How Do You Put Together Ink and Pen Duos?


The holidays still seem distant so my December rotation may look understated for this time of year. No bright reds or greens though Diamine Monaco Red may yet get a call to join in, dressed in a red marble Levenger True Writer to fit the season. They are mates from last year and already known to be quite happy with each other.

December 2009 Ink Rotation

December 2009 Ink Rotation

Besides the possible Monaco/TW hookup, the line up is set with ten colors from six ink makers. Six pen companies are represented. Pilot/Namiki, Levenger, and J. Herbin got the most nods which would probably hold true in any month though usually a Sailor pen would be in the mix as well.

December 2009 Pen Rotation

December 2009 Pen Rotation

Do you plan ahead with your rotation? Seasonally adjusted line ups suit many fountain pen aficionados. Monthly rotations are less common but October, November, and December are so commercial in the U.S. that it’s easy to think of them as dominated by specific holiday colors. Of course, some people are “contrarians” and use peach in December but maybe south of the equator, that would be the perfect color for the month.

So what works for you? Are you swayed by the month and its holidays or do you prefer a seasonal palette? Are you  a free-spirited inkophile who prefers an “anything goes” rotation?

Oh, I just realized there is an even better choice. All of the above!

Note: The images in this post are not great matches for the true colors. The worst of the lot are the Eclat de Saphir sample and the Mink True Writer at the center of the pen photo. The former should have more red to it and the latter got a really bad job of editing in GIMP just to be roughly the correct color. It will have to do for now.


  1. […] is the original: How Do You Put Together Ink and Pen Duos? « An Inkophile's Blog Tags: less-common, monthly-rotations, specific-holiday, ups-suit « PreviousOlympus […]


  2. My combinations are always spur of the moment. It generally begins with choosing the pen I want, then I consider what color ink I feel like and then I decide which ink is best behaved in the pen. I’m not concerned about matching inks to barrels or anything like that. Sometimes I get in moods, but mostly it is random.


    • “Spur of the moment” sounds very creative but you also have method to your pairings. Best of both worlds it would seem.

      Sometimes it’s the pen that starts things off for me and other times it’s the ink. More often it’s probably the ink or something I want to do with a particular ink. Then I go to the pen box to see what is available that would work well with that ink. I do confess to matching inks and barrels at times. Not often though since half of my pens or more are black and that’s perfect for an inkophile.


  3. My answer is all of the above! Of course, I only have 5 fountain pens. They are usually all in rotation, but right now I just have two that are inked.


    • Nothing wrong with keeping things simple. Changing inks keeps a small rotation lively especially when you have a few special pens that you really love.


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