Posts Tagged ‘Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu’


The Best On My Desk Winners For 2017


Whether penned on the back of an envelope, a scrap of napkin or in a classic journal, a list is my favorite organizational tool. The end of the year is the perfect time to make such a list, one that summarizes and compares my ever-changing pen, ink, and other tool preferences.

Rather than new faves, the focus for my 2017 list was which tools were used the most, those that rarely if ever left my desk. Products that arrived late in the year didn’t qualify even if they were noteworthy. The handsome journal from Central Crafts and two inks from Noodler’s will have to wait for the 2018 list.

(Links are to retailers and in some cases Amazon from which I receive a tiny commission should you make a purchase. Every little bit helps keep Inkophile alive!)

Tools for 2017


Pelikan M400 Fine – This pen has been in my collection for a number of years. The flow was increased by Chartpak to accommodate hand issues and proved to be a brilliant pen for my worst days.

Platinum Century Nice Pur Medium – Using different grip widths relaxes my hand while a smooth nib makes short work of any written task. The Plat provided provided both and was a good alternative to the Pel. Besides, what’s not to like about a clear barrel that shows off colorful ink?

Platinum #3776 Music Nib – Sometimes a wide nib gives me a little extra support when my hand is tired and at those times a music nib fits my needs very well. It also adds a little flair to the written word without catching on paper as an italic might and that makes writing more enjoyable.

Pilot Metropolitan Medium – When out and about, I carry a pen that can easily be replaced, but still writes well and looks sharp. The turquoise Met meets all those requirements.

TWSBI Diamond 580 Stub – This pen won the slot for a nib with line variation. It also added a pen to my rotation with a slightly wider grip circumference than the other pens. You already know what I think of a clear barrel and this design makes colorful ink sparkle.

Lamy Studio Fine – It is on the list but last due to its unpleasantly sharp cap and barrel edge. However, the nib and flow make using it worth the risk so long as I remember to grasp it gently. Unfortunately, this one has disappeared and missed the photo shoot. Phooey.


Waterman Florida Blue is mated to the Pel M400. The flow is perfect for the nib and though I may experiment with other inks, WFB always wins out.

Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan makes a luscious line with the #3776 and the shading can be quite dynamic.

Diamine Violet has been the choice of the TWSBI Diamond 580 stub and with good reason. Eye candy to be sure.

Platinum Mixable Aqua Blue suits the turquoise Met perfectly. My samples are now depleted, so it’s time for a full bottle. In the interim, Rohrer & Klingner Blu Mare will do.

Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu was my dark green ink which was well suited to a silver Met. It isn’t Montblanc Racing Green, but it does have excellent flow as well as other charming properties.

Platinum Classic Lavender Black is a newcomer that made a splash in the Platinum Century Nice Pur. Color and performance made this an excellent choice for my everyday ink.


Clairefontaine, Stillman & Birn, Staples Arc and anything made with Tomoe River paper. Enough said.

Watercolor Paint

Artist quality: Sennelier, Daniel Smith, American Journey, and Da Vinci are mainstays along with a couple of Winsor & Newton colors on occasion.

Student grade: Sennelier La Petit Aquarelle and Daler-Rowney Aquafine are about as good as student quality gets. They are not as saturated or lightfast as artist grade paints, but fine in a journal and are packaged conveniently for outdoor sketching. When I empty a palette of student paint, it gets refilled with artist quality paint.

Watercolor Paper

Arches 140# for paintings and Canson Watercolor 140# for color swatches. The best paper is 100% cotton. It will yield the truest colors and survive the longest. Arches is cotton and readily available. It is pricey but worth it.

Watercolor Brushes

SAA Gold Round #10 This was my favorite brush last year and easily got the most use.

Silver Brush Black Velvet Round #8

Escoda Versatil Rigger #2

Daniel Smith Platinum Angle 1/2″ (sable and taklon)

Isabey Petit Gris 6234 Quill Mop #0

Other writing and drawing tools

Pentel Pocket brush pen

Autopoint mechanical pencil

Pentel Sign Touch Pen

New Stuff

Noodler’s Legal Blue and Polar Purple

Romano Handmade Recycled Leather Wrap Large Journal (Paper is not friendly with all fountain pen inks. Handsome leather cover.)

What’s on your list? Use the comments to post your faves as well as most used tools for 2017. Or submit a link if you’ve already shared such a list elsewhere.


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.


A Winning Moleskine, Ink And Pen Combo


A chance meeting of a Moleskine notebook, a Pilot MR Metropolitan medium nib, and Sailor Tokiwa-matsu ink revealed a very acceptable partnership. Almost no feathering and so little bleed-through as to make the backs of pages useful makes this a winning combination. I am not a huge Moleskine fan, but in this case, paint me happily surprised.

Note that the left hand page was not written with Tokiwa-matsu. It produced far less ghosting and bleed-through than pictured.

Moleskine, Pilot Metropolitan and Sailor Tokiwa-matsu at Amazon.


Brief Update On The Pilot Metropolitan


Sometimes a pen works so well with an ink that nothing else seems right for it. Who can argue with success? But it can pay to be open to change.

Last night the Pilot MR Metropolitan Medium was ready for another refill and begged for a different color. Pilot Blue Black has performed so well that at first I rejected the request. But after a bath, the pen was ripe for a new ink. We settled on green to expand the colors in my rotation. Sailor Tokiwa-matsu has had little use and is subdued enough to suit my go-everywhere pen. So after a fill, we went for a spin.

Not expecting the smooth flow and ideal performance of Pilot BBk, I was delighted to find Tokiwa-matsu quite nearly its equal. But wait. Does that mean the Metro performed equally well with both inks? Indeed.

Now it’s time to acquire a second one to see if my Metro medium nib is uncommon or typical. Buying another pen is easy. The hard part is settling on the color. Choices, choices, choices, but that is a very good thing.

%d bloggers like this: