My Waterman's Pink

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My Waterman's Pink

Postby Rebecca » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:10 am

Several years ago I asked John Mottishaw to recommend the best fountain pen most similar to a flexible dip pen. He told me he had just the nib for me. It was a replacement nib for the Waterman's Pink Band pen. I'm not sure how old that makes this nib. It's definitely very vintage. He put it in a black band body (I told him I didn't care about how the pen looked), but he assured me it was a "genuine Pink." I was busy with my school, so I hardly had time to play with it when I first got it. I could tell it was an awesome pen, though. When I finally found time to test it out, the tip felt a little scratchy with side sweeps in one direction. It also dripped ink when it was held too vertically while drawing. Nothing serious, but a bit disconcerting. Eventually, I obtained a nib smoothing kit and carefully worked the burr off the inside of one tine. Now the pen felt very nice. It drew the finest of lines, so there was still a slight "scratch", but within normal. I also smoothed and modified several other vintage nibs to control ink flow. Other than slight smoothing, I did not work on the Pink's tines, because I figured John set them for optimal effect. I was afraid to change a thing.

Yesterday, the urge to sketch overwhelmed me, so I pulled out the Pink and studied its point under a loupe. Oh. There was a gap between the tines. After my experience with my other pens, I knew this would keep the nib from forming the finest line possible. It also might be promoting the drips. I had learned how to close the gap, a fairly easy operation. I gingerly worked the sides together with one hand's finger tips, while securing the tines with the other to keep them from crossing. Finally, the point closed. I loaded the pen with Platinum Carbon black and took the "new" nib for a spin. Wow. This nib acts just like a nice flexy dip pen. It isn't a wet noodle like my Conklin, but wow. I love sketching with this nib. I think it would be great for architectural sketches and, well anything suitable for flex dip pens. I just sketched these today. Nothing earth shaking, but oh, the feel! This paper is a little absorbent, so the lines feather a bit -- you can't see how crisp the edges could be.

The tines have excellent recovery, a bit of resistance to spreading, good line range with minimal effort. These drawings did not call for a big line variety, but it was nice to have it if I needed it. The Platinum ink allows washes to go over without bleeding. And no more dripping, and a bit less scratchy. I need to do more sketching now.

Waterman7Pink.jpg
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Re: My Waterman's Pink

Postby swayne » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:16 pm

Lovely post.

I bought a Rotring art pen a while back because it had the words Rotring, art, and pen in the title. It was disappointing to say the least.

I'm glad you like your Pink, and the drawings are delightful.

Steven.
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Re: My Waterman's Pink

Postby Andre Jute » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:59 pm

Lovely drawings, Rebecca. And thank you for the tale of your pen; I don't know if I would have the patience.

Steven, I looked at those Rotring pens, and decided they were overpriced. But I suspect you bought the wrong one, that the one you have is the one for more formal forms of art and calligraphy, that the most flexible one (as far as it goes) is the "sketch" version. Rotring has progressively been withdrawing the nib widths. My solution, to problems probably very different from yours, is a whole collection of inexpensive (under ten dollars each, a couple under five dollars) of Chinese flip nib "signature" pens, made to mimic the action of a small Chinese brush, which draw lines of substantially variable width by varying the angle of the nib to the paper, and very thin lines by turning the pen upside down. I also bought two Wing Sung 841 shells with the rare "Water Drop" nib, which can be used to make a thin line and then the back of the nib makes a line up to a quarter inch wide but very unstably, which suits my sort of serendipitous art -- I don't insist on the control Rebecca shows in her cats. There's a sketch with the 841's fat side at the top of this page viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2163 and further down a couple of photos of my selection of these pens. My entire collection cost less than even the cheapest plastic Falcon Namiki (which I would probably ruin in a day). I recommend a trial of a cheap Chinese flip nib off the net; if you like I can recommend a particular model and dealer available right now (they are mostly new old stock, out of production models).
Last edited by Andre Jute on Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My Waterman's Pink

Postby mdmattin » Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:49 am

Hi Rebecca,
How wonderful to see new sketches from you! Your pen story reminded me of how you talked me through a pen rescue operation a few years ago - I went back and found it and was again impressed with your knowledge and patient teaching. You have another vintage pen restoration war story embedded in the thread, with a tantalizing foreshadowing by the Waterman's Pink at the very end. Here is the link for anyone who would like an introduction to the arcane art of pen repair:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1657

Matthew
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Re: My Waterman's Pink

Postby Rebecca » Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:15 am

Thanks, Steven and Andre.
I bought a Rotring many many years ago. It didn't hold up at all.

Gosh, Matthew, I can't believe that pen repair episode was a few years ago already. My sense of time is completely ruined by my eternal project.
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Re: My Waterman's Pink

Postby Alitogata » Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:29 pm

Hi Rebecca.. :) These sketches are wonderful.. you sketched the cat so realistically that I almost can hear it purr while is resting. ( I wish my cat stand still like yours just for one second.. :lol: ). The story about this pen and how to restore them ( in the other thread) is very interesting and informative too. I never had to restore a fountain pen, but if it ever happens to me I'll know by reading this thread the way to do it.

Andre I agree with you.. Rotring pens are overpriced for what they offer. :)
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Re: My Waterman's Pink

Postby Rebecca » Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:29 pm

Alitogata wrote:...I wish my cat stand still like yours just for one second... I never had to restore a fountain pen, but if it ever happens to me I'll know by reading this thread the way to do it...

Just let the house get very cold. Your kitty will curl up in a torpor like this one. Sketching with cold fingers is another matter. :)
I keep an eye on the Sketching Forum -- I'll jump in for followup comments or questions about pen repair. I'm not a nib meister, but I do have a little experience.
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