Currently Inked – Lent

The Conid Slimline – Pilot Blue – And that is all.


If you are not familiar with the concept of Lent, simply put:

Lent is a time “to take a long, honest look at our lives, to speak humbly to our loving God and turn back to him.  Each one of us has different weaknesses and troubles that the Lord longs to heal. Take a moment to reflect on this waywardness of outs and God’s loving desire for our return.” [Quote transcribed from Pray as you go podcast from ash Wednesday of 2016 (maybe even 2015)].

This reflection is often paired with the practice of stopping something or starting something, either temporary or, in some cases permanent – as a lifestyle change.  This year during lent I will be “giving up” all but one fountain pen.  I will supplement it with some Pentel Energels, with whatever happens to be given to me by the bank or waiter or in the workroom pen cup.  Meaning, part of what I am giving up is the time investment into the hobby.  By simply using one pen, and one ink, I do not anticipate spending time flushing, filling or swapping inks.

The Conid slimline is a great pen, and I have made it even better by fitting it with a Pilot #5 F nib.


I will definitely enjoy returning to regular rotation use of my small collection come Easter, but for now, for this season, I am happily giving that up.



(Not) My Menlo…


The following post is a response to The Gentleman Stationer’s Post about his new pen… which is my old pen… and since he has it, view his post for more pictures,and for his perspective…

The Origin of My First Celluloid Pen

In early 2014 I received my first taste of celluloid.  It was my third Menlo, this time in American Art Plastics Purple Web.

Edison Menlo Purple Web
Basking in the sun

The difference from previous Menlo bodies was that I had Brian make it as an Eyedropper (as opposed to a pump filler) with a smaller than normal ink reservoir, holding about 2ml of ink (A fully bored ED Menlo holds 4-5ml of ink).  I did this first of all because I did not want the pump filler.  I had previously purchased two other Menlo designs (both of which I eventually sold) and wanted a different experience.  The second reason I did this was because I would be forced to clean more frequently as opposed to the larger capacity of a full eyedropper.  I do not go through ink as fast as some… maybe 2ml per week, so I believed that a smaller ink capacity eyedropper would inherently lead to better pen maintenance.  Thirdly I did it to be unique… and because Brian was willing to do it.

My first Menlo (Right) in purple web celluloid

The Search

After catching the scent of the celluloid trail, I followed it where it took me in the well-known single minded fashion of a collector: my next four acquisitions would all be celluloid… but we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Herein lies the problem the majority of manufacturers did not use celluloid, especially the preferred nitrous celluloid which can easily take up to 2 years to create.  I began to ask around… trying to find out if someone out there still sourced nitrous celluloid, so that I could have a pen maker make me another celluloid pen.  I tried (in vain) to reach out to AAP to see if they had any rod stock of their celluloid available.  I began to ask around the forums, when my friend Thomas (with whom I had been conversing through the process) found a source for not just any celluloid, but Tibaldi Impero Celluloid: some of the most beautiful celluloid ever created.
He worked with Brian Gray of Edison pens, and a batch of the Tibaldi rod stock was sent directly to Brian.  For fear of missing out, I pre-ordered a rod of the material, and over time purchased two pens in that material.  The second one was a Beaumont that sports a Menlo clip.

The Menlo

But the first one that I ordered was a Menlo… but not just any Menlo, one that was customized to my personal preferences.  I like to know how much ink I have remaining, but I did not want an ink window in the middle of the pen.  Acrylic feels differently than celluloid to the touch, so I asked Brian Gray to instead place an ink window at the back of the pen where the blind cap and pump mechanism would be placed on a standard Menlo, so that the acrylic would not break up the feel of the celluloid body.

The Back end of the pen showing the ink

It is that feel, after all, which drew me in.  It is an organic feel… one in which the material somehow seems to come alive in my hand.  After several exchanges about concept, Brian made it happen.  The result was that a clear acrylic ink window would let me know when I had about 0.75ml (of the 3.5-4ml total capacity) remaining in the pen, and of course, it is easy to see when that 0.75ml becomes nearly nothing, and it is time to refill (or refill at 0.75ml to reduce the risk of burping).

The Sell

But why does it now belong to the Gentleman Stationer?  I have wondered that very thing myself at times, but I do not regret the move.  The Menlo spent the majority of its time in my possession not in use.  And when a pen sits unused for too long it finds itself on the “should I re-home” this pen?  If after a period of time on that list it stays there, mostly unused, off it goes to a place where it gets more use.  I think that for this particular pen, I got as much joy in the design and creation process with Brian as I did in the actual use of it.  Selling it freed up “space credits” that were re-invested into my next creative design …

First blog post

First I would like to introduce myself: my name is Phil and I am @kallenpj whenever I engage in social media.  I am typically fairly passive in those arenas, but have periods of higher activity.  While I enjoy pens, it is not the only thing to which I dedicate my non-working, non-sleeping hours.  My family and involvement in my local church are primary recipients of my time.  I also enjoy coffee and hockey.

I have spent the last several years in a process of refinement.  Along the way, I have collected (and discarded or re-homed) many pens, inks, paper and storage systems, but I have emerged on the far end of the tunnel with an understanding of the things that I like and the things that I do not like.  My likes and dislikes are my own and should in no way be viewed and an attempt to persuade another to like what I like.

This blog will exist as an outlet for my creative process and methodology more than review and technical specs.  That is to say, if I am reviewing a Lamy 2000, I am more interested in telling the process of why as opposed to how good or bad.

I do not feel particularly qualified to be doing this at all, but I have been told that my perspective can add value to the community, and therefore I have consented to (albeit infrequently) express my train of thought.

Lastly, you must understand that I am left handed, and in the pen world, that changes everything.