfortable. The pen fits so well in my hand, and the contoured grip keeps my fingers in place as I write.

Like all the pens in Edison's Production Line, the Collier has a cartridge/converter (C/C) filling mechanism. Short and long international cartridges will fit in the Collier, but a standard international converter is included in the box. It can as well be used as an an eyedropper pen because there are no metal parts inside the barrel.  

The Collier's screw on cap is ~2.8 inches long, and weighs 10 grams. It was not designed to be posted on to the pen's barrel, but I don't usually post my pens, so I don't mind at all. The simple, unobtrusive gold-plated clip of the Collier is the perfect complement to its translucent amber. It feels just right: not too long, but not too short, and flexible enough to easily clip on to a shirt pocket, or to a notebook pen loop.

Here is another photo of the Collier's cap. The glossy rounded top of the cap is just lovely, free from any markings, and the translucent amber just seems to glow and change color according to the intensity of light.

The Collier is a big pen. Its cigar-shaped barrel has a diameter of 0.6 of an inch, almost equivalent to the barrel diameter of a Pelikan M1000! And again, that pattern in amber is just awesome. The other side of the barrel has swirls, while there are black and brown stripes on this side.

The slightly pointed (but still rounded) end of the Collier's barrel is equally beautiful, complementing the rounded top of the cap. 

Brian Gray, President and creator of pens at Edison Pen Co., has designed the branding of his pens carefully. The Collier's branding is so discreet that it took me a while to find it. The laser engraved words "Edison Pen Co. Collier" are so small and hard to see. I had to look very closely at the barrel with a pen light so I can see it. 

The Edison Nib. The Collier has an oversized #6 nib, and I chose a steel, two-toned B (broad, bold, big) nib for my pen, which would probably get a grind soon. It wrote smoothly out of the box, and I am very happy I selected a broad nib. Edison nibs are sourced from Germany, and Brian is known to personally check the nibs on his pens before they are sent.

In an homage to Thomas A. Edison, whom Edison Pen Co. shares birthplace with (Milan, Ohio, USA), Brian designed a logo that shows a light bulb and a fountain pen nib. Clever and ingenious. 

I'm a blue fountain pen ink addict, and I so badly wanted to fill my Collier with Eclat de Saphir, my favorite blue ink. But this pen is begging for a same-color ink, so I filled it Pelikan Edelstein Amber. 

Amber for amber. The Edelstein ink is a perfect match for my Collier's broad nib! 

I thought that a fountain pen size comparison would be useful, especially now that new pen brands are being introduced frequently in the country. I would like to show that the Collier is a large pen. Its length and girth is very prominent and imposing. The other pens are: Bexley Intrepid, TWSBI AL 580, Lamy Safari, Platinum 3776, and Pelikan M400. If you're planning to get an oversized pen any time soon, keep the Collier in mind. You definitely won't regret it. 

The Collier is also available in three other colors: Persimmon Swirl, Silver Marble, and Blue Steel. #6 nibs for the Collier are available in single tone or two tone steel, and in 18k solid gold. Steel nibs are available in EF, F, M, B, 1.1mm italic, and 1.5 italic. The 18k solid gold nibs are available in EF, F, M, and B.

Edison pens are sold by a number of official resellers worldwide. In the Philippines, they are available at Scribe Writing Essentials, a specialty store selling fountain pens, inks, paper products, and calligraphy supplies. Scribe has stores in Eastwood Mall, Shangrila Plaza Mall, Glorietta 5, SM Aura, and SM Megamall. For their complete location/address, contact numbers, and store hours, click here.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Where I Went

A number of people who read this blog have been asking me where I've gone. I can't blame them. I've been absent from this blog for more than a year, after all. Though I have the usual futile excuses, I believe my absence is still beyond excuse. 

In my absence, I found Instagram, a simple social medium which allowed me to post my photos and thoughts. I like Instagram because it allows me to create a social post very fast. I can also edit photos, or apply filters before posting them. Sharing IG posts across platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr is also very easy. Instagram is like Twitter with followers, or Facebook status updates with photos. My Instagram affair began in June, after I finished a week of hosting Pelikan's #beingPelikan project. Now that I am going back to blogging, I feel it's only fitting that I share with you all some of the well-received photos in my Instagram account.

June 30, 2014. Lamy Al Star Ocean Blue and J. Herbin 1670 Bleu Ocean.
This was my first attempt at italic calligraphy in a looooong time. But my followers liked it! 90 likes.
July 2, 2014. Lamy Al Star Silver Green and Rohrer and Klingner Alt Goldgrun.
I've always been a Neruda fan, and I so love his Sonnet XVII. Who doesn't? 69 likes.
July 7, 2014. Lamy Al Star Silver Green and Rohrer and Klingner Alt Goldgrun.
I received a lot of positive comments from my previous posts, and around this date, friends were looking forward to my 'doodle' posts. 
I tried uncial calligraphy and broke away from the usual italic. This is from a book given to me by my boss a few Christmases ago. 66 likes.
July 8, 2014. Lamy Safari Blue (Diamine Turquoise), Lamy Safari Green (Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Brown), and Lamy Al Star Ruby Red (J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune). A mix of Gabriel Garcia Marquez quotations, and a mix of different ink colors. Lovely turquoise ink! But the quote in Poussiere de Lune is even lovelier. Deliberately used Instagram's Valencia filter on this one. 105 likes.  
July 10, 2014. Lamy Safari Creme Orange and Diamine Orange.
'Araw Gabi' (Day and Night) is a Filipino love song by Nonoy Zuniga. I heard this song over the radio and it stayed with me for a while so I doodled a part of it. What's surprising is that a lot of my non-Filipino IG followers liked this one! 76 likes. 
July 13, 2014. I used two Lamy Safari pens in this mix, but forgot the other one.
Inks are Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Brown and Diamine Crimson. I did a Marquez mix, why not a Haruki Murakami mix, right? Quotes from two of my favorite Murakami books. 78 likes. 
July 15, 2014. Lamy Safari and Diamine Orange, Sheaffer No Nonsense and Diamine Meadow.
This is the 'Glenda' doodle. On the night Glenda (Rammasun) was building up in Laguna, I was working on this doodle. We lost electricity later that night, and my calligraphy doodles came to a halt for 18 days as we languished in darkness. 88 likes.
July 30, 2014. Lamy Safari and Diamine Orange.
A friend called me 'emo' (emotional) after seeing this on Facebook. On July 30, we still didn't have power at home, which also meant no internet, no cable TV, no air conditioning, no refrigerator, no cold drinks, no lights at night!!! Who wouldn't be emotional with that?!? 101 likes. 
August 1, 2014. Pelikan M205 Duo and Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-gao.
Because the nights were quiter and darker, the sky became a discotheque of blinking lights. I remembered this Calvin and Hobbes quote, shared by a friend a few years back. Very, very apt. 80 likes.  
August 4, 2014. Pelikan M400 Grun and Noodler's Blue.
It was Monday and electricity was restored only a day ago. It felt like Christmas morning! Then I got introduced to the music by Brandi Carlile. Got this song on repeat for like, the whole week? 79 likes.
August 23, 2014. Platinum 3776 and J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir.
I was shooting some photos for this pen's review, and came across this wise reminder from the wise man himself. He's right, right? 88 likes.  
September 5, 2014. Pelikan M200 Cognac and Pelikan Edelstein Amber. I got a new Pelikan fountain pen and I can't get enough of it! Been using it a lot, even to wish everyone a Happy Weekend. 96 likes. 
September 9, 2014. Fountain pen inks mixed: J. Herbin Gris Nuage, Diamine Midnight, Diamine Majestic Blue, J. Herbin Bleu Ocean. I call this one my 'life event' piece. It was my first time to mix colors, and I received some excellent comments. It also became my application/screening piece for an art event in November. Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a favorite Russian author, and I will not forget this one from Crime and Punishment. 98 likes.
September 14, 2014. 'Green pens on a cloudy, gloomy, rainy, sick Sunday morning.'
Another thing I love about Instagram is it allows you to write about a topic and use a photo about an entirely different subject. Works all the time. 107 likes.
July 25, 2014. 'Updated Lamy box-fie, July 2014.'
My Lamy fountain pen collection. Two pens were added to the box and I had to do a box-fie. Thank God for 3G, this photo was uploaded to IG. Bestseller at 123 likes.
September 12, 2014. It was a Friday, and I just received some exciting news the night before.
Bliss was an understatement for all the happiness, excitement, and giddiness I felt that morning, but it seemed like the perfect word to sum it all.

So there. I went away for a while, and now I'm back. Watch this blog for new reviews and more products soon! And if you want to see my Instagram posts that did not reach this page, you can check my account at: http://instagram.com/clemdionglay

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Scribe Writing Essentials: The Philippines' One-Stop-Shop for Fine Writing Instruments

I remember the first few years after I started using my first fountain pen. I was so frustrated because the only ink I could use then was Parker Quink Black. When I joined Fountain Pen Network-Philippines, or FPN-P, I learned about a specialty store in Quezon City's Eastwood Mall selling not only fountain pens, but fountain pen inks and fountain pen-friendly notebooks as well. The store, Scribe Writing Essentials (SWE, or Scribe), became a very popular name within FPN-P since then. Soon, owner Marian Ong joined the group in one of our monthly pen meets to introduce a highly celebrated German brand, Pelikan. That was three years ago.

FPN-P 2010 Christmas Pen Meet, Conti's Greenbelt 2, Makati City. Marian Ong (in striped top) seated in front.
This photo belongs to FPN-P member Arnell T. Umali.

Today, Scribe has grown tremendously. In less than a year, four more stores were added to the one in Eastwood, all selling a wide variety of products from journal and diaries to fine writing instruments from around 20 brands from all over the world. 

Scribe now offers fine writing instruments from Japan and Taiwan in Asia, and Germany and Spain in Europe. Brands such as TWSBI, Sailor, Platinum, Inoxcrom, Kaweco, Lamy, and Pelikan are all known to produce high quality writing instruments, and most of their products are collectibles. Topnotch and highly-coveted Japanese notebook Midori is also in Scribe's shelves now, as well as Hong Kong made notebooks and stationery items from Daycraft. Scribe has also made a giant leap by offering fountain pen inks that used to reside only in my dreams: J. Herbin from France, Pelikan Edelstein from Germany, and Noodlers from the US. Other fountain pen inks from Sailor and Lamy are also available from their stores.

To officially launch Scribe, their stores, and the brands they carry, Scribe's founder and owner, Marian Ong, hosted a cocktail party at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall on March 4, 2014. The event was well-attended by a large number of FPN-P people, members of the press, and Scribe's friends. 

The Atrium of Shangri-La Plaza Mall where the Scribe launch was held on March 4, 2014.
The Scribe store in Shangri-la Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Photo provided by SWE.

Scribe has three brand ambassadors who were present during the launch. They are Michael Manalo, and FPN-P's Leigh Reyes and Fozzy Castro-Dayrit. Their art were displayed during the event. 

Art by Leigh Reyes, who counts the Scribe display as her first exhibit ever.
Leigh is a known figure in the advertising world, having won the country's first ever GOLD CLIO and WORLD PRESS Gold awards. Her work has been recognized both here and abroad. She loves doodling with pen, ink and paper and making jaw-dropping works of art. She gets most of her stuff from Scribe which she considers her "happy place." 
Fozzy Castro-Dayrit's intricate calligraphy.
Fozzy has conducted calligraphy workshops for the store in the past. Her classes are sought-after as she specializes in calligraphy, designing wedding invitations and personalized cards. Fozzy considers Scribe a one-stop shop for all her calligraphy and art supplies needs.

Design by Architect Michael Manalo.
As a boy, Mico loved looking at illuminated manuscripts from the Gothic Age. He then studied Architecture with a masters degree in Architectural Conservation from the Escuela Nacionál deConservación, Restauración y Museografía INAH, Mexico City. Now, he spends his time designing new structures, trying to restore old ones and travelling to learn about the importance of saving heritage while working with the UNESCO. 

Before the program started, guests were encouraged to write messages to be posted at the Scribe Calligraphy Message Wall. Paper, Speedball ink, and colorful quills were provided to the event's enthusiastic guests. 

FPN-P members Reggie Reginaldo and Mars Hagedorn write their messages for the Calligraphy Message Wall.
Calligraphy Message Wall

The program started with a short documentary about how Scribe evolved to being the one-stop-shop that it is now. Trivia games were played as brands carried by Scribe stores were introduced, and three FPN-P members went home happily with Scribe gift certificates. Fountain pens were raffled off, with two more FPN-P members going home the happiest. 

Left to right: Michael, Marian, Fozzy, Leigh, and program host RJ Ledesma. 

The Scribe launch was a joyful celebration for me. I knew it was a very important event for Marian and her group, and we at FPN-P were just happy to celebrate with them. It was also an occasion where I get to be with my FPN-P friends who are the kindest, happiest people I know. We get to meet once or twice a month, but being with them at an event to launch our favorite store is just awesome!

Indeed, Scribe has brought not only the sophistication to our choice of writing instruments, it has brought back an art long considered lost and archaic. More and more people are enjoying the art of using fountain pens nowadays, and the growing number of FPN-P newbies is proof of that. 

To say that we at FPN-P are happy that we now have a "one-stop-shop" for fountain pens, ink, and notebooks is an understatement. No longer are we envying neighbors Malaysia and Singapore for their pen boutiques for Scribe, in Manila, is offering us a haven for our pen and pen-related needs.

Below are some photos of FPN-P members during the event. Photos courtesy of Scribe.

Marian with FPN-P's Raffy Roxas and Peter Bangayan
The Archer, Cesar Salazar, Gelzon dela Cruz, Ernesto Tabujara, Ronnie Geron, Mars Hagedorn, 
Mona and Reggie Reginaldo
Allan Caindoy, Peter, Jonathan Isip, Carlos Abad Santos, Dennis Duran, Raffy, 
and FPN-P's founding father, Butch Dalisay
And again, FPN-P with Scribe's Marian Ong and Cindy Dingkoi. I hope the next FPN-P + Scribe group pic won't take another three  years in the making.

For more information about Scribe and the brands they carry, visit their website at: http://www.scribewritingessentials.com/ or like their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/ScribeWritingEssentials.

You can also visit a Scribe store nearest you. Below is a list of Scribe's stores, their store hours and contact numbers.

Level 3, Eastwood Mall Eastwood City

E. Rodriguez Jr Avenue, Bagumbayan Quezon City
Mon to Thur 11:00am – 10:00pm
Fri to Sat 11:00am – 11:00pm
Sun 10:00am – 10:00pm
Tel. 900-0053

Lower Ground Floor, East Wing Shangrila Plaza Mall 
Brgy Wack Wack Mandaluyong City
Mon to Thur 11:00am – 9:00pm
Fri to Sat 10:00am – 10:00pm
Sun 10:00am – 9:00pm
Tel. 654.5071

Level 2, Glorietta 5 Ayala Center 
Brgy San Antonio Makati City
Mon to Thur 11:00am – 9:00pm
Fri to Sat 11:00am – 10:00pm
Tel. 804.3889

Level 4, SM Aura Premier 
26th Street corner McKinley Parkway 
Fort Bonifacio Global City Taguig
Mon to Sun 10:00am – 10:00pm
Tel. 519.5346

Level 4, SM Megamall Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City
Mon to Sun 10:00am – 10:00pm
Tel. TBA
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