Currently Inked – Mid-August 2016

Currently Inled pens, Mid-August after the DC Pen Show. (Pen tray capped)After the 2016 Washington DC Pen Show I’m up to eleven inked fountain pens, so it’s a good time for an update. One fountain pen went dry just before the show and it was re-inked with new ink from the show. All the other pens and ink remain, although my four new pens/ink are new from the show.

I’ve been using my fountain pens a lot since the show so hopefully I’ll empty many of these before the month ends. In addition to written drafts of all the articles I’ve posted, I’ve also written at least two pages every day. I guess I could call them journal entries but they are really just an excuse to use the pens. Hopefully I can keep this pace because my normal daily routine doesn’t give me much opportunity to use my pens these days.

Anyway, I’ll start with the new fountain pens and inks. If you just want to see all the pens and quick writing samples, or links to what others are using, then drop down to the bottom of the post. Links are to a review or “This Just In Post” for the pen if no review exists.

New Pens and Ink

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) with Montblanc Ultra Black

This is the pen I wrote dry before the show. I picked up Montblanc Ultra Black early Friday at the show but didn’t use it much until Sunday after I had the Homo Sapien’s nib tuned by Dan Smith. It was good, but now it’s perfect and worthy of my favorite pen. The Ultra Black is a dark black, even in this extra fine nib, but it’s nothing special. I wouldn’t say ultra=darkest. Montblanc’s new Ultra Black Pens are a matte black and this ink tends to match them. I don’t like that the ink takes so long to dry and I’ve had more than a few careless smudges even though I’m not a lefty. I like to use different inks in this pen and usually give each ink two fills before cleaning the pen although Montblanc Ultra Black will only get one turn in the pen and I’ll switch inks when I write it dry the first time.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with Montblanc Ultra Black Writing Sample

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with KWZ Gummiberry

Both pen and ink are new from the 2016 DC Pen Show. The Sailor KOP has a medium nib which does a great job of showing off this ink. The pen has already been written dry once and was refilled with the same ink. I’ll probably swap inks when it goes dry again, but the pen will stay in the rotation and the ink may return in another pen shortly.

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with KWZ Gummiberry Writing Sample

Sheaffer Balance Oversize (c. 1934) (F) with Sheaffer Peacock Blue

While I’ve used Sheaffer Peacock Blue before, and it’s the only turquoise ink I like, this particular bottle is a NOS yellow label bottle from the pen show. I hesitate to call it “vintage” because it dates to the late 1970’s or 80’s making it younger than me. While it was made 40 or 50 years after the Sheaffer Balance, it still seems more appropriate than an ink made this century.

The more I use the Sheaffer Balance, the more I like it. The material is mesmerizing and changes as the lighting changes.

The pen has a tendency to collect ink between the nib and feed and will let go a a drop of ink onto the paper every three or four pages if I don’t dab it. I find a quick dab on a ink towel every time I turn the page (I write on both sides, so this is two pages) avoids any issue. The pen doesn’t leak or splatter even when I carry it or move my hand somewhat quickly. Although being a 80+ year old pen I make sure it doesn’t get jostled about in my bag.

Sheaffer Balance Oversize c1934 with Sheaffer Peacock Blue Writing Sample

Fisher of Pens Hermes (F) with KWZ Green #2

Again, both pen and ink are new from the pen show. I’d previously mentioned that the Fisher of Pens Hermes experienced hard starts. Those have since gone away and the pen has become a wetter (relative to it’s past) writer. I didn’t clean the pen before I used it so there may have been some oil or crud in the nib. While I would expect custom made pens to be clean, Carl did swap the nib to a fine nib from stock, so the nib was probably never cleaned.

The three previous pens have had a near monopoly on my writing so this pen hasn’t been used all that much and is still on it’s first fill. It will stay in the rotation when it goes dry although I’ll give it a good flush and probably switch the ink for variety.

Fisher of Pens Hermes with KWZ Green #2 Writing Sample

Ryan Krusac The Legend (EF) with Papier Plume Burgundy

Continuing the theme, both pen and paper are from the pen show. The Legend is Ryan’s newest design and my first pen from him. The ink is also a new brand for me. The two work well together, but they haven’t been used as much thanks to the pens listed above. The ink, in both flow and color, reminds me a bit of my favorite Montblanc Bordeaux, not an exact match but it does have hints of my favorite ink.

Ryan Krusac The Legend with Papier Plume Burgundy Writing Sample

Written Dry

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) with Aurora Black

The Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age is the only pen to go dry so far this month. It had Aurora Black which is nice and dark even with this extra fine nib. I like running different inks through this pen and limit any ink to two fills. So even though Aurora Black is a great black ink it was time to clean the pen and move on.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with Aurora Black writing sample

Still Inked

The following inks and pens remain in the rotation. All are performing well, they just can’t compete with the new and shiny.

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What Others are Using (or Used)

Currently Inked #8 | 11 August 2016 – Pen Habit – video that includes his inked pens along with some Q&A.

My New Work Notebook. — The Ink Smudge – I too use a steno style pad but I settled on the Doane Paper Large Flap Jotter simply because I prefer Grids + Lines.

Currently Inked: August 2016 — Pendora’s Box and Currently Inked: EDC for Kayaking — Pendora’s Box

One Book July 2016 Recap — The Purl Bug – I couldn’t stick to just one notebook, but this was a innovative way to mimic more than one notebook.

All The Pens

The writing sample is in the same order as the photos.

Currently Inled pens, Mid-August after the DC Pen Show

Currently Inled pens, Mid-August after the DC Pen Show. Writing sample

Currently Inked – August 2016

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I’ve changed my routine this month. I flushed almost all my inked pens from July which left only three pens inked up. (And really, in my mind it was only two.) I also decided to limit myself to six inked pens (although this became seven).

I picked six as the magic number in order to constrain my choices and because it happens to be the number of slots in my favorite pen case. The six pen limit was a nice constraint that forced me to be more deliberate in my ink and pen choices.

The One That Doesn’t Count

Platinum Carbon Desk Pen In StandThe Platinum Carbon Desk Pen is the pen I’m not really counting. The pen lives on my desk and it gets used every day. I use it for my short daily Hobonichi entry along with quick notes and addressing envelopes. But it’s a thin, light pen that I find uncomfortable for anything more than a few lines. It’s not a pen I would carry out and about and never consider it for anything other than quick notes.

Carried Over From July

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with Aurora Black writing sampleA carry-over from July is my favorite fountain pen, the Visconti Homo Sapien with its extra fine nib. It remains inked with Aurora Black. I’m having fun using different inks in this pen so when it runs dry this time I’ll switch to a different ink. But the pen will remain in the rotation.

Sheaffer Balance Aspen with Montblanc Permanent Grey writing sample

The Sheaffer Balance Aspen has also been carried over from last month. It’s filled with Montblanc Permanent Grey ink. This is a pen & ink combination I really enjoy.

The newly inked pens are…

Pilot Vanishing Point XXXF nib w/Pilot Black

Pilot Vanishing Point XXXF with Pilot Black writing sampleOne of the things I like about the Vanishing Points is that it’s easy to move the nibs between barrels, so while this starts August in the Maplewood barrel I’ll move it to the Red Bamboo barrel when I feel like a making a change. While I do like everything about the nib, barrel and ink combination, I picked it for its functional abilities. It will live in my shirt pocket.

Pelikan M101N “Lizard” extra fine nib with Sheaffer Peacock Blue

Pelikan M101N Extra Fine with Sheaffer Peacock Blue writing sampleIt’s been nearly two years since I’ve inked up this fountain pen. It’s a little smaller than I prefer but it’s a great writer and looks great. Sheaffer Peacock Blue is the one blue (turquoise really) ink that I actually like. I love the line variation it gets, even in thin nibs.

Sheaffer Legacy I stub nib with Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Groen

Sheaffer Legacy I stub nib with Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Groen writing sampleAnother long ignored fountain pen, it’s been over two years without touching this pen. The wide factory stub nib isn’t my typical choice. It’s nice to have something different in the mix, which is why I picked it. The Akkerman #28 is a nice green ink that challenges Montblanc Irish Green for the title of “favorite green ink”. I wanted a green ink in the mix and this combination seems like a good choice for this wide nib.

Parker Vacumatic Maxima (c.1942) fine nib with Montblanc Bordeaux

Parker c1942 Vacumatic Maxima fine nib with Montblanc Bordeaux writing sampleI wanted a vintage pen is the rotation and Ron Gilmour’s Vacumatic review on The Pen Addict reminded me how much I like this pen, especially the one with silver pearl finish. His comment on cleaning explains why this pen only gets used about once a year…

…Then you can suck water into the pen and slowly depress the plunger to expel that. Repeat this until a) the water comes out clean or b) you’re hungry, your thumb hurts, and you just don’t care anymore.

Option B is my usual choice.

I picked Montblanc Bordeaux for this pen. It’s my favorite ink, and while it’s not vintage it does seem perfect for an iconic vintage pen. Plus, it’s easy to clean.

More Pens?

I’ll be heading to the Washington DC Pen Show in a few days. It’s safe to say I’ll be inking up more pens before the month is over. Either because the pens are new or because the ink is new. The Visconti is probably closest to empty (not that I can actually be sure) but that will go right back into the rotation with some Montblanc Ultra Black ink I’ll be picking up in DC.

While limiting myself to six pens was a nice constraint that made me consider my choices it was made easier knowing I had a ready-made excuse to add more pens in a week.

What Other Are Using

Some of these go back to early July but I still like seeing what others are using and figure you will too.

Currently Inked #7 – 28 July 2016 – Pen Habit

Currently Inked Black Pens’ Night Edition | Write to Me Often

July Long Weekend Getaway EDC — Pendora’s Box and Currently Inked: July 2016 — Pendora’s Box

Currently Inked – July 2016

Currently Inked - July 2016I’m back up to a dozen inked fountain pens. While eight pens are carry overs from June, two of those where written dry, flushed and then refilled. As I was deciding whether or not to ink up my twelfth fountain pen The Gentleman Stationer’s post about Choosing Pens for the Daily Carry showed up in my RSS feed. The entire post rings true to me, especially this part:

Needless to say, it takes a LONG time for me to work through the various pens in my rotation, and I’m getting annoyed that some of my favorites have fallen by the wayside.

He limited himself to ten fountain pens, but with a certain logic behind the choices (read the article for details). While the article makes perfect sense it didn’t stop me from inking up that twelfth pen.

New Pens or Inks

I decided to start highlighting my newly inked up pens and why I made the selection.

Sheaffer Balance II (x3)

I absolutely love the look of these three pens and the nibs are terrific. The Aspen’s nib and feed has been tuned by Mike Masuyama (it had a not uncommon flow issue when I received it) which makes me realize how good they can be. The other two aren’t quite there but I plan to remedy that next month.

These all got a matching color ink from my favorite ink brand.

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I reviewed the Sheaffer Balance Aspen and the other two are similar and I did write a This Just In post for them. The inks used are Montblanc Bordeaux (my absolute favorite), Montblanc Irish Green and Montblanc Permanent Grey. No review of the Permanent Grey even though it’s a former Fav 5 ink.

Lamy AL-Star (Green)

An early favorite of mine the Lamy Safaris (and similar AL-Stars) have been neglected. I recently returned to using them. The ink in this one is a new brand to me. Plus it’s a boutique manufacturer, and third it’s an iron gall ink. So I wanted a fountain pen that would be easy to clean and also relatively inexpensive should the unexpected happen and the ink damages the pen. As an added bonus I have a complete set of Lamy nibs and can swap them to give this ink a good workout.

Lamy AL-Star with writing sample

I’ve never reviewed the Safari/AL-Star but I’m sure a search of Pennaguod will turn up hundreds, if not thousands.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age

This was the twelfth pen that I was debating to ink up. It would have been inked sometime during the month anyway since it’s the favorite, plus I really do need to review it finally. I continued my practice not repeating inks in this pen. The Aurora Black is an ink I’ve ignored for far too long so it was picked.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with writing sample

No full reviews of this pen or ink yet but I did write about the Visconti soon after it arrived.

The Full List

The samples are in the same order as the pens in the photo up top.

Currently Inked Writing Samples - July 2016

Currently Inked – June 2016

As usual I’ll recap what I have inked up as the month begins. But since my regular Sunday Notes and Links post is on hiatus I’ve linked to what others are using down at the bottom. Since you’re reading this post I figure you’ll like reading those as much as I do.
I began May with ten inked up fountain pens and I’ll be starting June with the same number. Three of the pen/ink combinations were changed since May. I did ink up a couple of pens for testing and playing during the month but they were flushed out after a couple of days use. But they did eat int the time I would have given my other pens and that time was less than I would have liked during May.

The Platinum Carbon Pen is nearly empty. Because of the ink and the fact that it’s been in there since January I will flush it out when it’s dry. But I’ll quickly re-ink it with the same stuff since I’ve grown to like having it in a pen stand on my desk. It gives me quick access to a waterproof ink along with a thin line for writing in my Hobonichi.

The Kaweco Brass Sport earned it’s spot thanks to one day in May. I somehow packed up my bag without including my pen case, while also forgetting a pen for my shirt pocket. The Kaweco lives in my pants pocket (that’s trouser pocket for those in the UK) so I had that to use while I was out and about. The pen went dry as the June began but I immediately popped in a new cartridge of the same ink.

The Visconti Homo Sapien, Pilot Custom 823 and Sailor Pro Gear are all pens I’ve been missing from the rotation. The Visconti got Lamy Dark Lilac ink because I want to use a different ink in this pen after every cleaning. Even though the Lamy Safari already had this ink in it, I wanted to see it in this pen.

I’ve been sticking to cartridges in the Sailor Pro Gear ever since the converter debacle. The thin nib needs a dark ink and I do have the Sailor cartridges for it, so I might as well use them. I decided to try a blue-black ink for this pen. It’s the first time I used this particular ink. My first impression in this pen is “meh”, but I’ll give it time. I don’t dislike it, but it’s not a great choice for such a thin nib.

The Pilot Custom 823 is a pen I love to write with even though I don’t like it aesthetically. It is a Fav 5 so I obviously picked function over looks. Keeping with the theme I gave it an ink color I merely tolerate, but one that performs well. While blue is far from a favorite color of mine it provides a bit of variation from my other inked up pens. While I don’t usually match pen and ink brands, or some reason my brain is convinced that this pen must use Pilot inks even though there’s no good reason for it. I do like Pilot (Namiki) inks as a good workhorse ink for everyday writing, so this may be my subconscious getting them into the rotation.

You’ll notice the false start above the Kaweco Sport in the writing samples. That’s the Pilot Vanishing Point with the XXXF showing impeccable timing in going dry as the month closes. I had carried it in my shirt pocket (usually in the Fodderstack XL) based on the theory that it’s easy to remove, click and the write. The theory is valid although the reality is that I rarely used it this way. I’ve been using it just like any other pen, not for quick notes on the run. So it won’t get an immediate refill.

It’s time for the pens. As usual the writing samples are in the same order as the pens In the photos and the links are to a review if it exists.

Currrently Inked Tray for June 2016

Currrently Inked Tray (uncapped) for June 2016

Currently Inked writing samples - June 2016

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (extra fine) – Lamy Dark Lilac // Edison Menlo Pump Filler (extra fine) – Athena Sepia // Pilot Custom 823 (fine)Namiki Blue // Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe (extra fine) – Sailor Nano Sei-boku // Franklin-Christoph Model 02 (extra fine) – Sheaffer Green // Lamy Safari Dark Lilac (medium) – Lamy Dark Lilac // Pilot Vanishing Point Cherry Bamboo (left oblique)Montblanc Bordeaux // Kaweco Brass Sport (extra fine) – Kaweco Black cartridge // Platinum Carbon Pen (super fine) – Platinum Carbon Black cartridge // Edison Extended Mina (extra fine) – Sheaffer Peacock Blue

What Others Are Using

Monthly Load Out: June 2016 — Gorgeous.Ink

Currently Inked: June 2016 — Pendora’s Box

What’s inked? ~ Inkdependence!

My May Favourites — The Finer Point

Currently Inked – May 2016

I began April with thirteen fountain pens inked. As the final full week of the month began all thirteen were still going strong. Then I went on a tear the final week and over half of them went dry as the month wound down.

The Edison Menlo Pump Filler went dry but was refilled with the same Athena Sepia ink. It’s a nice combination and refilling was so much easier than cleaning this fountain pen. The rest were returned to the pen case when they went dry while I brought three new pens into the rotation.

The newly released Lamy Safari Dark Lilac joins the rotation with (what else?) Lamy Dark Lilac ink. The second is the Rotring 600 Lava, also with a medium nib. The last thing I needed was another green ink, so naturally I picked Noodler’s Plymouth Wilderness.

The last new member is the Vanishing Point left oblique nib with Montblanc Bordeaux ink. I ended up putting this nib unit in the VP Red Bamboo and moved the XXXF nib unit from the Red Bamboo to the VP Maplewood.

I wrote my Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age dry on the last day of the month. I decided to give it a short break in order to give my other pens a chance. I’m already itching to ink it up again but I’ll wait until one or two others go dry. Both of the Namiki Sterlings should be running on fumes but since they use a squeeze converter I don’t know for sure.

So on to the fountain pens. As usual the pens are pictured in the same order as the writing samples.

Currently Inked capped - May 2016

Currently Inked uncapped - May 2016

Currently Inked writing sample - May 2016


Edison Menlo Pump Filler (extra fine) – Athena Sepia // Platinum Carbon Desk Pen – Platinum Carbon Black (cartridge) // Kaweco Brass Sport (extra fine) – Kaweco Black cartridge // Pilot Vanishing Point (XXXF) – Pilot Black cartridge // Edison Extended Mina (extra fine) – Sheaffer Peacock Blue // Namiki Sterling Silver Dragon (medium) – R&K Smoragdegün // Namiki Sterling Silver Hawk (fine) – Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Green // Pilot Vanishing Point (left oblique)Montblanc Bordeaux // Lamy Safari (medium) – Lamy Dark Lilac // Rotring 600 Lava (medium) – Noodler’s Plymouth Wilderness

Currently Inked – April 2016

It’s the beginning of another month, which means another currently inked post. There was a lot of churn in my fountain pen rotation during March.Only four of the eight pen & ink combinations lasted through the month and the total inked pens grew to 14 mid-month but was back down to ten by month’s end.

I added three pen to my rotation as April began, bringing my current inked pen count back up to 13. The last three additions had an unattended theme. I first picked my long unused Sailor 1911 Sterling which needed polishing. Since I was already polishing I picked my other two sterling silver pens and polished them up before inking them. Shiny!

The Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age stayed in the rotation, but now with a much more enjoyable ink. I did keep the Montblanc Golden Yellow ink in the rotation but in a pen much more suited to its behavior.

On to the pens. As usual, the pens are in the same order as the writing samples except for the Platinum Carbon Desk Pen which is horizontal in both photos(and has its name on it). Links are to a review or ink notes if they exist, or a “This Just In” post if there’s no review.

Currently Inked - April 2016

Currently Inked - April 2016

Currently Inked writing samples- April 2016

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (extra fine)R&K Blau-Schwarz LE // Pelikan M805 Stresemann (extra-fine) – Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black //  Edison Menlo Pump Filler (extra fine) – Athena Sepia // Platinum Carbon Desk Pen – Platinum Carbon Black (cartridge) // Kaweco Brass Sport (extra fine) – Kaweco Black cartridge // Pilot Vanishing Point (XXXF) – Pilot Black cartridge // Edison Extended Mina (extra fine) – Sheaffer Peacock Blue // Sheaffer Balance II (Crimson Glow) (medium) – Noodler’s Berning Red // Sheaffer Balance II (Jade Green) (medium) – Omas Green // Omas 360 Vintage LE (fine) – Montblanc Golden Yellow // Sailor 1911 Sterling (m. stub) – Visconti Burgundy // Namiki Sterling Silver Dragon (medium) – R&K Smoragdegün // Namiki Sterling Silver Hawk (fine) – Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Green


Currently Inked – Mid-March 2016

My pen & ink turnover has been slow for months, meaning a monthly currently inked post had it covered. That changed this month. There’s been so much change I decided to do a quick update. Getting back from the Long Island Pen Show had me playing around with pens and inks on Sunday. By the time I was done there were 14 pens still inked up (one of which has since gone dry), up from the eight inked up as the month began.

As the date in the photo shows, I started the list on Sunday, more for my own records than a post. The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe has since been written dry so it’s the one crossed off the list. I used it to write the draft of its review Sunday night and the pen went dry this morning while writing my journal entry. The Visconti Homo Sapien remains inked up, but has a new ink which provides a much nicer writing experience than the MB Golden Yellow.

The Franklin-Christoph Model 20 with a needlepoint nib and nice red ink has gone away, mainly due to physics. The other five pens from March 1st remain unchanged and six new ones join the mix.

I had to try the ink I brought back from the pen show so the first three pens have that ink. First impressions are that both green inks are better than average (IMO) and the red is nice and behaves as promised.

I loaded the Montblanc Golden Yellow into my Omas 360. While it is a fine nib it’s the wettest nib that I have. The Montblanc Golden Yellow performs quite nicely in this pen. The ink doesn’t gush from it (which is a plus in my book) but it provides a nice writing experience, unlike in the Homo Sapien.

The Pelikan M805 seems about one writing session away from empty so that will probably go soon. Other than that, I’ll have to do some serious writing to start emptying these pens.

Just a quick photo on the pens and ink. It’s cream colored Tomoe River Paper (in a Seven Seas Writer).

Currently Inked fountain pens and writing samples