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

Currently Inked – June 2017

There’s no changes since my last Currently Inked post since that one wasn’t done until mid-May. But I’m a creature of habit and like consistency, so I wanted to get back to having this post up as the month begins. It’s the same seven fountain pens as my May 18th post.

Currently Inked Capped Pens - June 2017

Fodderstack XL Carry

The Fodderstack XL still has my Sailor Regency Stripe and Retro 51 Terabyte Tornado although neither has gotten much use, although the Retro 51 probably got used a bit more than the Regency Stripe. The ink level in the Regency Stripe is slowly dropping. It’s now below the collar that holds the cartridge in place. Still, at the rate I’m going it will easily survive the month.

The Other Pens

Currently Inked Uncapped Pens - June 2017

The Newton Eastman is getting to the end of its massive ink supply. I doubt it will survive the month. It’s low enough that I’d flush it out if the burping became a real problem, but I rather like the look of the remaining ink splattered around the barrel so I plan to use it to the last drop. The #2442 Esterbrook nib remains a fixture on the pen.

The Sheaffer Balance II Aspen doesn’t get a lot of use by me which is a bit strange, because it’s a great looking and writing fountain pen. I can explain part of it because it’s a fragile pen and I keep it in it’s own protective single-pen case so the actual pen is out of sight. There’s still half a converter of ink in it.

The Montblanc Ultra Black LeGrand also has a lot of ink left in it, although the level is finally visible in the ink window. The oblique medium nib is one of the wider nibs I have currently inked and the Montblanc Bordeaux is a ink favorite, so it may not survive the month.

The Pilot Custom 823 has barely been used. The only reason the ink level seems low is because I didn’t even try to get a full load of ink when I inked it up.

The Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen is nearly empty. There’s probably one or two pages worth of Bookbinders Red-Belly Black Callifolio Aurora ink left in it. I like the ink a lot and I’m considering changing my habit of cycling different inks through the KOP, rather than re-inking the same ink.

The Franklin-Christoph Model 66, while desk bound, has gotten a lot of use. It sits right in front of me on my desk so it’s always top of mind and easy to pick up and use. While the Newton Eastman is right next to it the Eastman is a bit finicky so the 66 is usually my choice.

The NASA/Space Retro 51 didn’t go dry, but I haven’t been using it. I put it in my new Lanier so I always have a pen when I carry it. But it’s more a security blanket than a needed pen since I always pack additional pens or have the Fodderstack XL in my pocket.

[June 2, 2017] This is embarrassing. I have the wrong ink listed for the Sailor King of Pen. It’s Callifolio Aurora. Should have been obvious when I thought – gee, I thought red-belly black was black, not red. Too many inks.

Currently Inked Writing Sample - June 2017


Currently Inked – May 2017

Currently Inked - May 2017I’m late getting this post out, with the month being half over. But not much has changed since the first. My fountain pen usage is at the lowest point in memory. Not because I don’t like them or make them my first choice when reaching for a pen, but my daily writing is at a low point. The truth is the draft of this post is the first time I’ve written more than a page in one sitting.

You’ll notice a couple rollerballs in the list. Sacrilege, I know. But with my fountain pen usage way down the Retro 51’s hold a larger percentage of use. Especially since most of my writing has been notes on the go which is where the Retro 51’s fit in.

I haven’t inked up any new pens since the April post and one was written dry. I’ve been hesitant to ink up anything new since my usage is so low.

Fodderstack XL Carry

NockCo FodderstackXLThe Fodderstack XL spends a lot of time traveling around with me, mostly in my shirt pocket. It’s easy to grab and go, and I’m sure I have a notebook, a rollerball I can use in any situation, and a fountain pen with me. It showing some scuffs and stains from use but it’s all just cosmetic, it’s still as solid as the day I got it over two years ago.

The Retro 51 Terabyte Tornado (Anderson Pens LE) and the Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe live in the Nock Co. Fodderstack XL, which travels in my shirt pocket. I’ve given into the convenience of the Retro 51 and use it for notes while I’m moving about which is a step up from carrying it as the pen I can lend to others. I typically swap the refill with a fine point Schmidt P8126 refill but this pen still has the original Retro 51 refill. I’ve been trying to waste less and throwing out the original refill would be wasteful. I haven’t hated the stock refill although I’d probably swap it if I used the pen for anything more than quick notes.

The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe only gets occasional use these days. If I’m going to sit down and write some notes I may use it. The Fodderstack is usually on my desk if I’m home so the Regency Stripe is more likely to get used at my desk than when I traveling about, but even then it’s just short writing sessions.

A Nock Co. Dot Dash pocket notebook also travels in the Fodderstack. The notebook is bound at the top which is my preference for a notebook I carry for quick notes.

I’ve given in to the Retro 51 being easier to use in a rush. I can pull it from the Fodderstack and get it ready to use with just one hand, unlike the Sailor. I could swap the Sailor for a Vanishing Point, and I may once the Sailor goes dry.

Other Pens

The Newton Eastman has been inked up a long time. It holds a lot of ink, (5 ml) so it takes a long time to run dry. I’ve gotten used to the ink splatter in the cap and no longer obsessively clean it out. The pen has begun to burp on a regular basis now that there’s all that air in the mostly empty barrel. I remove the cap and wrap my hand around the barrel to warm it up a bit before I use it. This does help a little and I can usually see the ink glistening before it drops so I can dab it off. But it still catches me at times. This makes me use the pen less than I would like since it’s high maintenance. I also haven’t been swapping the nib as much as I expected. Actually, I’ve only swapped the nib once. Part of it is because I really like the Esterbrook #2442 Falcon Stub but the other part is simply that I’m lazy.

The Franklin-Christoph Model 66 is eye dropper filled with Akkerman Dutch Masters 09 “Red Stone” and the performance of the ink is much improved over the Aurora Optima where it was annoying.

The rest of the pens got intermittent use since I didn’t do much writing.

Currently Inked May 2017 writing sample

Written Dry

The Visconti Brunelleschi was written dry after two months. I haven’t written anything about the pen yet, but I do like it. I’ve yet to clean it out but I do plan to re-ink it relatively soon.

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

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.