Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – April 26, 2020

Photo of my five inked pens
My five remaining inked pens.

A lot of activity in the fountain pen realm for me this week. My fountain pen activity was up this past week, thanks to writing the drafts of a few posts along with writing just to use the pens. I wrote four pens dry and inked up three.

FYI – I write most if the Trail Log post on Saturday afternoon. Usually I only need to add links. There is a risk is that I have more significant change, like two pens going dry between scheduling the post and the actual publication. Hopefully I caught all the changes. But if you see a reference to six inked pens or the math doesn’t add up, please forgive me. But if you don’t that’s ok, I did a lot of writing and enjoyed my pens on Saturday without putting off what I needed to get done.

Newly Inked

I inked up my three pieces of silver. It wasn’t until II was writing this that I realized I went 100% Japanese for the new pens & inks.
1. Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver (Med Stub) with Iroshizuku Yama-guri
2. Namiki Sterling Silver Hawk (F) with Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun
3. Namiki Sterling Silver Dragon (M) with Iroshizuku Shin-ryoku

I’m down to five inked pens, shown in the picture up top. I’ve got a new pen coming in this week which will be inked. I’ll ink at least two more later this morning, to bring me to eight. I also pulled out another five pens that I want to ink up. But inking them all up may be a bit overwhelming as I try to actively use all my inked pens.

Out of Ink

  1. I wrote my Edison Collier dry (well, nearly dry, more in a moment). It was inked up back on March 11th and went dry on April 19th.
  2. My Cherry Bamboo Vanishing Point was bone dry when I picked it up to use Saturday morning. I suspect this was due more to evaporation than use. It was inked up back on March 6, and while I did use it, that XXXF nib uses ink sparingly. I find it hard to believe I wrote it dry since it’s typically ignored unless the Fodderstack is in my pocket. I did clean a lot of ink out from around the trapdoor. I use swabs similar to these to reach the end of the barrel. I bought a box of 1,000 on Amazon over five years ago and still have them.
  3. The Sailor KOP ran out of ink yesterday afternoon. It was inked with Robert Oster Signature Orange back on March 19th. My typical habit these days is to pick a different inked pen for my morning journal entry each day, then use that pen as my primary writer for the day. The oblique medium nib isn’t suitable for use in my pocket notebook, which is my daily journal. So, this puts it in a bit of a hole since its never my primary writer. But if another pen runs dry, or my primary writer has seen enough use. I’ll pick this up and enjoy it. I cleaned it Saturday night. I’ll ink it up later this morning, assuming I can decide on an ink. 
  4. The Esterbrook Estie went dry Saturday evening. It was inked with Montblanc Leonardo Red Chalk back on March 11th. The ink seems appropriate for one of the incoming pens. No prize if you guess which one. I like the Gregg nib of the Esterbrook, but will most likely put it back into the pen case after cleaning in order to give another pen a chance. I’m really liking the variety of pens that are going through my hands.


I went a little nuts with pen buying this week. Actually, the crazy arrived Wednesday night and Thursday morning. (I was going to say “fever”, but that’s a bad metaphor these days). I had bid on several eBay auctions that other folks wanted more than I did. Although in one auction, an Anderson Pens pen parts lot, I received a second chance offer. I guess the winner didn’t pay. In the time since missing all those auctions, and getting the second chance offer, I bought three pens. Including one from Anderson Pens, so they still got some of my money. With the auction money now spent, I passed on the second chance offer.

Other than that one-second chance offer, it’s apparent to me that others want the pens more than I do. I hate the terms “win” and “lose” for eBay auctions since they are emotional. I much prefer to think of it as someone who wanted the item more than me, so they valued it higher than I did. I could easily “win” by bidding my credit card limit for a cheap pen, but that would be foolish, and hardily what I’d call a win.

I haven’t received any of the pens yet, but I ordered:
Kanilea Pen Kona Cherry Fountain Pen with an extra-fine nib. There are several reasons for me not to order this pen. In general, I don’t like colored transparent pens. But this one appears unlike any other transparent pen I’ve seen, which much more depth to the material. Kanilea Pens was on my pen show list since the pen material is handmade and unique for each pen; an in-person viewing seemed like a good idea. This pen is gorgeous in the photos. While photos can be deceptive, and computer monitors add to the deception, I suspect this one will be better in person. I have seen some of their other pens in real life, and they are all stunning. The other reason to buy is that some of these pens are available for (more or less) immediate shipment. And any not yet made will ship in significantly less time than their typical mail-order timeframes. I had stumbled across this as I was listening to the Pen Addict podcast. Their discussion confirmed my first impressions.

Then it was out to Pen Chalet website where I used the Pen Addict promotion to buy the Leonardo Officina Italiana Messenger Fountain Pen in green with an extra-fine nib. Another transparent colored pen. But, I decided to take a chance. Generally, I’ve liked the material used in Italian pens, if not the actual pens themselves. Part of me expects this to be a quick rental, and put the pen up for sale once my curiosity is satisfied.

The final pen purchased was the YStudio Classic Desk Fountain Pen in Copper with a fine nib.

The Leonardo arrived at my PO Box on Saturday, ahead of schedule. Too late for me to go pick it up, so I’ll plan next week’s errands for Monday and include the pen pick-up. The other two had slightly extended ship times (7-10 days) but could ship in the coming week.


I unexpectedly sold a fountain pen, the Edison Collier. That pen seems like it should be nearly perfect for me; it’s only negative being the gold furniture. It’s a big pen with a great writing nib. But it went unused for years, so I put it up for sale last year. I eventually withdrew it when I got busy moving. I pulled it out in March and was enjoying it. Then I got an email acknowledging the pen was withdrawn, but asking if I had reconsidered. After a short but intense internal debate, I decided to sell it. I like the pen, especially when I’m using it. But the pen doesn’t call out to me when it’s in the case, and I expect to keep ignoring it if I kept it. It was very low on ink. So low, I wouldn’t have been shocked if it ran out during the writing sample. It made it through the writing sample but was so low on ink I consider myself to have written it dry.

Bits and Bobs

I visited the FPGeeks forum this past week. I’ve been away for a long time but figured it was an excellent opportunity to do some reading. It didn’t take me long to stumble across some snark comments unrelated to fountain pens, so I moved on. That was a bit depressing.

Saturday may not have been the best weather of the year so far. I’m not keeping track, but I bet it was since it was the first time I opened the windows and enjoyed the fresh air. It makes me yearn for my old apartment, where I had a small patio that I could sit out on and relax. It was only about six feet from a parking lot, so not a great view, but my current location has no patio. There is a community area with tables and grills, plus a lot of grass, so it isn’t too bad. Community facilities may not be the best choice right now, especially since at least one resident of the apartment complex has CV19, but I may get my chair out of storage so I can sit out under the trees.

Unrelated to anything – I hate the WordPress iOS app. It caused me problems long ago and I’ve ignored it for years. Until Saturday when I decided to try it out to edit this post. Big mistake. As I mentioned, I had more changes than usual after that initial draft was uploaded. I decided to use the iOS app for that. Big mistake. Hopefully I caught all the broken links and added all the lost text back in.

Pandemic Journaling Prompts – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop

Crónicas Estilográficas: 10 Years // Congratulations on ten years. It looks like my first link to the site was a little over 7 years ago.

The Green Ink Quest: Akkerman #28 | From the Pen Cup // One of my favorite greens, although MB Irish Green is a worthy rival, as is the next link.

Ink Review: Pilot Iroshizuku shin-ryoku (Forest Green) – inkyfountainpens // For some reason this site wasn’t in my rss feed until this week. Another fine site if you’re into ink.

Waterman Forum – Goodwriterspens’s Blog // The design of this pen caught my attention.

Nine years with the Parker Frontier fountain pen. | Fountain pen blog // I enjoy the long duration reviews much more than reviews of new products.

Ryan Krusac Legend L~15 in Ebony and Abalone: A Review — The Pen Addict // Despite having three fountain pens on order, this review made me come close to ordering a Ryan Krusac pen. Despite loving the feel of wooden pens, I had to remind myself that my current Legend has been unused for a few years. I pulled it out to put in the to be inked queue. While browsing Ryan’s website this is the pen that made my want list (other than the nib choice). Review: Ryan Krusac Studios Legend L-16 (Cocobolo, Broad Cursive Italic) – Hand Over That Pen

Paper Review: Yamamoto Fountain Pen Friendly Paper Collection – The Well-Appointed Desk // I’m not surprised there are some many variations of Japanese paper. Actually, I’m sure this only scratches the surface.

Pens into rotation: Week ending 24 April 2020 — TooManyPelikans // Always fun to see which Pelikans get inked up.

Carolina, Clyde … and classic Montblanc | UK fountain pens // That first one is gorgeous, the other two don’t appeal to me so much.

The Best Paper for Everyday Writing, Part V: Writing Pads, Notecards, and Even Some Looseleaf — The Gentleman Stationer // The series continues. The Doane Large Writing Pads are my go-to everyday writing pad. The Nock Co. Dot-Dash index card are my go-to index cards. I use Rhodia a lot less, but can’t argue against its inclusion.

Bloggiversary III! // – Weirdoforest Pens // Another Anniversary. Congratulations!

Off Topic – Journey-Separate Ways (Heller Quarantine Edition) Side by Side on Vimeo // You may have had to live through the 80’s to appreciate this. Three months ago I probably would have asked “Why?”. Now, I watched it a few times.