Currently Inked – April 2017

It’s been a hectic month so I won’t be writing much about the pens I used but I did want to post my currently inked pens. The Visconti Brunelleschi is a new pen and I’m liking it a lot so far, although it’s still on its first fill. I hope to have a first impressions post up soon.

As usual, the photos are in the same order as the writing samples.

Currently Inked capped - April 2017

Currently Inked uncapped - April 2017

Currently Inked writing sample - April 2017

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Currently Inked – March 2017

Another month begins, and more importantly, winter is fading into the past. Snow isn’t unheard of this time of year, but the average for my home town is less than 2.5 days of snow with an average of under 6” for the month. In mid-February I wanted some new inks and fountain pens in the mix, rather than flushing any I simply added to the inked pens. As the writing sample picture betrays, I haven’t written any pens dry since mid-February. Too many fountain pens, too little writing. I won’t be doing the Six Pen Challenge.

On to the pens:

Currently Inked - February 26, 2017

Currently Inked - March 2017

Currently Inked Writing Samples - March 2017

Currently Inked – New Fountain Pens & Inks

One February pen was written dry but immediately refilled with the same ink, while two other February pens remain in the rotation, but with different inks. Then there are four completely new pens.

The Montblanc Meisterstück Ultra Black LeGrand (OM) was immediately refilled with my favorite ink, Montblanc Bordeaux.

The Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) returns but with Monteverde Burgundy ink this time. This is the old formulation which appears to be slightly lighter (redder) than the new Napa Burgundy.

The Aurora Optima Nero Perla (M) stays in the rotation but with P.W. Akkerman Dutch Masters 09 Steenrood “Red Stone” van Vermeer. I really like the color of this ink. This is one of several new terra-cotta shades of ink to join my collection recently.

The Fisher of Pens Hermes (F) appears for the first time this year. I love the look of this pen but it’s always been a touch finicky with the inks I’ve used. That is until now. The Rohrer & Klingner Limited Edition Blau-Schwarz may be the best behaved ink I’ve ever used. It continues to impress me by making this pen a joy to use and problem free. It helps that I like the blue-black color. Too bad it’s a limited edition and I’m at the end of the bottle. Luckily I still have one more bottle.

The Pilot Custom 823 (F) returns after an extended absence. It gets Pilot Blue-Black ink which seems to be my go-to ink for this pen. Not my favorite looking pen but it’s a great size for me and a superb writer.

The Sheaffer Balance II Aspen SE (M) shows up for the first time this year. It’s filled with its “go to” ink, Montblanc Permanent Grey.

The Sheaffer Balance Lifetime Oversize (c.1935) (Broad Stub) is the one vintage pen I have inked up. It’s inked up with Diamine 150th Anniversary Terracotta, another Terra-cotta inspired ink (obviously). The broad stub isn’t my choice as a daily writer, it’s way too wide, but fun for occasional use.

Written Dry

I wrote the following pens dry last month. Links are to the Ink and Pen Notes post for the combination.

The Montblanc Meisterstück Ultra Black LeGrand (OM) with Montblanc Bordeaux was written dry but immediately refilled with the same ink.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) with Montblanc Lavender Purple – The pen returned, the ink did not.

Aurora Optima Nero Perla (M) with P.W. Akkerman #12 Mauritshuis Magenta – The pen returned, the ink did not.

Sheaffer PFM I with Montblanc Lucky Orange

Currently Inked – Holdovers

The Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) remains in the rotation with Bookbinders Red-Belly Black ink. A nice dark black ink.

The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe (EF) with its thin nib and Sailor’s Pigment Black ink continues to get frequent use, but for very short notes.

The Monteverde Napa Burgundy is doing well in the Pelikan M805 Stresemann (EF). It’s almost empty. I like the ink and may simply refill the pen with the same ink. Beats cleaning it out.

The Newton Pens Eastman kept its #2442 Esterbrook nib and Montblanc Irish Green ink. I like the combination and have been reluctant to swap the nib. It recently developed a burping problem which kept me from picking it in some cases. All the ink, and now a lot of air, is beginning to take it’s toll, especially when I stopped storing it nib up. But I love the nib, pen and ink so it’s worth it. Storing the pen nib up, and letting the pressure equalize before I use it helps a bit. But it’s a small speed-bump that keeps from from picking the pen at times. Plus, once my hand heats the pen I have to be careful.

The Montblanc Meisterstück Ultra Black LeGrand (OM) with Montblanc Bordeaux was written dry but immediately refilled with the same ink so it’s also a holdover.

Currently Inked – February 2017

It’s a new month, meaning it’s time to review my inked up fountain pens. I only wrote two pens dry the entire month of January (and one of those went dry late on the 31st, after being inked over 2 months). I could claim that it’s because the pens are mostly hight capacity piston and eyedropper fillers, but the reality is I used them less than usual. So there’s not much change this month. I considered flushing out a couple pens to change things up a bit, but I like these pens and inks. In fact, I like them so much that one “written dry” pen got immediately re-inked with the same ink. One new ink was added along with an eighth pen. As usual, the photos below show pens and writing samples in the same order.

Currently Inked - February 2017 - capped

Currently Inked - February 2017 - uncapped

Currently Inked - February 2017 - writing sample

Currently Inked – New Fountain Pens & Inks

The green Sheaffer PFM I with its fine nib was added to the rotation. It gets Montblanc Lucky Orange which is a carry-over from January. I want to see how this ink does in a thinner nib. It’s only been used for the writing sample but it looks promising. It’s also nice to have a vintage pen back in the rotation.

The Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with its medium nib remains in the rotation but with a different ink. It’s my “go to” pen for trying out new inks. This time the ink is Bookbinders Red-Belly Black. The ink is new to me and seems like a wet, dark black ink.

Written Dry

I wrote the following pens dry last month. Links are to the Ink and Pen Notes post for the combination.

The Montblanc Meisterstück Ultra Black LeGrand (OM) was written dry the night of January 31st, so there’s no ink and pen notes yet. But my opinion should be obvious since I’ve already re-inked it the with the same Montblanc Bordeaux ink.

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with Montblanc Lucky Orange

Currently Inked – Holdovers

The Newton Pens Eastman kept its #2442 Esterbrook nib and Montblanc Irish Green ink. I like the combination and have been reluctant to swap the nib.

The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe with its thin Japanese extra fine nib has been my utility pen. I generally carry it with my pocket notebook in my Nock Co. Fodderstack XL. This means that while it gets use most days it’s only a few words. The ink is a Sailor cartridge of pigment blue-black making the ink waterproof. The firm nib works well with even the worst writing form, like holding the notebook in my hand.

I really like the Aurora Optima Nero Perla (M) and P.W. Akkerman #12 combination. It’s quickly grown on me and I find myself smiling when I use the pen. The nib does a good job of displaying the magenta ink without being unusable.

The Montblanc Lavender Purple ink in the Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) is not what I expected. Maybe it’s the thin line, maybe it’s my eyes, maybe there was some Sheaffer Blue-Black left in the pen, but the line is darker than I expected. I would not identify it as purple unless I see it in bright light on white paper. I like the properties well enough and it’s dark enough to pass as a “business ink” but I wanted more purple. It may be better in a wider nib but other Montblanc inks have generally done better in thin nibs.

The Monteverde Napa Burgundy is doing well in the Pelikan M805 Stresemann (EF). I’m a fan of burgundy inks so this isn’t a surprise.

As I mentioned above, the Montblanc Meisterstück Ultra Black LeGrand (OM) was written dry the night of January 31st and I’ve already re-inked it the with the same Montblanc Bordeaux ink.

Currently Inked – January 2017

It’s both a new year and a new month, a good time for change. Although two fountain pens didn’t get the message and start January with the same ink they had when December began. Another two pens carried over from December, but with new ink.

Currently Inked Pens (Capped) - January 2017

Currently Inked (Uncapped)  - January 2017

Currently Inked Writing Samples - January 2017The Newton Eastman with its Esterbrook Falcon Fine Stub (#2442) still has about 1/2 a barrel of Montblanc Irish Green ink. I do have a different nib than December. I’m enjoying this nib but will probably swap it out before the pen is empty. It’s a nice benefit of this pen – the ability to easily swap to any of my 30+ Esterbrook nibs. The pen pretty much remains home bound although it has ventured out one or two times.

The Montblanc Meisterstück Ultra Black LeGrand with its oblique medium nib is still on its first fill of ink, Montblanc Bordeaux. I haven’t been using this pen as much as I thought I would, although there’s no good reason for it. I love the pen and the nib.

The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe was inked the second week of December when I needed a nice thin nib and a relatively dark ink. So this pen, with its extra fine nib was inked with a Sailor Pigmented Blue-Black cartridge. I picked this ink for it’s added bonus of being waterproof. With such a thin nib I suspect I’ll be flushing this out before I write it dry.

The Aurora Optima Nero Perla with its medium nib returns from December, but with a new ink. This month it has P.W. Akkerman #12 Mauritshuis Magenta. I’ve had the bottle for awhile but only opened it recently. This is the first time I’ve used the ink and was pleasantly surprised by the color. So far it’s doing well in the medium nib and it’s been well behaved.

The Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) age has returned to the rotation after a two month hiatus. I picked Montblanc Lavender Purple this time around. Another ink that I’ve had for awhile but haven’t used until now. This ink seems to quickly darken if the pen isn’t used for a day or two. It’s not so vibrant in this thin nib.

The Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) continues in the rotation, but with a new ink. This time around it’s Montblanc Lucky Orange, which is Montblanc’s latest special edition ink. I’m still looking for my perfect orange ink and Lucky Orange is off to a good start.

The Pelikan M805 Stresemann (EF) also had a two month break but now returns to the rotation with Monteverde Napa Burgundy which is another new to me ink that was recently released by Monteverde.

Written Dry

I wrote the following pens dry last month. Links are to the Ink and Pen Notes post for the combination.

Ryan Krusac Legend (EF) with Diamine Ancient Copper

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) and Bookbinders Everglades Ratsnake

Aurora Optima Nero Perla (M) with Aurora Black

Currently Inked – December 2016

While I consistently used my fountain pens during November I used less ink than other months. I did write all my December Pens dry and have a new bunch of five inked up. A couple large capacity pens are in the mix so they may last the entire month. The bad news is I have about 10 pens waiting to be the “next” fountain pen I ink up.

All the inked up pens are new, purchased at the DC Pen Show in August or in the few months after that.

Currently Inked - December 2016 (Capped)

Currently Inked - December 2016 (uncapped)

Currently Inked - December 2016 (writing sample)

Currently Inked

The Vanishing Point survived long enough for the ink sample but went dry a few words (literally) later when I picked it for the draft of this article. That’ll teach me not to check the ink supply.

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with Bookbinders Everglade Ratsnake

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with Bookbinders Everglades Ratsnake writing sample

Another orange ink for this pen. This is similar to the previous ink, Robert Oster Orange, although I like it slightly more. But I still haven’t found an orange I can fall in love with.

Newton Eastman (Esterbrook #2314F) with Montblanc Irish Green

Shawn Newton Eastman with Esterbrook #2314F nib and Montblanc Irish Green writing sample

A custom pen by Shawn Newton that was built to take my Esterbrook nibs. This time out it has a #2314-F nib which I really like. I can change nibs without emptying the pen so the nib may change.

Aurora Optima Auroloide Perla (M) with Aurora Black

Aurora Optima Auroloide Perla with Aurora Black writing sample

A fountain pen day purchase that arrived in early November. It’s still on its first fill of Aurora black ink. Aurora black just seemed appropriate for this pen.

Ryan Krusac Legend (EF) with Diamine Ancient Copper

Ryan Krusac Legend with Diamine Ancient Copper writing sample

Diamine Ancient Copper is an ink I really like yet it’s been a long time since it’s been in a pen. I ended that drought back on November 8th when I inked up this pen.

Montblanc Meisterstück Ultra Black LeGrand (OM) with Montblanc Bordeaux

Montblanc Ultra Black Fountain Pen with Montblanc Bordeaux writing sample

My newest pen, another fountain day purchase although it didn’t arrive until late November. It’s fist ink was obvious, at least to me. Although the pen is far too new for me to have formed an objective opinion, but I’m loving the oblique medium nib as well as the pen itself.

Pens Written Dry

Pilot Vanishing Point (XXXF) with Pilot Black

Pilot Vanishing Point XXXF with Pilot Black writing sample

I moved the nib unit among various VP bodies but it’s the same nib and ink from way back in July. The pen went dry shortly after the month began. As usual, a nice thin line but the ink flowed just fine.

Pelikan M101N “Lizard” (EF) with Sheaffer Peacock Blue

Pelikan M101N Extra Fine with Sheaffer Peacock Blue writing sample
I’m not a fan of turquoise or true blue inks but Sheaffer Peacock Blue is the exception that proves the rule. Although I guess it’s blueness caught up to me. It took me over three months to write the pen dry which is a long time even considering that this piston filler can hold a lot of ink. The pen wrote well right to the last drop, but it wrote blue.

Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche (M) with Pilot Blue

Another blue ink. This was the cartridge that came with the pen. I saw no reason to waste it. This one lasted a bit over two months. It wrote well right to the end.

Sheaffer Balance Aspen (M) with Montblanc Permanent Grey

I love this pen and ink. Despite this, it went dry early in the month and I decided to give it a rest.

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with Robert Oster Orange

Sailor Pro Gear KOP with Oster Orange

A great writing fountain pens The ink was OK, but I didn’t consider a refill and the pen has a new ink this month.

Fisher of Pens Hermes (EF) with Waterman Red

Fisher of Pens Hermes (F) with Waterman Red writing sample

This one started and ended in November, lasting just three weeks. I picked a Waterman ink because the pen has been finicky. It did better with the Waterman ink, but I did have to prime the feed a bit if the pen was stored nib up for a few days.

Currently Inked – November 2016

Usually the last Sunday of the month is when I ink up some new pens for the month ahead. Not this past Sunday. I’ll be starting November with just five pens inked up, four were inked before October began and the fifth was inked mid-October. I decided to skip any new pens for now and see if I can write these dry. Most of these pens have proven to be ones I skip over when others are at hand, yet they are all nice pens with nice inks.

The Vanishing Point with the needlepoint nib is nearly empty so that will be the first to go. Yet the nice thin nib and easy-access clip mechanism make this my most functional pen, so it will probably be immediately re-inked with another cartridge.

The Sailor will probably also remain, but with a different ink as I continue to try various inks in this relatively new fountain pen. The other three will be retired when they go dry as I’ve got a long(ish) list of other pens I want to ink up.

Currently Inked - November 2016 (capped)

Currently Inked Uncapped - November 2016

Currently Inked Writing Samples - November 2016

Still Inked

The Cherry Bamboo Vanishing Point is stingy with ink thanks to its XXXF nib but it’s nearly empty. It gets used every day in my Hobonichi Journal although it’s typically only a line or two. It was inked back on July 29th, so it’s been going awhile and problem free. I do swap the nib units between barrels for variety.

A second Vanishing Point, the new Guilloche, was inked up on September 9th when it was new. Neither the ink (blue) or the nib (medium) will make it to my favorites list so I’m not surprised it’s only half empty. The ink and nib are fine, just not my color or size preference. Even though the VP is ideal for quick notes, the medium nib isn’t my choice for this task.

The Pelikan M101N just doesn’t get much use and it’s been inked since July 29th. Sheaffer Peacock Blue is one the only blue/turquoise ink I actually like, rather than tolerate, but I guess I’m getting tired of it. Plus, for such a small pen the M101N holds a lot of ink.

The Sheaffer Balance Aspen deserves more use than it gets. I love the look and it’s a great writer. Yet it’s a fragile pen. I don’t use it as a note taker as those pens tend to get lightly tossed or jostled on my desk. Even when it’s on my desk it’s usually in a protective sleeve and therefor out of sight and out of mind.

New Pens & Inks

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with Robert Oster Signature Orange

Sailor Pro Gear KOP with Oster OrangeDespite liking every orange ink I see online I’ve yet to use one I actually like. I picked the medium nib to inaugurate the ink brand in my pens. So far I like it, but don’t love it. I’m guessing I’ll like it even less in my typical thinner nibs but I’ll try to remain optimistic. Its certainly bright and orange. I don’t plan to give the pen a refill of this ink when it goes dry.

Pens Leaving the Rotation

Fisher of Pens Hermes (EF) with KWZ IG Green #2

Fishr of Pens Hermes with KWZ IG Green #2I inked this pen up mid-month so it wasn’t even in October’s Currently Inked. This is an iron gall ink so once I inked the pen I made sure to use it a lot and it was written dry within two weeks. This was helped by the fact that I liked the ink. Being an iron gall ink it does darken as it dries, becoming more of a blue/green with the emphasis on blue. Once it was in the pen a couple of days it also darkened a bit which meant it didn’t write as a green either, which was a bit of a negative for me. But performance was great (with one caveat) and it’s waterproof. I did have to prime the feed a couple of times as the flow thinned out, but I think this may be due more to the pen than the ink. At least it wasn’t an issue unique to this ink. If I’m smart the next outing with the pen will be a Waterman or Iroshizuku ink since those work well with everything.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) with Sheaffer Blue-Black

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with Sheaffer Blue-BlackI was impressed with this inexpensive ink and it performed well in the pen. I let the empty pen sit about a week before cleaning and it was still easy enough to flush out. I liked the color, more black than blue, and looks vintage to my eye. It seemed a little slow to dry at times since I had a couple accidental smudges, but otherwise it performed well. I probably used the ink in a cartridge, but this is the first time I opened the bottle. The ink did well with the pen and the price is right.

Sailor Pro Gear King KOP (M) with P.W. Akkerman Hofkwartier Groen #28

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with Akkerman Hofkwartier Groen 28The more I use this ink the more I like it. It does well with this wide (for me) nib.

Pelikan M805 Stresemann (EF) with Papier Plume Burgundy

Pelikan M805 Stresemann with Papier Plume Burgundy writing sampleThis ink quickly became one of my favorites. As I mentioned in the ink notes, it’s not a exact Montblanc Burgundy replacement, but for me it’s a spiritual replacement. This was the time using the pen since getting what Pelikan called an extra fine nib ground down to a real extra fine nib. Much better as far as I’m concerned.

Currently Inked – October 2016

This Currently Inked post is more than a little late since I try to publish it on the first of the month. At least it’s still the first week. I actually did the ink samples two weekends ago, then promptly wrote a couple of those pens dry during the week. As it is, I’m expecting a new pen any day now and will be inking it up, but I decided not to wait.

I’m starting October with seven pens, down from the ten as September started. Only three of these fountain pens are carried over from September.

Currently Inked Pens - October 2016

Currently Inked Writing Sample - October 2016

Still Inked

The first three fountain pens in the photo are the ones carried over from September.

The Cherry Bamboo Vanishing Point, with the XXXF nib should get more use now that the Platinum Desk Pen is gone. This VP has replaced the Platinum as the pen I use for entries to my Hobonichi Journal each morning.

The Pelikan M101N has been inked for what seems like forever. This is the only turquoise ink that I like, but I guess it’s allure is vanishing and I often pass it over when reaching for a pen. Plus, that small pen holds a lot of ink.

The Pelikan M805 survived the month thanks to its ink capacity but it is nearly empty. I really like the Paper Plume Burgundy and may give the pen a refill of the same ink.

New Pens & Inks

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with Akkerman Hofkwartier Groen #28

This Akkerman Ink has really grown on my so it returned in the Sailor Pro Gear KOP. It’s a favorite pen and I’m still making sure I don’t repeat any inks in it, although some ink will get a couple fills when it has it’s turn. I suspect this will be one of those inks.

Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche (M) with Pilot Blue (cartridge)

This is my newest fountain pen and I should have my initial impressions posted in a couple of days. I’m already on my second ink with the pen, but that says more about the con-40 converter than the pen, as does the fact that the pen now has a cartridge loaded.

Sheaffer Balance Aspen (M) with Montblanc Permanent Grey

The Sheaffer Balance Aspen is a favorite fountain pen of mine of mine. While officially a medium nib, it’s much more like a fine nib. For some reason this ink and pen seem to belong together. I mainly picked the ink for its waterproof properties since the Platinum Desk Pen, with it’s waterproof ink, left the rotation. But the ink and pen are worthy of use even if the ink wasn’t waterproof.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) with Sheaffer Blue-Black

I was surprised to find that I never opened this bottle of despite having it for several months. I was even more surprised on the great initial impression it made.

Pens Leaving the Rotation

Parker Vacumatic Maxima (F) with Montblanc Bordeaux

Parker c1942 Vacumatic Maxima fine nib with Montblanc Bordeaux writing sampleIt’s hard to put this combination back in the case, but when the Bordeaux ran out I decided to clean it rather than refill it.

Sheaffer Legacy I (Stub) with Akkerman #28

Sheaffer Legacy I stub nib with Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Groen writing sampleI like this fountain pen for occasional use but the wide stub nib isn’t my choice as a daily writer. So the ink remained, but the pen is back in the case.

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with Bookbinders Ground Rattler

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with Bookbinders Ground RattlerThe pen remains in the rotation but Bookbinders Ground Rattler is gone. The ink was OK but not my favorite grey.

Fisher of Pens Hermes (F) with Montblanc Irish Green

Fisher of Pens Hermes with Montblanc Irish GreenIt was hard not to re-ink this pen again so it will be back soon.

Sheaffer Balance II with KWZ Green #2

Sheaffer Balance II Jade Green with writing sampleThis one is nearly identical to the Sheaffer Aspen, so in a way it remained in the rotation.