The coming New Year always brings about a certain thrill in the blood. Another cycle, another chance to bring about change, to embrace novel experiences, or to delve deeper into a continuing journey. Here at EndlessPens, we would like to greet 2023 with new offerings to encourage your imagination and provide inspiration. So read on and discover these latest selections to bolster your creativity kit.
I first came across this brand when I was researching recommended tools for sketching and calligraphy using dip pens. This company was founded in 1935 in Japan. Since then, it has established a name for itself with its dependable and high-quality drawing and calligraphy nibs, ergonomic nib holders, drawing pens, and other supplies. EndlessPens brings its well-known line-up of nibs to open up your creative life with more options to choose from —
This is a small, hard nib that produces strong, crisp fine lines.This mapping nib has little flexibility and a super-fine point ideal for creating highly detailed drawings. It is ideal for pointed pen calligraphy such as Copperplate and Spencerian. This nib is recommended for intermediate or advanced level calligraphers.
This is a high-quality, hand-cut, chrome-plated nib perfect for drawing and lettering. It is smooth, long lasting, and capable of holding a lot of ink — perfect for monoline lettering, modern calligraphy styles, and Copperplate. It maintains a good balance between flexibility and control, and is able to achieve extra-fine hairline strokes.
This is a small, quite soft nib designed for drawing sharp lines. Maru Nibs — mapping or round — are ideal for creating highly detailed drawings due to the extra fine tip. No. 77 is bigger and more flexible than No. 99 Maru Pen Hard. This mapping nib draws thin to thick lines easily. As it is soft, it is more comfortable to control and easier to draw thick lines.
This is the nib recommended for beginners.
It is perfect for drawing, Copperplate and modern calligraphy styles. It fits in all standard pen holders, has a good balance between flexibility and control, and creates slightly thicker hairlines.
Also called Nihonji, this was originally designed for writing sweeping hooks and curves. It has more flexibility compared to the School type nib but less than the G nib — perfect for general use and drawing. It is also ideal for comics lettering with its flattened bowl for greater stability. This is famous for producing strong and crisp lines that are difficult to duplicate with pens and brushes. Great for creating detail in drawings, this chrome-plated nib has a bit of flex.
The most well-known of this selection, this nib is perfect for Spencerian, Copperplate and modern calligraphy styles. It fits in all standard pen holders, has a good balance between flexibility and control, and is ideal for achieving both hairline strokes and strong swells.
This thoughtful bundle is a great selection for creatives who want to experience a variety of nibs.
WACCA Washi Papers
Traditionally made by hand from various plant fibers, Japanese washi paper is known for its muted translucency and subtle texture that appeal to the senses. It is valued for its durability, absorbency, and strength — making it useful beyond drawing and writing.
WACCA was established in Japan in 2014, and has been producing washi papers for stationery, artwork, and interior design. The company’s name is a play on words — with wa representing “something Japanese”, and wacca meaning “circle”. This company endeavors to perpetuate the cyclic communication of creative passion between the craftsman and the end user.
EndlessPens sent me samples of some WACCA washi papers to play with. Using a few of my Opus 88 Mini pocket fountains pens in EF, F, and 1.4 mm Stub nibs, Tachikawa G-nib and holder, as well as Wearingul, Robert Oster, and Platinum Carbon Black fountain pen inks — here are my initial impressions ⁓
Classified as calligraphy paper, these come in white and natural. A4-sized paper comes in 100 sheets, while the A5-sized comes in 80 sheets. This paper is fountain-pen friendly. One side is smooth, while the reverse is finely textured. The smooth side lets my EF nib glide across the paper with some pleasant feedback. Shading is evident, with minimal ghosting noted using the stub nib. Using my Tachikawa G-nib dip pen with Platinum Carbon Black ink, minimal feathering and bleedthrough were seen. Very few paper fibers were picked up by the sharp, untipped point of the flexy G-nib. There is no difference between the white and natural calligraphy papers apart from their appearance. I personally prefer the off-white look of the natural washi paper.
This is 100% recycled washi paper with a natural pattern of large, random water droplets. It is made by reverting the stock washi into the raw material, and back again into paper. One side has a smoother texture than the other. It is still suitable for handwriting with fountain pens — provided EF or F nibs are used. Some toothiness or texture can be felt with the finer nibs, and minimally with the stub nib. More feathering and ghosting are noted using the stub nib. The dip pen yielded more areas with ghosting and bleedthrough. There were also more paper fibers picked up. I recommend using this paper with finer nibs and drier inks.
Rakusui paper is a pattern created by dripping water droplets during the papermaking process. This variant is characterized by a translucent pattern reminiscent of tiny, numerous rain droplets. Like Niwaka, one side has a finer texture than the reverse. Feathering, ghosting, and bleedthrough were exhibited using all fountain pen nib widths, moreso with the G-nib dip pen. Ink absorption is quicker as well. This paper is best used for crafting or with pencils.
This variant is made with fine chips of driftwood. It has a neutral and natural texture, but it is not too rustic and can be used for crafting purposes. This one is not fountain-pen friendly but would be lovely for other creative projects given its organic look and feel.
The combination of tea leaves on the front and back of this washi paper variant results in a unique reversible finish.
For the surface, a large amount of the finest powder Hosoko generated in the tea manufacturing process is blended in — giving the paper a particular tea-green color. Randomly-cut tea leaves are incorporated into the reverse side to create a pleasant texture. As a result of this process, the paper also carries the scent of the tea leaves used. The material itself embodies the theme of upcycling by “blending recycled waste paper from the factory”. This variant is a lovely, natural ingredient for arts and crafts even though it is not suitable for fountain pens.
I hope these new things make you excited to transition into the coming year with fresh ideas. May these different tools and materials renew and enrich your creative spark. Happy making and see you in 2023!
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Written by @lekzumali
Check out her musings on Instagram!