Ink & Pen Notes: Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with Monteverde Burgundy

Visconti Homo Sapient Bronze Age with Monteverde BurgundyI filled one of my favorite fountain pens, the Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with an extra fine nib, with Monteverde Burgundy back on February 12th and wrote it dry on April 5th. I’m a little slow getting these notes out even though there’s not much to say.

The ink & pen both performed nicely. This is Monteverde’s older Burgundy ink, now replaced by Napa Burgundy. I like the color of Napa Burgundy a little better, but the performance is similar. The flow was good and problem free. Dry time was on the long side of normal for most inks, meaning it was a little slow for my taste and I did have a few accidental smudges. But it wasn’t a bad experience and I wouldn’t avoid using this ink in the future, although not in a wide or free-flowing nib. The color is a little muted, which I sometimes like, and sometimes don’t.

The inked cleaned as well as any other ink from this Visconti. It’s a tedious process. Plus, ink has a tendency to collect where the feed meets the section. Normal flushing doesn’t clear this ink and I admit to letting it build up a bit and only dealing with in every two or three cleanings. It was time. This process has me hold the nib/section in the ultrasonic cleaner. Then fill the pen with water, wrap the nib in tissue and put it in a tall shot glass to wick the ink out overnight. This time around I repeated the process a couple more times. I can’t clam complete success since there’s was still ink on the tissue even after the third time. But I decided it was enough since the water was clear when it came out of the pen and I use safe, pen friendly inks in this pen. The Visconti Homo Sapien material likes to soak in the ink.

Normally the Visconti Homo Sapien would already be back in the rotation, but I want to write a couple more pens dry. While I won’t avoid the Monteverde Burgundy in the future, nothing about the ink makes me eager to pick it over other inks.

Visconti Homo Sapient Bronze Age with Monteverde Burgundy writing sample

Additional Read

Reviewed on Fountain Pen Network

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Vintage Heartbreak

Broken Sheaffer Balance Oversize

It’s been a bad few weeks for me and my vintage Sheaffer Balance Oversize fountain pens. First my pearl grey Oversize wouldn’t fill, probably a pinhole in the sac. At least that’s within my ability to fix, as long as I don’t crack the pen removing the sac. But then things went downhill fast at the end of March. I inked up my Marine Green Balance Oversize and had been using is sporadically during the month. While nice, the big stub isn’t suited to my writing style so I just used it when I wanted a little variation. Plus it’s a gorgeous pen. Unfortunately when I went to pick it up the other day the cap came off and the pen stayed behind. I soon saw it wasn’t because the cap was simply loose, but it had sheared off above the cap band.

I can’t say I know how it happened. Because the pen isn’t suited to me it doesn’t travel out of the house. There isn’t any point since it’s extremely unlikely I’d use it. It lived in my Visconti 3-Pen Case most of the time where it’s well protected, or occasionally in a Dudek Modern Goods pen stand where it’s stored cap up, and the cap is completely above the stand.

I suppose I could have hit the pen and not noticed, but this seems unlikely. What I have noticed is that when I pick up a pen to use and twist the cap off (or on) I usually twist it from the top. I imagine this puts some stress on the cap as I twist it. So I’ll be changing my habit and start twisting the cap from down at it’s base by the cap band.

This damage is well beyond my ability to fix, and I may eventually see if I can send it off to be repaired. I’m conflicted about that decision. The pen is gorgeous, one of my favorites based strictly on looks. Yet, the nib just isn’t well suited to my writing style so I don’t use the pen very much.

The Sheaffer Balance Oversize was inked with Diamine 150th Anniversary Terracotta. I liked the ink and the wide stub nib provided some subtle shading.

Kickstarter: Tomoe River Hippo

Krys has been writing the Squishy-Ink blog since last year. While not exclusively ink reviews there’s a constant flow of them along with great, colorful photography. I’ve linked to it’s posts more than once and if you’ve never visited the site head on over there now.

She recently launched a Kickstarter for a hardcover notebook with 68GSM Tomoe River paper. It’s worth noting that 68GSM is slightly thicker than the more common 52GSM paper. I do have a notebook with 68GSM paper and it is still thin paper, just not as thin as the paper in my Seven Seas Writer, Crossfield or Hobonichi Techo. I’ve yet to actually use the 68GSM paper so I can’t speak to its properties. This will make the it thicker than the 480 pages in the Seven Seas Notebooks. I suspect the difference will be noticeable. (It’s described as 500 pages, this could mean 250 double-sided sheets but from the photos I’m guessing it’s 500 sheets.)

The notebook is called pocket A5 sized because it is a little shorter than A5 sized. There’s also a exclusive Robert Oster ink (after all, it’s from Squishy Ink) available as a reward called Hippo Purple.

The project has already burst through it’s goal, so it will happen. They’ve also reached all four stretch goals. There’s still a few days left to get early bird reward pricing and the campaign closes April 23rd.

I did back the project (notebook & ink), but it is Kickstarter so I feel compelled to mention there’s a risk especially since it’s her first project. In this case I’d guess the ship date (July 2017) is a bit too aggressive and I won’t see the rewards until after that. That said, I’ve no doubt they notebook and ink will be delivered soon after that and be of good quality.

Visit the Kickstarter page for all the details.

Currently Inked – April 2017

It’s been a hectic month so I won’t be writing much about the pens I used but I did want to post my currently inked pens. The Visconti Brunelleschi is a new pen and I’m liking it a lot so far, although it’s still on its first fill. I hope to have a first impressions post up soon.

As usual, the photos are in the same order as the writing samples.

Currently Inked capped - April 2017

Currently Inked uncapped - April 2017

Currently Inked writing sample - April 2017

Long Island Pen Show 2017

The Long Island Pen Show is happening this weekend. While this is as close as it gets to a local show for me, I unfortunately won’t be able to make it this year.

There will be a calligraphy workshop on Sunday, which is new this year. The cost is $25, which covers materials, including nibs and holders. The workshop runs 10am to 2pm.

The website also lists a Playing with Your Letters workshop on Sunday that runs an hour on Sunday and is free (space may be a limiting factor).

Richard Binder missed last year but is returning this year and will join several others for nib work and pen repairs.

The weather forecast calls for rain through Saturday morning but then precipitation free for the rest of the weekend.

Ink & Pen Notes: Aurora Optima Nero Perla (M) with Akkerman Dutch Masters 09 Steenrood van Vermeer

Aurora Optima Nero Perla with Akkerman Steenrood Vermeer BottleInk names seem to be getting longer these days, especially when the english translation is included in it. The P.W. Akkerman Dutch Masters line is relatively new and they come in oversized 120ml bottles. So they’re an investment of both ink and money. I picked the Akkerman Dutch Masters 09 Steenrood “Red Stone” Vermeer to give the line a try. I’ve been on a terra cotta streak lately and this ink fits the profile.

I’ve been enjoying new inks in my medium nib pens, a slightly wider than usual nib for me, but one that can show off an inks properties. I picked the Aurora Optima Nero Perla to inaugurate this ink. I love the nice warm brown color of the ink, but the performance has been disappointing. I didn’t flush the ink from the pen and wrote it dry in a month despite having several other good pen choices. So I guess the pluses out-weighed the minuses.

Ink starvation was a frequent problem. Unless the pen spent the night nib down I would have to put if nib down for several minutes before the ink would reach the nib. For the first couple of weeks the pen was fine all day after it spent a couple minutes nib down. But then it became worse. After using the pen awhile it would eventually begin to write a progressively drier line until I had to prime the feed. The first time this happened I instinctively (and carelessly) thought the pen was empty and worked the piston to release the reserve reservoir. There was still plenty of ink so I created a bit of a mess. Luckily the nib was pointed up and my hands were below so they caught the ink. I guess that’s another reason it went dry in a month.

This is only the third ink for the Aurora Optima Perla, but it’s the first with any sort of a problem. The other two inks were Aurora’s own Black ink and Akkerman #12 Magenta from their regular ink line.

I really enjoy using the Aurora Optima so it will be back with another ink soon enough. With about 118 ml of Akkerman Dutch Masters #09 Steenrood Vermeer left I certainly better use it so I’ll be trying it in another fountain pen. Hopefully it just didn’t get along with the Aurora and will take to a different pen.

My apologies but no writing sample. The photo was terrible and I didn’t notice until I was finishing up this post. I’ll try to retake it and update this post, although the review link below has a good sample.

Additional Reading

Pen Review: The Aurora Optima Nero Perla — The Gentleman Stationer

Akkerman Hollandse Meesters #9 Steenrood Van Vermeer (Red) – Ink Reviews – The Fountain Pen Network

Ink & Pen Notes: Pelikan Souverän M805 Stresemann Anthracite with Monteverde Napa Burgundy

Pelikan M805 Stresemann (EF) with Monteverde Napa Burgundy bottleI filled my Pelikan Souverän M805 Stresemann Anthracite (EF) with the new Monteverde Napa Burgundy ink back on December 19th. In other words, it was inked up last year. It holds a lot of ink and the extra fine nib conserves ink. But still, I liked the ink and two and a half months seems like a long time. So while I liked it enough, it didn’t inspire me to use it more than other inks.

I wrote the full name of the pen in order to boost the word count since I don’t have much to say. Performance was flawless and I like the color. I had more than a few careless smudges so the ink takes longer than I would expect to dry. The ink was easy to flush from the pen, even after being in a piston filler for over two months. There was no need to remove the nib or take the pen apart and it was quick to clean.

The Napa Burgundy ink is slightly redder and richer than the old Burgundy, an improvement in my opinion. I have the old Monteverde Burgundy in another extra fine nib and there’s a noticeable difference.

The Pelikan 805 Stresemann was always an extra fine, but the from the factory extra fine was more like a wide medium. The nib was ground down to a more traditionally sized extra fine by Dan Smith back in August and has been inked more often than not since then. I’ll give it a short rest to give some other pens a chance to be used. That’ll give me time to decide what my next ink will be. It will be back soon.

The Monteverde Napa Burgundy is a nice ink and I do like it, but it’s not so nice that I’ll miss it in my pens. I won’t hesitate to load it up, but I’m in no rush either.

Pelikan M805 Stresemann (EF) with Monteverde Napa Burgundy writing sample

Additional Reading

I haven’t come across any blogger or forum reviews of this ink, but Goulet Pens published this short video which put the ink on display.

The Pelikan’s Perch reviewed the M805 Stresemann.