My fountain pen usage was below average this week, which is frustrating because I started the week with 15 inked fountain pens last week. The Sheaffer Balance Oversize did go dry, but that was more because of the lack of ink that I loaded into the pen. It wrote three or four pages then went dry. The other pens are still going strong. I’ve been picking two each day and using them throughout the day, so they are getting used, just not heavily.
My fountain pen usage has been low for the last two weeks. That changed a bit on Friday, and I’m hoping it will continue. I couldn’t sleep Thursday, so I got up, poured a bourbon, turned on the Red Sox game, and decided to do some writing. None of the pens on my desk called out to me, so instead of writing I inked up some pens.
I started by picking a few pens and ink that I like but haven’t used in awhile. I put the inked pens in a 12 pen case just because it was handy. But since I don’t like empty pen slots in a case, I was compelled to keep inking pens until the case was full. I inked up the last pen as the Red Sox were celebrating their win. By then I had 10 newly inked pens to add to my five previously inked pens. For most pens I didn’t pay any attention to matching it with ink, I just picked pens and ink I liked and matched them based on what ink was closest when I picked up the pen.
The newly inked fountain pens and the inks I filled them with are…
Two Vanishing Points: The VP is easy to carry and quick to use, so I decided to add some variety to the XXXF already inked up. The medium oblique nib is in the Maplewood body. It was last inked in June 2016. This is the second oblique nib inked up. While officially a medium it’s a thin medium. It has a small sweet spot, so unlike my typical VP use, I use it for “real” writing and not quick, hastily written notes. This one got my never-before-used Aurora Blue-Black ink. The second VP was a medium nib with a cartridge of Pilot sepia ink. It was last inked in November 2016.
Blasts from the Past: My old pen inventory reminded me of two long unused pens. The Caran d’Ache Ivanhoe was last inked in September 2014. I filled it with my newest ink, Robert Oster Hippo Purple (from the Hippo notebook Kickstarter). I’ve been drawn to red inks in this pen since I typically used it for marking up documents. It’s too thin for me to use comfortably for long writing sessions, but still a great writer. So while not red, the Hippo Purple adds a little bright color.
The Waterman Edson was last inked in June 2014. It got Omas Green for its fine nib. It’s a comfortable pen, but my current tastes prefer less gold, so it’s been overlooked.
Something Old: I wanted a vintage pen in the mix. My first choice was a Parker Vacumatic, but I couldn’t get it to take in ink. So I went with a gorgeous Shaffer Balance Oversize. I had skipped it in favor of the Vacumatic as the Vacumatic would be more durable. I did match inks with this pen and filled it with near vintage Sheaffer Emerald Green (Yellow Box). I tried filling this one earlier this year, but it wouldn’t take in ink. Luckily I didn’t notice my note on that until I went to record the new ink. It seems fine and has already written over a page, so it has ink. It was last used in August 2016.
Why So Long?: When looking over my pens I came across the Pelikan M805 Stresemann and couldn’t remember the last time I used it. (It was March 2017.) So I inked it up with Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun. This is a favorite pen so I was shocked that it’s been over a year since I used it. Glad that’s rectified. It’s also been years since I used Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun ink. This used to be my favorite ink and the first ink used in my newly arrived pens. That began to fall off in 2014 for no other reason than boredom. It’s time to bring it back. While I didn’t intend to match this pen and ink, seeing both on my desk ready to get used made the combination obvious.
Not So Stale: The Fisher of Pens Hermes was last used in July 2017, which makes it one of the least forgotten pens that were inked up. I love the Celluloid of this pen and used it consistently since getting it at the 2016 DC Pen Show. I decided to give it a break which ended up being longer than intended. This one demands a green ink, so it got Iroshizuku Shin-Ryoku which I had already pulled out to use in one pen or another.
Worth the Effort to Clean? The Edison Menlo Pump Filler hasn’t been used since 2016. Every time I start to pull this pen out to use it, I think of the cleaning effort and put it back. I dislike removing a nib or any pieces merely to clean a pen, but if I don’t then cleaning this is tedious. An obvious solution is to simple re-ink the pen. This pen demands brown ink, so I did specifically match it with Athena Sepia.
Worth Breaking the Rules I had intended to only ink up long unused fountain pens. But the Sailor Pro Gear KOP is too good to go used for over a month. So even though I used it in March, it came back. It was filled with a long unused Papier Plume Burgundy ink. Favorite is overused, but I do really like this ink.
Why Not? I saw my two Franklin-Christoph Model 20 pens in the case and decided at least one needed to be inked up. The Tiger Red with a medium nib hasn’t been used since October 2015 so why not ink it up? It was filled with Callifolio Yalumba for no other reason than “Why not?”
So that’s the ten newly inked pens. All the inks are nice, safe inks so I can leave the pens inked until I write them dry. That’s probably what I’ll do since cleaning out all these pens at once is a daunting task.
My Kickstarter Hippo Notebook arrived two weeks ago. I’ve yet to use it. I have a problem with nice new notebooks. Unless I bought it for a specific purpose, I’m afraid to use it. I currently have a newly started Crossfield as a work notebook, so that will last me awhile. My Seven Seas Writer, used as my journal, is farther along but still less than half full. Those are the only large, nice notebooks that I used.
The Hippo Purple ink arrived with the notebook, and that was matched with a newly inked pen.
I’ve been using the Nock Co. A5 Seed case a lot. Some of my concerns are proving correct, but there seem to be acceptable workarounds. Like many (all?) Nock Co. products they are flexible but have a definite point of view in their design. There are no features added just so a box can be checked. I’ll use it a bit more before I do a more in-depth review.
Standing the Test of Time (4) – Pens! Paper! Pencils! // I much prefer these types of post over a review of a new pen.
Taking the Pelikan 400nn to School – My Creative Habit // You need to do a lot of scrolling to reach the meat of the post, but the trip is worth it.
The Long Island Pen Show is less than 48 hours away. I won’t be able to make it to the show this year, but if you’re near Hempstead Long Island (NY) on Saturday or Sunday, it’s worth the trip. Anderson Pens is scheduled to be back with multiple tables of pens, ink, and paper. Fountain Pen Hospital is there too. In the past, FPH has given out gift cards at the door. ($10 gift cards that required a $50 purchase to use.) Several pen repairers and nib workers will also be at the show so you can get a custom nib in person. While there will be plenty of rain this week, the local forecast is for sun on the weekend.
Visit their website (linked above) for all the details. I last attended the show in 2016 and wrote about it here.
While shredding some old notebooks, I came across my fountain pen inventory from February 2004. It was interesting to see what my fountain pens were 14 years ago. There’s only 16, hardly an accumulation. You might almost think there was a plan. There wasn’t.
Some random observations:
- Of the 16 pens, 25% of them are Lamy Safari or AL-Stars, although I did call it an “All-Star” in the inventory. None of these specific Lamy pens are in my current accumulation, although there are a few replacements and an extensive collection of nibs.
- Pilot, which was branded as Namiki in the US back in 2004, ties Lamy in popularity with another 25% of my inventory.
- Only one Pilot Vanishing Point is in the inventory, sold as the Namiki brand back then. While this specific pen has moved on to another owner, and others have passed through my accumulation, my Vanishing Points now number four. And like Lamy, I have more nibs than pens.
- All of the more expensive fountain pens are still in my accumulation, although none see much use these days.
- I already had a Pelikan in 2004. While that particular pen has moved on, the flock has grown to five. Seven if I include the Pelikano and Future.
My fountain pen usage this week is down a little from the previous week, which means it was about average. While I’ve been consistently writing in my journal, it was down to about one B5 page per day, rather than the two pages per day of the previous week. No changes to my currently inked fountain pen arsenal. During the week I was drawn to using the Pilot Vanishing Point (XXXF w/Pilot Black ink) for note taking and general use while at my desk. The Montblanc LeGrand Ultra Black (oblique medium w/Montblanc Bordeaux) and Aurora Optima (medium with Montblanc Psychedelic Purple) came out for my journal writing.
My Kickstarter Hippo Notebook finally has a tracking number, although it hasn’t actually arrived at the post office at this time. While I backed it over a year ago, the chance of it arriving before the one year anniversary of the project ending looks good.Tracking just updated to show a Monday eta. Yea!
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