Spark Nibs
Spark Nibs
Spark Nibs

Spark Nibs

Regular price £15.00
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Beauty is in the eye of the pen holder

**Pro-Flex nibs available available for dispatch February 2022**

Choose between 6 glorious nibs. There are two categories, my bespoke fountain pen nibs (with their creativity-inducing spark engraving) and the Pro-Flex calligraphy nib. 

Fountain Pen Nibs:

Made exclusively for the Spark, all of my nibs are tipped with incredibly hard-wearing iridium for super smooth writing, and are plated in a 14k gold for a classically stunning look. As a bonus all nibs can be interchanged (including the Pro-Flex) so you can easily write in different styles whenever it suits you.
  • Extra Fine Semi-Flex - A beautiful extra fine fountain pen nib with flex! This is a great middle-ground between the Pro Flex and our classic fountain pen nib, with it's smooth writing experience and minimal maintenance. By applying a little pressure the nib will flex from 0.5mm to 1.5mm.

  • Fine - A springy and smooth nib perfect for delicate thin strokes, with a smidge of flex if you're feeling creative.

  • Medium - The go-to nib for the author, journaller or note-taker. This is a firm and consistent nib for everyday writing.

  • Italic - A classic italic nib which produces a thin cross stroke and broad down stroke. It's fun for general writing and gives you the opportunity to practice italic calligraphy anytime.

  • Architect - This is the opposite of the Italic nib, with a broad cross stroke and a thin down stroke. It's my personal favourite - the effortless big juicy lines make it my go-to for sketching and everyday use.

Pro-Flex - Calligraphy Nib (available for dispatch February 2022)

  • The Holy Grail - Just like a calligraphy pen, the thickness of the line can be varied with a little pressure, so you can create beautiful thick and thin strokes without the need to dip. It comes with a Zebra G nib installed in a Japanese ebonite (special vulcanised rubber) housing and feed which gives you consistently great ink flow.

Please read my FAQs (below) to help you make the best choice when choosing your Spark's nib.

What is the difference between the two flex nibs?

Pro-Flex - Pros:

  • Juiciness - It's fitted with professional calligraphy nib (the Zebra G) giving you the greatest variance between thick and thin strokes, from hairline up to 2mm.

  • Softer - it's a doddle to flex, requiring very little pressure.

  • Ink Flow - The Japanese ebonite (a special type of vulcanised rubber)  feed delivers just the right amount of ink.

Cons:

  • Replacing - because a calligraphy nib's raison d'être is to flex, they're made from alloys which are beautifully soft but can corrode and wear. So, just like a calligraphy pen you'll occasionally need to replace your nib when you notice any  (available on my site).

  • Heat Setting - One of the tricks to getting the most from any flex nib is good contact between the feed and the nib. One of the clever things about ebonite is that it becomes malleable with heat, meaning you can achieve a super cosy fit for optimum ink flow. This process is called heat setting and I do it to every nib, but it can occasionally need re-doing if the pen is knocked etc. I'll be making a video to demonstrate this but a quick google will also give you a good number of explanations and videos demonstrating the process. If you're not confident about this I would recommend the Semi - Flex nib instead.

  • Snag - The hairline nib when un-flexed creates beautifully fine strokes but if you're new to calligraphy or using a nib like this you will notice that it will snag on paper simply because it is so fine.

Semi-Flex - Pros:

  • Maintenance Free - If you're not a calligraphy or fountain pen nerd and want a simple maintenance free writing experience, the Semi-Flex is the way to go.
  • Durability - It's essentially a fountain pen nib (gold plated stainless steel) that has been designed to be make it more flexible so it will be more durable than the pro-flex.

  • Smoothness - The Semi-Flex is an extra fine tipped fountain pen nib, which means that nib has an Iridium (super hard metal) end where it meets the paper.  Increasing durability of the nib and making it smoother to write with on a variety of paper types.  

Cons:

  • Flex - Not really a con as it's still more flexible than 95% of the fountain pens out there but compared to the Pro-Flex it's not as soft and more effort is required to achieve a thicker stroke. 

  • Hairlines - The pen is tipped which as I mentioned before increases durability and smoothness but this means it can't achieve such fine hairline strokes as the Pro-Flex.

  • Ink Flow - Flex nibs are inherently thirsty pens and require the feed to keep up and deliver ink to the nib so that it doesn't run out mid-sentence.  The Pro-Flex ebonite feed is the best in the world at delivering ink and is the main reason for the price difference between the two.  The Semi-Flex has a plastic feed which is good but due to lots of incredibly geeky factors can on occasion run out after lots of juicy inky flexing. It's easy to get it flowing again (by pushing more ink in using the included ink convertor) but it's worth considering before purchasing.

 

Can I keep ink in the pen between uses?

  • By all means, all of the gold plated fountain pen nibs will not corrode. The Pro-Flex will corrode eventually but you can easily replace it, or prolong it's life by flushing your pen with distilled water after every use and drying it.

 

What's the difference between the Sumi and the Spark?

  • Unlike the Sumi which is predominantly a desk pen, the Spark is designed so that you can take it anywhere easily.  It uses a new larger nib size which is better suited to flex nibs and makes it compatible with the Zebra G nib.  The spark also keeps all of the lovely weight of it's brass parts but they are all gold plated so they won't tarnish.

 

What inks can I use in the Spark? 

  • The Spark pen works beautifully with all fountain pen inks, I recommend Diamine Inks (including shimmer!) You can find them here).  Be sure not to use calligraphy specific ink as this can clog the pen.

Good to know:

  • We recommend you flush your Spark pen thoroughly before use. This will remove any oils from the nib which are present during manufacture, and will impede ink flow. Any of the following are good options: our Nib Cleaning Solution, distilled water or water with a touch of dish soap.

  • Every pen is machined from solid metals on a lathe used for making fine watch and aerospace grade components, so you can be sure your pen will write perfectly for years and years to come.

  • Every Pen is dip dyed by hand so may have small speckles or colour variations; it's part of what makes your pen unique!

  • We offer a complimentary repair service, so should your Spark pen needs a little TLC please contact us.
  • We Ship Internationally.
  • We take care of VAT and customs duty for European customers.
  • Your order will be shipped within 48 hours when in stock, please refer to lead times of the product you are buying, as some handmade / hand dipped products may take longer until we send them. Delivery is calculated from dispatch.
  • All UK orders are shipped using Royal Mail Tracked 48 and are free over £60. If you need your order by a specific date there is a next-day Special Delivery option.

PREORDER ITEMS

  • If your order contains a pre-order item, your whole order will be shipped together in order to minimise our carbon footprint. So please refer to pre-order delivery times in this instance. Alternatively, you can ask us to split the order. In this case additional delivery costs will apply. Please contact hello@tomsstudio.co.uk for further information.

Why Tom's Studio

Values & Craftsmanship

Tom still uses the same design principles as the very first pen he made for his wife. It's important to him to create products that his customers will cherish for the rest of their lives. It's why each every one of my products has a lifetime guarantee.

 "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." William Morris

Creativity Tools

Tools of the past were made by master craftspeople that cared passionately about their craft and the experience of the people using their products. We seem to have lost the 'soul' of these tools in the age of mass production. It's my mission to bring the creative soul back to the tools we use every day.

"Creativity is contagious, pass it on" Albert Einstein

Tried and Tested

Seeing his calligrapher wife, Gemma Milly, using a mass-produced calligraphy pen inspired Tom to craft a collection of pens that matched the high quality of her work. Using a 60-year-old engineering lathe, he now makes pens for some of the world’s most celebrated calligraphers and stationery brands.

"Beauty Is The Harmony Of Purpose And Form." Alvar Aalto

A Labour Of Love

From the first pen I made for my wife to the pens I now make for my customers around the world.  I put the same care and attention into each and every pen.  I love what I do and hope that it shows in the finished product.

old fashioned lathe