Ink & Pen Notes: Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with Monteverde Burgundy

Visconti Homo Sapient Bronze Age with Monteverde BurgundyI filled one of my favorite fountain pens, the Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with an extra fine nib, with Monteverde Burgundy back on February 12th and wrote it dry on April 5th. I’m a little slow getting these notes out even though there’s not much to say.

The ink & pen both performed nicely. This is Monteverde’s older Burgundy ink, now replaced by Napa Burgundy. I like the color of Napa Burgundy a little better, but the performance is similar. The flow was good and problem free. Dry time was on the long side of normal for most inks, meaning it was a little slow for my taste and I did have a few accidental smudges. But it wasn’t a bad experience and I wouldn’t avoid using this ink in the future, although not in a wide or free-flowing nib. The color is a little muted, which I sometimes like, and sometimes don’t.

The inked cleaned as well as any other ink from this Visconti. It’s a tedious process. Plus, ink has a tendency to collect where the feed meets the section. Normal flushing doesn’t clear this ink and I admit to letting it build up a bit and only dealing with in every two or three cleanings. It was time. This process has me hold the nib/section in the ultrasonic cleaner. Then fill the pen with water, wrap the nib in tissue and put it in a tall shot glass to wick the ink out overnight. This time around I repeated the process a couple more times. I can’t clam complete success since there’s was still ink on the tissue even after the third time. But I decided it was enough since the water was clear when it came out of the pen and I use safe, pen friendly inks in this pen. The Visconti Homo Sapien material likes to soak in the ink.

Normally the Visconti Homo Sapien would already be back in the rotation, but I want to write a couple more pens dry. While I won’t avoid the Monteverde Burgundy in the future, nothing about the ink makes me eager to pick it over other inks.

Visconti Homo Sapient Bronze Age with Monteverde Burgundy writing sample

Additional Read

Reviewed on Fountain Pen Network

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Vintage Heartbreak

Broken Sheaffer Balance Oversize

It’s been a bad few weeks for me and my vintage Sheaffer Balance Oversize fountain pens. First my pearl grey Oversize wouldn’t fill, probably a pinhole in the sac. At least that’s within my ability to fix, as long as I don’t crack the pen removing the sac. But then things went downhill fast at the end of March. I inked up my Marine Green Balance Oversize and had been using is sporadically during the month. While nice, the big stub isn’t suited to my writing style so I just used it when I wanted a little variation. Plus it’s a gorgeous pen. Unfortunately when I went to pick it up the other day the cap came off and the pen stayed behind. I soon saw it wasn’t because the cap was simply loose, but it had sheared off above the cap band.

I can’t say I know how it happened. Because the pen isn’t suited to me it doesn’t travel out of the house. There isn’t any point since it’s extremely unlikely I’d use it. It lived in my Visconti 3-Pen Case most of the time where it’s well protected, or occasionally in a Dudek Modern Goods pen stand where it’s stored cap up, and the cap is completely above the stand.

I suppose I could have hit the pen and not noticed, but this seems unlikely. What I have noticed is that when I pick up a pen to use and twist the cap off (or on) I usually twist it from the top. I imagine this puts some stress on the cap as I twist it. So I’ll be changing my habit and start twisting the cap from down at it’s base by the cap band.

This damage is well beyond my ability to fix, and I may eventually see if I can send it off to be repaired. I’m conflicted about that decision. The pen is gorgeous, one of my favorites based strictly on looks. Yet, the nib just isn’t well suited to my writing style so I don’t use the pen very much.

The Sheaffer Balance Oversize was inked with Diamine 150th Anniversary Terracotta. I liked the ink and the wide stub nib provided some subtle shading.

Ink & Pen Notes: Aurora Optima Nero Perla (M) with Akkerman Dutch Masters 09 Steenrood van Vermeer

Aurora Optima Nero Perla with Akkerman Steenrood Vermeer BottleInk names seem to be getting longer these days, especially when the english translation is included in it. The P.W. Akkerman Dutch Masters line is relatively new and they come in oversized 120ml bottles. So they’re an investment of both ink and money. I picked the Akkerman Dutch Masters 09 Steenrood “Red Stone” Vermeer to give the line a try. I’ve been on a terra cotta streak lately and this ink fits the profile.

I’ve been enjoying new inks in my medium nib pens, a slightly wider than usual nib for me, but one that can show off an inks properties. I picked the Aurora Optima Nero Perla to inaugurate this ink. I love the nice warm brown color of the ink, but the performance has been disappointing. I didn’t flush the ink from the pen and wrote it dry in a month despite having several other good pen choices. So I guess the pluses out-weighed the minuses.

Ink starvation was a frequent problem. Unless the pen spent the night nib down I would have to put if nib down for several minutes before the ink would reach the nib. For the first couple of weeks the pen was fine all day after it spent a couple minutes nib down. But then it became worse. After using the pen awhile it would eventually begin to write a progressively drier line until I had to prime the feed. The first time this happened I instinctively (and carelessly) thought the pen was empty and worked the piston to release the reserve reservoir. There was still plenty of ink so I created a bit of a mess. Luckily the nib was pointed up and my hands were below so they caught the ink. I guess that’s another reason it went dry in a month.

This is only the third ink for the Aurora Optima Perla, but it’s the first with any sort of a problem. The other two inks were Aurora’s own Black ink and Akkerman #12 Magenta from their regular ink line.

I really enjoy using the Aurora Optima so it will be back with another ink soon enough. With about 118 ml of Akkerman Dutch Masters #09 Steenrood Vermeer left I certainly better use it so I’ll be trying it in another fountain pen. Hopefully it just didn’t get along with the Aurora and will take to a different pen.

My apologies but no writing sample. The photo was terrible and I didn’t notice until I was finishing up this post. I’ll try to retake it and update this post, although the review link below has a good sample.

Additional Reading

Pen Review: The Aurora Optima Nero Perla — The Gentleman Stationer

Akkerman Hollandse Meesters #9 Steenrood Van Vermeer (Red) – Ink Reviews – The Fountain Pen Network

Ink & Pen Notes: Pelikan Souverän M805 Stresemann Anthracite with Monteverde Napa Burgundy

Pelikan M805 Stresemann (EF) with Monteverde Napa Burgundy bottleI filled my Pelikan Souverän M805 Stresemann Anthracite (EF) with the new Monteverde Napa Burgundy ink back on December 19th. In other words, it was inked up last year. It holds a lot of ink and the extra fine nib conserves ink. But still, I liked the ink and two and a half months seems like a long time. So while I liked it enough, it didn’t inspire me to use it more than other inks.

I wrote the full name of the pen in order to boost the word count since I don’t have much to say. Performance was flawless and I like the color. I had more than a few careless smudges so the ink takes longer than I would expect to dry. The ink was easy to flush from the pen, even after being in a piston filler for over two months. There was no need to remove the nib or take the pen apart and it was quick to clean.

The Napa Burgundy ink is slightly redder and richer than the old Burgundy, an improvement in my opinion. I have the old Monteverde Burgundy in another extra fine nib and there’s a noticeable difference.

The Pelikan 805 Stresemann was always an extra fine, but the from the factory extra fine was more like a wide medium. The nib was ground down to a more traditionally sized extra fine by Dan Smith back in August and has been inked more often than not since then. I’ll give it a short rest to give some other pens a chance to be used. That’ll give me time to decide what my next ink will be. It will be back soon.

The Monteverde Napa Burgundy is a nice ink and I do like it, but it’s not so nice that I’ll miss it in my pens. I won’t hesitate to load it up, but I’m in no rush either.

Pelikan M805 Stresemann (EF) with Monteverde Napa Burgundy writing sample

Additional Reading

I haven’t come across any blogger or forum reviews of this ink, but Goulet Pens published this short video which put the ink on display.

The Pelikan’s Perch reviewed the M805 Stresemann.

Ink & Pen Notes: Fisher of Pens Hermes with Rohrer & Klingner Blau-Schwarz LE

Fisher of Pens Hermes with R&K Blau-Schwarz LE bottleRohrer & Klingner Blau-Schwarz LE ink is my perfect blue-black ink. It’s been a perfect performer in every fountain pen that I picked for it. This time out I loaded it into my Fisher of Pens Hermes fountain pen with its fine nib. The Hermes is a dry writer and a bit finicky. I put up with it more than I would with other pens because I love the look, and as long as ink flows to the nib it’s a great writer.

The R&K Blau-Schwarz LE ink didn’t disappoint. The combination wrote perfectly from the first to the last drop. There ink lasted just under a month in the pen. While seemingly a long time, it was the only pen I wrote dry during that time period. (And once it was dry I used another enough to write it dry too.)

There was a lot of ink in the cap. It wasn’t dripping wet, but enough to add a lot of color to the water when I rinsed it out. I did carry it out and about a lot, in a pen case carried in my bag, so it probably got jostled a lot. This is the closest I have to a complaint, and it’s really just life with a fountain pen.

As expected, the ink was easy to flush from the pen.

I was tempted to re-ink the Fisher of Pens with the R&K Blau-Schwarz LE and keep right on going. But I’m at the end of my first bottle of this Limited Edition ink, with only one bottle left. Plus I have a lot of other pens inked up ready to use. Both the ink and pen will return to the rotation, probably sooner rather than later.

Fisher of Pens Hermes with R&K Blau-Schwarz LE writing sample

Ink & Pen Notes: Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with Bookbinders Red-Belly Black

Sailor KOP with Bookbinders Red-Belly Black ink bottleI inked up my Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with Bookbinders Red-Belly Black ink back on January 30th. I wrote it dry the evening of February 28th. Yes, I know it was in my March 1st currently inked post, but that’s what happens when I write posts on the weekend and schedule them for during the week. It was March 1st in some parts of the world.

Continuing my current practice, the Sailor KOP was my inaugural pen for this ink. The ink was a bit clingy as I filled the pen, forming a film on the nib and section that was harder than usual to wipe off. But once it was in the pen it behaved well. I expected a little nib creep or ink clinging to the converter, but neither happened. The ink was also easy to flush from the pen. The ink and pen were well behaved from fill to finish.

Bookbinders Red-Belly Black puts down a wet, thick, dark black line. Dry time was about normal and I didn’t have any accidental smudges while using the pen. Others have mentioned a red sheen in the ink, but I didn’t notice any during regular use of the pen. There was a little hint of red in places where the ink was heavier than normal, such as making two passes when writing, or with a swab.It will probably show more red color in a wetter or flex nib.

Bookbinders Red-Belly Black is a nice black ink that I wouldn’t hesitate to use again, but at the same time I’m not rushing to get it into another pen. As for the Sailor King of Pen, it continues to show why I like it so much. It’s already been filled with another new (to me) ink.

Sailor KOP (medium) with Bookbinders Red-Belly Black writing sample

Additional Reading

Reviewed on FPN

 

Ink & Pen Notes: Sheaffer PFM I with Montblanc Lucky Orange

Sheaffer PFM I (capped) with Montblanc Lucky OrangeIt’s been awhile since I flushed a fountain pen of ink before I’ve written it dry. I’ve been writing them dry unless they become annoying to use. My vintage Sheaffer PFM I with its fine nib and Montblanc’s new Lucky Orange ink became that annoying pen and ink combination.

Other reviewers have mentioned that Lucky Orange has a tendency to dry out on the nib but it did OK in my Sailor King of Pen so I decided to give it a try in a thinner nib. The PFM I would be dry after spending the night stored nib up. But then gravity would quickly bring ink to the tip and the pen would write perfectly the rest of the day. So it wasn’t annoying or especially unusual.

The Sheaffer PFM I was in use for a couple of weeks, during which I enjoyed using it. The find nib and bright line meant it got used every day, even if it wasn’t a lot of use. Typically short notes or marking up a document. Then it spent a couple days flat on my desk and needed more than gravity to get going.

Sheaffer PFM I (extra fine) with dried Montblanc Lucky Orange

Dried ink clogging the feed

I could see the dried, crusty ink between the nib and the feed. A dry towel wasn’t enough to get things going. A little water would have fixed it, I’m sure. But I put the pen aside and picked another. When I did bring the pen to water it was to flush it out. I have little patience for finicky fountain pens these days. A problem that makes me get up from my desk to resolve is unforgivable.

As expected, cleaning the pen was a pain. This pen is a pain to clean even with the easiest to flush ink. In this case it was made worse because there was still plenty of ink in the pen. Staining wasn’t a problem and the crusty ink washed away quickly. But the orange dye remained, and remained. Once I got most of the ink out I started filling it with water and leaving it nib down in a tissue for several hours, then repeating whenever I get around to it.

I like the Montblanc Lucky Orange ink and will use it in another pen, although I’ll pick one that’s easy to clean and has a wet nib. The Sheaffer PFM I remains a favorite writer. The nib and size are ideal for me. I’ll stick to known well-behaved inks.

Sheaffer PFM I (extra fine) with Montblanc Lucky Orange writing sample

Sheaffer PFM I (extra fine) uncapped with Montblanc Lucky Orange