Nibs Blog

Ask John #2

Have a question for John regarding pens and nibs? Send in your inquiries to!


1. You created a great Crisp Italic nib for my Caran ‘d Arche Ivanhoe pen.  I ❤️ it. Would a stub nib be suitable for me? I have your Nakaya  desk pen too. Also, what pen under $200.00 do you suggest?


Hi Patricia,

Ask John #1

This week, we're kicking off our "Ask John" series. Have a question for John regarding pens and nibs? Send in your inquiries to!

Our Favorite Tiny Pens

Montegrappa Gnomo
The cap screws on to the back of the barrel, turning this pocket-sized travel companion into a nearly-full-sized pen.


Why Demonstrator Pens?

In the early days of fountain pens, the Teens, Twenties, and Thirties, people were curious about how fountain pens worked. The manufacturers were eager to show off their unique filling systems, clip assemblies, and special ways they had of sealing the nib inside the cap. So all of the major manufacturers provided their sales representatives with hard rubber pens that were cut away to reveal the inner workings. This was the origin of the demonstrator pen.

SF Pen Show

Thanks to everyone who visited our table at the San Francisco Pen Show this year! We had a great time meeting new people and seeing some familiar faces.

While we were there, we picked up a new pair of specialized nib pulling pliers, courtesy of PenTooling.

Image courtesy of










Our New Look

We’ve got exciting news to share today – has a new look!

I Love Instagram

Let me start with a disclaimer; I am not of the social media generation. That said, I have an abiding interest in photography and am easily caught up by visual stimulation. An example of this is my difficulty to focus on the person I am with when I am in the presence of a TV screen. (In restaurants I look for seating that do not have a screen in view.) So when my wife introduced me to Instagram, a site where like minded and topic driven people find each other, I could not resist.

The Pens We Brought To Japan

For our visit to Japan, we wanted to bring pens representing each vendor we’d be visiting. Below our thoughts behind our choices.


A Nakaya Piccolo Writer in Araishu, with a Medium two-tone nib. The size is right for my hand in the generally larger barreled Nakaya, and the color is to me, quintessentially Japan. The two-tone nib is subtle but a little more detailed than it’s single-toned cousins, and a Medium Japanese nib gives me ease of use while not being overly large or wet.