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


Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – January 21, 2018

Two fountain pens were written dry this past week. As expected, the Sailor King of Pen went dry soon after Sunday’s Trail Log went up. I resisted the urge to refill it with the gorgeous Montblanc Psychedelic Purple ink. The Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver went dry on Friday. I liked the Montblanc Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Encre du Desert ink although the name is far too long. Montblanc just calls it “Brown” on the back of the box. Me? I had to create a Text Expander snippet. I like brown inks, so while I do like this well-behaved ink, there’s nothing about it that rises above all other browns (except the price).

The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe with its extra fine nib has proven perfect for my Hobonichi Techo and other places where a really fine line is ideal. So rather than retiring it to change up the theme, it’s in my pen holder for continued use. It will be used regularly, but only for short, specific purposes. So, it will most likely be around awhile.

I picked a new theme and inked up three more fountain pens. The theme is simply “Sheaffer” for both pen and ink. I have more Sheaffers than any other brand in my accumulation, so there was a lot to choose from. I decided to drill into the theme and picked my three Sheaffer Balance II fountain pens and my three old-stock Sheaffer inks.

The Aspen Balance II is filled with Sheaffer Gray. The Crimson Glow Balance II got Sheaffer Peacock Blue while the Jade Green Balance II is matched with Sheaffer Emerald Green. The Emerald green is the oldest of the inks and dates from the 1980s while the Grey and Peacock Blue inks date from the 1990s or early 2000s.

I do lack nib variation, with nothing wider than a fine nib. But I enjoy the Sheaffer nibs which makes up for it.

Three Balance IIs and some Sheaffer old-stock ink


An Anecdote Of Two Pens – Hand Over That Pen // Great story!

A peek at the office pen cup. | Fountain pen blog // I always like seeing what others use in day-in and day-out.

Fountain Pen Review: Wing Sung 618 Demonstrator – The Well-Appointed Desk // When this review showed up in my feed the first photo I saw was with the Lamy style box so I thought “Lamy Safari knockoff”. Ana mentions it’s a Parker 51 copy which was harder for me to see. The clip and hooded nib are Parker-like but it reminds me more of a TWSBI, An interesting inexpensive pen.

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.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – December 31, 2017

A deep freeze set in over New England the day after Christmas and the 10-day forecast doesn’t get us above freezing for another eight days. While I like this weather (it’s quite sunny out when there is daylight) it provides an excuse to stay inside and use fountain pens. Although it does make mail-order ink buying a risk, which kept me from a spur-of-the-moment ink purchase (you’ll find the brand in the links below).

I’ve used fountain pens a lot recently, at least when compared to my previous usage. I’m down to just two inked fountains pens as the year ends. I’ll be inking up some additional pens later today. The Montblanc has no signs of ink left through the view window, but it’s still writing. I’ll use that Montblanc Bordeaux ink until the last drop. The Lamy 2000 will probably last awhile, especially if I ink up some pens that get my attention. The Ugly Sweater Retro 51 is still my rollerball carry.

The Pilot 823 and Lamy Safari Petrol were both written dry. The Pilot was first inked up back in mid-February. The Pilot Blue-Black ink was easy to flush out and stain free, despite spending over ten months in the pen. For a pen I like writing with, I certainly didn’t use it very much. The aesthetics of the pen affects me more than I would have guessed. The Lamy Safari Petrol was inked up back on June 1st when I got the pen. I used the blue ink cartridge that came with the pen. I’d forgotten how much I like the Safaris.

The Franklin Christoph Model 66 was flushed early. It was inked up as an eyedropper back on March 20th and served as my desk pen most of the time. I checked the ink level about two weeks ago. I must have knocked away enough silicone grease that ink started to find a way out of the pen. Just enough to stain the finger it rested on to begin with, but recently it was much more. Since the wasn’t much Akkerman Dutch Masters 09 Steenrood van Vermeer left I decided to flush it out rather than clean it up and apply more silicone grease.

Site Updates:

I updated the U.S. pen show calendar to reflect the 2018 schedule for the shows I could find (which is almost all of them). I still find it amazing (and frustrating) that the biggest pen show leaves us hanging until the very end. If they keep this up, they may have to drop their claim as the “Largest pen event in the world.”

I updated my Resources & Links links page but realize I’ve utterly failed to keep track of new sites I’ve come across. If you’ve got a site or blog that talks about fountain pens, please let me know so that I can add it to the list.


Traveling with ink, China 2017. Part 1: Meeting the Heroes – Rupertarzeian traveled to China and has a series of posts that focus on the fountain pen related events. This is the first of three China trip related posts, be sure to read them all.

January 2018 Simple Bullet Journal Setup from PaperInkPlan. This is too free form for me to use, but I do like it.

How I Choose My Next Pen from my pen needs ink

Colorverse Andromeda Review from SquishyInk – A new (to me) ink brand that has amazing packaging and a unique theme.

UK Fountain Pens also provided a review of Colorverse inks back in November.

My Pen Collection from winter sharks

The Lamy Aion is getting a lot of attention recently:

Reviewed at The Pen Addict

Four points of View at Hand Over That Pen

It’s that time of year for recaps:

Pen additions to my collection – 2017 – Analog(ue) Obsessed (Nine very nice pens)

2017: Pen (re)Cap from Leigh Reyes. My Life As A Verb.

2017 Purchases from Alt. Haven

A Wonder Pens Year – 2017 from Wonder Pens

Today’s off-topic wrap up has a little revenge rolled into phone security.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – December 17, 2017

Well, the cold weather finally settled in. I think I triggered it by ordering some ink on Tuesday. The local temperature dropped to below freezing by the time the ink shipped and it remained below freezing until after the ink arrived. Despite this the ink arrived in liquid form with unbroken bottles. They are a couple Montblanc Special Edition inks, the Writers Edition Antoine de Saint-Exupery ink and the Great Characters Beatles ink. (Unfortunately I just have the inks, not the pens that share their names.) I’ve yet to open the bottles but samples show a very nice burgundy along with a psychedelic purple.

Another pen was written dry this week, this time it was my Sailor King of Pen with Callifolio Teodora which I liked a lot. The KOP will get one of the new Montblanc inks when I’m ready to fill it. Next on my list to write dry is the Montblanc Ultra Black with my favorite ink.

This leaves five fountain pens still inked up along with my ugly sweater Retro 51 as my pens for the week.


Cleo Skribent Series fountain pen meta-review at United Inkdom. A pen brand I’ve never heard, or at least it didn’t stick in my memory. Possibly because it started it what was East Germany at the time.

Platinum Plasir Fountain Pen Review at The Finer Point. I have the came green version but unlike Jenny I was drawn to the nib matching the pen (although mine seems less luminous and a better match to the pen) but the rest of the review matches my feelings about a pen I rarely use. I should mention that the green has begun to flake off the nib so the silver is visible in places. For awhile it was the spare pen I kept at the office because it never dried out, but now that I work from home it’s rarely used.

Twelve Days of Inkmas at The Well-Appointed Desk. The title gives you the idea. This link is to a review of one of my new inks, the Montblanc Writers Edition Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Be sure to check out the past and future entries.

Franklin Covey Freemont Review at The Pen Haul. News to me that they had a fountain pen. More shocked to learn that Staples sells them.

In the off topic and “you can’t make this sh*t up” categories, the Trump administration has given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a list of seven words that they can’t use in their budget documents. More than a little scary that the top health agency in the country can’t use the words “evidence-based” and “science-based” among others. George Carlin is laughing his a** off.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – December 10, 2018

Another fountain pen was written dry this week. The Pelikan M620 Shanghai, ran out of Omas Green ink on Saturday. It took a mere four months to write the pen dry. I had carried it in my Fodderstack XL which kept it available for use. Nearly all my writing this past week was note taking and list making. So while the Pelikan was used enough to write dry, the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 with Akkerman Dutch Masters 09 (Steenrood Vermeer) was easily the pen I used most. It sits on my desk and has a nice extra fine nib which makes it ideal for notes and lists.

The photo below was supposed to be my remaining inked pens, except I forgot about the Lamy Safari Petrol that’s still in my bag.

The pens currently inked and in my daily carry

The pens currently inked and in my daily carry


Edison Pens will be raising prices on January 1st, after 9 years at the current prices.

Carl Fisher (Fisher of Pens) is raising money (on Go Fund Me) to replace/improve his lathe. Discounts on custom pens, or complete pens, are available at the various reward levels.

As the photo above shows, I still use my Foddrstack XL regularly. Ian from Pens! Paper! Pencils! just reviewed it. My review from July 2015 is here.

The Gentleman Stationer’s review of the Waterman Carène reminded me I have one too and it might me time to ink it up. Although I’m more likely to ink up the Edson.

Alt. Haven has photos of the 2017 Singapore Pen Show.

A little music to end the post (via The Loop).

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log

The week began with the first snow of the season, at least in my part of Connecticut. Just a dusting, but enough to be noticeable and require a few hours of sun to vanish. The week ended with long Thanksgiving weekend, at least here in the U.S., with temperatures up to the mid-50’s on Saturday.

I’ve still got a lot of pens inked as my usage continues to be low. I’m looking to change things up so I’ll probably flush a couple pens and ink up some new ones.

The same inked pens as November began

The same ink as the month began


Cross (and Sheaffer along with it) went from one investment company to another. Not sure much will change other than the coast where the owners live. The only positive comments in the article are quotes from the press release. Their new owners have a portfolio of 11 other brands, none stationery related. Even though the new owners have no overlapping stationery brands there were some employees let go as part of the sale and the new owners used the phrase “Transom and Cross executives developed a comprehensive restructuring plan…” in the article. So if I had to guess, the brands will continue to languish, especially in their fountain pen related product lines.

Liz from Wonder Pens shows us what’s in her pen role.

Down to a one pen rotation at And All Other Tasks.

Off-topic – OK, I’m old but I do remember using CompuServe, although I had moved on before the humiliation of their acquisition by AOL. I didn’t realize any part of them was still around and called “CompuServe” (but owned by Verizon), but as of December 15th the last remnants will leave us.