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Links From Physics To Bumblebees To New Inks

05/24/2015

Vested interest in this lot with a link to my daughter’s Society6 store…

Talented Tessa on Society6. (20% discount and free shipping on select items over Memorial Day weekend.)

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Which Fountain Pen Would You Recommend?

05/17/2015

Thanks to a recent donation, I can invest in a new pen and could use a little advice deciding which one to purchase.

It would be good to acquire a pen that either hasn’t been reviewed or a pen that would be good at testing inks. A TWSBI 580 would suit the former while an additional Conklin Duragraph would fit the latter. Both are stubs and that is my preference. An unmodified pen would be best since readers would be able to purchase the same model. Price should be no more than $60, making it accessible to most of us. For ink testing purposes, a converter or piston filler will do.

I have many Lamys, so skip that brand. Is there another pen with a stock stub or 1.1 calligraphy nib I should consider? My Kaweco only takes cartridges, so never gets used for ink tests. I know people love them, but the size isn’t ideal for my hand. However, if it’s the best option, I’ll make it work since the newer ones accept a converter.

A second Duragraph would be a good choice for my daily writing needs, but in Amber or Forest Green this time.

The TWSBI has an iffy reputation and I don’t like fiddling with my pens. They either work or they don’t which seems to describe the TWSBI very well. However, if mine turned out to be a good one, it would get plenty of use as well as praise.

The short list:

Have I missed a pen that ought to be on this list?

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Links To Calligraphy, Pens And A Shocking Dog

05/17/2015

The Internet did not fail to amuse and inspire this week…

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Links From Calligraphy To Torchwood To A Tango

05/10/2015

Such an eclectic mix…

Do birds gossip at Sunday brunch?

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The World As Hologram And Other Links

05/03/2015

The Susskind lecture is fascinating though my puppy is skeptical of the concept…

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Inks That Cause Problems Including Negative Opinions

05/01/2015

Recently a Tweet about ink caught my attention. In 140 characters, a pen blogger announced he was ending his use of a well-known brand of ink. Apparently a bad experience with one ink means all inks in the line are bad. He may have had other bad experiences, but only referenced one in the Tweet. Certainly, no one wants to damage a pen over the use of an ink. Unless mold-contaminated, nearly every ink has its place and pen mate. That should make it pretty darned hard to condemn an entire company over one ink.

Not to condemn any brand, but I’ve had problems of one sort or another with Diamine, J. Herbin, Private Reserve, DeAtramentis, Rohrer & Klingner, Parker Penman, Iroshizuku and Noodler’s. (Note that Diamine, J. Herbin, and Noodler’s are on my short list of favorite brands.) In most cases, the issue was with a particular color. A few inks degraded over time while others stained vintage pens. Some grew mold though that could have been contamination not attributable to the manufacturer.

R&K is a special case since the ink isn’t a problem, but the caps on my bottles don’t seal well. That has produced evaporation and messy leaks. I haven’t purchased a bottle in two years, so that issue may have been resolved.

Sure, some of my pens have been damaged by ink. Two Esterbrooks with green barrels sport stains acquired on my watch. Since that happened to two different models with the same type of plastic body and with two different brands of ink, the material might be the cause rather than the ink.

So here’s the deal. Highly saturated inks can cause pen staining and other forms of pen damage. Some inks have bad reputations for good reason. But if you use one of them, you “takes your chances.” Is it worth it? If you love an ink’s color or properties, then go for it, but in the right pen, please.

Reviews and opinions will vary, but it’s the lack of context and balance to those Twitter remarks with which I would take issue. If I have been remiss in this regard in the past, I apologize. There are rarely no positives. People who are sincerely trying to make pen, ink, and paper products that expand our choices deserve our support and sometimes a measure of constructive criticism – not condemnation or company death wishes.

Despite it all, I use every brand though not every color. If it makes me happy, the ink gets a mate and goes to work. And that is what enjoying fountain pens is all about.

Inkophile’s Guidelines for Ink Use

  • Pricey pens get low saturated inks.
  • Inks with dicey reputations go in cheap pens or a dip pen with a feed.
  • Saturated inks go in converter pens.
  • Vintage pens get low saturated inks especially Waterman and some J. Herbin colors.
  • Pens with sacs get low saturated inks and/or very frequent cleaning.
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Giveaway Goodies Meet Cat

05/01/2015

Remember the recent Exaclair giveaway? One of the winners, Pamela Keown, sent images of her haul. Cool, eh?

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