Currently Inked – March 2018

Currently Inked Group Shot - March 2018A little different format to the Currently Inked post this month. I’m not sure if I like it, but it’s worth a try. Click any photo for the full-size version.)

I’ll start with the pens that live on my desk in a Dudek/Karas pen stand. The Cube holds nine pens, all of which are disposable fountain pens. These keep me from having to figure out the right mix of color and nibs to have inked up. The only time I need a color, or multiple colors, is when I’m taking notes or marking up a document. These pens all fill that role nicely and don’t evaporate over time. The Pilot Varsity pens are all medium nibs, while the Thornton’s are all fine nibs. While there are more Pilots than Thorton’s in the pen stand, I actually like the Thornton’s a bit better. (Although I hate the name since the apostrophe appears to be part of the proper name, making writing about it a pain.) The nib is a bit thinner, while the pen itself has a bit more girth, which makes it more comfortable for me. That said, I haven’t used the Thornton’s enough to give an unequivocal recommendation over the Pilots.

Next up are my carry pens. I pair a rollerball and a fountain pen in my Fodderstack XL. With winter ending (I hope) and pitchers and catchers reporting, I’ve swapped my Ugly Seater Retro 51 for the Play Ball version. The Ugly Sweater is still my favorite Retro 51. If memory serves, the official name of the pen is Montana. How boring. The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe remains in the Fodderstack. It has a sweet extra fine nib and Montblanc Albert Einstein ink. A Nock pocket notebook joins the pens.

The Fodderstack is usually in my shirt pocket, but when it’s not, I still have a Kaweco Brass Sport in my pants pocket (trouser pocket for you Brits). It has an extra fine nib and a Kawaco Black ink cartridge. Despite both being EF nibs, the Sailor is much thinner.

There’s another Dudek pen stand on my desk which hold my remaining pens. There are the three themed pens along with a couple of misfits.

The themed pens are what I use when I “sit down to write.” This time around the pens and ink theme is “favorites”, which is a bit of a cheat, but accurate.

The Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age just returned from having its bent extra fine nib straightened by Dan Smith (The Nib Smith). This pen used to be my clear favorite, but in picking these pens, I realized it has some stiff competition. I think part of its decline is that I have so many extra fine nibs another pen can challenge its claim by having a unique (at least in my accumulation) nib. It’s still a favorite, just not the favorite.

Ranked right up there with the Homo Sapien is my Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen. While there are flashier models of the KOP, the black and rhodium pen is a bullseye for the aesthetic I like. While it’s well made, it is just a resin (plastic) pen which makes it hard to justify the price. The pen is a joy to use, and the price is more than justified as far as I’m concerned. It’s medium nib, and superb writing experience made it my go-to pen for trying new inks. This time I picked and ink that I have used enough to be a favorite already, although challenged by Montblanc Toffee Brown. The KOP is filled with Athena Sepia.

The final fountain pen in the favorites theme is the Montblanc Meisterstück Le Grand Ultra Black (a lot of words in that name). In addition to being ideally sized for my hand, it has an oblique medium nib that I love to use. It’s filled with the only ink that’s ever been in this pen, Montblanc Bordeaux. MB Bordeaux is far and away my favorite ink.

I called the remaining two pens misfits, although that’s probably not fair. They just stuck around after they served their purpose.

The Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche with it’s Richard Binder XXXF nib has a Pilot Red Cartridge in it. It started out as a pen dedicated for use in my Hobonichi Weeks. It stopped using the Weeks but kept the pen around. It’s just so damn convenient.

The final pen is the Retro 51 Coffee rollerball. I have too many Retro 51 pens, and they’re everywhere. I could not find the Play Ball and went searching through bags and pen cases. I had forgotten all about the Coffee Retro 51 when I came across it in a bag. I liked it and decided to keep it handy. (FYI: It has the same refill as the Play Ball, so there’s no writing sample.)

Speaking or writing samples, here they are:

Currently Inked Writing Samples - March 2018

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Currently Inked – January 2018

I put off inking up any additional fountain pens in December and was down to two inked pens as the month drew to a close. Last year I kept my pens inked until I wrote them dry, which would often be months. (There were a couple of early dismissals for poor performance.)

This year I’m going to try changing that up a bit, starting now. I’ll ink some pens for specific tasks and keep them inked until they run dry or stop serving their purpose. Then I’ll pick three pens around a theme and ink them up with ink also picked around a theme. I’ll still haven’t decided how often I’ll replace the themed pens. I expect to flush them before they go dry, but I think two weeks will be a little quick, and a month is more likely.

Currently Inked January 2018 capped pens

Currently Inked January 2018 uncapped pens

Currently Inked January 2018 writing samples

So, first is the purpose inked pens:

The Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche was loaded with an XXXF nib and a Pilot red ink cartridge for use in my Hobonichi Weeks Planner. The thin nib is ideal for the thin paper, and since the thin line uses little ink, it’s relatively quick drying. My Hobonichi cover has a pen loop built in. While I don’t typically like pen loops built into notebooks and considered cutting this one off, I’m now using it.

The Lamy 2000 is the one inked pen carried over from 2017 will serve as my desk pen until it goes dry. That’s “desk pen” as in the pen that’s always sitting in the pen stand on my desk that’s ready to use. I wanted a desk pen as in the style of pen, but I put my Esterbrook inkwells someplace for safekeeping they are so safe I couldn’t find them. My goal is to find them before the Lamy 2000 goes dry.

I shined up the Kaweco Brass Sport with its extra fine nib and loaded it with a Kaweco Black cartridge. I like patina, but when I pulled it out of the case it seemed to have crossed the line between patina and grunge, so the decision was a spur of the moment decision. It will travel as my pocket pen. Based on my history carrying a Kaweco Sport the pen won’t get much use.

My theme for the three inked for fun fountain pens is “Sailor,” and the theme for the ink is “Montblanc.” True, those are brands which may stretch the definition of “theme” but calling them themes gives me more flexibility in the future.

The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe with its extra fine nib got Montblanc Albert Einstein ink. I was concerned that the ink wouldn’t be dark enough for the thin nib, but it’s fine.

The Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen got one of my newest inks, Montblanc “The Beatles” Psychedelic Purple. The KOP has become a favorite for my new inks and especially for my bright new inks.

It’s been over 18 months since I inked up the Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver fountain pen. Like the Kaweco it also needed polishing, but it was much easier to polish than the brass. I inked it up with another new ink (although released some months ago). Montblanc Antoine de Saint-Exupery Encre du Desert is one of the longer ink names. The back of the ink box solves that problem by just calling it “brown.”

The themed pens will provide a nice mix of nibs and ink color.

Currently Inked – November 2017

No new pens inked up as the month begins. Although during October I did ink and write dry my Visconti Brunelleschi. I’ve still got some September party pens in the queue to be cleaned. I’m finding that those Diamine Music inks are a pain to completely flush from the pens.

My pen usage continues to be way down. Most of my use these days is just notes and lists. So these pens may last me all of November even though I’m eager to ink up a new pen, not that there’s anything wrong with the pens that are inked.

Currently Inked – October 2017

There’s still a few fountain pens inked up from the August pen party but most have gone dry, either through use or evaporation. My fountain pen use was a little low through September. Two party pens were promoted to the regular rotation, the remaining party pens will go dry soon enough since they got very little ink. I’ve resisted using them because I’m still behind on my pen cleaning.

The two piston filler party pens (Pelikan Shanghai and Lamy 2000) were promoted to the regular rotation. Since both would be tedious to clean no matter how much ink they got I filled them with a reliable ink that could stick around awhile.

The Aurora Optima was the only pen written dry during the month.

I’m anxious to ink up one (or both) of my Visconti pens but I’m trying to resist until I write another couple pens dry. But if I was a betting man I’d bet on them both being inked up before November 1st.

The pens inked up for October:

Currently Inked Pen Tray - October 2017

Currently Inked Uncapped - October 2017

Currently Inked Writing Samples - October 2017

Currently Inked – September 2017

This Currently Inked is extremely late but at least the month is less than half over. I actually started writing it as August ended and I’ve updated it to be current. My update was more deleting than actual updating so I could get it posted and in the past.

I had a bit of a pen party to coincide with the Washington D.C. Pen Show since I wasn’t able to attend the show in early August. I inked up 16 fountain pens for the party. Ten of them were inked from the Diamine Music Ink collection. I’d used a couple of the inks but most were unused and it was time to give them a try.

The Diamine Music Bach was the only ink I hated. It crept everywhere and I’m still trying to get it out of the converter where a purplish sheen continues to cling to the sides. It was the only party pen to be flushed early.

Because of the pen party I started September with all the fountain pens that were inked up when August began. After September began I did write a couple fountain pens dry. The Pilot Vanishing Point went dry although I immediately popped in another Pilot Black cartridge. The Aurora Optima went dry a couple days ago and I’ll be flushing it out. If the party pens don’t go dry this month I’ll probably have a pen flush part at the end of the month.

I started the month with the following pens and inks.

Currently Inked
Currently Inked Uncapped
Currently Inked Writing Samples

The following pens and inks were invited to the pen party.

Pen Party

Pen Party Writing Samples

Franklin-Christoph Writing Sample

Currently Inked – August 2017

I ended July with some heavy fountain pen usage and wrote five pens dry in the final days of the month.

The pens written dry were:

Visconti Brunelleschi (medium) with Callifolio Aurora
Fisher of Pens Hermes (F) with P.W. Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Groen
Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe (EF) with Sailor Nano Sei-Boku (Blue-Black)
Sheaffer Balance Aspen (F/M) with Montblanc Permanent Grey
Visconti Homo Sapien (EF) with P.W. Akkerman #12 Mauritshuis Magenta

I inked up two fountain pens to bring me up to nine inked fountain pens as August begins. The Washington D.C. Pen Show is this weekend. I won’t be attending this year so I’ll probably ink up several of my pens over the next few days and have a mini pen show of my own.

The first newly inked pen is the Franklin-Christoph Model 20 “Marietta” in Vintage Green acrylic and a medium stub nib. I picked Kaweco Purple in a cartridge this time around. This is a pen that has leaked in the past, although never while actually using it. I intended to treat it gingerly the last time I inked it up but forgot and it did a lot of traveling in my bag before I remembered and there was already a lot of ink it the cap. This time it’s not in the case and I’ll give it a couple weeks of light use to see if it leaks. Then I’ll add it back to my case to see if it just handles jostling far worse than other pens. Or maybe it was my ink choice since it hasn’t leaked every time. I promised myself that if it does leak this time I’ll try to fix the issue rather than putting it aside to tackle later.

The Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen also returned to the rotation in it’s now familiar role of testing new inks. Well, inks that are new to me. I find that its medium nib is ideal for bringing out the best in an ink while not being too wide for me to use regularly. This time it gets Callifolio Téodora ink. It’s a green ink and my first impression is: Nice!

August 2017 starts with the following pens and inks:

Currently Inked (capped) - August 2017

Currently Inked (uncapped) - August 2017

Currently Inked Writing Samples - August 2017

Additional Reading

Pen & Ink Pairing: July ’17 – Hand Over That Pen

 

Currently Inked – July 2017

July 2017 Currently Inked cappedJuly 2017 Currently Inked uncappedA lot of fountain pen changes this month. I wrote three pens dry: the Sailor Pro Gear KOP, the Montblanc Ultra Black LeGrand and the Newton Eastman. This brought me down to only four inked fountain pens. I inked some pens up and I’ll be starting the month with 12 inked fountain pens and one rollerball. The Montblanc Ultra Black was immediately re-inked with the same ink and returned to the rotation.

The eight fountain pens in my Perfect Penvelope makes up the bulk of my currently inked pens. These also happen to be the pens getting the most use in the last few days. I’ve been rotating through them so they all get a turn.

The Pilot Vanishing Point with its XXXF nib and black ink is also newly inked. It replaced the Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe in my Fodderstack XL. The Anderson Pens Retro 51 Limited Edition was replaced with the new Retro 51 “Play Ball” edition. It’s using the same stock REF5P refill, so the change is just cosmetic.

The Lamy Petrol has been inked since I got it but it hasn’t gotten much use. I like its look and the extra fine nib writes well. It just hasn’t grabbed my attention.

The Franklin-Christoph Model 66 continues to live of my desk. I eyedropper filled it so there’s probably still plenty of ink left it it. It got more use when it was one of four inked pens. Now that it’s 1 of 12 its use is more intermittent.

The Sheaffer Balance Aspen gets occasional use but it’s out of site in its protective cocoon and therefor out of mind. But I pull it out when I think of it.

Since eight of the fountain pens were inked at one time with a variety of nibs and inks I have a nice variety to keep things interesting this month. I’ve been writing more recently so that’s a good thing.

July 2017 Currently Inked writing sample