Posts Tagged ‘Rhodia paper’

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My Core Four Plus One

01/09/2014

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?

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G’bye 2013 – Hello 2014

01/01/2014

Pens, inks and paper make a terrific hobby, but you already know that. Writing about them is my way of sharing the fun of using these tools. You make it worth the effort and for that I thank you.

Some names and numbers…

Thank you for the generous donations that helped keep Inkophile going last fall. My hobby has become a financial challenge. Really. Who wouldn’t want the newest colors of ink and several pricey pens every year? Sometimes retailers or manufacturers offer their newest creations or items they want to move off the shelf for review and that’s very much appreciated. When that doesn’t happen, I would like to purchase new items. Sponsorships and other sources of funding would allow me to do that. So moving forward, there will be some changes at Inkophile. Hopefully, that won’t estrange too many readers, but if you fancy an unsupported pen blog, there are plenty in the sidebar from which to choose.

As my interests have evolved, so has the content of my blog. Watercolor painting plays third fiddle to writing and using fountain pens, but painting in my journal has made it an integrated hobby. If nothing else, the addition of lively color to my wordy journal entries is a creative embellishment that is both intriguing and satisfying. More to come.

This is my favorite doodle of the year. It started as two comma shaped lines at the top and the rest was pure luck.

Copyright © 2013 Margana Maurer. All Rights Reserved.

Gene Kelly in Rose Ink

May your new year be filled with joyful dancing and colorful friends. Hello 2014!

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That’s A Wrap For 2013

12/29/2013

Some items new for 2013 along with favorites from years past:

The List

The Images

Ink Comparison

Writing ink

Noodler's Lexington Gray and Kiowa Pecan
Drawing ink – Noodler’s Lexington Gray and Kiowa Pecan

Platinum Century Fountain Pen
Round nib fountain pen – Platinum Century B

Platinum #3776 Music Nib
Stock stub or italic exotic nib – Platinum #3776 music nib

Namiki Falcon SF
Stock flexible nib – Namiki Falcon SF on Rhodia paper

Levenger True Writer Kyoto Stub
Custom stub or italic – Levenger True Writer Masuyama stub

Pilot
Brush pen – Pilot “New Brush in Character” in a Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook

Paperblanks Journal
Most beautiful journal/notebook – Paperblanks Maya Blue Ultra Silver Filigree

Watercolor Tools
Watercolor brush – Isabey 8234 Petit Gris Squirrel Quill Mop #0 and #2, Daniel Smith 44-08 Kolinksky Sable #3 and #5
Watercolor tube paint – WN Scarlet Lake, Cobalt Violet, Permanent Rose and DS Green Gold
Watercolor pan paint – Jackson’s Genuine Carmine, French Ultramarine Blue

So that’s what’s on my list. What made it to yours?

Note: Reviews of Tomoe River paper, Paperblanks journals and Jackson’s Watercolors are in the works.

Note: Three programs emerged as incredibly useful, Evernote, Janetter for Twitter and MalwareBytes. Spotify is my choice for music and OmmWriter for distraction-free writing.

Historical Note: In 1884 Lewis Waterman developed the fountain pen. He took 10 years to perfect his invention.

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Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher Ink Review

12/07/2013

Last week Gentian sent a sample of Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher along with a chocolate bar, a pad of pen-friendly paper, a sample of Platinum Carbon Black, and some other bits and pieces. Wanna guess what got sampled first? The chocolate bar of course!

Now that the bar has been reduced to a wrapper, it is time to play with the ink. BBK is a bulletproof ink. An application of water smears enough color to prove the ink was assaulted, but the writing remains legible. That is useful for noting when your signature has received an unwanted attempt at tampering. It can also be used to create a wash of color when the water is applied with a brush. It is not a waterproof ink, but it will get you through a casual coffee spill.

Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher

The color is dark blue, very dark blue. Flow and lubrication are excellent. BBK  could make a stingy nib perform better, but it might be too enthusiastic for a wet nib. It was a little stubborn rinsing from the nib and suffers from mild nib creep though in line with comparable Noodler’s inks. The small degree of shading might be more attributable to how I use a pen rather than being a characteristic of the ink. Drying time is around ten seconds on Rhodia.

The writing samples show varying degrees of feathering. The dip pen on Rhodia shows the most, but the flow is more copious than a fountain pen. Performance on Moleskine is quite impressive considering there is no feathering along paper fibers, something common on Moleskine paper. The third sample is from an old notebook that is fountain pen-friendly. The feathering is only noticeable with a loupe, but there are very clean outlines with Waterman Florida Blue in adjacent writing. Some bulletproof inks do exhibit a degree of feathering. BBK gets good marks in comparison.

Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher is well-suited to Japanese pens with very fine nibs. Right now there are two Pilots and a Platinum clamoring for a fill. The nibs are so fine that this free-flowing ink might be just the one to make them happy. Me, too, for that matter.

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Sailor Sky High Ink And That Sheen Thing

08/14/2013

Have you heard of sheen as an ink characteristic? It’s that fleeting appearance of more than one color when an ink is first applied to paper. Don’t blink! It disappears in an instant, if you even see it.

Learned my lesson and will never buy an ink again on that sort of promise. If an ink does something exciting like show tons of shading or outlining, that’s a whole different matter. Those are enduring qualities. Ten years from now, they will still be evident. If an ink has amazing flow or seems to cushion the nib in a delightful way, well, at least those are tactile pleasures that enhance the writing experience. So those are worth a little extra money even if temporary thrills. But sheen? Bah, humbug.

On the right paper and with perfect lighting, you might see that second color. But I just want to write and for that Sailor Sky High does not disappoint. The Pelikan M215 Rings with the Binder stub nib has performed very well with Noodler’s Ottoman Azure and Eel Blue amongst other inks so I had a good basis for comparison. Sky High is a bit more lubricating than the former but better controlled than the latter. The Pel is quite content with it and good performance is always a treat. In fact, there is a nice degree of shading on Rhodia paper. The color is less saturated than the two Noodler’s inks, but not enough to make it less colorful. Any one of the three will work for an ink in this hue.

Sailor Gentle Ink - Sky High

The greatest difference between the three is the odor. Virtually no odor to Eel Blue, typical if mild Noodler’s odor to Ottoman Azure, but Sailor Sky High is pungent in comparison. That is from biocides and a good thing since it retards or prevents ink’s nemesis, mold. For the chemically sensitive, Sailor inks may not be a good option. Eel Blue will give you the color without the odor although it may be too free-flowing for all pens. That has not been an issue for me even with wide nibs and I find it an absolute joy in Japanese fine nibs since it has good lubrication. Sky High performs equally well though it is more pricey at $12.50 US for 50 ml. Noodler’s is the same price for 90 ml. The bottle design is quite different so one may suit better than the other.

If I had to pick one out of the three for my rotation, it would be Noodler’s Ottoman Azure. It’s been a top ten ink for me since I bought it. Sailor ink is excellent for quality but the standard colors haven’t caught my fancy although some of the limited editions from a few years ago remain unique and deserve special recognition. Retiring Sailor Brown and Red-Brown shouldn’t have happened but perhaps someday those colors will be re-released. In the meantime, Sailor Sky High will do as a mid-range, slightly green-biased blue. I mean an inkophile must have Sailor ink in at least one pen, right?

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