Ink & Pen Notes: Aurora Optima Nero Perla (M) with Aurora Black

Aurora Optima Nero Perla (M) with Aurora Black ink bottleThe Aurora Optima Nero Perla, with its medium nib, was inked with Aurora Black for just over 3 months. While that’s a long time, even for me, the pen had a lot of competition for my attention.

There’s not much for me to say about this combination. They go together – the black and white pen and the deep, dark black ink. They happen to be from the same brand.

I like the deep black of the ink, although it’s a little wet for my tastes and that did make me pass over the pen a couple of times. I am becoming more comfortable with medium nibs, especially for sit down, long writing sessions. This pen is also one I like a lot.

For now the Aurora Optima and Aurora Black ink will have a bit of a break.

Aurora Optima Nero Perla (M) with Aurora Black ink writing sample

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Ink & Pen Notes: Visconti Homo Sapien (EF) with P.W. Akkerman #12 Mauritshuis Magenta

Visconti Homo Sapien (EF) with Akkerman #28 Mauritshuis Magenta ink bottleMy 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.

Visconti Homo Sapien (EF) with Akkerman #28 Mauritshuis Magenta writing sample

Ink & Pen Notes: Sheaffer Balance Aspen (F/M) with Montblanc Permanent Grey

Sheaffer Balance II Aspen (M) with Montblanc Permanent Grey ink bottleI 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.

Sheaffer Balance II Aspen (M) with Montblanc Permanent Grey writing sample

Ink & Pen Notes: Visconti Brunelleschi (M) with Callifolio Aurora

Visconti Brunelleschi (M) with Callifolio Aurora ink bottleThe Visconti Brunelleschi is the fountain pen that triggered my terra cotta themed ink buying binge that Callifolio Aurora was swept up in. It was my first Callifolio ink and it made a good first impression. It uses the same wedge shaped 40ml bottle as the Diamine Anniversary inks, so the ink may be manufactured by Diamine, or they may just share bottles.

The Brunelleschi has a smooth medium nib and has a nice consistent ink flow. There’s no real shading or line variation with this combination but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. I do like the color and the medium nib does a good job of showing it off. While not fast drying, it dries fast enough to prevent my accidental smudges.

Callifolio Aurora performed well enough to earn a return to this rotation, although it probably won’t be in this pen, at least not right away. I’ll pick another terra cotta themed ink when the Visconti Brunelleschi returns to the rotation, which will be soon.

Visconti Brunelleschi (M) with Callifolio Aurora writing sample

Ink & Pen Notes: Fisher of Pens Hermes (F) with P.W. Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Groen

Fisher of Pens Hermes (EF) with Akkerman Hofkwartier Grown 28 ink bottleThe Fisher of Pens Hermes is a fountain pen that I picked up at last year’s Washington D.C. Pen Show. I love the vintage celluloid material that was used. While simple, or maybe because it’s simple, I’m also really drawn to the design. That said, the Hermes has a temperament that makes it hard to like.

This time out I picked another green ink for the pen. I filled it with P.W. Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Groen which is beginning to rival Montblanc Irish Green as my favorite green ink. It’s performance in this pen didn’t help it’s cause. (While not as bad, Irish Green wasn’t great in this pen either.)

First, I’ll say that writing performance was good. There wasn’t any skipping or hard starts until the very end when I had to force the remaining couple of pages worth of ink into the feed.

So the problem? Nib creep and a lot of ink in the cap which made it to the section. The pen did bounce around in my bag but other pens in the same case faired much better. Enough ink would work its way to the section that while unnoticeable it would get on my fingers and I would occasionally then smudge it onto the page.

With such free-flowing ink I expected the pen to be easy to clean. I can’t remember the last time a cartridge/converter pen was such a PITA the clean. The cap needed to be swabbed out to get all traces of the ink out. Flushing the pen required repeated flushes with a bulb syringe, then a ultrasonic bath, then some more bulb syringe flushes. It was more tedious and time consuming than the vac filler I cleaned at the same time.

I accept that this pen will drip more ink into the cap than most of my other pens and I can live with that. But the Akkerman #28 ink’s tendency to creep means it won’t be back in this pen. I’ve had enough good experiences with this pen to know this was an anomaly and it performs well in most pens, so it will eventually return in another pen.

Even though I seem to have a complaint about the Fisher of Pens Hermes each time I use it I still really like the pen and it’s capable of being a good writer. It will return to the rotation with a new ink as I continue my quest to find the perfect ink for this temperamental fountain pen.

Fisher of Pens Hermes (EF) with Akkerman Hofkwartier Grown 28 writing sample