Posts Tagged ‘Noodler’s 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.


Exclusive Noodler’s Inks Now Available


Recently, Luxury Brands released several Noodler’s inks to the U.S. market that were previously exclusive to other countries. The names may be a bit exotic, but the colors are vivid and varied.

  • Rachmaninoff is a very bright, intense pink. Grab your sunglasses to look at this one.
  • Empire Red is a toned down blue-red. When a bright red would overpower, this more subtle color will do.
  • Mata Hari’s Cordial is a dark mid-range purple. It says purple, but doesn’t shout it.
  • Upper Ganges Blue leans teal though not overly so and could be considered all-purpose.
  • Socrates is a violet that has a slightly dusky quality to it. Not muted exactly, but a step removed from bright.

My Noodler’s Standard Flex pen is courting Mata Hari and Socrates for its next fill so it must be in the mood for purple. If it were up to me, Upper Ganges would get the call, but sometimes it’s best to let the pen do the choosing. Keeps them happy and productive when the pen and ink don’t fight each other.

Currently, Pen Chalet offers all of these inks except Empire Red. So that would be a good place to start if these colors intrigue you.


Big, Bad Nibs – One Year On


Sometimes it is useful to compare what works now to what worked in the past. An image of my wide nibs from a year ago turned up quite by accident and I realized how few of these pens were currently inked. Does that mean the others have fallen out of favor or they just aren’t good enough to remain in use?

The truth is that I’m fickle. Plus I’ve come to appreciate the reduced maintenance that attends a smaller rotation.

Consequently, only the TWSBI 580 1.1 stub, the Platinum #3776 Music Nib, and the Platinum Nice Pur Broad remain active. It’s an interesting group because both the nibs and pen sizes are varied. All to the good for writing and comfort.

But do these pens have the same tastes in ink? The TWSBI has been filled with Diamine Violet all year. The Platinum music nib is more likely to switch partners, but is especially suited to Diamine Sepia. The Nice Pur takes all inks well, though Platinum Pigment Rose Red might top its list with Noodler’s Black Swan in English Roses coming in a close second. Glad to see the pens getting along so well with some of my favorite inks.

Now that I look at it, my rotation has only two recently acquired pens, a Pilot Kakuno M with Diamine Mediterranean and a Pilot Metropolitan M with Pilot BBk. The lone older model is a 1970’s Pilot Elite Pocket Pen loaded with Noodler’s Black, the little black dress in my ink wardrobe.

A six pen rotation is all I need for personal use and it provides enough variety to make writing colorful and entertaining.

If something in my rotation appeals to you, check out the links below. The Platinum music nib at the link is the newer Century model since my smaller #3776 has become difficult to find.

The Pilot Elite ‘Isaac Newton’ can be found from time to time on eBay for roughly $100 to $150. One word of warning. Some of the Elites can have brittle plastic sections and crack easily just by inserting a converter. Otherwise, it’s a good model if you like the pocket pen form.


Are You An Ink Miser?


Do you hoard ink and use as little as possible? Miser or not, most of us want to get best value from the precious fluid. To facilitate that goal, Ink Miser has developed two products: the ink-shot inkwell and the intra-bottle inkwell. They debuted several months ago and have been mentioned a few times on Inkophile. If you aren’t familiar with them, let me introduce you.

The ink-shot inkwell makes it easy to fill a pen from a very small amount of ink. That makes even the most poorly designed ink bottle irrelevant. In addition, it is a useful container to hold pen cleaning fluid. My old-timers, er, vintage pens, are pleased to have a tiny spa with supporting sides for their delicate bones. Pampering does not necessarily mean spoiled and I am hoping to reap goodwill from such special care.

The intra-bottle inkwell raises the ink level closer to the bottle opening. For Noodler’s fans, it might rank as an essential tool since it makes filling from a partially full bottle easy.

Originally introduced in black, they are now available in a transparent version. Both Ink Miser inkwells are useful devices for an Inkophile though be prepared. They are a bit like chips. One will never be enough.

Luxury Brands has the details here.

Office Supply Geek weighs in on the Ink Miser.




Winner Of The Noodler’s Berning Red Giveaway


Drum roll, please. The winner of the Noodler’s Berning Red Giveaway is Angela Watson! Please contact me at to arrange shipment.

Have you read the entries? Some of them cracked me up. Others got me thinking about what we write with fountain pens. You guys add so much to An Inkophile’s Blog. Thank you so much for participating. And thank you to Luxury Brands USA for sponsoring this giveaway.


Giveaway: Noodler’s Berning Red


Could you use a hit of red in your ink collection? Luxury Brands USA sent a bottle of Noodler’s Berning Red to offer in a giveaway and it could be yours.

It’s simple to enter. Just leave a comment below saying how you would use this rich, red ink. This offer is open to residents of the U.S. only. One entry per person with the winner to be selected, 8/14/2016, at 7 pm PDT. The winner will have until 8/16/2016, 7 pm, PDT to claim the prize. If not, a replacement winner will be selected.

Thank you, Luxury Brands, for making this giveaway possible and allowing Inkophile to host it.


Duke Guan Yu Calligraphy Fountain Pen


Pen enabler extraordinare, Leigh Reyes, has written about the extra long Duke calligraphy nib for ages and of course she can do things with it that are both amazing and beautiful. When I saw one on eBay recently, resistance was futile.


Meet the Duke Guan Yu Calligraphy Fountain Pen. It has the Chinese warrior Guan Yu holding his weapon, a guan dao named Green Dragon Crescent Blade, on the cap. Also on the cap are four Chinese characters, “Zhong, Yi, Ren, Yong” for “Loyalty, Righteousness, Humanity, Valor.” Guan Yu was highly respected and eventually became revered as a god. Though Guan died in 220 CE, he continues to be honored and worshiped.


The Guan Yu feels very well built and sturdy in the hand. It is mostly metal with chrome trim and weighs a substantial 40 g. The length is 145 mm closed, 125 mm without the cap, and 165 mm with the cap posted to the barrel. The balance is good so it can be used comfortably without the cap. Unlike many pens, the cap clicks onto the end of the barrel for a secure fit, ideal for those who like a long pen. However, posting the cap may overbalance the pen in a small hand. On the plus side, not posting the cap allows for a free range of motion that can produce a variety of line widths.

The barrel is a greenish turquoise like the green dragon for which the guan dao blade was named. GYT is engraved on the band along with three Chinese characters.

The logo used on the cap and clip is a crescent blade rather than the usual Duke crown. The whole design is thematic, consistent and very attractive.

The pen accepts International cartridges and comes with a screw type converter. Flow was inconsistent at first but settled nicely after a few practice marks. Writing was at its best following a fresh fill of the converter. At the very end of a fill, the pen skipped at times. Consider that an early warning that it’s time for more ink.


Sometimes this design is called bent nib or fude. Whatever you call it, the Guan Yu has a particularly long tip that makes my other Asian calligraphy nibs look puny in comparison.  It is capable of producing a stunning 4 mm line while writing a 1 mm line or even thinner when held at a more upright angle. That makes it suitable for writing as well as sketching. Hold it too upright and it will skip so it does have its limits.

Noodler’s Lexington Grey is a good match since it is more subtle than black and shades nicely enhancing line depth and variation. Just the thing for a very wide nib.

The pen has an overfeed, a strip of metal that goes over the front of the nib. It’s the first one I’ve used on a fountain pen though some dip nibs come with the enhancement. It’s designed to keep ink flowing to the nib and prevent skipping when a strong flow is needed. Given the amount of ink required for a 4 mm line, the overfeed is a a wise addition. It isn’t pretty, but it is useful.

The nib has a little flex to it probably from the length of the tip rather than by design. It takes a bit of effort to bring out the flex, but with a little practice, it is possible to mildly vary line width. I found that property more useful for drawing than writing.


The blue-green barrel closely matches Noodler’s Dostoyevsky so I used it for the first fill. A dark ink would make a very strong statement from such a wide line. Pale or pastel inks would show more substance. Dostoyevsky struck a nice balance between the pale and the dark.

If used slowly for a thick line, the paper becomes critical. Drying time can be significant on a coated paper. Rhodia worked well despite the heavy flow though there was some ghosting and a few dots of mild bleed-through. Midori Traveler’s Notebook with Tomoe River paper showed heavy ghosting and significant bleed through. Experimentation will reveal good matches of ink and paper for this very wide nib.

One note about using this calligraphy nib. Mine does not lend itself well to writing in the Chinese style of holding the brush upright. The more contact the nib has with the paper, the better the flow and the wider the line. A western style hold will produce a very broad line. The lower the angle, the better.

The Duke Guan Yu is an eye-catching pen and might get some remarks from co-workers or fellow patrons at a coffee shop. However, this is a pen that makes writing more fun than serious. It would be perfect for a doodle journal or to decorate paper margins turning something ordinary into something elegant. Then write in the center with a standard pen.

My Guan Yu came from an eBay seller in China. If you prefer Amazon, I found three offers: here, here and here. The Duke 209 Calligraphy Bent Nib has a smaller tip so look closely if you want the same nib I purchased. Leigh has the Confucius model with an extra long nib in a bamboo design. There is a black Confucius model as well.

This might not be a go-to pen, but it sure is a kick to use when you just want to play around with ink and pen in a bold and color filled way.



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