Posts Tagged ‘diamine ink’


Autumn Ink Palette for 2016


It’s that time of year, at least by the calendar, when cooler temps, crunchy leaves and anything made with pumpkins inspire a palette for the season. Old favorites were due for attention, but some new inks deserved a nod as well.

  • Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts
  • Iroshizuku syo-ro
  • Sailor Tokiwa-matsu
  • Rohrer & Klingner Alt-goldgrun
  • J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie
  • J. Herbin Orange Indien
  • J. Herbin Terre de Feu
  • Stipula Calamo Verde Muschiato

  • Noodler’s 1820 Essex Konrad flex nib
  • Pilot Metropolitan medium
  • Pilot Metropolitan medium
  • Pelikan M215 custom stub
  • Conklin Duragraph 1.1 stub
  • Conklin Duragraph 1.1 stub
  • Platinum Century Nice medium
  • Platinum #3776 music nib

During October, I often load a black pen with orange ink. It’s a small treat. Inks and pens should be fun, no?

Which inks do you use for a little autumn color?

Reviews and comments on the inks: Tokiwa-matsu, 54th Mass, syo-ro, Alt-goldgrun, Ambre de Birmanie, Orange Indien, Terre de Feu, Verde Muschiato.

Pen reviews and comments: Essex Konrad, Pilot MetroDuragraph, Century Nice, #3776 MU.

Where to buy: Tokiwa-matsu, 54th Mass, syo-ro, Alt-goldgrun, Ambre de Birmanie, Orange Indien, Terre de Feu, Verde Muschiato, Pilot Metro, Pelikan M215, Duragraph, Century Nice, #3776 MU.


Modern Pilot Fountain Pens


That is my collection of Pilot/Namiki fountain pens. Nice variety to it, but they seldom get inked. In comparison to other pen makers, I’ve experienced more flow issues with their modern pens than any other brand. While the fine nibs can be temperamental, the wider nibs and flexy ones are the most frustrating.

With more than thirty Pilots having passed through here in the last few years, I am certain their feeds and nibs are not created equal. The nibs write well enough but the flow is not able to keep up. The pens are too often hard starting and skip mid-word even failing for a full word or occasionally even several. This has never happened with my Sailor and Platinum pens. It has been a rare issue with a vintage Western pen but that could be attributed to careless handling by a former owner. My Lamy, Waterman, and Levenger True Writers have had very rare flow issues though matching ink to pen has helped in a few cases.

Pilot Elite pocket pens from the 1970’s are not so quirky though some of the Script nibs write dry and especially narrow. The ink flow keeps up nicely maintaining an even line. The pretty, decorated ones have had a higher than acceptable rate of cracked barrels so that’s a different kind of warning. However, my Socrates, Isaac Newton, and Black Striped models have been especially good writers and aren’t at all picky about brands of ink. That sort of versatility puts them on my list of favorite fountain pens.

This doesn’t mean all of their pens have flow issues. However, this post can be considered a caveat to my previous pen recommendations from the Pilot Custom 742 to the Custom 74 to the lower end Prera and 78G and the bottom of the line Plumix. Even the Namiki Falcon Soft Broad (SB) nib unlike the Soft Fine (SF) has a flow that is inadequate for the amount of ink that should be laid down. A nib adjustment might help though I’ve experienced mixed results on that score.

A free-flowing ink can improve performance a notch. Pilot Iroshizuku ink is a good match though some Diamine and J. Herbin inks have proven up to the task as well. Waterman Blue-Black is my standard test ink and one that can bring out the best in a multitude of pens so that’s a good one to have on hand. Unfortunately, ink won’t fix a pen but it can improve one that is borderline.

This isn’t meant to dissuade you from buying a Pilot or Namiki fountain pen but it is a warning. Your sleek, new pen may need tweaking to be the best it can be. Or it may only take finding the right ink and paper combination to bring out its most charming qualities. Even better, you could get a pen that is perfect from the start. Shouldn’t they all arrive that way?


On My Desk 05-15-2016


The writing instruments on my desk needed a little exercise this morning.

Three inks are waiting for slots in my rotation: Pilot Blue-Black, Pelikan Violet and Diamine Vermillion. Pens to be determined. A turquoise or aqua ink will go in the Century Nice with its next fill. Diamine Marine has called dibs on a second Pilot Pocket Brush Pen though the Eco would show Marine to better advantage than the black barrel of the Pilot. It will all get sorted soon.


Spring And A Lively Ink Palette


Chancing upon a written sample of Rouge Caroubier got things started. Quickly, the list grew to this first pass at spring inks:

  • Diamine Meadow
  • J Herbin Rouge Caroubier
  • Sailor Jentle Souten
  • Noodler’s Dostoyevsky
  • Akkerman #22 Hopjesbruin
  • Diamine Peach Haze
  • Sailor Peach Pink
  • J Herbin Violette Pensee

The group ought to get winnowed to five at most, but it is hard to eliminate even one of them.

Five pens were already filled. So rather than waste ink, the palette got changed to Sailor Yama-Dori, Noodler’s Dostoyevsky, Diamine Mint, Diamine Violet, and J. Herbin Cafe des Iles. Those aren’t the inks from my initial list, but they will do.

Rouge Caroubier and Meadow are looking through the pen drawer for suitable partners. Oh, wait, we have winners. Meadow chose the Pel M215 and Caroubier chose the Platinum Nice Pur. Peach Haze is flirting with the amber Conklin Duragraph. Peach Pink remains undecided so that one will have to wait. It’s a pretty color that deserves a clear demo with a wide nib like the TWSBI 580. Perhaps at the next fill. Souten is sulking because his favorite pen, the Pel M215, isn’t available. It will all get sorted eventually.

My three pen rotation has turned into a bouquet of color. What a lovely way to celebrate spring!


What Pen Cleaning Day Left Behind


Clean pens, inky water, and a colorful paper towel…

My inked pens are down to three. It’s like going from long hair to a buzz cut, breezy and easy to maintain.

The skinny rotation won’t last long with a shipment due end of week, but it’s fine for now. A person could grow accustomed to living this way. For now, I am a lean, mean writing machine.

However, pen and paper tests require more variety. Though increasing the number of pens is not appealing, adding a red and a blue ink should be adequate for the next reviews. Noodler’s BERNing Red is en route which settles that color. For blue, should it be Sailor Sky High or Souten, Iroshizuku kon-peki, Noodler’s Ottoman Azure or Rohrer & Klinger Verdigris or Blau Permanent? As always, it’s hard to pick just one.

Two green inks of recent acquisition, Diamine Meadow and Noodler’s Gruene Cactus, deserve further exploration especially in clear barrels that show their inky colors to best advantage. The TWSBI Eco is almost empty and would look suitably, seasonally well-dressed in green. Well, at least that’s settled.

That limited rotation of red, blue, brown, violet and green always grows quickly to an unwieldy dozen with the addition of teal, turquoise, orange, burgundy, pink, and black or blue-black. That’s eleven with one slot open for a test ink. This is not promising. How do you inkophiles keep your rotation in check?


Ink – Good To The Last Drop


Want to make the most of the last few drops of ink in a sample bottle? A small brush will do the trick. Leigh recommended the Princeton Snap for calligraphic brush work and it is great at doodling with ink as well. Wet the brush and dip it into the ink. Then write or scribble in a journal or decorate stationery or make greeting cards or one of a kind gift wrap. There are tons of possibilities.

Just be creative and be willing to experiment. And don’t judge your efforts harshly. This is for you and it’s just for fun.

Diamine Havasu Turquoise in a Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook applied with a Princeton Snap #4 watercolor brush.



What Color Was Your Day?


Alexandra at FPN wondered yesterday if it is time to switch to spring ink. The temperature was 88 degrees here suggesting Diamine Meadow and J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen. Today it is 63 degrees and gloriously gloomy à la Iroshizuku fuyu-syogun. Perhaps at sunset, the clouds will break allowing pink or peach to emerge and complement the current shade of gray. Spring colors are on the way even if not today.

What color was your day?

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