Archive for the ‘Paper’ Category


A Good Ink For Bad Paper


Sometimes you just get lucky. Last night I was doodling on scrap paper and discovered that Diamine Peach Haze works brilliantly on 20# copy paper even from a 1.1mm italic nib. Who knew?

Peach Haze is brighter and more neon orange than the image, but the lack of feathering on cheap paper is impressive. However, there is show-through and bleed-through, if you are keeping score.


Staples Sugarcane Paper Ain’t What It Used To Be


Why do companies have to tinker with success? My latest purchase of a Staples Sugarcane Notebook turned out to be very disappointing. The paper still comes from Egypt, but the weight and texture have changed. Now it’s just an ordinary notebook.

The newer notebook is shown in front of one purchased several years ago. The new cover’s texture is coarse and feels like a paper bag while the cover art is less aesthetic than in the past. The dark brown design looks cluttered and forced. Nothing subtle about it.

The paper is not up to the quality of the earlier editions. It does not play well with fountain pen ink producing jagged outlines and heavy bleed-through. Forget writing on the back of a page. That cuts the notebook’s usefulness by half. Even the paper texture is less smooth. Heck, I have inexpensive comp books that have better paper.

Consequently, Staples Sugarcane Notebooks have slid from highly recommended to not recommended for fountain pens. This might seem harsh, but unfortunately it is true.


Ink Links Plus Flower And Bird Photos


Totally on topic this week…

Outside my kitchen window, a late blooming camellia is attracting a lot of attention especially from the hummingbirds who nest in my yard every year. The hummers were reluctant to pose hence the old photos, but the flowers were less flighty if a bit bouncy riding on the March winds.


A Few Links From Maple Syrup To Pens


My pen time this week was devoted to a review that is pending an approval to share some ink news with you. In the meantime, here are some good reads to keep you going…


Waterbrush vs Watercolor Brush


Waterbrush and a watercolor brush using the same colors produced different results.

Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook on the left and a Canson XL Mix Media on the right.

The soft color and faded effect can be put to good use especially in the small confines of a journal. If you want consistent color, fill a waterbrush with watercolor or fountain pen ink. The chamber doesn’t need to be full to work well. Noodler’s would be a good choice since it is economical and can be stretched with the addition of a little water. Use the same ink in your fountain pen for a monochromatic piece. Or pick contrasting colors for playful pages. Aqua and peach anyone?





Platinum Nibs, Diamine And Leuchtturm1917


Last night two Platinum Century pens shouted for attention following weeks of being on the back bench. How could I refuse?

The good news is that the nibs wrote beautifully from the first stroke despite a lack of recent exercise. The Century certainly can go a long time without attention. Both are smooth, but there is a slight difference between the medium and the soft medium. The latter has a cushioned feel to it which reduces feedback. The line width of the soft medium might be a tad more narrow, but that could be attributed to the ink. Both nibs are in the workhorse category. Use them for anything.

Next to Noodler’s and J. Herbin, Diamine is the brand of ink that got the most time in my pens last year. Wild Strawberry and Merlot were gifts from Beth Treadway and have proven good additions to my regular rotation. Merlot dries more slowly, but for the saturated color, I can be patient.

The Leuchtturm1917 remains one of my favorite journals though it could be better. If you look closely, the inks found threads to follow and produced more bleed-through than I would like. The previous night I used a Platinum #3776 music nib with J. Herbin Cafe des Iles that produced neither feathering nor bleeding. Pelikan Violet, Waterman Florida Blue, and Noodler’s Apache Sunset performed better on the paper than any ink except Noodler’s Black.

Does this mean Diamine inks have a problem or is the Leuchtturm paper inconsistent? Either way it’s a reminder that testing ink is valuable. The last page in a notebook is a convenient place to write the names of pens and inks for future reference. My sample page produced mixed results, but I now know which duos would be best to grab for a long day of note taking.

The Platinum Century M and SM are delightful to use and I love the soft Leuchtturm paper even with its imperfections so I want to pair the paper with inks that will not feather or bleed. Noodler’s Black and Lexington Gray might just do the trick. Not colorful, but oh so reliable. Sometimes that’s all you need.


Calligraphy, Pen, And Paper Links Plus A Naked Ninja


Except for the ninja, this was a thematic week…


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