Posts Tagged ‘Quo Vadis’

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Dragon Art, Paper Trends, Inky Links And More

01/26/2012

There should be something for everyone in this lot…

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A Dozen Delightful Links

12/09/2011

Just in case you don’t have enough to do this weekend…

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Fresh Hot Links For A Friday

08/12/2011

While the demise of cursive still attracts attention from the media, other things are happening like a 16% Pelikan price increase and a Facebook-style sneaky trick at LinkedIn. Hey, it was a weird week even without the riots and financial meltdown. I’m ready for a quiet weekend. How about you?

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Can Inkophile be 3 years old already?!

05/12/2011

It’s that time of year again. The Inkophile blog is now 3 years old as is Inkophile on Twitter. My participation at Fountain Pen Network will reach the five year milestone in a few days. Gosh, that sounds old at least on the Internet. Is there a comparable in dog years?

During this time the number of available ink colors has grown enormously which bodes well for people who love fountain pens. While some companies have retired colors that were peerless, others have come out with ones that are unique. The biggest loser is Montblanc who discontinued Racing Green. The biggest winner is Pilot with its Iroshizuku line. Sailor created the Kobe line but only for market in Japan so that’s a no gain. Platinum has released a line called Mix Free that is aimed at those who want to mix their own colors but it hasn’t reached the U.S. yet though it could arrive early summer. It may not be a game changer but it certainly will thrill those with a creative urge or want a one-of-a-kind color.

Virtually every ink manufacturer has at least a few new colors especially Diamine and Noodler’s. Then there are the recently released Pelikan Edelstein inks. The bottle is very attractive but the ink has yet to win over the pen community though amongst the samples sent by Pear Tree, Topaz and Ruby look promising.

Is the marketplace getting overcrowded? Perhaps. It may take a distinguishing characteristic or marketing campaign to become a standout product in future. Well, unless the ink is a standout on its own. That’s where Pilot made a breakthrough. With a premium ink that delivers in every respect including a beautiful bottle and handsome packaging, Iroshizuku has set the bar high for future luxury products.

There is less news at the economy end. Noodler’s remains the best value for money especially with colors that can tolerate a little dilution. The colorful and often amusing labels make up for the no-frills bottle that helps keep the cost of packaging down. Never at a loss for ink colors or colorful names, Nathan Tardiff continues to add to his line with no end in sight. All to the good for ink lovers.

There are so many new pens on the market you probably know more about them than I do. The only recent additions to my collection are a couple of Noodler’s pens that perform at a level commensurate with their prices. Not new but new to me was a pink Platinum Preppy, a gift from The Pear Tree Pen Company. At the price point, this steel nib is a steal.

Of course there are always new paper products. Rumor has it the revamped Quo Vadis Habana may prove to be the best new item for fountain pen users. The off-white color and narrow line spacing are similar to Moleskine but it has the paper quality necessary to control fountain pen ink. This sounds promising but I haven’t seen it myself.

Despite the economic challenges of the last few years, companies continue to provide pen people with new products. All to the good for a three-year-old inkophile.

A Few Inkophile Favorites

A Few Inkophile Favorites

Pictured are bottles of Rohrer & Klingner Solferino from PearTreePens.com, J. Herbin Vert Olive, and Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku, pads of G. Lalo and Rhodia paper, a 1970’s Montblanc 220 fountain pen with an OB nib, an Ebonite Dipless Dip Pen from AllWriteNow.com, and a pen wrap from HisNibs.com.
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Inkophile’s Favorites for 2010

12/08/2010

Some new, some old, here are a few of my favorite things…

  • Rohrer & Klingner Ink – Two colors have been in my cabinet for years so this was not a brand new find. However, when Pear Tree Pens began to offer it this year, I started to expand my collection and am happy to report R&K has earned several places in my regular rotation. Solferino, Verdigris, Alt-Goldgrün, and Magenta are my current favorites but Morinda and Blau Permanent are not far behind. The palette is a well-round offering with something for every need. At $12.50 for 50ml the cost is in my acceptable range especially considering the quality.
  • Iroshizuku remains the ink that tops my guilty pleasures list. For color and performance this one is hard to beat. Ku-jaku joined my collection this year and instantly won a place on my favorites list displacing several turquoise and aqua inks.
  • J. Herbin Ink continues to be my mainstay. There isn’t a dud in the bunch plus they are exceptionally easy to clean from a pen. Lie de Thé is my favorite and most-used brown with Poussière de Lune in my rotation nearly as often.
  • A sample of the Rhodia dotPad (courtesy of Karen at Exaclair) quickly earned a place in my paper arsenal along with anything from G. Lalo now that I’ve tried various weave samples from Jean Elie at Pen and Co.
  • For calligraphy or flex nib practice, Clairefontaine French-ruled paper rules here. Thick, juicy ink lines dry slowly but it is definitely worth the wait.
  • This was a lean year for me when it comes to new pens but a Noodler’s Fountain Pen was a nice addition to my collection. I am fond of ebonite so that added to its appeal.
  • Courtesy of the generous Peggy Love (who also insured I have a lifetime supply of Apica Journals), I got my hands on a trio of Levenger True Writer Rollerballs with Fiber Tip refills. They won’t replace my fountain pens but they certainly are convenient and very easy on my hand. These pens are useful for writing situations that include frequent stops and starts since they do not have to be capped as quickly as a fountain pen. I have enjoyed filling pages with doodles and even managed a bit of line variation by playing with the angle at which the nib contacts the paper. A girl’s gotta have fun, you know?
  • An old favorite has taken up residence in the number one position in my rotation and it isn’t a fountain pen. Shocked? Well, sometimes you’ve just got to go with what’s convenient and a mechanical pencil is hard to beat. No uncapping, no flow issues, no muss, no fuss. While I only use it for notes to myself, that is what I write most often so why not use the best tool for the job? Besides anything that works on a Post-It gets high marks from me. After trying several mechanical pencils, I’ve concluded that my old Autopoint Jumbo All-American Pencil, with a 0.9mm HB lead, is just right. Because the wide lead does not dig into paper, it erases easily. Unlike my other MPs, the lead has never broken. Not once! While that is in part attributable to the chunky lead, it is also a result of the design of the pencil. Years ago I bought the ivory and the red. The former blends in while the latter stands out. Both are winners in my book.

 

Inkophile's Favorite Products for 2010

Inkophile's Favorite Products for 2010

 

So that’s my list of new or rediscovered items for 2010. Unlike in years past my regular rotation remained the same led by a Sailor Sapporo, a 1911 and a couple of Pilot Pocket Pens. The Pilot 742FA and Montblanc 220 OB are off for repair so we shall see how they work out on their return in January. There is one Lamy Safari with a custom cursive italic nib that is always inked with Montblanc Racing Green. It remains my #1 writer though I wish the nib had a snazzier body. Two Namiki Falcons with soft fine nibs are always close at hand and a Levenger True Writer is usually inked as well. That makes my core rotation total seven pens, give or take a True Writer or two.

Inks come and go but I am consistently pleased with Waterman Blue Black in my vintage pens especially those with flexible nibs. At the price point and with its easy availability, WBBk is an excellent match for pens that go through a volume of ink. It is also a good one to include with a gift pen. It won’t cause damage and it writes well from any nib. If the recipient loves it, a new bottle can readily be found.

Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Quo Vadis Habana, and Apica continue to be my favorite brands of paper. Triomphe and G. Lalo are excellent stationery though often I use a lined Rhodia pad for casual letters. For variety I have a few pads of Japanese paper that are lovely with even the roughest nibs. Lastly my stock of the long discontinued Exacompta Black Block is waning so I don’t use it as often as I would like though it has a softness that suits me perfectly. If you run across this one, do let me know. I would love to add a few tablets to my reserves.

So that’s my list of favorite things. Rumor has it that Santa just might have on his sleigh one of the new Noodler’s flex nib pens with a bottle of Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses. Yeah, I know. That’s a mouthful but can you picture that pair? The demonstrator (clear) model with plum ink should be lovely. Hopefully, it gets delivered to the right home. I don’t think any of my neighbors would appreciate this dynamic duo but I could be mistaken…maybe…

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A Few October Links

10/12/2010

More reading…

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22 Inks Do Not Make a Crowd

01/01/2010

Just in case you were wondering, I did not have 22 pens inked at one time to make this comparison. It took over a month’s worth of refills to produce this inky delight. Being an inkophile is hard work!

Some of the colors are dead-on. Others are merely close. Between my scanner and monitor there can be no agreement despite my best efforts to broker reconciliation. Still you get the general idea.

The paper is from the recycled version of the Quo Vadis Minister Planner for 2010. I love the fountain pen in the corner and would enjoy notepads with the same image.

There is one small caveat. Some of the writing samples look slightly wider than normal for these pens but that isn’t unusual for fountain pen ink on recycled paper. If you are comparing nibs, this isn’t the best example to use.

22 Inks in 20 Fountain Pens

22 Inks in 20 Fountain Pens

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