Sunday, August 07, 2022

A new kind of dip pen

Kakimori dip pen test. I dipped the nib twice to get all these doodles. That's a lot of ink!

 Recently I saw a post on Jane Blundell's blog about a new dip pen. Of course I had to buy one. It came this week and I have played with it a bit. I do like it. I would say it's equivalent to a US medium. In the detail photo you can see the tip is not sharp. There is a stainless steel version that is supposed to be slightly finer. One of its strong points is the amount of ink it holds. I used sumi ink for my test. It seemed to cake up in the grooves after a few dips. Maybe my technique wasn't good. It was very easy to clean with a soft toothbrush. Later I tried Golden hi-flow acrylic. That worked well. Either could be diluted a bit with water. 

Isn't that interesting! A completely new design. There are parallel grooves all around the barrel to hold the ink. 

I paid around $35. at Wet Paint, but ordered some other stuff, so didn't pay shipping. Prices in the US are going up. The best price might be ordering from Japan with some friends, it seems the price is better from Kakimori. They also have nice nib holders, but to save a bit I think a good nib holder would be the Tachikawa. They are pretty easy to find. And they have a plastic cap that protects the nib. It's what I'm using.

Life and Art

Magnificent book shelves installed 6 years ago. They were a long time dream. The ones left of the fireplace were Jim's, most of his books went into his museum. The others were all mine, with books below and toy cameras on the top two shelves. They were lovely.

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I normally don't post about the complications of just being alive.  But of course they do have a bearing on art making, especially for people who don't have wives to manage things. There are many things going on at our house, the most stressful is mold remediation. I have been having migraines for almost three years. It took two years to find the source, some mold under a built-in cabinet in the basement. Now we're preparing for remediation.  Part of the process is disposing of all porous things that can't be cleaned. I had to part with most of my books - Jim estimates there were one thousand. I did do a lot of research and found it was best to get rid of them. The ones I'm keeping will be in storage for two years, giving my reaction time to decline.  Many were art related in some way, although I had two shelves of books I intended to read "some day." I have an irrational fear of waking in the middle of the night and not having anything interesting to read. I kept about one tenth of the total. But have added to my library since, mostly replacing some that I could buy used. But of course buying new books too. All recently acquired books go into the safe part of the house.

This summer, the shelves are almost empty again. The toy cameras will go into storage too. Many have cardboard parts.

There are other family things happening, some are very good. But it all takes time and energy to deal with, and it's all important to me. Sometimes I feel art is on the back burner. I mostly keep the weekends for art, but when Friday afternoon rolls round I find I have lost touch with what I'm working on. Still I usually can get some momentum by the end of the day Saturday. Just playing with the materials helps a lot. I also keep telling myself I don't have to finish anything. 

I recently heard an artist say it doesn't matter if she leaves something for prosperity. What matters is the process and living life to the fullest now. I agree with that more and more. Unfortunately I don't remember who said this brilliant thing. Very possibly one of the presenters on the Art Juice podcast.

The ongoing challenge is to find a way to stay connected with creativity while I am doing other things. 

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