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Steven Kirsch or David Klass?

mrs-b

Ideal_Rock
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I've worked with both. I didn't enjoy my experience with SK, but, in his defense, he was in the process of relocating his business and was (literally!) a tad all over the shop, so to speak.

But - more importantly - I was very clear on what I wanted - and I didn't get it. When I tried to sort it out, the responses were rude. Just plain rude. I ended up having the ring remade in a different style...by DKJ. It's the one in my avatar. I can't fault it.

All DKJ's rings are either hand pieced (like the pair I am currently having made) from cast pieces, or significantly hand finished. I've had the most minute prongs I've ever had from DKJ and from Scholdt - both cast and hand finished - so that particular feature of a piece isn't an issue for me.

I love Leon's work (and have worked with him), but he definitely prefers working with his own stones. Ditto Victor, I believe.

If you decide to go with DKJ and don't want to be too hands on for the design process - tell them. Amy, who is a designer, is very competent and the design you're considering is not difficult.

Good luck!

ETA. Just saw you've decided to go with Leon. His designs are glorious. Wishing you well with your new piece!
 

foxinsox

Ideal_Rock
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I’m a walking contradiction, I know! I thought I would like the micromanagey DK route, because I *am* picky as hell when looking at completed rings, but once he started throwing CADs at me I was like WTF, I have no idea! It’s an “I know it when I see it” kind of thing, not a, “please raise the head 0.5mm” deal.

I don’t think I could handle a designer fully “doing their thing” without my input. I guess for a ring like this, I’m looking for a design process that’s like 70% me, and 30% them (guidance on the aspects I’m unsure/unknowledgeable about, ideas/solutions that wouldn’t have otherwise occurred to me, etc.). Unless I can find a vendor who has already made a ring that I love and ask them to recreate for me (my kingdom for this vendor!), in which case I’d be comfortable with like a 20/80 split!
If the concern with going with DK is CAD interpretation, there are posters here who are demons for working with CADs and helping you identify issues and “it’s not quite right, what am I missing” as well. So I think we (they not me cos I’m not a CAD guru at all) could help a lot with that aspect.
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Oct 24, 2012
Messages
11,427
Congratulations! I'm sure Leon will make a gorgeous ring. Can't wait to see the end product.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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22,535
So glad you reached out to Leon!! I personally have nothing but good things to say about my experiences with him - I love both the man and his work. I look forward to seeing your ring completed!! :appl: :love:
 
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
79
I'm so glad you found someone that you can work with and you like their style...even if it is Leon Mege:D. Some people really click
with him and others don't. You sound like you may have that weird sense of humor that he enjoys!

I totally get why some people find his sense of humor tasteless or offensive, and his general manner abraisive. I got a taste when we spoke on the phone — he asked me what kind of design I was looking for and I started telling him that I’d like a 3 stone with traps or straight baguettes, maybe a 5 stone with graduated baguettes, blah blah blah. And he cut me off mid-sentence and was like “stop, stop, I don’t need to know all of that — you want 3 or 5 stones, I got it.” :lol::lol::lol: I don’t mind it at all, and he was otherwise surprisingly ambiable.

For the record, I don’t personally speak to people like that (I’m a Midwestern softie), but I appreciate that kind of directness in others. I work and socialize with a lot of Russians and Eastern Europeans who are similarly abrupt and openly sardonic, and they crack me up.
 
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
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You have very comprehensive lists!

I personally am a fan of choosing experts and letting the experts do their things. I think if you showed SK pictures of the proportions that you like and any details that are especially important to you (double prongs or tab prong style, pinched shoulders, comfort-fit, what you don’t want, etc.) he would #JustMakeItHappen. The thing about the casting process is that the CAD from which the mould is created won’t reflect the final product 100%. The wax you try on won’t reflect the final product 100%. CADs are made with extra metal, which convey to wax models, and nuances of curve and flow will depend on decisions made during final assembly and polish - no matter how many CAD revisions you may iterate through, you have to trust your jeweller to understand and execute on the end aesthetic that you’re looking for. You as the consumer aren’t going to be able to specify all the little details.

So based on their portfolios and your conversations - which vendor do you feel identifies best with the look and feel that you’re going for? Has either vendor done exactly what you want already?

Totally on the same page as far as trusting experts to do their thing! It’s how I operate with my hair stylist, tailor, nibmeister, and the gal who does my Botox, so it should follow that I do the same with my jeweler. I hope LM will be a good fit for this reason — from what I’ve read, it’s trust or bust with him, and I do identify most with his aesthetic for the kind of timeless, non-weirdo, non-Anthony Lent kind of ring that my beau and I can agree upon.

Although it doesn’t apply for this particular project, I appreciate your insight on the CAD process for future projects! I think I’d be pleasantly surprised with whatever a great, taste-aligned designer gave me, without much of my input, but would hate if I spent a ton of time deliberating on and communicating my specifications to a CAD and cast vendor to not have it turn out exactly as I imagined.
 

adlgel

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
191
Totally on the same page as far as trusting experts to do their thing! It’s how I operate with my hair stylist, tailor, nibmeister, and the gal who does my Botox, so it should follow that I do the same with my jeweler. I hope LM will be a good fit for this reason — from what I’ve read, it’s trust or bust with him, and I do identify most with his aesthetic for the kind of timeless, non-weirdo, non-Anthony Lent kind of ring that my beau and I can agree upon.

Although it doesn’t apply for this particular project, I appreciate your insight on the CAD process for future projects! I think I’d be pleasantly surprised with whatever a great, taste-aligned designer gave me, without much of my input, but would hate if I spent a ton of time deliberating on and communicating my specifications to a CAD and cast vendor to not have it turn out exactly as I imagined.

Ok now I'm intrigued. What, pray tell, is a nibmeister?
 
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
79
Ok now I'm intrigued. What, pray tell, is a nibmeister?

Someone who customizes and tunes fountain pen nibs (the metal tip that does the writing, typically made of 14-21k gold). There are very few masters in the US — and even globally — these days. Fountain pens are the only hobby I’ve found to be more expensive than fine jewelry! So watch out — once you get hooked, you’re screwed :lol:
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Someone who customizes and tunes fountain pen nibs (the metal tip that does the writing, typically made of 14-21k gold). There are very few masters in the US — and even globally — these days. Fountain pens are the only hobby I’ve found to be more expensive than fine jewelry! So watch out — once you get hooked, you’re screwed :lol:

I want to see these pens! New thread request!
 
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
79
I want to see these pens! New thread request!

Oh I’m not sure a stand-alone thread would garner much interest! But I’ll talk pens all day with anyone who will humor me. Here’s my latest acquisition — a flex nib Nakaya with urushi lacquered ebonite and raden (mother of pearl) barrel:

5176D368-69AB-4541-AE2A-4AB78482A79D.jpeg 6D2742A1-A314-40D2-AAC3-A66670AF51C3.jpeg
And a couple old favorites:
44C25F64-8656-4786-BBAD-95AC13399C6D.jpeg A56A9054-AFB7-43C4-BFAC-4146FBA72399.jpeg
 

Cerulean

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
2,414
Oh I’m not sure a stand-alone thread would garner much interest! But I’ll talk pens all day with anyone who will humor me. Here’s my latest acquisition — a flex nib Nakaya with urushi lacquered ebonite and raden (mother of pearl) barrel:

5176D368-69AB-4541-AE2A-4AB78482A79D.jpeg 6D2742A1-A314-40D2-AAC3-A66670AF51C3.jpeg
And a couple old favorites:
44C25F64-8656-4786-BBAD-95AC13399C6D.jpeg A56A9054-AFB7-43C4-BFAC-4146FBA72399.jpeg

Wow that last one especially- SO cool!!!!
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 17, 2008
Messages
23,992
Such pretty pens and writing! I'm impressed!
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,535
Oh I’m not sure a stand-alone thread would garner much interest! But I’ll talk pens all day with anyone who will humor me. Here’s my latest acquisition — a flex nib Nakaya with urushi lacquered ebonite and raden (mother of pearl) barrel:

5176D368-69AB-4541-AE2A-4AB78482A79D.jpeg 6D2742A1-A314-40D2-AAC3-A66670AF51C3.jpeg
And a couple old favorites:
44C25F64-8656-4786-BBAD-95AC13399C6D.jpeg A56A9054-AFB7-43C4-BFAC-4146FBA72399.jpeg

Well. I don’t know a thing about fountain pens and my handwriting used to be passable, once upon a time.

You have inspired me to spend some quality time with Google when I get home.

And isn’t that the allure of PS - always something new to discover and covet :love: :bigsmile:
 

adlgel

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
191
Oh I’m not sure a stand-alone thread would garner much interest! But I’ll talk pens all day with anyone who will humor me. Here’s my latest acquisition — a flex nib Nakaya with urushi lacquered ebonite and raden (mother of pearl) barrel:

5176D368-69AB-4541-AE2A-4AB78482A79D.jpeg 6D2742A1-A314-40D2-AAC3-A66670AF51C3.jpeg
And a couple old favorites:
44C25F64-8656-4786-BBAD-95AC13399C6D.jpeg A56A9054-AFB7-43C4-BFAC-4146FBA72399.jpeg

Wow they are so beautiful!
 

Skhii

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2014
Messages
348
Your pens are beautiful! <3 I would love to see more of your collection. Fountain pens are a hobby of mine also, but my tiny collection is no where near the caliber of yours. Do you mind sharing your nibmeister and your favorite grinds?
 
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
79
Your pens are beautiful! <3 I would love to see more of your collection. Fountain pens are a hobby of mine also, but my tiny collection is no where near the caliber of yours. Do you mind sharing your nibmeister and your favorite grinds?
I love meeting other fp enthusiasts! And I’d be thrilled to see your collection, too. Are you a member on the Fountain Pen Network forum? It reminds me a lot of PS.

As far as my favorite grinds, I’m always looking for line variation. I also like to feel the nib — not scratchy, but not ice skating either.

My Nakaya “flex” nib (more soft-ish than a proper flex) was done by John Mottishaw of Classic Fountain Pens/nibs.com. Honestly I was disappointed with it. He also tuned my raden Vanishing Point, which wrote beautifully. He’s the only authorized dealer for Nakaya in the US, AFAIK. Anyway, he’s well regarded but not my fave for custom grinds. If you’re buying from him (something you can’t get anywhere else), it’s *kinda* worth it, but he costs more than he’s worth IMHO.

If you are looking for an amazing modern flex, I can’t recommend Pablo at fpnibs.com highly enough! Go for the semi-flex with heart shaped breather hole — less line variation than the keyhole, but it’s snappier. Pair it with an ebonite feed from flexiblenib.com and you’ll be in heaven.

I should also mention Daniel Smith of The Nibsmith — he did a cursive italic grind on one of my Montblancs at the Chicago Pen Show, and it’s the best MB writer I have. I also adore Mike Masuyama’s cursive italics.

Sorry for yet another overlong post! Brevity is not my strong suit.
 

Skhii

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2014
Messages
348
I love meeting other fp enthusiasts! And I’d be thrilled to see your collection, too. Are you a member on the Fountain Pen Network forum? It reminds me a lot of PS.

As far as my favorite grinds, I’m always looking for line variation. I also like to feel the nib — not scratchy, but not ice skating either.

My Nakaya “flex” nib (more soft-ish than a proper flex) was done by John Mottishaw of Classic Fountain Pens/nibs.com. Honestly I was disappointed with it. He also tuned my raden Vanishing Point, which wrote beautifully. He’s the only authorized dealer for Nakaya in the US, AFAIK. Anyway, he’s well regarded but not my fave for custom grinds. If you’re buying from him (something you can’t get anywhere else), it’s *kinda* worth it, but he costs more than he’s worth IMHO.

If you are looking for an amazing modern flex, I can’t recommend Pablo at fpnibs.com highly enough! Go for the semi-flex with heart shaped breather hole — less line variation than the keyhole, but it’s snappier. Pair it with an ebonite feed from flexiblenib.com and you’ll be in heaven.

I should also mention Daniel Smith of The Nibsmith — he did a cursive italic grind on one of my Montblancs at the Chicago Pen Show, and it’s the best MB writer I have. I also adore Mike Masuyama’s cursive italics.

Sorry for yet another overlong post! Brevity is not my strong suit.

I don't mind at all! :D I enjoy learning more about fountain pens. I started dabbling into the fountain pen world in the last year, so my collection mostly consists of the typical starter pens like the Pilot Metropolitan, TWSBI Diamond Mini, and Lamy AL-Star. I did get a matte black Vanishing Point because Pilot made a great impression with its Metropolitan, but I have not inked it up, yet. I have been a lurker on the Fountain Pen Network, mostly for ink comparisons.

You've given me more vendors and flex nib options to consider. Up till now, I had only heard about the Pilot Falcon, Noodler's pens, and FP Revolution. Thus far, I have only used my fountain pens for normal writing rather than calligraphy, but it's something I am interested to try. Have you had the opportunity to use an architect nib? I imagine a fountain pen show must be great place to view many pens and try different nibs. I plan to attend one someday, though it might be a little overwhelming as a newbie.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 11, 2006
Messages
57,716
I will have to say, Leon is a 3 stone master. All you have to do is show him examples of HIS OWN work and any alterations you have in mind. I strongly recommend going with 3 stones and not 5 with a center stone that size. The last person here I can recall that did a 5 stone engagement ring ended up thinking it was too busy and took away from the center stone and ended up resetting. And as you know, nice quality handforged settings are definitely not cheap! They are worth it, though, if you get what you are after! I'd really use that baguette in another ring. I wouldn't limit myself to having to use that stone because I'd want the ring to have the best side stones to compliment the diamond.
 
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
79
Just to grab what is in my desk drawer and share - my daily drivers are a Lamy 2000 and four Cross Star Wars fountain pens, because I have a problem. R2-D2, C-3PO, BB-8, and Chewbacca.

D33A2706-A478-44A0-93FD-3ACDF6BF7A7E.jpeg

A Star Wars fan, I see! Are those all Cross Townsends? I LOVE the Lamy 2000 (M nib especially — so glassy), but I lost 6 in two years — figured I was cursed and gave up.

ETA: oh god I can’t read. Just saw you identified them as Cross in your post.
 

LemonMoonLex

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 13, 2018
Messages
1,826
Oh I’m not sure a stand-alone thread would garner much interest! But I’ll talk pens all day with anyone who will humor me. Here’s my latest acquisition — a flex nib Nakaya with urushi lacquered ebonite and raden (mother of pearl) barrel:

5176D368-69AB-4541-AE2A-4AB78482A79D.jpeg 6D2742A1-A314-40D2-AAC3-A66670AF51C3.jpeg
And a couple old favorites:
44C25F64-8656-4786-BBAD-95AC13399C6D.jpeg A56A9054-AFB7-43C4-BFAC-4146FBA72399.jpeg

Oh. My. God.

I think you might have just opened up a whole new world for me.

That last pen, with the serpent is right up my alley. If it's not too crass, may I ask where you purchased her?

I'm also gobsmacked that these guys could be that expensive. What is the most expensive one you've ever found?

& Your writing is just beautiful! I'd love to be able to write like that for art projects, & my daughters name! Very romantic! She's six and unfortunately they stopped teaching children cursive so I've made a decision at home to only write in it to try and teach her.
 
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
79
Oh. My. God.

I think you might have just opened up a whole new world for me.

That last pen, with the serpent is right up my alley. If it's not too crass, may I ask where you purchased her?

I'm also gobsmacked that these guys could be that expensive. What is the most expensive one you've ever found?

& Your writing is just beautiful! I'd love to be able to write like that for art projects, & my daughters name! Very romantic! She's six and unfortunately they stopped teaching children cursive so I've made a decision at home to only write in it to try and teach her.

Jump on in, the water’s fine! The serpent rollstop pen is an antique — a Mabie Todd Swan from about the 1910s. Not an expensive pen (maybe ~$300), but a wonderful bit of history and a great writing experience. I purchased it from Peyton Street Pens. They have lots of lovely vintage and antiques. If you are just in it for the snake, and don’t care to wade through a bunch of old stuff, you might love the Montblanc Rouge et Noir from their (contemporary) Heritage Collection! This is mine in the coral color:
79F9F6C9-C187-49A0-B082-F2CC22AF380B.jpeg

As far as the most expensive pens: I’m aware of pens that have sold well into the seven figures. The fancy shmancy pens I’ve actually seen in the flesh capped out around $40k, however. And personally I’ve never spent more than $3k on a pen (I am but a pup). The problem with pens is that you buy a lot more of them than you do diamond studs or engagement rings :lol:

I also LOVE that you are teaching your daughter cursive! I think it’s criminal that Common Core booted out penmanship lessons. There’s solid data to support the positive impact handwiting has on cognitive development and literacy, plus it’s just plain pretty! Are you doing D'Nealian? Zaner-Bloser?
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
5,888
A Star Wars fan, I see! Are those all Cross Townsends? I LOVE the Lamy 2000 (M nib especially — so glassy), but I lost 6 in two years — figured I was cursed and gave up.

ETA: oh god I can’t read. Just saw you identified them as Cross in your post.

Yes, Cross Townsends. Limited editions of 1977 each. Here is the whole set: https://www.reddit.com/r/StarWars/comments/avkpck
The problem with pens is that you buy a lot more of them than you do diamond studs or engagement rings :lol:

Speak for yourself! :lol:
 
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
79
I will have to say, Leon is a 3 stone master. All you have to do is show him examples of HIS OWN work and any alterations you have in mind. I strongly recommend going with 3 stones and not 5 with a center stone that size. The last person here I can recall that did a 5 stone engagement ring ended up thinking it was too busy and took away from the center stone and ended up resetting. And as you know, nice quality handforged settings are definitely not cheap! They are worth it, though, if you get what you are after! I'd really use that baguette in another ring. I wouldn't limit myself to having to use that stone because I'd want the ring to have the best side stones to compliment the diamond.

I think you are right that 5 stones will be too much. I LOVE that look — it feels both fresh and solidly Art Deco — but it’s a *lot* of look. Thank you for the advice. I hate to say it, but you are probably also right that trying to force this baguette into the design may very well end in a disappointing compromise (e.g., disproportionate 3 stone, haphazard 5 stone). I am waiting for a reply from Leon now, and surely will badger you all again soon with more questions! Gird your loins.
 
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
79
Finally starting to catch up on replies!

@Cerulean I also follow SS, and had a Zoom meeting with them a couple months ago. It didn’t end up going anywhere for very silly reasons — mainly because the gal I talked to had intense vocal fry (so petty!) and it felt less like a dialog than a well-rehearsed, disinterested spiel. I also am not a bezel person, and that seems to be their bread and butter. That said, she did show me a 6ct hexigonal step cut, which was stellar. I’d be all over it for a RHR if I had a spare $100k.
Leenheyne

Whoa, this stuff is cool! Too androgynous for me but very neat. It’s so tricky, because I think things can go “non-traditional bride” in a bad way, and fast. I don’t know why Anthony Lent (or Carrera y Carrara @yssie and similar) don’t cross that line for me.

Anyway, sorry to respond during the throes of my holiday weekend hangover — I’m not at my most delightful. But I really do appreciate all of you leads/input! I have a fake cat, made of what I’m fairly certain is real cat fur (a very strange gift from my pleasantly bewildered grandmother). Maybe it can be friends with your mouse. Please start a thread dedicated to all of your curiosities!
 

Fabulous50

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2015
Messages
489
DUDE! Soul sister! You just put an end to my many weeks of agonizing! After reading your last post, I called Leon to ask (rather sheepishly) if he’d take the gig. I nearly fell over when he said yes! Funnily enough, the thing that had me convinced he’d decline is actually the only reason he’s willing to work with a stone he didnt source: my diamond is an unmentionable! Maybe dear Leon isn’t such a hopeless snob after all!

Although I haven’t read all the negative reviews of LM on PS, I think understand the gist of some people’s beef with him. But based on what I have seen described, and on our brief chat, I think we will get on just fine! I have a soft spot for the abrupt types. I also find the descriptions and guides on his site hysterical. This is 100% the energy I want my jeweler to have (I personally have no opinion on this cut, fwiw):
5845464C-7E5E-4C90-902F-BB799532BAE5.jpeg

I love his humor as well!!!
 

Fabulous50

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2015
Messages
489
I see you are all set with LM, but I just wanted to mention that I had the best experience with Steven Kirsch for my reset recently. However, my project was very different than what you are contemplating, basically a solitaire, and the design is something from his website. I was inspired by that design, and I requested only a couple of minor modifications, but the final product really exceeded my expectations. It is both delicately beautiful, yet strong and superbly well made.

Plus, Steven is a great person to work with, responsive, confidant, and really nice, a mensch. I basically can't wait to do another project with him. Next year is my 20th wedding anniversary, and I am thinking about a blingy eternity band...

I will be following the progress of your ring! I can't wait to see what you decide!!
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
23,992
I had to look up "intense vocal fry". I had no idea what it was but I can see why the meeting was non-productive. I would find
this soooo annoooyyying.:lol:
 
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