Posts Tagged ‘Rohrer & Klingner’


You Deserve Something Special


Several weeks ago, I was wearing a sad face over the passing of Roy Clark, musician extraordinaire, and decided to write some thoughts in a Black n’ Red notebook. Not expecting to jot down more than a sentence or two, I still needed to select an ink and pen.

The aqua Nemosine Singularity with an italic nib caught my eye as did a bottle of Rohrer & Klingner Blu Mare. It wasn’t so much the color as the anticipated performance in the notebook that dictated the pairing. Though something short of genius, it was still a very satisfying minute that extended into several while I filled a page and a half with notes about music, musicians, and the music industry. It did cheer me though aqua ink and an italic nib have been known to produce that effect even on a good day.

And that begs a question. Is there an ink and pen duo that can bring you out of a funk? Perhaps that is what a pen gives back for the care we take of it. We give it a long and healthy life and it gives us a little joy.

What say you? Do any of your pens or inks have such an influence over you? If not, then may I suggest presenting yourself this holiday season with the gift of a fab pen and a bottle of luscious ink. Don’t neglect yourself. You deserve something special just as much as your friends and family do.



Sunday Reads From Tomoe To Ink To Graffiti


Another diverse group…


A Rohrer & Klingner Cassia Ink Review


Recently, Jet Pens offered the opportunity to review Rohrer & Klingner Cassia. Several R&K inks make it into my rotation on a regular basis, but not even so much as a sample of Cassia has landed on my desk before now. Would it be as memorable as its better-known siblings Alt-Goldgrun and Verdigris?

At the price point and volume of $12.50 for 50ml, R&K is good value on the ink market. The quality and color range make it an Inkophile favorite. Solferino gets the pink slot and Morinda the red in my rotation more often than other inks. Neither has met a pen it didn’t like and that makes them especially easy to use.

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia and Waterman Purple

Then there is Cassia. It is vaguely violet under artificial light, but decidedly purple in sunlight. Waterman Purple is quite similar but doesn’t shade as well. It is not a muted color, but neither does it demand attention. This is an all-purpose purple should you only allow one or two in your collection.

Flow is good, but not lubricated enough to glide like some of the Iroshizuku inks. Paper texture communicates through the nib which is a normal part of the fountain pen experience. In my test, pens with copious flow produced feathering or at least uneven outlines. It won’t tame that beast, but will prove a good match for an average to slightly free-flowing pen.

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia Writing Sample

Mild shading and outlining with the Namiki Falcon were unexpected treats. Cassia reduced the flow of the Pilot Elite Pocket Pen to a neat fine line, and produced bold color with the Levenger True Writer medium nib. The stronger the flow, the more violet the color.

There was some show-through on Rhodia with a couple of minor dots of bleed-through from more free-flowing nibs. There were no issues on Apica 6A10 journal paper. Performance on Moleskine Volant paper was typical with feathering, irregular outlines and bleed-through. Look elsewhere if Moleskine is your vice.

I like it best with the True Writer medium nib, but then I am fond of a wider nib. The color is useful and attractive for sketching when black or brown would be too sedate. It may seem quirky, but for sketching I do prefer inks that let the paper texture participate rather than inks that make nibs skate over the surface. Cassia does not tend to glide so it works well at providing a tiny bit of feedback.

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia has made friends with the three test pens, but has yet to find her soul mate. The Pelikan M215 with the fetching silver rings and a custom italic nib is promising, but for now otherwise engaged. When he becomes available, he might be just the one to charm pretty Cassia into a lasting relationship. We shall see…

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia Water Test

Water reveals the red violet component in Cassia.


Inks That Are Reliable Despite Summer Heat


Now that it is June and summer has arrived, my rotation will get trimmed to a minimum. That means being selective. Pens are easy since my collection has only a few enticing wide nibs. Ink is a whole different matter with hundreds of bottles and samples from which to choose.

Ink Evaporation

In hot weather, ink evaporation dries pens out more quickly than I can write them empty. That’s a waste of ink and can make cleaning arduous. Sure, some pens dry out due to air circulating under the cap. But if inks perform differently in the same pen, the culprit is the ink.

If I had to select a brand that seems to remain fluid in a converter longer than others, Iroshizuku, Sailor, or Noodler’s would be the most likely contenders. This doesn’t mean all inks in each line will be slower to dry in a nib than other inks. It just means that the ones I’ve used in warmer months have performed better.

Tainted Ink

Another issue this time of year is tainted ink. Is there a brand of ink or specific ink that is less likely to mold than another?

In my experience, inks from Japan as well as those from Diamine, Rohrer & Klingner, and Noodler’s have been less susceptible to nasty invaders. Parker Quink and Penman inks have held up well. One out of my ten bottles of discontinued Montblanc inks has a vague hint of an off odor but I only discovered that yesterday. That bottle is within its expiration date and had never been opened, so I hope it turns out to be a non-issue. Tossing a bottle of Racing Green would be sad indeed.

While I have seen color degradation in a bottle of Noodler’s Army Green, it is the only color out of over thirty from that brand that has not held up. The bottle was at least eight years old with nary a speck of mold in it. Last year a bottle of Waterman Blue-Black changed color but did not grow mold. So in my experience, color degradation has not been accompanied by mold.

Not all inks contain strong smelling biocides like those from Sailor and some Noodler’s Inks, but those that do have remained mold free even when ten to fifteen years old. For my money, ink with fragrance added is not appealing and I own none. Such inks may perform better or worse than unscented inks but I have no basis for evaluation.

Summer Favorites

For several years Diamine Mediterranean Blue has been my constant summer favorite along with Iroshizuku ku-jaku, Diamine Violet, Diamine Sepia, and one of several Noodler’s brown inks especially Golden Brown and Kiowa Pecan. There are a few new samples on hand to test soon, but for now, I am happy with that lot.

So tell me what works for you. Which inks would you nominate in the categories of least likely to evaporate and least likely to mold?


So What’s Wrong With Red?


Red the color – not the film Red. Helen Mirren is one of my favorite actresses and deserving of a svelte namesake fountain pen in my opinion. But that’s another story. No, this post is about red ink and its nearest neighbors, pink and orange. What can you do with them?

Time after time I load a pen with one of these colors and start out with the best of intentions, most often to shake up my rotation. Nothing wrong with blue, violet, brown, green, teal, and turquoise. They are, with the exception of turquoise, somewhat muted and dark, if not brooding in many incarnations. Red and its cohorts are cheeky in comparison. Shouldn’t that be exciting?

Too often anything in the red family just gets flushed down the drain though not all reds are created equal. Some shout while others whisper. With a few exceptions like Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses, Noodler’s Red-Black, and Rohrer & Klingner Solferino, the pen doesn’t get used and the ink gets wasted. So I’m swearing off for a while. My rotation no longer looks like a  rainbow but that’s fine. Maybe Noodler’s Cayenne will sneak in with the first autumn chill. Since it can look either red or orange, only one pen need get sullied. Glad that’s settled.

Do you have a similar issue with a color? If so, which one?

Noodler's Cayenne Ink

Noodler’s Cayenne Ink


Ink Talk At Fountain Pen Network


If you haven’t visited FPN recently, they’ve expanded and made it easier to find things that will surely appeal to an inkophile.

Just for fun here are a few of my favorite inks. Note that the swatches are imperfect and a bit pale. Even so these inks are awfully pretty and frequently in my rotation.

A Few of My Favorite Inks

A Few of My Favorite Inks


Coffee Jokes, Paperbacks, and Fountain Pen Links


Links are well and good but 10,000 scientists working on the same project at the same location is nothing short of mind-boggling…

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