Studio tool — Parallel Pens

Standard set, available from John Neal Bookseller
Standard set, available from John Neal Bookseller

After a week of cleaning my studio, there are still islands of disorder — small islands, in some cases. One of these is a box of Pilot Parallel Pens in various states of construction and usability. I really like these pens, but because I mostly use sumi inks and gouache I don't think to get them out much. Although they can only take free-flowing media, they are about as manipulable as any writing tool there is.

Here are some great resources for getting to really know Parallel Pens:

  • Carol DuBosch's excellent PDF sheet of hints and tricks.
  • An excellent YouTube tutorial on how to refill a spent cartridge (even if the accompanying music is a bit creepy).
  • A solution for the inexplicably poor design which prevents the cap from posting  on the other end of the pen staff. It is the little things in life that matter, sometimes, and sometimes you just want those two minutes of your life back, as I did after reading this blog post which explores in minute detail the issues surrounding posting.

At the 2014 calligraphy conference in Dallas, Carol DuBosch demonstrated the then-brand-new radius-cut Parallel Pen. More product information here, including Carol's alphabet made with the pen.

And this recipe for pen and brush cleaner comes from Mary Lawler via Alice Young's blog.