Tag Archives: Writing

Rohrer & Klingner Verdigris


I’m a big fan of Rohrer & Klingner inks: Alt-Goldgrun, Leipziger Schwarz, Konigsblau, Salix…the list goes on. I like their colours are just a little unusual – their Leipziger Schwarz has just a hint of a bluish black to it to give it a bit of character, Alt-Goldgrun is a green in its own class. Jon keeps reminding me that I need to branch out, and I’m working on it…


Rohrer & Klingner’s Verdigris is another of these inks that just has a hint of something interesting to it- it’s a bluish teal colour, kind of a blue-green, not quite your standard dark blue ink.

The word verdigris refers to the patina through oxidization of copper or brass or metals, and the Wikipedia page for this term actually has a picture of the Statue of Liberty as a reference, which is almost turquoise. While the ink isn’t supposed to really be a true blue, it can look like a dark blue in writing with a nib if you just glance at it.


It’s got very good drying time, even on Rhodia paper (like this review), and it’s a “serious” ink, so it’s an option for the workplace. It won’t be terrific on cheaper papers, but it’s not bad with feather or bleedthrough – I would consider this a fairly well-behaved ink. However, if you are using it with considerably cheaper paper, you may want to consider a finer nib. It is not very water resistant at all, although it may stand up to a few splashes of coffee.


It’s a pretty good shader, especially as you get to the broader nibs, but even on finer nibs, there’s a bit of character. While a lot of artists and writers come in needing the darkest black, without a hint of shading, I think I have a soft spot for shading inks,


The pen used is a Kaweco Student with a medium nib, but of course many of Kaweco’s pens share this nib, including the Sport, Al-Sport, Allrounder and Dia2. I’ve found this pen to be a bit on the wet side, but Verdigris is also a bit on the wet side in terms of flow.

Maybe because I work in a pen store so I see all kinds of inks all the time, but I generally like inks that have just a little something different about them. Verdigris is a great ink in terms of being able to be used in different situations (good flow, dries quickly, doesn’t bleed or feather too much) while still having a bit of character to it.

*My photos have cut out the attribution for this excerpt- it’s from Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Place’s You’ll Go!

Uppercase Magazine Issue 23: The Calligraphy & Lettering Issue

I hope you are all having a merry and restful and happy holiday break with lots of good food and time with family and friends! Caleb has had his first Christmas – and we got him a green dinosaur! It was between that and a porcupine.

We have had an unbelievable holiday season, although it has been a bit of a blur – we stopped by the shop to pick up a few things on Christmas Day, and it was a bit surreal to see the shop quiet but completely filled with boxes and boxes and empty spots on the shelves and tester pens everywhere. I think our week is planned for us (after recovery!) to re-organize and inventory the shop and get it up and running again for the new year.


The holiday season was so crazy that we had quite a few new items arrive, and we didn’t get a chance to post about them. This one in particular I have been very excited to receive, but I didn’t even get a chance to really open and check it out until today.

Uppercase Magazine is a quarterly magazine focusing on design and creativity, published in Canada, distributed worldwide. When they came out with a calligraphy and lettering issue, of course we needed to get our hands on it.


It’s a beautiful magazine, with a thick cover and strong spine, heavy paper pages with enough calligraphy and lettering to get you writing for all of 2015. While of course calligraphers and designers will love this magazine, even those of us who just enjoy handwriting or fountain pens will be inspired by all the gorgeous images.

There are some spotlights on calligraphers and lettering artists, as well as of course examples of their work. It’s great to see that a lot of these artists are younger; I think calligraphy and writing is reaching a new generation.


One of my favourite things is seeing some of the workspaces and desks. I’ve been trying to convince Jon to buy me a rolltop desk from some Amish carpenters in the US, but the shipping costs are enough to make you cry. 

There were also some examples of their notebooks!


There’s a great article on the lettering artist who does the signs for Honest Ed’s downtown!


And lots and lots of pictures! The beautiful calligraphy is enough to make me want to sit down and spend some time with some French-ruled paper and get practising. Broad edge, italic, pointed pen, fonts of all sorts!


It was wonderful to see both formal pieces and fun pieces, both obviously taking a ton of time and work and planning.


We have a limited number of this issue both in store and online.

Calligraphy, as the practice of beautiful handwriting, isn’t necessarily something everyone wants to master at the highest level, but in this magazine, the articles on the artists and opportunities and tools and examples are enough to inspire. In fact, the cover is a bit tongue in cheek – it’s a shopping list done by a very, very well-practised calligrapher – but it also speaks to the fact that this beautiful handwriting is everyday as well as artwork to be hung and displayed.

Kaweco Student Fountain Pen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMany moons ago, a customer came into the shop to browse and say hello (mostly to browse). Incidentally, he had purchased from us online, and due to some weird coincidence of pen orders that were very, very similar, and some very minor brouhaha going on at the shop, we thought we may have sent him the wrong pen. Turns out, my pre-emptive email only embarrassed myself because he did get the right pen, but he came by the shop anyways!

While there, he mentioned that we should look into expanding our Kaweco line, specifically the Student, and more specifically the yellow Student, since he had a particular liking for yellow pens.

Now, after extensive planning and coordination, and just because we so highly value the particularities of our very special customers, we have finally brought it in! And it turns out he knew what he was talking about, because our first rave review of this model also happened to be one in yellow, described as a “warm, mellow yellow” – which is exactly right.



We have the Kaweco Student in Vintage Blue, Yellow, Black and Translucent Blue. It’s the acrylic version of the metal Allrounder, and has a friendlier price.

It is available in nibs from extra fine to double broad, or you can upgrade to an italic nib. Nibs are always available as spare units as well. Kaweco nibs are more in line with European thicknesses, so a bit wetter and wider than Japanese nibs, and the writing sample with this Student is with a medium nib.


It’s a bit of a retro or vintage looking pen. In fact, this model here is in “Vintage Blue”, which actually does look like a vintage blue; it has just a hint of teal in it, just like Rohrer & Klingner Verdigris!). The clip has a bit of styling to it, and Kaweco has also released this as a removable clip for the Sport along with the new Skyline models.


One of the my favourite things about the Student is actually its balance. It’s a light pen due to its acrylic body, but its grip is made out of a heavy metal. I don’t post most of my pens because I don’t like for my pens to be too back-heavy or top heavy, but having the weight much closer to where my fingers are gripping actually makes it much nicer to write – it’s almost as though the pen is bringing itself to the paper for me.

Sometimes metal grips can get a bit slippery, but the hourglass shape of the grip helps alleviate a bit of that.

While Kaweco is most known for its Sport model, very durable and portable and sporty, the Sport’s biggest downfall is that the converter is difficult to use and tiny, leaving only cartridges or an eyedropper conversion; the Student is a full-sized pen and so it fits a standard international converter, or even two standard short cartridges – one in play, and one spare.


The Kaweco Student is a great all-around pen – it looks classic without being boring, takes a cartridge or a piston converter, feels great in the hand, and doesn’t break the bank.