Fan the flames of love – Conklin Duragraph Elements Limited Edition FIRE

This past week has been nothing but chaos in the world. The FIRE pen came into my possession at a really weird time. The news had presented nothing but angry fiery outbursts that makes some of my blood boil. So I am trying to dial it back a notch by writing more. So there, no better time than a review on a pen named FIRE.

Photo by @missmuffat 

Fire – fan the flames of enthusiasm and live life with love

The “FIRE” design on the pen was not flames of fury, but instead, seemed like flames of love and passion, which adds to a softer mix of pink, rose, black and white specks. I’d think after edition EARTH, this edition reveals another layer of interest.

Conklin and their long overdue comeback

Conklin is working hard with their limited edition ELEMENTS collection. I’ve written about the EARTH edition in an earlier review but here is FIRE.

Photo by @missmuffat 

This series is a new Duragraph collection inspired by the elements Earth, Fire, Water. All 3 pens are limited editions, numbered for 1898. I call this the “comeback” series, because Conklin now uses JoWo #6 nibs, a trustworthy, reliable, German-made nib maker, who has honed their craft as quality nib makers, loved by the fountain pen community.
I am very pleased with this nib upgrade, and finally, it’s as if my pen prayers have been answered.
(Monteverde pens will also now use JoWo #6 nibs). In the past, the nib performance for Conklin has been largely inconsistent, and usually ‘scratchy’ when I put pen to paper. It was always a tug-of-war between the attractive pen design and the unstable nib quality.

Note that these pens come with a variety of nib options – from steel extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, 1.1 stub (yes, all Jowo nibs). It also comes in the Omniflex nibs, but those are still Conklin’s own. Be warned that there are a lot mixed reviews about the Omniflex nibs out there, but allow me to weigh in with my 2-cents.

Conklin had meant for the Omniflex to be a 2-in-1 standard-cum-flex nib – something that would present a little bit of line variation if you’d exerted a little more force than usual. For times when you’re in a hurry to scribble something, the “unflexed” state would offer the speed of writing, as if it is a normal non-flex nib. For most of us, we saw the word “flex” and took “omniflex” to mean
“flex to any extent” or expect it to perform like a flex nib – which didn’t work out.

If they had named the nib differently, the reviews might have been different. Either way, I gave my omniflex nib in another Conklin a lot of patience – I took it through curves and lines, hoping it would “open up” to me in more welcoming arms. It did – a very very tiny bit – only after months.

The Experience

I tried the Fine nib for this pen – with the new Jowo nib, it works quietly as you are furiously writing away. I wrote with it for over an hour, no fatigue. I think the new JoWo nib is really working in its favour, it was literally gliding across the pages of my Tomoe River and also the Leuchtturm – the
pen moves fast on paper. No nasty scratchy feeling.

The Duragraph is a good size, it is not too large, and the girth of the pen is just right. It is not overpowering, a good workhorse pen if you’re looking to toss it around the desk and write a whole bunch of stuff with it. The pen body is made of resin, with steel finish around the cap band, cap top with mounted clip and the pen tip. The nib is a standard Jowo #6 steel nib. I believe Conklin also did
something to the feeder design – it has a more graduated slope towards the tip of pen, the shape also seems conducive for good ink flow.

Pen is not too heavy, so it is a breeze to handle. If you want the pen to glide, don’t apply deliberate force. I tried it with Monteverde Rose Noir to start with, just because I wanted to use an ink of medium wetness to ease into the experience. I am a broad or stub nib person, but this Fine nib is all good!
Compared to my previous Conklin experiences, the writing experience is a total turnaround. I believe we have a lot to look forward to, now that Conklin has made a good comeback on the ageold complaint.

Try this pen and if you still have questions, feel free to FIRE away!

Yours truly,
@missmuffat 

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