Pen Ink Relationships

I’m not a big ink chemist. Oh sure I love the different hues and picking out a new blue that is slightly different than one I have but I just haven’t graduated to ink scientist that others in this hobby have. I say with the utmost respect and admiration that some reviewers really get into the ink’s lubricity, shading, feathering, dry time, dryness, sheen, saturation and so on and so on. The reviews are fascinating and I continue to learn. In fact I thought my first shading ink was a defective pen until I learn shading is a DESIRABLE feature. One I still don’t care for but to each his own.

I have found good success and color choices with Noodlers and Diamine so those have been my mainstays. I lean towards the burgundys, blues, purple and still in search for the perfect green. These two brands work for me with little shading and high saturation to give wet and dark coloring. I have also learned that not all inks work great in all pens though I have only experienced that very recently. In my search for a green hue I have been using De Atramentis Pine Green. A very nice shade and I have enjoyed the color it puts down on a variety of paper flowing from a variety of pens. I currently have it inked in my daily carry TWSBI Vac 700 with a wonderful 1.5mm stub.  Having 6 pens in my daily rotation I don’t get to write with every pen every day so recently when my 700 dried up I didn’t think much about it so a little water splashed over the nib and I was flowing again but with a watered down Pine Green shade. After it happened again it dawned on me maybe it was the ink. I went back to my ink log and noticed I have never inked up my 700 with De Atramentis so I flushed and reloaded with some Diamine. I haven’t had any trouble since.

This is no way puts down the quality of DeAtramentis inks, I will continue to use it in other pens as a beautiful working and beautiful looking ink. However, this does teach me not all inks work in all pens. I just have to figure out how to log the less than favorable matches between pen and ink.

Any pen / ink combination you have found that don’t play well together?

Remember: Write something nice……..

Back to School

I like Back to School time. Besides having an 8 year old and a 10 year old growing up fast I really enjoy the office supply ads that pop up so prevalently at this time of the year. I find it fun to see what new writing sticks the major players are marketing to try and capture more shelf space and the ever important jump into shopping carts. Related though is a disappointment I find in the funding appropriation our schools system seems to favor by consistently reducing the classrom supply budget. Our teachers work hard enough for less than spectacular pay. I won’t go down that bunny trail so to be part of the solution this past weekend I had the opportunity to honor three teachers in my extended family with a shopping spree to Office Depot. No surprises 2 days before school starts we shared buggies and aisle space with a number of people about equal to the population of Kansas. My family shopped like kids in a candy store and I took off with my own buggy looking around and creating carpet ruts around the writing instrument aisles. My money was allocated to my beloved teachers so I didn’t take anything home but I was surprised Cross still has a good shelf presence with a good variety of types and prices.  Hope everyone has a great kickoff of the school year.

Any back to school pen stories?

Remember: Write something nice…..

Running out of Ink

If I didn’t have bad timing I would have no timing at all. I love my Nakaya, I haven’t bought another pen since I got it. Partly because it blew my pen budget for the next 117 years but a big reason is I love picking it up and writing with it. It’s beautiful to look at on my desk, it’s a joy to feel the craftsmanship when I unscrew the cap, it’s big in my hand but light to hold and perfectly balanced. Most of all the nib is smooth with just that slight amount of feedback that doesn’t allow me to get sloppy like writing on glass with motor oil feeling.  All those accolades to say I just haven’t found another pen that really strikes my interest of late.

I have not struggled with using my newest pen like I feared I would. Scared to scratch it, scared somebody would want to borrow it, etc.. I’m proud of myself for that as I try to find things to write with it. The other night I had to attend our HOA Board Meeting that typically requires some notes taken on my part so I kimono’ d my favorite pen up and headed off to Panera Bread for our meeting. Discussion began and I whipped out my pen to a few ooohs, aaahs and “nice pen” comments and began my note taking. This evening I didn’t get the 3rd word written and guess what?  Yep, ran out of ink. How embarrassing is that right after someone comments about how nice your pen is.  I discreetly rekimono’d and pulled out my backup pocket rocket Fisher Space Pen. I mean who doesn’t carry around a backup pen right?   I finished up the meeting with little fanfare but with the extra labor of pushing a ballpoint around on paper. The horror!

I know there has been a lot of fountain pen community chatter about a pen with the price tag, reputation and heritage of a Nakaya coming with the lowest denominator of fillers, the converter. Frankly it doesn’t bother me as I don’t write a lot and I never have to see it except when a refill is needed. My only converter complaint is it rattled in the pen when I first got it but a small piece of heat shrink tubing fixed it. Disappointing requirement for a pen of this supposed stature.  Since the chief complaint is usually ink capacity this one is no different with a net holding reservoir of what now seems like less than a raindrop on a lilly pad.

I will survive and maybe my learning process needs to include checking my pens for ink before going to a meeting where I expect to run into other people that don’t fully appreciate the idiosyncrasies of fountain pen ownership.

Any embarrassing run out of ink stories you care to share?

Remember: Write something nice…..