Inksmudge

144 Golden Bears

August 27, 2018

When I decided that the Golden Bear is my pencil, at least for now it was because they are really cheap. And the difference between them and more expensive pencils are simply put not worth it. They might be better, but not better enough.

So, with the next order from Pencils.com I picked up a 144 pack. It seems like a random number, but it is just 12 x 12. It makes the pencils a little bit cheaper, but not a huge difference.

And what I love about this pack is that there are no branding or marketing on the package. Just a huge box of pencils.

I might go for the blue ones the next time?

How I use pen, pencils and paper in 2018.

August 24, 2018

This is a summary of everything I use, and how I use it.

Pens: - Lamy 2000 (medium nib) - Pilot Vanishing Point (medium nib) - TWSBI Eco (broad nib) - TWSBI Eco (stub nib) - Bullet Spacepen

Ink: - Pink Iro ink.

Pencils: - Golden Bear.

Notebooks:

  • Field Notes
  • Leuchtturm1917 A5; dotted and lined.

Accessories:

  • Nock.co Hightower
  • Classroom Friendly Sharpener

I use Pilot Iroshizuku inks exclusivley because they look great, dry fast and have great flow. This gives me an excellent combination of practicality, writing experience and awesome looking ink.

There is always one Field Notes in one of my pockets, always with my tiny Spacepen. And I keep my Leuchtturm1917 notebooks in my computer bag. The lined one are for journaling and writing, and the other one are for tasks and notes. In my Hightower pen case I always have some spare Field Notes, and two fountain pens: Lamy 2000 and Pilot Vanishing Point. And there are usually a few spare pencils in my computer bag. My TWSBI Eco’s are at my desk at home.

The Field Notes are used for capture on the go, or for lists I need to reference on the go.

I usually use pencils when I take short notes, like in meetings or while working. But I always prefer to use a fountain pen when I’m writing more than a few lines at a time. Why? Most of my fountain pens can survive me writing for as long as I can go before my hand get tired without running out of ink. A pencil could maybe last me for 3 pages(A5) per freshly sharpened point.

I used to carry a sharpener, and one pencil plus a few spares. Since I got my Classroom Friendly I have moved over to carrying a pencilcase with a lot of sharpened pencils(between 12 and 24). And I just use them and take out those who need sharpening. And re-sharpen them a few times a week.

Ink Review: Pilot Iroshizuku Murasaki Shikibu

August 20, 2018

I got myself a new ink back in July, because I was running out of inks. This is another Iroshizuku ink, because I have kind of decided to mostly use them exclusively going forward. I’m not saying all other inks are bad. But my experience is that I enjoy using them much more than almost all other inks I have used. They dry fast and I never have any flow problems.

It has a great purple colour. Like with all Iroshizuku inks I have used, it is not too dark or too light. There are not much at all to note about the ink. If you like inks from Pilot Iroshizuku and want a purple one I’d give it a shot.

What I do to my pencils

August 17, 2018

I don’t use erasers, I just strike I line through the word or sentence or paragraph and continue. It is faster and easier. That means that I do not need that silly thing on the top of my American pencils.

You may argue that they are there for design reasons and not utility because all of them suck. But that is a discussion for another day. So what I do to them is that I pull them off, throw them in the garbage and sharpen both sides.

This is what we used to do in school, because here in Norway, most of our pencils was German. And none of them had erasers on the top. Instead we got regular erasers that actually worked. I think we got one eraser and two pencils per semester from the school and had to supply the rest ourselves.

Anyways. I love sharpening both sides, because I get twice the amount of writing out of each pencil before I have to re-sharpen it.

Going with the Golden Bear

August 13, 2018

I have tried quite a few pencils over the last few months. And I thought it was time to kind of pick one that could be my daily driver. The pencils that I was considering were:

  1. Blackwing 602
  2. Field Notes Pencil
  3. Golden Bear.

What I was looking for was a pencil that felt like a quality product, with a point that didn’t go dull very fast, while at the same time wasn’t too scratchy. Price, design and how comfortable it was to write was also factors I considered.

Each of these pencils have something about them that would make them a fantastic pick. The Field Notes pencil are so comfortable to write with. It is awesome. While the 602 has a very smooth led. While the Golden Bear has a fantastic led that keeps the point better than the 602, while being smother than the Field Notes pencil. But it isn’t as comfortable to write with compared to either one of them.

I decided to with the Golden Bear for a number of reasons. The main thing was price. Let me compare: A pack of 12 Blackwings are $22 the last time I checked, and a 144 pack of Golden Bears are $30. The 602 is better than the Golden Bear, but it is not that much better.

Both the Field Notes pencil and the 602 are better than the Golden Bear, but also more expensive. And the Golden Bear is also a good compromise between the two in many aspects.

Anyways. The Golden Bear is a awesome cheap pencil that I use every single day.

The classroom friendly sharpener.

August 10, 2018

I have been looking for a good desk pencil sharpener since I realized that pencils are awesome. My impression very early on was that the Classroom Friendly was one of the great ones. So I decided to get one, but did not do anything about it because I could not order one through any of the regular channels because they don’t want to ship outside the US. So, I started to look for other alternatives. And considered a handful of them. But decided to get the Classroom Friendly instead; through ebay. It was as painless as I could hope it to be. Even though the shipping took over twice as long as it would have taken through any of my regular shops.

Now, let’s get on to the sharpener. It is amazing. It feels like a quality product out of another era. Like when build quality was important, instead of cheap crap that seems to be the standard these days.

It is a joy to use, gives me a perfect point every single time. And it takes no time to sharpen a fresh pencil.

The only ting I have to say about it is that it leaves some nasty marks on the pencil. It doesn’t bother me that much, but I guess it might bother some of the more obsessive out there.

Five step guide to pen addiction

August 06, 2018

  1. Get a pack of Field Notes, a Leuchtturm1917 A5 notebook and a Retro 1.
  2. Get a Pilot Metropolitan
  3. Get a bottle or Iroshizuku ink.
  4. Get a TWSBI Eco
  5. Get a Lamy 2000.

Field Notes Pitch Black

August 03, 2018

I recently got my first Field Notes order in a long time. It was three packs of Pitch Black. It is the first limited edition I have bought since Arts and Sciences.

It is awesome. The cover is thicker than usual. And the colour is awesome, because the outside is black and the inside is like the regular. I’ll probably order another batch of them if there are any left by the time I order more.

Daily Carry

July 30, 2018

I have not done one of these in way too long.

Because I mostly use pencils in my pocket sized notebooks I ordered an order of Field Notes; mainly because I was running out and I needed something fast. I got a few packs of Pitch Black, which is really nice. I think this is the first order of a limited edition Field Notes I have ordered since Arts and Sciences. And I still use Leuchtturm1917 notebooks for long form writing and for managing tasks. One lined and one dot grid.

Ink wise I have all of my pens inked up with Pilot Iroshizuku Murasaki Shikibu, which is the coolest colour I have bought in a really long time.

I still carry my broad Vanishing Point, my medium Lamy 2000 and my board flex Metal Falcon. And I carry a old school pencil case with 24 Golden Bears(I never run out of sharp pencils).

And I carry spare Field Notes and the pens in my trusty Nock.co Hightower. My current go to pencil sharpener is a Classroom Friendly.

Soft pencils and broad fountain pen nibs

July 27, 2018

When I first got around to buying a box of Blackwings (after having it on my “stuff to get” list for two years, and I started using them it hit me how similar it was to using a broad fountain pen. They are both messy, put down a very satisfying line and you have to refill / sharpen it all the time. Or at least a lot compared to their finer / harder bothers.

Like I said, they are both high maintenance and very messy. If you use a broad nib you’ll end up with ink all over your hands, and if you use a broad pencil you’ll end up with graphite all over your hands.

I very soon realised that a little bit harder pencils are the thing for me. Because unlike fountain pens, there are much less you can do about it, except carrying a lot of pencils. If you like broad fountain pen nibs you can just get a huge piston filler and ink capacity isn’t a huge problem. Pencils on the other hand requires sharpening. And there is a limit to how many you can carry. How messy they are is also a part of it for me. A fountain pen is messy, but after a few seconds the ink is dry while graphite will smear the same if you drag your hand over for the first time after a minute or ten.

Even though I use Broad fountain pens, I have landed on #2 / HB pencils as “my thing”. Smooth enough for it to not annoy me, while at the same time hard enough to not look like a crazy person while I write.