Friday, July 13, 2012

Nose In The Air: In Which Dr. Inkenstein Does Fude

There is something about a fountain pen with its nose turned up. And not just the fact that it looks like someone dropped it by accident head-first on a granite floor.
No, fude (or, as some of you know them, ‘Chinese calligraphy pens’) actually come that way. On purpose. This is because the snub nose gives you great variation of line, if you happen to be lucky enough not to be a southpaw hooker.
Even then, a fountain pen with a fude nib will make your handwriting look a bit less as though scribbled by a monkey with the espresso jitters.
Fude. Naturally, Dr. Inkenstein is crazy about them. And has been collecting them for a while.
In my little fude family are three or four Sailor ‘bamboo’ stick-type pens, each with its nose turned up at a slightly differing angle. And another Sailor, the Profit Special Script, which resembles a 1911 in shape, only cheaper. This one’s an everyday writer in my rotation, currently loaded with Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogan ink, which, for those of you without a Japanese dictionary on hand, means ‘gray.’

Even if it looks blue here!

There is also the very spiffy-looking golden-brown Bookworm and the jaunty marine-y Jinhao, among others. All of them have their strengths and weaknesses. All have their noses in the air to varying degrees.

My selective group shot, L to r;
Jinhao, Bookworm, Sailor Profit, GLM:

But we are focusing this time on the newest of the lot, the Guanleming 193. Which was, like the other Guanlemings in my collection (previously reviewed here in Some Like It Cheap), a mere five dollars.
I wasn’t thrilled with the GLM 193 when I first inked it up. Maybe it was just the wrong ink.
From that previous review, Some Like It Cheap:

When it was empty of green, I loaded my GLM with a mix of mostly Waterman Havana Brown and a drop or two of Levenger's Shiraz. Because you can't be Dr. Inkenstein without a science experiment or two.
The more I use, the more I like.

This little wonder has become one of my all-time favorites.   Like other GLM pens, you can get it while it's still available at isellpens.
With the nib at a high angle, fude write almost like a normal fountain pen with a little flex and flair tossed in. At a lower angle, they’re almost like paintbrushes. With the nib held upside-down, they produce a hairline.
In short, they are the Swiss Army Knife of fountain pens. And for only five bucks (the GLM 193) you can dip your beak into the Turned-Up Nose Brigade.


  1. Whoa, those look dangerous...but cool! XD I could write and scare people at the same time! Kidding.

  2. You probably could. Most people never even see a normal fountain pen in use, much less one of these!