Posts Tagged ‘Rohrer & Klingner’

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A Rohrer & Klingner Cassia Ink Review

11/26/2013

Recently, Jet Pens offered the opportunity to review Rohrer & Klingner Cassia. Several R&K inks make it into my rotation on a regular basis, but not even so much as a sample of Cassia has landed on my desk before now. Would it be as memorable as its better-known siblings Alt-Goldgrun and Verdigris?

At the price point and volume of $12.50 for 50ml, R&K is good value on the ink market. The quality and color range make it an Inkophile favorite. Solferino gets the pink slot and Morinda the red in my rotation more often than other inks. Neither has met a pen it didn’t like and that makes them especially easy to use.

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia and Waterman Purple

Then there is Cassia. It is vaguely violet under artificial light, but decidedly purple in sunlight. Waterman Purple is quite similar but doesn’t shade as well. It is not a muted color, but neither does it demand attention. This is an all-purpose purple should you only allow one or two in your collection.

Flow is good, but not lubricated enough to glide like some of the Iroshizuku inks. Paper texture communicates through the nib which is a normal part of the fountain pen experience. In my test, pens with copious flow produced feathering or at least uneven outlines. It won’t tame that beast, but will prove a good match for an average to slightly free-flowing pen.

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia Writing Sample

Mild shading and outlining with the Namiki Falcon were unexpected treats. Cassia reduced the flow of the Pilot Elite Pocket Pen to a neat fine line, and produced bold color with the Levenger True Writer medium nib. The stronger the flow, the more violet the color.

There was some show-through on Rhodia with a couple of minor dots of bleed-through from more free-flowing nibs. There were no issues on Apica 6A10 journal paper. Performance on Moleskine Volant paper was typical with feathering, irregular outlines and bleed-through. Look elsewhere if Moleskine is your vice.

I like it best with the True Writer medium nib, but then I am fond of a wider nib. The color is useful and attractive for sketching when black or brown would be too sedate. It may seem quirky, but for sketching I do prefer inks that let the paper texture participate rather than inks that make nibs skate over the surface. Cassia does not tend to glide so it works well at providing a tiny bit of feedback.

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia has made friends with the three test pens, but has yet to find her soul mate. The Pelikan M215 with the fetching silver rings and a custom italic nib is promising, but for now otherwise engaged. When he becomes available, he might be just the one to charm pretty Cassia into a lasting relationship. We shall see…

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia Water Test

Water reveals the red violet component in Cassia.

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Inks That Are Reliable Despite Summer Heat

06/02/2013

Now that it is June and summer has arrived, my rotation will get trimmed to a minimum. That means being selective. Pens are easy since my collection has only a few enticing wide nibs. Ink is a whole different matter with hundreds of bottles and samples from which to choose.

Ink Evaporation

In hot weather, ink evaporation dries pens out more quickly than I can write them empty. That’s a waste of ink and can make cleaning arduous. Sure, some pens dry out due to air circulating under the cap. But if inks perform differently in the same pen, the culprit is the ink.

If I had to select a brand that seems to remain fluid in a converter longer than others, Iroshizuku, Sailor, or Noodler’s would be the most likely contenders. This doesn’t mean all inks in each line will be slower to dry in a nib than other inks. It just means that the ones I’ve used in warmer months have performed better.

Tainted Ink

Another issue this time of year is tainted ink. Is there a brand of ink or specific ink that is less likely to mold than another?

In my experience, inks from Japan as well as those from Diamine, Rohrer & Klingner, and Noodler’s have been less susceptible to nasty invaders. Parker Quink and Penman inks have held up well. One out of my ten bottles of discontinued Montblanc inks has a vague hint of an off odor but I only discovered that yesterday. That bottle is within its expiration date and had never been opened, so I hope it turns out to be a non-issue. Tossing a bottle of Racing Green would be sad indeed.

While I have seen color degradation in a bottle of Noodler’s Army Green, it is the only color out of over thirty from that brand that has not held up. The bottle was at least eight years old with nary a speck of mold in it. Last year a bottle of Waterman Blue-Black changed color but did not grow mold. So in my experience, color degradation has not been accompanied by mold.

Not all inks contain strong smelling biocides like those from Sailor and some Noodler’s Inks, but those that do have remained mold free even when ten to fifteen years old. For my money, ink with fragrance added is not appealing and I own none. Such inks may perform better or worse than unscented inks but I have no basis for evaluation.

Summer Favorites

For several years Diamine Mediterranean Blue has been my constant summer favorite along with Iroshizuku ku-jaku, Diamine Violet, Diamine Sepia, and one of several Noodler’s brown inks especially Golden Brown and Kiowa Pecan. There are a few new samples on hand to test soon, but for now, I am happy with that lot.

So tell me what works for you. Which inks would you nominate in the categories of least likely to evaporate and least likely to mold?

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So What’s Wrong With Red?

08/18/2012

Red the color – not the film Red. Helen Mirren is one of my favorite actresses and deserving of a svelte namesake fountain pen in my opinion. But that’s another story. No, this post is about red ink and its nearest neighbors, pink and orange. What can you do with them?

Time after time I load a pen with one of these colors and start out with the best of intentions, most often to shake up my rotation. Nothing wrong with blue, violet, brown, green, teal, and turquoise. They are, with the exception of turquoise, somewhat muted and dark, if not brooding in many incarnations. Red and its cohorts are cheeky in comparison. Shouldn’t that be exciting?

Too often anything in the red family just gets flushed down the drain though not all reds are created equal. Some shout while others whisper. With a few exceptions like Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses, Noodler’s Red-Black, and Rohrer & Klingner Solferino, the pen doesn’t get used and the ink gets wasted. So I’m swearing off for a while. My rotation no longer looks like a  rainbow but that’s fine. Maybe Noodler’s Cayenne will sneak in with the first autumn chill. Since it can look either red or orange, only one pen need get sullied. Glad that’s settled.

Do you have a similar issue with a color? If so, which one?

Noodler's Cayenne Ink

Noodler’s Cayenne Ink

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Ink Talk At Fountain Pen Network

07/30/2012

If you haven’t visited FPN recently, they’ve expanded and made it easier to find things that will surely appeal to an inkophile.

Just for fun here are a few of my favorite inks. Note that the swatches are imperfect and a bit pale. Even so these inks are awfully pretty and frequently in my rotation.

A Few of My Favorite Inks

A Few of My Favorite Inks

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Coffee Jokes, Paperbacks, and Fountain Pen Links

06/24/2012

Links are well and good but 10,000 scientists working on the same project at the same location is nothing short of mind-boggling…

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More Links

04/21/2012

A few for the weekend…

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Fountain Pen Nibs – It’s All Relative

04/03/2012

When it comes to nib size, fountain pen users have a multitude of choices. Recently I was doodling with the inky beauties on my desk and was struck by the differences between them. Even two from the same maker and of the same width produced varied results. Getting the perfect line size to show your writing to its best may take a little trial and error, but the satisfaction in seeing your words look their best is worth it.

I have become an equal opportunity user though I was stuck on narrow nibs for a very long time. Most fountain pen nibs are either fine or medium with a smaller number available in broad and extra-fine widths. The tip of the nib is round in shape, a bit like a ball point pen when you put it to paper. That angle of contact suits general use very well.

Moving beyond the typical nib, the sweet spot where nib meets paper becomes less forgiving and requires more care in use. If it suits your writing style, even an exotic nib should work well once you get the hang of it. Less common categories include double broad (BB), stub, italic, cursive italic, music, and Arabic. There are other exotic nibs but they are too rare for a general discussion.

If a rigid nib doesn’t thrill you, there is a unique characteristic called flex which can be an attribute of any sized nib. It is measured in degrees from a soft give that produces just a slight squish with pressure to a wet noodle that puts down ink like a paint brush.

Another quirk is that Asian nibs for the most part are more narrow than Western nibs. Add to that the interplay between nib, ink and paper as well as the rate of flow from the ink supply to the nib tip and the range of line widths can get ridiculous.

Still there is a range and that is what the image demonstrates. Size is relative.

Fountain Pen Line Comparison

Fountain Pen Line Comparison

Note that the ink scan has not be color adjusted. Take that aspect of this post with a grain of salt.

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