No bad news on this short but sweet list…
- Sailor’s Full Line of Inks
- Chocolate Chai Black Tea
- ARC: Feature Interview: In Conversation with Gentian Osman
- THE WEEK: 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Cute Emergency
Banish the world’s woes for a few minutes with an upbeat journal entry and a splash of brilliant color. Consider it a restorative and no doubt you deserve one.
This month orange and turquoise have been happy distractions from the turmoil outside my sphere of influence. Diamine Aqua Blue in the Platinum Century Chartres Blue broad nib and J. Herbin Indien Orange in the Platinum #3776 music nib along with some hits of Daniel Smith Permanent Orange watercolor made this happy page.
Not an artist? Me either. But anyone can decorate with colorful doodles or fill in different elements like a kid with a coloring book. In this case, coloring outside the lines is totally acceptable – even desirable.
If you aren’t ready to create a mini-masterpiece, go abstract. Put down some shapes and lines with a waterproof ink. Then fill it in with markers or paint. Enjoying a time out at your local bistro? Even black coffee applied with a spoon, straw or toothpick will do in a pinch. Sometimes let it get away from you with drips and spatters that create unexpected results. Who says art must be tidy? It is whatever you make it.
The only requirement is that the paper will withstand your choice of tools. Below I’ve used Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks and Strathmore Windpower Sketch. The former is high quality while the latter is inexpensive. You can tear out the pages of the Strathmore if the results don’t meet expectations. However, it can be useful to retain disappointing entries to appreciate your progress and you will progress. Just keep at it. The more often you are creative, the better you will get at it. Promise!
Any difference in color is nearly imperceptible. Sailor Ultramarine is a tad more purple and tiny bit more pale than Nioi-sumire. You would have to see them side by side to see the difference. I prefer Ultramarine, but either one will do if you need a color in the purple-blue range.
Few new pens have landed on the Inkophile desk in recent years resulting in a scarcity of pen reviews. So a bit of pen praise will have to suffice.
Much as I enjoy a wide variety of fountain pens, certain ones stand out. The frequency with which they find slots in my rotation is the proof, but the ease with which I use them is just as telling. For stock nibs, Platinum is the clear winner especially the Century broad nib and the #3776 Music nib models.
My Platinum pens came from Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands a year and a half ago. Best gift ever!
The Century has never found its perfect ink companion. The #3776 has never met an ink it didn’t make look good. Funny how some pens struggle to find the perfect mate while others will mate with any ink perfectly.
The Pelikans took many years to collect and came from auctions and private parties. The M250 has a fine italic nib that might or might not have been modified. The M215 was ground to an italic as was the nib on the blue M200. The gray M200 has an oblique broad nib that was not original to the pen. The M400 has a stock fine nib that is amazingly smooth.
The Pelikans are a bit more finicky though work well with Waterman, Diamine and J. Herbin. Not that any brand won’t do, but I like less saturated inks in the Pels, especially those with ink windows.
Efforts to enable aside, both pen manufacturers make well-constructed pens of very different styles. The nibs from Platinum are more narrow than those from Pelikan, but that is typical of Japanese and western pens.
So that’s the core of my rotation. Other pens come and go especially the Namiki (Pilot) Falcons, a couple of custom Lamy Safaris and an assortment of single pens. I’m not a brand snob though I would gladly become one with enough of the right pens. Or at least I would like to try.
Pens, inks and other treats…
After days of tinkering, the bead inspired palette has come together in two forms. The watercolor version was easier to assemble because adding more water makes getting a close match simple. The ink version took forever as my collection lacks some of the colors that would work best. If I were to put together a palette from a single ink maker, it would be J. Herbin. Their softer colors suit the true colors of the beads quite well.
Caveat regarding the images. The ink photo lacks the vibrancy and clear colors of the swatches on my desk. Look elsewhere for better accuracy.