Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The inkless pen

From Vat19 comes the anti-self of Sharpie’s Liquid Pencil, the Inkless Metal Pen:

The Inkless Metal Pen features a special metal alloy tip. As you write, tiny amounts of this metal are deposited onto the page. The silvery markings may resemble pencil, but they are permanent and completely smudge-proof.

Because it doesn’t require sharpening or refills, the Inkless Metal Pen is an amazing gift for artists or doodlers. Its “ink” is solid, so it will never leak, and it can be used upside down or under extreme conditions.
Amazing indeed. But for me it’s difficult to imagine a plain metal cylinder as a writing (or drawing) instrument of choice. I like ink, lead, “supplies.”

comments: 8

Geo-B said...

This is at least 600 years old. Look up silverpoint in Wikipedia. It's what artists used for fine point drawing before graphite became available, and it's still semi-common today. i've bought contemporary silverpoint drawings.

Michael Leddy said...

I didn’t know that people were still drawing this way. Are there reasons someone might prefer silverpoint to graphite?

Geo-B said...

1. Silverpoint doesn't smear, and it slowly darkens to a great black or brown shade.

2. I have a quote which has circulated on the net: "The great thing about printmaking is that you take a simple straight-forward process like drawing and make it as complicated and error-prone as possible." As in etching (where you have to soak the plate in acid) or in sumi (where you have to grind the ink for an hour before you get to draw), both of which I practice, there is an appeal to doing things the hard way in art (e.g., encaustic). The limits and the crankiness of a medium suggest new ideas. Also, there's a thrill to doing things the way a Renaissance artist (who didn't have a pencil or an eraser) might have. Michelangelo used bread as an eraser, but I haven't tried that.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, George!

Elaine said...

The fact that one can write at angles that don't work with a pen.....well, that is quite a selling point. Now I can do crosswords in bed :0)

Gunther said...

The same here – working without all that stuff is almost unimaginable for me.

It may sound odd but quite a while ago I found myself enjoying the constraints and fussiness of writing implements and their accessories - be it a pencil case that is closed by a leather strap wrapped around it, a brush to clean my desk from eraser dust or the graphite traces on the sleeves of a white shirt. To me, these aspects of old-fashioned interaction with the tools provide the sensation a computer lacks and (even more important) put me closer to what I am working on.

However, I haven't investigated that further yet so maybe it will turn out as an irrational behaviour of an aging man, resulting in a distorted perception of reality ;-)

Michael Leddy said...

No erasing though, Elaine. :)

Gunther, I like those details. There’s nothing distorted in your perspective, at least not from my perspective. :)

Elaine said...

Remember, Tycho Brahe always donned his formal robes before viewing the heavens. There is much to be said for ritual and preparatory steps.

Whenever I am quilting, I feel an invisible connection to all of my sisters (all over the planet, backward and forward in time) who have performed the same tasks, seeking to create something beautiful as well as useful.

@Michael Leddy
Don't worry: I don't erase.
Of course, some of the puzzles look like they were chewed by wolves.