Posts Tagged ‘De Atramentis’


Fountain Pen Inks That Celebrate Autumn Colors


Sometimes the inks in my rotation do a little ink dance in my daily journal. The steps consist of the ink name plus a doodle that shows the ink color to good advantage.

My most recent ink and pen duos were chosen at random and include a few favorites plus several inks that warranted testing in pens different from their last outings. None of those former couples were wedded but rather suffered ill-fated flings. Time to be a bit more successful at matchmaking.

To my surprise and without planning, my rotation took on the colors of autumn. I have no idea how that happened but the result is quite pleasing.

Autumn Inks

Autumn Inks

Pens in order from top to bottom:

  • Pelikan M215, custom cursive italic
  • Levenger True Writer, Masuyama stub
  • Lamy Safari, custom fine cursive italic
  • Levenger True Writer, Masuyama cursive italic
  • Namiki Falcon (resin), Soft Fine
  • Pilot Elite Socrates pocket pen, Fine
  • Levenger True Writer, Fine
  • Lamy AL-Star, Oblique Broad
  • Lamy Vista, 1.1mm italic
  • Lamy AL-Star, custom fine italic

Notes: Montblanc Racing Green has been discontinued and Noodler’s FPN Dumas Tulipe Noire was a limited edition release. Noodler’s #41 Brown is the original formulation – not the one currently available. The Pilot pocket pen was made in 1976 but all of the other pens are current models. The paper is Strathmore Windpower Sketch. It’s a bit toothy for fountain pens but excellent for swabs and doodles.


A Dozen Links From Montblanc To Doctor Who


No claims of boredom with this much variety…


A Little Ink History For The True Geek


History really does put things in perspective. Look at the years in which some well-known companies began offering ink. To be sure this is only a partial list compared to the number of labels on the market but it is still a good sampling. Whether you like these particular brands or not, the companies are doing something right to endure. Kudos to all of them.

  • Aurora – 1919
  • De Atramentis – 1988
  • Diamine – 1864
  • J. Herbin – 1670
  • Noodler’s Ink – 2004?
  • Parker – 1931
  • Pelikan – 1838
  • Private Reserve – 1998
  • Rohrer & Klingner – 1892
  • Sheaffer – 1922
  • Waterman – 189?

Iroshizuku Price Increase + An Inky Poll


Actually, it is more accurate to say that Pilot is demanding retailers adhere to the company’s pricing structure of $35 retail. A 20% discount is being offered at some stores dropping the price to $28 but I don’t know how long that will continue.

The good news is that more companies are offering Iroshizuku so availability has greatly improved. In the past Jet Pens had the best deal at $22.50 with free U.S. shipping for orders over $25. Two bottles for $45 neat is as good as it gets stateside but that will end this month. So if price is a factor in your ink purchases, load up while you can.

Much as I like Iroshizuku, whether for its lovely colors or its other fine properties, there are many terrific inks on the market at a fraction of the cost. So don’t feel left out if  this high priced ink doesn’t fit your budget or your sense of value for money. I’ve been exploring Rohrer & Klingner recently and to a lesser extent De Atramentis*. So far I am very happy with R&K and count three colors amongst my new favorites. DeA is a huge line and I’ve only tried a few but have already found two that are great colors for my collection. Do read my remarks below before purchasing this brand.

No doubt you can find many suitable inks without forking over the price of a Lamy AL-Star fountain pen just for a single bottle. Or you can buy three bottles of an ink with less cachet and a more utilitarian shape for the retail price of a single bottle of Iroshizuku. Well, if you love ink, isn’t that the part that counts?

*There might be an issue with contamination of some De Atramentis inks as discussed at Fountain Pen Network today. I am not ready to condemn the line on the basis of one report extensively documented though it may be. I will post if/when I learn more.

However, based on that one report, I examined two samples of Stihlblau, a color I really love, and found one to be fine while the other has particles in it. Since they are samples and could have been contaminated by handling, this is not a condemnation. But it is a caveat emptor situation.


Pen, Paper and Ink Finds for 2009


It only takes a brief glance around my office to see that I have tons of great products to enjoy. Many were new to me this year though a few sat around far too long before getting a chance to play.  All of this turned out well in the long run, as I am enjoying them immensely now.

So here is a list of some of the best things that became Inkophile favorites in 2009.

  • Pentel Pocket Brush Pen – Whether used with pigment ink or J. Herbin Lie de Thé, this pen is great fun.
  • Pilot Elite Pocket Pen with a soft fine nib – For everyday writing with a little variation, this is my ideal pen.
  • Waterman Deluxe Carene Stub – A sturdy, well-balanced pen that lends an italic flair to my writing.
  • De Atramentis Sepiabraun – In my Namiki Falcon it produces both shading and outlining.
  • De Atramentis Stihlblau – A bright medium blue with a little green in it. It’s a happy color.
  • Diamine Vermillion – A watercolor-like orange-red that isn’t shy.
  • Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo – An almost dark blue ink with a hint of green and great flow.
  • J. Herbin Perle Noire – I am not a fan of black ink but this one won me over.
  • Montblanc Racing Green – Every time I use this ink it looks made for me. My new signature color.
  • Noodler’s Red-Black – Defies description but does resemble aged brick, sort of.
  • Private Reserve Orange Crush – Deep red-orange that can produce writing that is orange at the top of each letter but red at the bottom.
  • Sailor/Pen Gallery Uranari Green – This is a limited edition that is easily my favorite green ink for 2009.

Even with all this expansion to my collection, there remain two holes that I hope to fill in 2010: a light-weight stub nib and a full flex nib, preferably 14k with converter fillers and long enough to use without posting. The maker matters less than the quality of the nib. There may come an ink or paper that catches my eye as new product is released during the year but the pens are what I would use most.

So those are my new favorites and my wish list for next year. How about you? Any standout favorites from 2009? What will you look for in 2010?

(Note that more than a few items on my list were gifts from Karen Doherty at Exaclair, Inc., U. S. distributor of J. Herbin, Exacompta, G. Lalo, and Clairefontaine. De Atramentis Stihlblau was a gift from Ryan Roossinck of The Pear Tree Pen Company. Several inks were gifts from friends who had no connection to any retailer or product line at the time the gift was sent. A very big thank you to all of my generous friends. You have introduced me to products that will be favorites forever.)


New Source for De Atramentis Ink


This afternoon Ryan at Pear Tree Pens picked up his first batch of ink from the De Atramentis distributor. Yes, I said “picked up” as in the distributor is only three miles from him. They are practically neighbors! Supplies are limited for now so get your order in ASAP.

De Atramentis Ink

De Atramentis Ink


De Atramentis Sepiabraun in a Namiki Falcon


Here’s another look at De Atramentis Sepiabraun from a pen that shows its best qualities,  the Namiki Falcon SF (soft fine). It has enough softness to qualify as a stiff semi-flex nib that is both easy on the hand and very light weight. Put those characteristics together and you get a pen that has good versatility and suits most any application.

In an Apica 6A10 journal Sepiabraun feathered very lightly but also bled-through showing small dots of ink though it behaved very well on Rhodia as you can see in the sample. Lighting conditions at my desk are mediocre at the moment making the color look a lot like Waterman Havana. Last night it looked like a less saturated version of Noodler’s Walnut.

Regardless, it is a medium dark brown with a hint of red. Sound intriguing? The only store that carries it in the U.S. so far is Art Brown. At $13 for 35 ml it’s a little more expensive than many inks but not exorbitant. Only you can decide if it’s worth it.

Namiki Falcon + De Atramentis Sepiabraun

Namiki Falcon + De Atramentis Sepiabraun


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