November pens and inks comprise a colorful palette for paper tests and a few letters. Midori Traveler’s Notebook takes it all in stride.
Posts Tagged ‘Noodler’s’
Introduced mostly through mutual friends, these are the inks that have captured my fancy this year:
- Akkerman #18 Garuda Road
- Akkerman #24 Zuiderpark Blauw-Groen
- Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Groen
- Akkerman #26 Groenmarkt Smaragd
- De Atramentis Cola Ink
- Diamine Marine
- Diamine Merlot
- Diamine Tyrian Purple
- Diamine Wild Strawberry
- J. Herbin Rouge Caroubier
- Noodler’s Park Red
- Platinum Mixable Ink Aqua Blue
- Platinum Mixable Ink Silky Purple
- Platinum Pigment Rose
- Sailor Miruai
- Sailor Souten
- Stipula Calamo Saffron
- Super 5 Dublin
Two old favorites reemerged as good mates for a variety of pens.
- Noodler’s Purple Martin
- Stipula Calamo Verde Muschiato
Are any of these inks in your rotation? Which inks in your collection have emerged as special this year?
A big thank you to the folks who contributed to my wealth of new inks:
Due to circumstances beyond his control, Nathan has changed the packaging for Noodler’s Ink. Details in the video, but the short of it is that for the remainder of the year and perhaps longer, Noodler’s Ink will come in a plastic bottle. No changes will be made to the ink. Just the container will be different until a new source for the three ounce glass bottle can be arranged.
Are you a fan of Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses (a/k/a BSAR)? Well, savor what you’ve got because it ain’t no more. The most recent batch has experienced a significant color shift due to a change in the dye. The original dye is no longer available so this is it, folks. The end of the line.
The new formula is deep violet, plain and simple. This isn’t Nathan’s doing, but I do think he should have retired Australian Roses and introduced the new ink under its own name. Black Swan in Violette Roses would have expressed the new color very well.
Pilot Pens get good marks and there are more than a dozen in my collection. However, the Prera has disappointed me three times over. All had fine nibs that were stingy at best despite trials with at least a dozen inks. The blue went to a new home years ago, but the ivory and the gray stuck it out only because I like the colors and the chrome furnishings. After a nib replacement and a bit of work, both pens are now on my desk and getting lots of use. Here is what happened to turn these lemons into precious pens.
My Preras were purchased when the model was first released. I paid less than $30 for each. They received very little time in my rotation because the nibs were far too dry. Skipping and hard starts made them unpleasant little brats. Hence, years in the pen drawer and no appreciation from me.
Three years ago I read that Plumix nibs could be swapped for the original Prera nibs and that the Plumix medium nib could pass for an italic. That sounded intriguing so I bought a Plumix at Target and affixed the nib to the ivory Prera. Indeed it was a medium italic, a very straight cut affair with no tipping material. However, the flow was still underwhelming, so back into the pen drawer it went.
Some time later, I attempted to open the slit. After making several scratches on the front of the nib, I could see the tiniest amount of light and gave it a fill. Performance was better but not fluid. Back into the drawer it went. A few weeks ago, I needed an italic for a project and with a sigh gave the Prera one more chance, this time with Noodler’s Black. Eureka! Finally, the right ink for the nib and oh my gosh is it now a fantastic writer.
Holding out hope for the gray Prera and having been emboldened by my success, I ordered a Plumix from Jet Pens and on its arrival immediately swapped the nibs. Performance was improved and I had another italic to boot. Again the slit is too narrow for the degree of flow that I prefer, but I will work on that when the pen is in need of a refill.
Here are two pens that could have gone to new homes since they were disappointing and unused. About half the pens I’ve sold or given away have later been missed. I don’t know what that says about my choices, but it does say something about impatience. There are other pens I’ve held onto in hopes they would become more to my liking in future. Wishful thinking to be sure. It’s not like they are going to heal on their own, but my pen preferences have changed over the years. So what was formerly a meh pen, can become a wow pen because my perspective has changed, the right ink has come along, an adjustment improves performance, or some other reason entirely.
The point here is to give a pen a fair test before deciding it is not for you. The other thing is that even for someone as unhandy as I am, addressing nib issues is not impossible. I’ve murdered a few and failure is just part of the learning curve. You might not want to risk a gold nib, but there are plenty of inexpensive steel nibs on which you can hone your skills or at least get past any initial qualms.
For info on repairing or adjusting a fountain pen, Fountain Pen Network is a good place to start. I have Frank Dubiel’s “Fountain Pens The Complete Guide To Repair & Restoration Revised Edition” and I’ve learned a lot from Nathan Tardif’s videos. Who is your favorite pen repair guru?
Note: Pilot Prera Fountain Pens and Plumix Fountain Pens are available at Jet Pens should you want to create your own Prera Italic or they offer the clear body Prera with the medium italic nib already installed.
My desk is always a disheveled mess except for my fountain pens. Those I keep tidy and at the ready for whenever the muse strikes. However, with product testing, the number of inked pens can grow well beyond anything manageable, so I’m separating the lot into two groups with my Core Four Plus One the most accessible. Others employed mostly for testing purposes have a tray in which to snooze until needed.
Core Four Plus One is a name for four of my most used fountain pens plus one mechanical pencil. The four pens are the mostly likely to get used either for the ink or the fun factor of using that particular pen. The Platinum #3776 music nib is the anchor. For now the other three pens are the Noodler’s Standard Flex, the Pilot Prera Italic and the Sheaffer Taranis Medium. Those four provide a good variety of nibs and pen sizes and changing between them is good for my hand. The inks are Diamine Sepia, Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses, Noodler’s Black and Diamine Steel Blue. Again this is a good variety for maximum appeal though all of it is subject to change on a whim.
The Autopoint mechanical pencil is the Plus One. It gets more use than any fountain pen since it doesn’t need to be uncapped, can write on any paper, and is erasable, an important benefit for a fickle writer.
When I head out with pens in tow, I have a two-pen case for an intrepid duo or a four-pen case for the whole lot. An Autopoint MP is always in my handbag along with a black Sharpie Pen so I am never caught out without writing tools. A small Rhodia pad completes the ensemble. An inkophile should be prepared, yes?
Do you have something like my Core Four Plus One? If so, what’s in your primary rotation?