Posts Tagged ‘Iroshizuku ink’

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Tweaking The Selection of Tools On My Desk

11/05/2021

Does your pen-ink-paper rotation make you happy, really happy? Mine was good but needed a little tweaking in recent weeks. Reviews are in progress for the pens and the paper listed.

  • Four Chinese pens, two fude, one fine and one extra-fine. The latter needed its nib swapped but is good now. The fine is on probation so we shall see about that one.
  • In recent months, either a pen for testing (recently a Waldmann) or a Platinum Century has occupied the last slot in my five pen rotation. Perhaps a stub will be next.
  • Inks are Iroshizuku syo-ro and kon-peki, Herbin Cafe des Iles, Diamine Merlot, Waterman Blue-Black, Sailor Tokiwa Matsu. Six but who’s counting?
  • Tomoe River 52g journal, an inexpensive A5 notebook paper that is very good with FP ink and a planner with MD  paper.
  • Uni Alpha Gel and a Tombow MONOgraph, both shaker mechanical pencils with 0.5mm HB Uni Nano Dia lead.
  • Uni-ball Signo 307 Micro (0.5) when a fountain pen won’t do. It writes on glossy paper and is water resistant. There is one on my desk, one in my handbag and one next to my bed.
  • Muji hard type black plastic eraser that doesn’t leave a pile of dust behind.
  • Other tools include washi tape, an Exacto knife, stylus, clips, candle, watercolor palette, brush, and paper.

It took a few modifications to refine my current choices. In the last six months, I have tried a few brands of paper that were supposed to be FP-friendly but were not good for double-sided writing. Iroshizuku was an infrequent visitor, but is now a staple. Chinese pens were off my list for years but now dominate my current rotation. In mechanical pencils, wide to very wide soft leads have been replaced by 0.5mm HB. A shaker mechanism taxes my hand far less than the traditional clicker so two of those have earned slots.

My desk is more organized with less clutter and instead of spending time deciding what to use, I simply use what is at hand. That means I spend more time working and that is a very good thing.

Links are to products at Amazon. If you purchase there, Inkophile may earn a tiny commission. The Chinese pens might be available through eBay, but the shipping time can be lengthy if from China. Recent orders from two different sellers took a month each to arrive in California.

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Ideas For Pairing Pens And Inks

09/07/2021

Deciding which pens and inks to put together can be anything from a pleasant endeavor to a time-consuming frustration. Do you have rules for matching pens and inks? I don’t after more than twenty years of using fountain pens. However, I have developed a few observations that help narrow my choices when either a pen or an ink is begging for a workout. More often than not, the pen comes first and then the ink. These guidelines help refine my search.

  • Dark green and red inks work best with narrow nibs.
  • Blue, brown and black work with all nibs.
  • Orange and purple suit medium and wide nibs.
  • Turquoise and burgundy go well with medium nibs.
  • Pastel and pale inks are best paired with wide nibs.
  • Blue, teal and brown inks are good with fine to medium fude nibs.
  • Wide fude nibs bring out the best qualities of gray inks.
  • For the palest pink inks, only the Platinum #3776 Music Nib will do.
  • Sailor Peach Pink, Sailor Sakura Mori, Iroshizuku Kosumosu, Herbin Bouquet D’Antan are pretty with any wide nib.
  • Characteristics like sheening, outlining and shading are best revealed with stub and italic writing.
  • Often I will forget which ink is loaded in which pen, so I keep a scorecard nearby.
  • I track how pens and inks perform together by writing a few words in a dedicated pen and ink notebook.
  • If there is an outstanding combination, like Diamine Violet with a TWSBI 580 1.1mm stub, that gets noted, too.
  • I can be guilty of matching inks to pen colors though on occasion to shake things up, I will put together complementary ones. Red pen with green ink as an example.

Perhaps too many guidelines, but they suit my needs. Most came from analyzing how I put things together without giving my actions any prior thought. They help me narrow my search, and with the size of my collection, they are essential. Your list will be different, but creating one can be a helpful action if choosing pen and ink mates is challenging, frustrating or even too time-consuming. Or you might just do it for fun.


Van Gogh Palette

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Fountain Pens For The Weekend

08/14/2021

It’s going to be a hot weekend which makes it a good time to take it easy and update the fountain pens on my desk. In the past few months, a Traveler’s Notebook has become my journal for a major project as well as some personal notes. The paper is Tomoe River 52 gsm in a #013 blank refill with 128 pages. A lined template with 5mm spacing keeps my writing on the straight and narrow. The more I can fit on a page the better. Wide nibs are not suited to the task, so I have put some narrow ones to use along with inks that aren’t dark but allow the lines of the template to show through.

  • Pilot Custom 1970’s Black Stripe F with Iroshizuku fuyu-syogun
  • Levenger True Writer Black Marble F with Herbin Violette Pensee
  • Delike New Moon Ice Blue Fude with Sailor Sky High
  • Delike New Moon Green Fude with Diamine Raw Sienna
  • Levenger True Writer Tangerine F with Herbin Rouille D’Ancre

The green Delike had Iroshizuku syo-ro in it for months and that was a very good combination which I expect to return to soon. Or perhaps I will purchase another New Moon but an extra-fine this time for the syo-ro. A review of this model is in the works. Suffice to say the two that I currently own are getting consistent use and that does speak well of them.

Which pens and inks are in your current rotation? Do they make you want to write or do they fight your best efforts?

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Review: BENU Scepter Fountain Pens

07/22/2021

The BENU Scepter has received a lot of attention and interest, and rightfully so. If you like colorful pens, these can’t be topped and sporting Schmidt nibs, they write well, too.

Fountain Pen Quest has an in depth review including measurements and a performance comparison between the Scepter II and the Grand Scepter X. I would concur except for the nibs.

The Scepter has a #5 medium nib that writes a bit wider than expected with significant flow. The Scepter Grand has a #6 fine nib that is perhaps slightly wide for a fine with just the right amount of flow to make it a pleasure to use. I usually like wider nibs, but in this case, the fine beat the medium for my purposes.

These pens are surprisingly lightweight. The only real differences between them are the patterns and the nib size. The Scepter I is red, blue and gold and the Grand Scepter IX is blue and pink. In my hand, the Grand was a little over-balanced due to the angle required to use the large nib. It is comparable in size to the nibs on the Platinum Century pens that I use daily, so the larger nib doesn’t deter me. It’s that I had to adjust to the balance between the nib and barrel for the best writing experience. The smaller nib on the Scepter just fit my hand from the first mark on the paper. It is such a personal thing that other writers might never even notice. Both nibs had a touch of feedback, but were still quite smooth.

The pens wrote well with Iroshizuku ink, but Noodler’s Eel Blue was a little too free-flowing for the Grand’s medium nib. So like all pens, it’s trial and error to find the best ink, but isn’t that part of the fun?

Given the brilliant colors of BENU pens, it was challenging to find inks that suited them without detracting from the stunning barrels. Colorverse Glistening Stars and Stripes worked well in the Scepter. The Grand eventually got filled with Iroshizuku yama-budo and the Scepter was complemented nicely by asa-gao. Both are deep colors without sheen or other special characteristics. Too little inventory here to find matches of that sort beyond the Colorverse ink.

As for the pen, it is eye-candy of the highest order. There are a number of color combinations available making it easy to find a BENU that is just right for you.

Note that the wide barrel end makes the cap too narrow for posting and that might make the pen a bit short for really large hands. The section is average sized, but I hold pens quite far from the nib so the threads fell under my fingers. With a light grip, this was not a deterrent for short writing sessions. There is no clip, but the hexagonal shape prevents rolling. On my cluttered desk, that is a definite advantage.

The BENU Scepter is an eye-catching pen that writes well and could make a worthy addition to your collection. Or do you already have one? If so, what do you think of it?

Thank you Luxury Brands USA for sending the Scepters and Colorverse ink. I am now firmly spoiled for any other colorful pen. In other words, none need apply.

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Sunday Reads: Iroshizuku, Lamy And A Drama Queen

07/21/2019

Unlike those silly drama queens seeking attention from social media, this baby’s got the right moves – not too much victim but just enough to earn appreciation for a well-executed whine…

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A Palette Of Inks

06/04/2019

Three years ago I put together a spring palette of understated inks. No dual-toned, sparkly colors in this lot. Just gentle, soothing shades.

As this year’s flowers fade and the pastel petals float away, this palette is the final link to spring. I want to hold on to that as the summer swelter looms. I loathe the heat and appreciate the cooling, soft colors and minimal maintenance these inks require.

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Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo And Prussian Blue

12/02/2016

It wasn’t the plan, but while playing with Daniel Smith Prussian Blue watercolor, I discovered that on natural white paper, it’s nearly a perfect match for Iroshizuku tsuki-yo ink. The paper warms the colors slightly as is my preference.

The doodles initiated a practice session for two seldom used brushes. Then swatches and slender lines followed. Finally, squiggles and tiny trees emerged. Once the page was filled, the hunt for a matching ink was on. There might be better matches, but of the inks on hand, tsuki-yo came the closest. As always, playing with paint and ink was good, clean fun.

Available at Amazon:

Daniel Smith Prussian Blue Watercolor

Iroshizuku tsuki-yo

Princeton Neptune 4750 1/4″ square wash brush

Escoda Versatil #2 Rigger brush

Langton Prestige 140# watercolor paper

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