I inked up two fountain pens to bring me up to nine inked fountain pens as August begins. The Washington D.C. Pen Show is this weekend. I won’t be attending this year so I’ll probably ink up several of my pens over the next few days and have a mini pen show of my own.
The first newly inked pen is the Franklin-Christoph Model 20 “Marietta” in Vintage Green acrylic and a medium stub nib. I picked Kaweco Purple in a cartridge this time around. This is a pen that has leaked in the past, although never while actually using it. I intended to treat it gingerly the last time I inked it up but forgot and it did a lot of traveling in my bag before I remembered and there was already a lot of ink it the cap. This time it’s not in the case and I’ll give it a couple weeks of light use to see if it leaks. Then I’ll add it back to my case to see if it just handles jostling far worse than other pens. Or maybe it was my ink choice since it hasn’t leaked every time. I promised myself that if it does leak this time I’ll try to fix the issue rather than putting it aside to tackle later.
The Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen also returned to the rotation in it’s now familiar role of testing new inks. Well, inks that are new to me. I find that its medium nib is ideal for bringing out the best in an ink while not being too wide for me to use regularly. This time it gets Callifolio Téodora ink. It’s a green ink and my first impression is: Nice!
August 2017 starts with the following pens and inks:
My favorite pen, the Visconti Homo Sapient Bronze Age was filled with P.W. Akkerman #12 Mauritshuis Magenta ink back on June 12th. It lasted about six weeks, which is about normal these days. (I’m late getting these notes out.)
The ink performed well in this pen, no skipping or hard starts. It’s a little slow to dry so I did have one or two accidental smudges. The ink was easy enough to clean out of the power filler (similar or identical to a vacuum filler). Cleaning this pen is always tedious, but the time needed to flush this ink was normal. The ink doesn’t even pretend to be water resistant which does help in the cleaning.
The extra fine nib didn’t provide any noticeable shading or line variation and the ink wasn’t as vibrant as it was with a medium nib. There was enough pop to make Mauritshuis Magenta and an extra fine nib the perfect combination for marking up documents.
While I don’t think any ink should be banned from the workplace, I have to admit I probably wouldn’t use this pen/ink combo for long work related documents to be read by others. (Although these days anything that meets that definition is almost certainly electronic.). While I like the color a page full of this ink from an extra fine nib is neon bright and can be a bit off-putting. While a medium nib provides enough shading and line variation to provide some character and a full page of writing would feel less like an assault on the eyes.
The Visconti Homo Sapient Bronze Age will certainly return to the rotation very soon. It’s still my all-around favorite fountain pen but I am giving it some breaks these days. I really like the color of the Akkerman Mauritshuis Magenta, and since I don’t have too many magenta inks I’m sure it will be back. The color makes it ideal for highlighting documents and making notes that stand out. Unfortunately, it’s slowish dry time hurts it in these roles.
I inked up my Sheaffer Balance Aspen (a.k.a. Sheaffer Balance II Aspen) with its usual Montblanc Permanent Grey ink way back on February 13th. So it’s been inked up for a few months. Despite infrequent use over those months there was never any skipping or hard starts.
There’s nothing new for me to say about this pen & ink combination, it’s a favorite pen and ink pairing.
While I’m not usually paranoid about damage to my fountain pens this one is an exception. I’m actively paranoid about damaging this pen which limits my use of it. I keep it ensconced in a Visconti single pen case so it’s out of site and therefore out of mind. I only use the Aspen when writing is my main focus which means the pen will stay in my hand and not be waved around a lot. I never use it while taking notes doing research where the pen might get put down or need constant capping/uncapping, so it’s excluded from a considerable amount of my writing these days. Plus, I always said I would never buy a pen that I wouldn’t take out and about with me, but I have to admit that while this pen has left the house, it’s a really rare occurrence and an honest appraisal says this pen breaks that rule.
The pen was extremely easy to clean, despite having a permanent ink in it for 5 months. Part of that may be because the grey ink is easy to dilute in water so it appears perfectly clean much faster than a bright ink.
The Sheaffer Balance Aspen and Montblanc Permanent Grey will both get a rest. When they return it will almost certainly be together.