(don't) eat your greens: lamy studio
One of the neighbours are vacuuming their house. The machine is making more noise than work Perhaps that’s all vacuums, ours is like that too. Cleaning the house is such an interesting experience. Leading up to it, you dread it. Dread the smell of the chemicals, the noise of the vacuum, the amount of eraser dust and mud on the floor. While cleaning, you slowly realise it is not that bad, it is doable. Afterwards, as you breathe in the faint chemical smell of the floor cleaner, it dawns upon you that this was the best idea you had all day. The counters are shiny, the floors are gleaming and the house smells its best. The vicious cycle of cleaning repeats next week.
I’m afraid that I’ve become a rather sickly person after spending two years at home during Covid. When I’m sick, I cannot go to classes that I genuinely enjoy participating in or the ones that will be a pain to catch up to later on. I spent most of the past week sick, watching Youtube videos on Victorian dressmaking when fever kicked in and reading books during lucid moments. Fortunately for me, the latter started to become more common as of Friday. That means a lot more reading and a lot more writing.
Taking the pens out in the world is not really an option, but I did carry a pen with me around the house. That pen was a Lamy Studio in the 2019 limited edition colour: Olive. It’s the best colour of any of Lamy’s pens in my opinion and Studio is a somewhat popular pen model, so it was surprising that you could find this pen still sold from retailers well into 2021. The anodisation is simply beautiful, it’s a wonderful shade of warm green without being too yellowish. Barrel is matte, both in feeling and in colour, and shimmers gold when the light hits it. Almost like the matte finish is made on top of a shimmery one. It is one of the best anodisations I’ve ever seen. In the hand, the barrel is extremely solid and fits right into your hand. There’s something comforting about having a substantial pen in your hand when you’re feeling frail.
The chrome grip might be slippery for some and the fingerprints might be bothersome for the rest; but the irritating part for me was that the chrome finish is so reflective that you can see your distorted face on it. It’s not pleasant to catch a glimpse of your own tired red eyes, flushed cheeks and a face much paler than usual. All of those jumbled together and distorted in a curved fun-house mirror. I do not recommend using this pen when you’re feverish and prone to jumping at your own shadow.
Apart from the anodisation on the pen body, my favourite part is the clip. It’s a delightful shape, elegant in its taper and twist. I carried this pen clipped to the cover of a paperback in my hand, mostly around the house. It held well, but the clip might be a tad too strong for the soft cardboard as it left a dent at the top. Oh well…
At least the cap sits perfectly flush with the edge of the barrel. That’s the biggest pet peeve I have in my pen journey. It’s okay when designs don’t have that, though when they do, it’s something else. It has a satisfying smoothness when you run your finger over the edge and nothing sticks out. The transition from the cap to the body is almost imperceptible. I wonder if it’s harder to make due to the materials? Or that that type of precision has much less tolerance for mistakes?
With the clip and the shape of the body, it is obvious that the design team spent a lot of time on this pen. Everything fits together to bring a product that’s a joy to use. Unassuming and striking at the same time. It fits right into Lamy’s carefully curated design aesthetic. Apparently the designer himself -Hannes Wettstein- also designed the Scribble pen(cil) for Lamy and watches for another Bauhaus inspired brand Nomos. While I can only dream about those watches and his furniture designs, I have the Lamy Studio right here. And while I have it here, I cannot stop myself from admiring it. It is a simple design, just striking enough to acquire an identity on its own. I’m starting to think that a key element of good design is creating and breaking expectations at the same time.
Since I like this pen so much, why doesn’t it get more use time? It is due to that above mentioned heft. Even moderately heavy pens, no matter how well balanced, aren’t for me. The pen is simply too heavy for me to use for longer than writing a couple of sentences. It is a little disappointing as the weight gives this pen a comforting presence and taking it out of the design would decrease its effect.
I am surprised to see so many people having problems with their nibs, because mine have always written out of the box. All 9 of them that share the same nib style. There is some variation in line width, yes, but nothing that I found too concerning. This EF nib writes like an F nib. Even then, it is pleasantly smooth with consistent ink flow. It never even occurred to me to make a ruckus about it and demand my nib changed. I know that it is a very Romantic outlook to believe that objects that we own choose us in their non-sentient way (“Wand chooses the wizard, Mr Potter.”). Everything happens for a reason and all that. Not in the defeatist way that it seems to be mostly used today. No, it is in the way of acceptance and tolerance. If it is a pleasant nib that is in an acceptable width to write with, I don’t see a problem in using it and moving on with my life.
I’ve always liked how green and purple/pink look together so I inked up the Lamy Studio with Colorverse Milky Lavender. It was impossible for me to pass up this ink when I saw it. It’s a lovely bright purple, named after one of my favourite flowers. What’s not to love?
In short, Lamy Studio is a pen with some weight to it. The design is well thought out and perfectly executed. Do I prefer my pens lighter? Yes. Do I think this pen would’ve been a much different pen if it was made out of a different material with the sole purpose of decreasing the weight? Also yes. Lamy Studio is a good design in and of itself. It doesn’t need the brand, the designer or anyone else to defend it because it is perfectly capable of standing its ground. Give it a try, you might like it.
Thank you for reading!