Ink Notes: P.W. Akkerman Hofkwartier Groen #28

Franklin-Christoph Model 20 stub nib with Akkerman #28 ink bottle

I picked up this bottle of Akkerman Hofkwartier Groen #28 in March at the Long Island Pen Show. My previous experience with Akkerman inks was only fair. Not bad enough to dump the ink and re-use the bottle for a favorite ink, but not good enough for regular use in my pens. Green is my favorite ink color so I decided to give this one a try. I’m glad I did as this ink has boosted my opinion of Akkerman inks.

I’ve only used this ink in wide(ish) nibs -stubs and mediums. I figured this color would need some width to avoid vanishing into the page. But as the writing samples show, it does well with an extra fine nib. I tend to like bright greens and while this ink isn’t neon bright, it is easily legible on every paper I’ve written on. The more I use it the more the color grows on me.

I use Doane Paper Grids + Lines for my writing samples because I like it, and use it a lot. But it also provides a good test of how an ink stands out since the Doane Jotter paper has a bit of a yellow/green tint to it along with the busy Grids + Lines in blue. The Hofkwartier Groen is very legible on this paper even with the extra fine nib. The ink would be fine on white paper even with an extra fine nib.

I use a Seven Seas Writer with Tomoe River paper and this ink looks and performs really well on the paper. The color is just different enough, and there’s enough line variation to provide a fun and enjoyable writing experience.

The ink performance has been great, no hard starts or skipping in any of the pens I used. The ink flow is nice and provides some line variation. Drying times are reasonable. I’m really pleased with how well this ink performs.

Considering the complete lack of water resistance it’s no surprise that this ink was easily flushed from my pens.

A major attraction of Akkerman inks is their unique bottle. While it looks great on a desk it also has the only “last drop” filling system I’ve encountered that actually works, even with big nibs.

Akkerman Hofkwartier Groen #28 is the first Akkerman ink I’ve encountered that could see regular use in my pens. The main thing holding it back is that I have several green inks that I like, although it’s unique color may give it an advantage.

Additional Reading

The Gentleman Stationer Ink Review – He use is in thinner nibs and for annotation. A typical use for my green inks yet not something with this one yet.

Fountain Pen Day Giveaway

TWSBI Eco and ink samples

Fountain Pen Day, November 4th, may seem far away but it’s in less than six weeks. I’m doing another give away this year and like last year it will be old school and require a handwritten entry. Unlike last year the giveaway will end rather than begin on Fountain Pen Day. Score one for advance planning.

The giveaway is a new TWSBI Eco fountain pen that’s black (with a clear barrel for ink viewing) with a medium nib and a random sample of inks. On a recent Goulet Pens order I included their “Random Ink Sample Package”. I won’t list the eight inks so you’ll be as surprised as I was (unless you can tell from the picture).

The giveaway is open worldwide. I’m giving more time this year because some international entries barely arrived in time (and one didn’t) despite being postmarked close to the contest announcement. So if you’re international don’t delay.

To enter:

  1. Send a letter or postcard to me. “Letter” is very generic in this case. The letter can be anything, drawings, poems, a postcard, a standard letter, or a few words on an index card in the envelope, etc… as long as it’s delivered to the PO Box. Use a fountain pen if you have one, if you don’t have a fountain pen use your favorite writing instrument (or whatever is nearby) and include a few words about why you want a fountain pen. Not required, but I like to know the pens, nibs and inks used.
  2. Send your entry to:
    Ray Newbery
    PO Box 176
    East Berlin, CT 06023
    USA
  3. The entry must arrive by Friday November 4, 2016 and be in the PO Box when I pick up the mail that afternoon.
  4. One entry per person. Households with multiple fountain pen users can enter once per person but each entry must be written and sent separately.
  5. Please be sure to include a legible copy of your address on the entry as I will ship the pen to this address. Optionally (but recommended), include an email address so I can contact you before shipping the pen and verify any information.

I hope to announce the winner on Fountain Pen Day or a soon as I can after.

The really fine print:

None of this is important to you entry but to clarify some potential questions:

If I can’t pick up the mail that Fountain Pen Day afternoon then any entry in the box when I do pick it up will be valid as long as the postmark is November 4th or earlier.

If your entry doesn’t include enough information for me to send you the pen or contact you (or if the info isn’t legible) I will pick another winner or, at my option, post a copy of the entry and give the winner 72 hours to contact me to provide the information and pick another winner if not contacted.

Each entry will be assigned a number in a random fashion. In other words, in batches as I get to it. The winning number will be picked at random.org.

I’m not responsible for loss or damage in shipping, meaning if the pen is lost or damaged in shipping I can’t afford to replace it. For international shipping (I’m in the U.S.) I’ll use the lowest cost method and this may take six weeks and won’t include tracking (although there may be tracking until it leaves the US). The pen will be declared as a gift but listing the value is also required and the cost of the pen (less than $30) will be listed for international customs.

So get writing.

Sunday Notes and Links – September 25, 2016

A couple new pens should be turning up here soon. This week I received the Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche (2016 LE) and just inked it up. I debated the purchase but the first impression is favorable. More this week.

Then Shawn Newton emailed me that he’s beginning to work on my pen. It’s a little earlier than expected but seeing the pictures of the work in progress has me excited.

As usual, starting with pen shows…

The Commonwealth Pen Show (Boston) is today (25th) from 9am to 5pm. Unfortunately I can’t attend this year but I’m hoping lots of people do so that a two day show is justified for next year.

The Colorado Pen Showis a couple weeks away, running from October 7th through 9th.

All US pen shows (at least that I know of) are listed here along with a schedule.

What’s Being Used & How

Best Fountain Pen Inks for Editing and Annotation — The Gentleman Stationer // I agree whole-heartily with his first choice. I have reservations about his second choice preferring a Montblanc ink, but I’m coming around. Yup, I left out colors and ink names. Read the article, good info.

A Pen by Ryan Krusac | Inkdependence! // This makes me want to ink up my own Ryan Krusac fountain pen

Unboxing Hobonichi 2017 | East…West…Everywhere // I’ve decided to take a break from the Hobonichi in 2017. I’m still using it this year, but it’s overkill for how I use it.

Brief Update On The Pilot Metropolitan | An Inkophile’s Blog // Change is good

Currently Inked: Loadout for Weekend in Philly — Pendora’s Box

Resources (on this site)

Index of my Ink Notes

Nib Workers, Pen Restorers and Fountain Pen Makers (recently updated)

Fountain Pen Clubs & Meetups

Ink Notes: KWZ Gummiberry

KWZ Gummiberry Ink Bottle

KWZ is a relatively new boutique ink brand from Poland with is available from Vanness Pens in the US. You can find out more about them at their website. Actually, I use “them” & “their” out of habit, the ink is made by one guy. I bought three bottles of KWZ ink at the Washington DC Pen Show including KWZ Gummiberry.

My introduction to the KWZ brand was back in June with KWZ Iron Gall (IG) Blue-Black and wasn’t very impressed with that ink. It was fine but nothing special in my opinion. KWZ got it’s initial buzz from its variety of iron gall ink colors. There is a IG Gummiberry but this one is a non-IG ink. (I do have a bottle of the IG version, but I’ve yet to open the bottle.)

I have two bottles of non-IG KWZ inks (Green #2 is the other) and both have the same odor. I don’t consider the odor either good or bad, it’s just there and it’s strong when the bottle is opened. It does smell like a chemical. It dissipates a bit when it’s in the pen and I haven’t noticed it with inked pens. My KWZ iron gall inks don’t have the same odor.

I really liked the color right from the beginning. It looked great in the medium Sailor KOP nib as well as the thinner Visconti Homo Sapien EF nib. There was some slight line variation with the wider nib that wasn’t there with the thinner nib. Still, even with the extra fine nib the line was clearly visible and the color was vibrant. I don’t have a lot of purple inks to compare this to and it’s been awhile since I inked up one of the ones I have.

The line is true to the nib size and I haven’t encountered any noticeable feathering. There is some heavy show-through and I did encounter some minor bleed-through. While writing on my Doane Paper writing pad, with the extra fine nib, I noticed a few dots each time I went to a new page. A little research showed these were under places where I had crossed out or written over something, so there was extra ink there.

As the water test shows, the ink has no water fastness worth noting, so it’s not a surprise that the ink was easy to clean from my pens. The Sailor KOP and Lamy AL-Star are cartridge/converter pens which are generally easy to clean. So they were quick and easy as expected. The Visconti Homo Sapien is a power filler (similar to a vac filler) so it generally takes longer to flush. The Gummiberry was flushed from the pen well before the tedium set in.

The KWZ Gummiberry quickly became one of my current favorite fountain pen inks and has been in pen since I got it. Much of this may be because the color is relatively unique for me, but the friendly ink properties also contribute a lot. The only potential downside is the odor, which doesn’t bother me. Bleed or show-through may bother some people but it’s not bad with my pens and paper of choice, at least not bad enough to bother me.

Sunday Notes and Links – September 18, 2016

Not much time this weekend so I’ll get right to the links…

Starting with pen shows…

Two pen shows this coming weekend. The Commonwealth Pen Show (Boston) is on Sunday the 25th and the Dallas Pen Show is on the 24th & 25th.

The Colorado Pen Showis also less than a month away, running from October 7th through 9th.

All US pen shows (at least that I know of) are listed here along with a schedule.

Meetups

The 2016 Pelikan Hubs were this past Friday. Gourmet Pens wrote about the Pelikan Hub in Amsterdam. The Gentleman Stationer wrote about the Nashville Hub.

What’s Being Used & How

Why I don’t organise my notebooks. — The Ink Smudge // I don’t organize my notebooks either and do even less, just dating each page. I used to be good and remembering about when things happened and then finding it in the notebook. I’ve gotten less good lately but I need to go back less and less.

Currently Inked #13 | 15 September 2016 – Pen Habit // Video, with a guest this time

Pen Restoration: 1930’s Sheaffer’s Balance Premier Oversize Plunger Filler — Gorgeous.Ink // I love the look of these pens, and have a couple different colors. I’d love to be able to restore them.

Hobonichi Techo (2016 Edition) Review – Pens! Paper! Pencils!// I’m still using my 2016 Tech, but just barely. I decided not to get one for 2017. I love the paper and the size, but it’s just not for me.

Ink Review: Akkerman #28 (Hofkwartier Groen) — The Gentleman Stationer // While Akkerman inks have a cult following my reaction to the couple that I tried were mostly “meh”. This is the only Akkerman ink I’ve used that has elevated to “I like it” status, although it seems to prefer wider nibs. So it will be awhile before I empty the bottle.

Another Viewpoint: The Kaweco Sport Squeezable Converter | From the Pen Cup // Mary has a good experience with the new Kaweco squeeze converter.

Huy Hoang Dao Oblique Holder | The Passionate Penman // This would be a complete waste in my hand. But it’s cool.

Goulet Pens Blog: FP101: How To Write With A Flex Nib // Speaking of a complete waste in my hand, but fun to watch