Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – May 3, 2020

Photo of the Kanilea Cherry Kona fountain pen
The newly arrived Kanilea Cherry Kona

I’m still using my fountain pens a lot and rotating through them. The Kaweco Sport does get ignored in my pocket these days. But, other than that, each pen gets used during the week. Unfortunately for the Kaweco, as you’ll learn below, I have another pen with bright red ink in my arsenal. The Kaweco may not even get the call if I have to mark up a document.

Using a pocket notebook as my journal continues to work remarkably well for me, I haven’t missed a morning or evening since I started. That’s a lie. I missed a couple evenings but made the entry the next morning. I filled one notebook, and I’m more than halfway through the second. The April 30th entry marked the halfway point in the current notebook. When this one fills up, I think I’ll go crazy and switch to a 5 X 7 notebook. I have a Doane Paper Boxcar 3-pack ready to crack open.

New Arrivals.

The Leonardo Officina Italiana Messenger arrived Monday. The obvious first ink was its namesake, the Montblanc Leonardo Red Chalk ink. The extra-fine nib was a tad scratchy. It is a thin nib, and I’ve been using Doane Paper, which isn’t all that smooth. It doesn’t catch the paper and hold on, but I can just feel it dragging slightly. The nib looks perfectly aligned.

The green material is lovely and has some nice depth to it. I don’t like pens with colored, translucent acrylic. Like the Kona, which follows, the Messenger is transparent, the acrylic has some nice swirls blended in. Unfortunately, there’s one large section that is just translucent green, and it gives me a view of the entire converter. Luckily, this faces away from me, and is against my hand, when I write with the pen. I can see the nib inside the cap, but this never bothered me much. There’s a lot of metal inside the pen, so eyedropper filling isn’t an option. One nice touch is that it comes with a screw-in converter.

The Kanilea Cherry Kona arrived late Thursday afternoon, also with an extra-fine nib. After admiring it for a while (I lost track of time), I inked it up with Sheaffer Red, the brightest red I have. It’s also translucent, but unlike the Messenger, the depth of the swirls in the acrylic hides the converter. If I look closely, I can see the converter in the pen, but that’s because I know it’s there. The acrylic plays games with light, and the pen has darker areas and other areas that appear to glow. The converter just seems to be one of those glowing areas.

I have a couple early quibbles with the pen. Mainly that the cap takes too many twists to remove. It takes just under four complete rotations to separate the threads. This translates to six twists with my fingers. The second quibble is that on Thursday, I had a little fatigue in my fingers after using it a short while. I’m not sure why, it’s a light pen, but not skinny, so I didn’t expect it to bother me. Even more concerning (to me), when I switched back to the F-C Model 02 the fatigue went away. This is weird because the Model 02 grip section appears to be the same size as the Cherry Kona’s, maybe even thinner if I measure with the calipers. Plus, the Kona feels heavier. I definitely need to use it more and pay attention to my grip. I didn’t get much chance to use it Friday or Saturday, but it will be today’s pen of choice.

While fatigue would be a real problem, I can’t believe it’s the pen’s fault since it fits in with the sizes of my comfortable pens. I have to think it can be solved. Maybe it will just go away, unlike some things. Perhaps I’ll need to adjust my grip slightly.

The marathon needed to cap and uncap the pen is something I’ll get used to. But, it may keep me from picking up the pen at times.

Photo of the copper ystudio Classic Desk Pen
The ystudio Classic Desk Pen in copper.

The ystudio Classic Desk Pen arrived Saturday. It’s a copper pen that has a dedicated desk stand (no cap). Since it’s so recent, I haven’t used it much. Being copper, it is a heavy pen, although the desk stand is heavier. I inked it up with Montblanc The Beatles psychedelic purple. The nib was smooth in my initial tests.


I can’t help myself, the dam has burst, and I bought two more fountain pens, although they’ve yet to be shipped. In my defense – I didn’t by three.

  1. Diplomat Aero Volute – My first Aero has really impressed me. I saw the Volute and had to have it. After waiting my required week to think about it, I placed the order. I may have a Retro 51 problem with the Aero, there are many I want to collect. The problem is that the Aeros are much more expensive than the Retro 51 rollerballs.
  2. Benu Minima Mystical Green – I been seeing Benu pens as I peruse pen sites. Their design always catches my eye. They’re relatively inexpensive, and I liked the look of the green, so I added it to my cart this time. I hope the pen material lives up to the pictures. It will be interesting to see how this Russian made fountain pen performs.

Written Dry

  1. The Pelikan M815 Metal Striped went dry last Sunday, April 26th. It was inked on February 10th and was problem-free.
  2. The Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver is already written dry after just a week (April 19 through 26). If I didn’t see the ink in the converter when I filled it, and a lack of ink when it stopped writing, I would have expected a short fill or a clogged pen. This is fast for me. That stub is wider than my usual thin nib, so it lays down more ink. I did use it a lot during that week and especially on Sunday.

Newly Inked

I published a currently inked post on Monday, so I’m not going to repeat them all here. The ten fountain pens inked earlier in the week, plus the two new arrivals later in the week (Kanilea & YStudio) cover my current dirty dozen.

How To Use Your Fountain Pens More Often: Try The 5 Whys – Fountain Pen Love // via The Gentleman Stationer I can’t believe this site wasn’t already in my RSS feed. I spent some time this week going through his older posts. Suprisingly, I don’t need any of these ideas right now.

The up days and the down days | UK fountain pens // I had many of these thoughts when I sold off some favorites. I have to admit, I haven’t missed any of them. It might also be what triggered me to buy so many pens this year. Ten so far, which is 66% more than all the pens I bough the previous three years (six).

Vintage Ink Bottle Discovery: Akkerman Predecessors – The Well-Appointed Desk // I’d seen similar bottle in old ads, so never considered the unique. The are certainly unique for modern bottles and the history is fascinating.

Tale of a Vandal Pen User: What Matters | Peaceable Writer // I always enjoy these posts, even if pens are barely mentioned.

A look back at the Sheaffer No Nonsense fountain pen. | Fountain pen blog // An inexpensive “school pen” that was used for school. I’m jealous that the same pen model was used throughout his school career. I’m also ashamed to admit that I never owned a No Nonsense pen. My only defense is that I didn’t use fountain pens in school (the result of growing up in America) and came to Sheaffer well after school.

Pen design red flags: seeing the bigger picture | UK fountain pens // Oh boy can I relate. I share many of the complaints, and have also made similar compromises.

This ‘n’ That – Goodwriterspens’s Blog // No pens left to restore! Now that is a problem, and a side effect I never considered. And to make it all about me – does this mean there be fewer articles about old pens that I enjoy reading?

How Does Paper Color Affect Ink Color? – Fountain Pen Love // I never really though about the effect on the actual ink. I’ve always just worried about how easy it would be to read. No doubt I’d care more if I was an artist.

Pens into rotation: Week ending 1 May 2020 — TooManyPelikans // I like the way these posts have evolved the last few weeks. He know includes his choices as favorites. They been there the last two weeks, and I hope they stay.

Discounting has broken my brain | UK fountain pens // I’ve always been one to ignore “percent off” offers, which means advertised discounts cause me more work. In some cases the cost may be lower, but I often find that all expenses considered, the price often takes the same amount of money out of my wallet. I’m even less susceptible to “deals” in fountain pens. I stick to my preferred and reliable retailer, taking the lowest price from among them.

Pete Denison – Welcome. Let me pour you a cup… // Ok, so this is off-topic and basically an advertisement, but I’ve enjoyed Pete’s writing over the years and they do seem like good products.

The Concessions Of War: Pelikan, WWII, And The Untold Story « The Pelikan’s Perch // A saw this late Saturday and haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but will later today. Fountain pens and history, what could be better?