Sunday Notes and Links – March 20, 2016

What I Used

Visconti Homo Sapien EF with R&K Blau Schwarz LE

My favorite fountain pen and ink combination of the past week was the the Visconti Homo Sapien with R & K Blau-Schwarz LE. After a bad experience with the previous ink it’s nice to return to such an enjoyable writing experience.

Motivated by a visit to the Long Island Pen show I jumped to 14 inked pens, since reduced to 10 inked pens.

What Others Are Using and Doing

Fr. Kyle at Reverenced Writing shares his experience in letter writing and provides Correspondence Inspiration.

Notebook Stories found this story about a Fourth Grader Who Writes Novels in Notebooks.

Cody of The Pen Haul shares how he became a pen addict.

John at Pensive tells us about the W H Smith calligraphy pen that he’s had for 35 years.

Jinnie at Three Staples has some Pilot Kakuno Fountain Pen Caps that cracked and shows us how she’s repaired them.

Pen Shows & Other News

Bruno at Crónicas Estilográficas brings news that Pen Station, Pilot’s pen museum, will be closing down at the end of March.

The next pen show in the U.S. is the Atlanta Pen Show from April 15 – 17th.

The next European pen show is April 9th and 10th in Katowice Poland.

It’s not until the end of April, but Brian Anderson will have a Esterbrook Re-Sac Seminar at the Chicago Pen Show. The seminar is Sunday (May 1st) at 10:30am. Advanced registration is required and the cost is $60 which includes a pen and all needed supplies. Register here.

Ink and Pen Notes: Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe with Sailor Jentle Black

The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe is one of the pens I consider worth replacing. So I like it. It’s had a bit of a run of bad ink choices on my part, and a bad converter on Sailor’s part. So when I inked it up back on December 27th I picked a Sailor Jentle Black ink cartridge. A nice dark easy flowing ink for the very thin extra fine Sailor nib. A choice I knew would be problem free.

They worked well together and when the first cartridge was empty I popped in a second. Two cartridges in less than three months is actually pretty fast for me, especially considering how thin the line is.

I should have a full review up in a few days so I won’t make many comments here. The pen will take a break for a bit. I have 13 pens still inked, including an XXXF also with black ink, so the Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe will take a break to give the other fountain pens a chance.

Currently Inked – Mid-March 2016

My pen & ink turnover has been slow for months, meaning a monthly currently inked post had it covered. That changed this month. There’s been so much change I decided to do a quick update. Getting back from the Long Island Pen Show had me playing around with pens and inks on Sunday. By the time I was done there were 14 pens still inked up (one of which has since gone dry), up from the eight inked up as the month began.

As the date in the photo shows, I started the list on Sunday, more for my own records than a post. The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe has since been written dry so it’s the one crossed off the list. I used it to write the draft of its review Sunday night and the pen went dry this morning while writing my journal entry. The Visconti Homo Sapien remains inked up, but has a new ink which provides a much nicer writing experience than the MB Golden Yellow.

The Franklin-Christoph Model 20 with a needlepoint nib and nice red ink has gone away, mainly due to physics. The other five pens from March 1st remain unchanged and six new ones join the mix.

I had to try the ink I brought back from the pen show so the first three pens have that ink. First impressions are that both green inks are better than average (IMO) and the red is nice and behaves as promised.

I loaded the Montblanc Golden Yellow into my Omas 360. While it is a fine nib it’s the wettest nib that I have. The Montblanc Golden Yellow performs quite nicely in this pen. The ink doesn’t gush from it (which is a plus in my book) but it provides a nice writing experience, unlike in the Homo Sapien.

The Pelikan M805 seems about one writing session away from empty so that will probably go soon. Other than that, I’ll have to do some serious writing to start emptying these pens.

Just a quick photo on the pens and ink. It’s cream colored Tomoe River Paper (in a Seven Seas Writer).

Currently Inked fountain pens and writing samples

Ink and Pen Notes: Franklin-Christoph Model 02 with Pelikan Edelstein Garnet

Franklin-Christoph Model 02 with needlepoint nib and Pelikan Edelstein Garnet ink

I loaded up the Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic with a Pelikan Edelstein Garnet ink cartridge in the final days of 2015. The pen lasted this long both because it’s a thin needlepoint nib that’s stingy with ink and it was red ink, which I don’t use for long writing sessions. It would still be going if it wasn’t for a mechanical failure caused by physics.

When I picked up the pen last Friday I heard a rattle. It didn’t take much investigating, since the pen is translucent, to see that the ink cartridge had come loose. There were a couple ink drops splattered around, obviously fresh from when I just picked up the pen. It wasn’t a huge mess, but since the cartridge was about 75% used I decided to completely flush and clean the pen which meant tossing the cartridge. I store the pen nib up in a wooden pen stand on my desk. About a month ago I moved it to a new location on my desk where I typically reach over something (iPad, laptop, etc…) and drop the pen into the the pen stand. Only an inch or two but eventually gravity and physics conspired to loosen the cartridge. To compound the problem this is a pen I use several times a day when I’m at my desk and I return it to the holder after each use. I can’t that claim either the pen or cartridge are defective or poorly made. A little match has me “dropping” the pen roughly 80 times since I mode the pen stand. (FYI – neither the pen stand or the end of the pen show any signs of this abuse and I do buy my pens to use them.)

I use a needlepoint (or other thin nib) and red ink for two main purposes. Marking up documents and highlighting other notes. These days I mark up PDFs more than paper documents, so while this pen is used frequently it’s usually only a few words at a time. The Garnet color is bright and easily readable. The needlepoint is a Mike Masuyama grind from Franklin-Christoph so it’s no surprise that it’s flawless. It’s a smooth writer although being such a thin nib it requires a light touch to avoid stabbing the paper. It doesn’t like rough paper or paper with a high fiber content. My natural use for this combination is cheap copy paper, Doane Large Jotters or Write Notepads wire-bound notebooks, all of which perform well with this combination.

I was going to ink up the Franklin-Christoph Model 02 this morning but realized two things – I’m up to 13 inked pens and I rarely mark up paper documents anymore which makes this pen combination less useful. So for now it stays in the pen case until I decide what to do with the pen. The translucent orange pen begs to be eyedropper filled although I’ve yet to do so. I’ve found the rough interior (in other F-C pens) to be a royal pain to clean which makes me reluctant to do so. Yet I hate the look of a converter inside. While I’m not a fan of seeing the cartridge inside, it’s a more uniform look without the gleam of chrome so I’m OK with it. I may try a few small converter fills to test a few inks with this pen to pick a long term ink as an eye dropper fill. I like the pen too much to let it sit in storage. While my tastes change over time, it’s my current choice as the best looking Model 02.

I also like the Pelikan Edelstein Garnet ink and will use my remaining cartridges. Although I’m not such a fan that I’ll buy a bottle or even more cartridges.

Long Island Pen Show

Saturday brought a quick visit to the Long Island Pen Show. It was more crowded and congested than I remember from other years. The layout was the same as I remember so they didn’t seem to be squeezing in extra tables, meaning the congestion was from attendees which is a good things. I’m terrible at estimating and the table setup didn’t make it easy to count (no count one row and multiply) so I won’t try to estimate either the number of vendors or people. There seemed to be more nib workers there than in past shows, even though Richard Binder skipped this show.

There were more vendors selling new pens than in past years (based on my possibly faulty memory) but there were certainly more vintage dealers than new pen dealers. Although between Anderson Pens, Fountain Pen Hospital and Kenro Industries there was certainly a wide variety of new pen brands even before considering the smaller dealers.

I did see a Visconti Homo Sapien Dark Age. While a very nice pen I like my Bronze Age better and the tenuous hold the Dark Age had in my want list was lost. There was a time I would have preferred the all black design but these days I like either a very conservative all black without shading and little or no trim, or a pen with some contrast to it. Other window shopping was mainly vintage pens. A lot of interesting stuff, even if most were unfamiliar to me.

I did pick up some inks. They were a pre-order so this may not count as a pen show purchase, but here they are:

Three Long Island Pen Show Inks and their first pens,
The three pen show inks and the first pens I selected for them.

With Omas winding down I picked up Omas Green. This has been on my want list for awhile since I like green. I have Omas Black and Turquoise inks and while I’m not a fan of turquoise as a color I like the Omas Black and the turquoise performs well. My first impression of the Omas Green – very nice color, I like it. I haven’t used it enough to judge performance but if it’s anything like the other Omas inks I may have to buy a second bottle before it vanishes.

I also picked up another green ink, this one P.W. Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Groen. This is my third Akkerman ink. These inks were all the rage a couple years ago but I skipped them at that time. I’ve since picked up a couple, after they changed to the smaller bottles. The inks are fine but they aren’t close to being favorites for either of the colors that I’ve tried. I haven’t used this one enough to form an opinion. I can’t complain about the color since I knew what I was getting. It’s different than my other greens (more a yellow-green) which is why I got it, but there’s a reason it’s taken me awhile to add this shade of green. So it will probably be used less-frequently than other greens. They have the nicest ink bottle out there and the only built-in filling system that work flawlessly with all my pens.

Lastly, Noodler’s Berning Red. It’s a fast drying ink intended for lefties, which I’m not. I often use red to mark up documents so quick drying will help me avoid the occasional smudge. My concern here was bleed-through, since the fast drying is due to fast absorption. My initial test on Staples (cheap) copy paper is that it is fine (although close in spots of heavy ink), even with a medium nib. I don’t follow Noodler’s ink all that much, but this seems to be one of Nathan Tardiff’s more blatant (some may say extreme) political inks. The target is a current candidate so probably not surprising. If you watch the video it will take about 20 minutes to get to the ink (and even then there’s discussion about the pen he’s using, just no more politics).

Fountain Pen Hospital was one of the show sponsors so they were offering a $10 gift card at the door. They also offered their parts bags. The gift card required a $50 purchase and the parts pens were $50 per bag. So naturally I had to pick one up. I selected a bag of Parkers. All are missing nibs (well, one has a mangled nib) but this seems to be a good selection for learning how they are but together. I can tackle learning vacumatic repair with these and not worry about ruining a usable or even repairable pen.

Parker parts from the Long Island Pen Show

Overall, a good show that was worth the trip, even if most of it was window shopping.