I haven’t mentioned what I’ve been working with lately in terms of pens and related goodies. Of course I’m still browsing office supplies and finding resistance futile. Would you expect anything less from me?

What does a girl buy herself for a birthday present? I bet your answer is something like “It depends on the girl.” Well this girl bought herself a shiny new fountain pen to honor the big 3-0! It arrived early so don’t start singing to me yet… I’ll let you know when the party can begin. (wink)

If any of you are on Twitter and haven’t discovered the growing community of pen and paper addicts, I suggest you get on over there and create an account. (Follow me and say “Hi” too!) Well someone mentioned a sale at Swisher Pens and I just happened to see a really fancy schmancy fountain pen with a fine nib and converter originally marked $25 on sale for $9.99. My spidey sense tingled and I did the “I really don’t need another pen” squirm. But my birthday is quickly approaching and it is a great deal and I have bottles of ink that I need to use up and … well, you get the picture.

Introducing my newest love: the Rotring Lysium Core.

core vs bic

Lets start with the body design, shall we? I decided that a side-by-side with the most commonly found ballpoint might be the most useful for viewers. Here is the Core sitting next to a BIC ballpoint. The body is chunky but not much longer than the BIC.

The grip area is contoured and inset on one side but rounded and ridged on the other half. It’s difficult to explain but I think the pictures will help clarify. I was a bit worried since I had read a few reviews that wrote off the pen entirely because of this design feature. Luckily I find the pen comfortable and my writing style works well with the shape.

The pen is just plain attractive. The aluminum body has pink accents that say “Turn This Way,” “Write On System,” “Force Resource” and “Core.” They aren’t over powering and I had to squint to read them clearly. Its subtle and stylish- not distracting. The pen has one red ring where the two halves meet. There are also four inset windows for ink level visibility. Overall the aesthetics of this pen are very pleasing to me.

The stainless steel fine nib is marked “XS” and is advertised as fine and fine is exactly what it is. I love it. It is a smooth experience and lays down consistent line of ink. I have it loaded with a cartridge of Private Reserve “Supershow Blue.” It takes a little bit to get it writing if I keep the cap off for a short time but I think that could be ink related?

This writing sample is characteristic of all the jotting and marking I’ve done with it since Thursday morning. The nib is smooth and lays down an even line of ink without any skips or blobbing. It is a joy to write with.

The one feature of this pen which I’m uncertain about is the cap. Its large and funky and I love the design of it. The only problem is its weight. The cap clips solidly into place on both ends but it does throw the balance of the pen off a bit. I write with the cap off at work. I’m really not worried about misplacing the cap due to its size and I don’t leave the pen uncapped for long periods of time due to the start-up factor. It isn’t a deal breaker for me. I might get used to it or I may just not post the cap…

The clip is metal and stylish. I like how it looks clipped to my compact circa planner. Isn’t it schnazzy?

The last thing I wanted to show was the groovy internal workings of the pen. There are two small orange “tabs” that move with the insertion of the cartridges. The cartridge just slid in and I pressed it into place and the orange tabs moved toward the nib. Removing the cartridge causes them to move in the opposite direction. I like the feature even if I don’t fully understand its function. And anything orange is great, no?

I have a fountain pen cartridge question. The small plastic piece that is pushed into the cartridge when you load it is inside the cartridge. Can this small piece of plastic stop ink from flowing out of the cartridge?

My latest drawing WIP

Lastly I wanted to leave you with a “teaser” of sorts. This is a drawing I’m working on of trees. You’ll notice a couple of my other new arsenal additions: a Uniball Kuru Toga 0.5mm pencil and a Mega Recycled Newsprint pencil. Stay tuned for a closer look at these.


What better way to close this than with a shot of a Gaillardia flower from my garden. Take care and be well.