Currently Inked – April 27, 2020

I’m writing pens dry faster than I can keep up. I wrote one pen dry when doing the had written draft of this post. That now dry pen happened to be at the top of my currently inked writing sample. I’ll be skipping my usual practice of scheduling posts for the next morning to give me time to remember what I screwed up.

I picked the following fountain pens and inks to join the currently inked club:

The first three pens listed are the only fountain pens that were inked before Sunday. I won’t be using them until after this is posted, for fear of making it outdated before it’s published. I wrote about the Sterling Silver Namikis ones in Three Pieces of Silver.

I rarely carry the Fodderstack in my shirt pocket these days. I’m not venturing out often, and the Fodderstack has been replaced by a small bottle of hand sanitizer and a small squirt bottle of alcohol (for grocery carts, etc…). I’ve only wanted a pen once or twice, but to meet those needs, I inked up the Kaweco Brass Sport with Montblanc Petit Prince Red Fox in a cartridge. I picked a red ink so I could also use the pen to mark up documents.

I do like the Vanishing Point Red Bamboo, so it returned to the rotation with a different nib. I feel compelled to acknowledge that the pen is not made of bamboo. But, that is what it was sold as here in the States. I put in the medium left oblique nib, The oblique nib sits perfectly with my natural grip, the clip ensuring that I don’t twist the pen, even a little. It got the now usual Pilot Black cartridge. Pilot converters are a hassle in the VP and don’t hold much ink, so I stick to cartridges.

The Franklin-Christoph Model 02 (Gen 1) is a lovely green and sports a Mike Masuyama needlepoint nib. The pen called out for green ink, so I loaded it with a Montblanc Emerald Green cartridge.

I was missing to Royal Tangerine KOP after only one day. It returned with my favorite ink, Montblanc Bordeaux. It took six days for me to miss the Aero. I’m surprised by how much I like that pen and how well it writes. I did manage to survive 5 days without it.

The Edison Huron Grande just didn’t want to be used. I eyedropper filled its large body with Papier Plume Burgundy, but it just didn’t want to write. A couple hours of gravity didn’t help, running under the faucet didn’t help. Finally, I wrapped a tissue around the nib and gave it a couple firm old-style thermometer wrist flicks, which finally did the trick. I haven’t used it much yet, but it seems fine.

The final fountain pen I inked up my newest fountain pen arrived, the Leonardo Officina Italiana Messenger with an extra-fine nib. I inked it with its namesake, Montblanc Leonardo Red Chalk.

As usual, the writing samples are in the same order as the pens (L->R). Click any photo for full size.

Photo of my capped currently inked pens

Photo of my uncapped currently inked pens

Writing samples from my currently inked pens

 

Three Pieces of Silver

Photo of my three sterling silver pens, and their current inksI had pulled out three Sheaffers, fully intending to fill them as replacements for my previously emptied Sheaffers. Then some tarnished Sailor silver caught my eye, and I grabbed a polishing cloth. But, if I’m going start polishing silver, I might as well polish all of it. So, I grabbed my two pieces of silver by Pilot (Namiki) and settled in for some polishing. And once they were polished, I had no choice but to ink them up. If I put them back in the pen case, they would tarnish again before I used them, making all that time wasted. So it was on to ink them up.

Keeping with the theme of three, I picked the three Iroshizuku inks that were closest at hand. The Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver was fed Iroshizuku Yama-guru. The ink level in the bottled betrayed that I had used the ink quite a bit, yet I couldn’t remember what it looked like on paper. I like brown ink, and it was a beautiful dark brown in the bottle.

photo of the Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver

Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver

The Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver came with a 21kt medium nib. I bought the pen in 2004 and had Richard Binder stub the nib at the 2013 D.C. pen show. The pen has seen infrequent use since them. One reason is that it tarnishes quickly, and polishing it up is a significant speed bump before inking it up. The pen hasn’t been used at all in the last two years and only three times since having the nib stubbed.

One of the end pieces, I forget which one, popped off, and I had to superglue it back on. It’s been solid since then, but I do hold my breath whenever I polish the pen.

Photo of the Sailor 1911 writing sample

Sailor 1911 writing sample

Photo of the Namiki Sterling Silver Hawk uncapped

Namiki Sterling Silver Hawk

The first of my Namiki fountain pens to get ink was the Hawk. I picked Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun. (FYI – Namiki is a sub-brand of Pilot, just like Iroshizuku.) The pen has an 18kt gold inlaid fine nib. The grey ink can sometimes get lost on some paper when using a thin nib. If I had been thinking or paying attention, I wouldn’t have filled the thinnest nib of the trio with grey ink. I’m writing the draft of this post on Doane Paper, which has a blue grid pattern. The ink flow is enough to put a line down that’s consistent and dark enough to stand out from the grid. I do like the look of the inlaid nib as I use the pen. The pen was purchased in 2003 but rarely used. It was last used nearly 4 years ago.

The pen barrel has what appears to be a small circle with a dot in it. It faces me when I write with the pen and is out of place. Now that I’ve seen it, I can’t unsee it. There are a couple other small blemishes that didn’t come out with the polishing cloth. They probably just need slightly more aggressive polishing.

While there are several Namiki Sterling designs available as new, it appears the Hawk has been discontinued.

Photo of the Namiki Sterling Silver Dragon uncapped

Namiki Sterling Silver Dragon

The final piece of silver is the Namiki Sterling Silver Dragon. I purchased the Dragon in April 2004. Like the Hawk, it’s rarely used and not used at all in the last four years. The Dragon has an 18kt medium gold inlaid nib. I loaded the pen with Iroshizuku Shin-ryoku (autocorrect is killing me on the ink names, hopefully my corrections are “re-corrected”). The nib puts down a nice wet line, with “wet” defined by someone who likes nibs tuned to the dry side.

Both Namiki pens are using the discontinued Con-20 aerometric converter (squeeze sac). I’m pretty sure they’re the ones that came with the pen 15+ years ago. New models include the Con-40. The Con-20 is Pilot branded, and they refer to it as a “Press Plate” converter. The Con-20 was discontinued as 2017 began. The Con-20 is my favorite Pilot converter (which isn’t saying much). Even though I can’t see the ink level, I find that it’s the only Pilot converter that rivals the ink capacity of a Pilot cartridge in real-world use. (I don’t use the Con-70 which probably does hold more.)

Despite being metal pens, the Namiki Sterling Silver pens don’t feel heavy at all. They are certainly lighter than the Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver that does have some heft to it. The 1911 is also slightly bigger when capped. Uncapped and unposted, which is how I use my fountain pens, all three pens are the same size. All three pens are comfortable in my hand. They are postable, but I don’t post them. I did notice some hand fatigue after using the 1911 for a short time. This was most unexpected and may have been more to do with it being late in the day, and I’ve been using my hands a lot today (cleaning, scrubbing, moving stuff, but unfortunately not using pens). I didn’t use the Namiki pens until the next day. There was no fatigue when using them.

None of these pens are among my core pens, although the Sailor 1911 managed to make my Hangers-On list. Since it’s been unused as long as the Namiki Sterling so it shouldn’t have even made that list. Despite their dormancy, I probably won’t put them up for sale. All are excellent writers, and they’re probably worth more to me than someone else would pay for them. While none have been beyond writing the draft of this post, all have reminded me that they are trustworthy writers and enjoyable fountain pens.

Currently Inked – March 13, 2020

It’s Friday the 13th and COVID-19 is taking hold here in the States. So, might as well think happy thoughts and play with pens. I inked a few to replace pens that were recently written dry, then kept on going. I ended up with 11 inked fountain pens. Expected 12, but the Pilot Custom 823 didn’t have enough ink for the writing sample.

It’s been awhile, so as a reminder, the writing samples are in the same order, top to bottom, as the pens in the tray, from left to right.

Photo of writing samples of all my inked pens

Photo of my currently inked pens (capped)

All my currently inked fountain pens (capped)

Photo of my currently ink pens (nib view)

Photo of all my currently inked fountain pens (uncapped)

Currently Inked – November 2018

As November was starting up my fountain pens were running dry. So, it was time to ink up some pens. Obviously, it’s no longer the beginning of November. It’s taken me a while to get this post up.

For some reason, more whim than reason, I decided not to use converters. I’d use cartridges or piston fillers. I inked up eight new fountain pens to join my four carry-overs.

The four pens being carried over are:

Edison Huron Grande with an extra-fine nib, used as an eyedropper fill with Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun. A nice big pen that’s comfortable in my hand. The ink was a top five favorite not too long ago. It spent some time on hiatus, but it’s back and reminding me why it’s a favorite. The size of this pen, plus the lack of a clip (or a roll stop) makes the pen a finicky traveler, so it’s a homebody.

Newton Eastman with an Esterbrook #9788 Flexible Medium nib with a barrel full of Montblanc Psychedelic Purple “The Beatles” ink. “Flexible” in the name is more aspirational than reality, but I do really like the nib. This is another homebody pen. Also large and clip-less, but added to that is a tendency to splatter ink into the cap if it’s jostled a lot.

TWSBI Go Sapphire with a broad nib and Monteverde Emotion Wisdom Purple ink. I really like the TWSBI GO pens. But broad nibs aren’t my wheelhouse, so this pen doesn’t get much use. It will be inked for a long time.

Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe with an extra-fine nib, and a Sailor Kiwa-Guro pigmented ink cartridge. This Japanese extra-fine nib puts down one of the thinnest lines of any of my nibs, short of needlepoints. It’s also one of my smoothest nibs. This is the pen that’s been traveling in my Nock Co Foddertack XL, paired with the Retro 51 Corona rollerball.

The newly inked pens are:

Pilot Vanishing Point Cherry Bamboo with a medium nib and a cartridge of Pilot Sepia ink.

Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche with an XXXF nib and a Pilot Red cartridge. For some reason, this black pens attracts red or black inks. The XXXF nib calls for a red ink suitable for marking up documents, something this retractable fountain pen is well-suited to do.

Pilot Vanishing Point Maplewood with an oblique medium nib and a cartridge of Pilot Black ink. The angle of the nib is perfect for the way the pen sits in my hand.

Kaweco Brass Sport with an extra fine nib and a Montblanc Petite Prince Red Fox ink cartridge. The brass is heavily tarnished, just from sitting in the pen case. Typically I’d polish it up a bit before using it, but this time I decided to go as-is and see if using it changes what looks like corrosion to something that resembles a nice patina.

Aurora Optima Nero Perla with a medium nib and Aurora Black ink. I like this pen more than I thought I would. For some reason, I felt like matching this pen with Aurora Black ink.

Montblanc Meisterst├╝ck Ultra Black LeGrand with an Oblique Medium nib and Montblanc Bordeaux ink. My favorite ink in my favorite nib for long writing sessions.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with an extra-fine nib. I filled it with Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun. OK, I have to admit that I forgot this ink was still in the Edison Huron Grande. I do like the ink, but I would have preferred some variety. Even the nib size is the same.

Visconti Brunelleschi with a medium nib and Diamine Terra-cotta ink. This pen has been writing dryer than I expected. It’s a bit dry, even for me. If I hadn’t filled it through the feed, I would have thought there were some flow issues. It has gotten a little better, although that’s more because I’ve gotten used to it.

Naturally, my fountain pen usage dropped soon after inking those new pens (well, freshly added to the rotation), but it’s beginning to pick up.

Currently Inked – August 28, 2018

I haven’t done one of these currently inked roundups since March. I inked up a total of 15 pens at the end of April and covered those in a Trail Log. It took me all this time to write them dry. I did add one to try a new ink, and that one is still going.

I haven’t used my large, clip-less pens in a long time so I inked up all three. These are too big for a pocket. While the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 can squeeze into some pen cases, the others are too big for any pen case that can hold them securely. These are desk-bound pens which I sometimes skip over for that reason. All three are eyedropper fills, so there’s a lot of ink.

The Newton Eastman is a custom pen designed for my vintage Esterbrook nibs. This time out I fitted it with a [#9788 Flexible Medium nib](https://fpquest.com/2014/10/14/nib-notes-esterbrook-9788-flexible-medium/ “Jump to the nib notes”). The ink is Montblanc Psychedelic Purple (The Beatles). I was shocked to see the Eastman has bee unused for over a year.

It’s been two years since my Edison Huron Grande has been inked. Another Shocker. I filled it with Iroshizuko Fuyu-Syogun ink. This ink was a favorite a long time ago, and I recently started using it again. The bottle is almost empty, so an eyedropper fill is ideal. With its extra large ink capacity and extra-fine nib, this will be in the rotation for a long time.

The third, and last, eyedropper filler is my Franklin-Christoph Model 66 with my favorite blue-black ink, R&K Blau-Schwarz LE. Another nearly empty bottle, but with a new bottle ready to open. The Model 66 is the smallest of my Big 3, but it will still last a long time with its extra fine nib.

My next choices were two Sailor Pens. The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe has a very thin Japanese extra fine nib. This one got a cartridge of Sailor Kiwa-Guro pigmented black ink.

The Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen received its 13th ink. While not much to look at, it’s become my favorite pen to use. It also received a cartridge, this time it is Sailor Sei-Boku pigmented blue-black ink.

When I did the writing samples and started writing the draft of this post I had two holdover fountain pens. But that dropped to one when the Caran d’Ache Ivanhoe went dry on the first page of the draft for this post. So the only holdover is the Karas Kustoms Ink with a Montblanc Petit Prince Red Fox ink cartridge. This pen wasn’t part of the “April 15”. It was inked in June so I could try the new ink.

Photo of Pens currently iked on August 27, 2018 (capped)

Photo of Pens currently iked on August 27, 2018 (uncapped)

Photo of the writing samples for Pens currently iked on August 27, 2018