Tag: Fountain Pens


Jul 10, 2023
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intothisshadow

Fountain pens and inks blanket box

Fountain pens and inks blanket box

What is a blanket box?

A blanket box is a collection of questions and prompts for you to use how you want. The intention is to help you create content for your fort, as well as to connect and share with your followers. Specifically, the blanket box format involves using this template to make a new post of your own, rather than replying in the comment section here.

The theme of this blanket box is fountain pens and inks. You can find more blanket boxes, with a wide variety of themes, in the BlanketBoxBox community.

maiji@pillowfort created a “Fountain pens blanket box”: https://www.pillowfort.social/posts/2943077

Intro

Tell us how you got into fountain pens/inks.

Around 2018. Because ballpoint/rollerball pens kept drying on me after about three weeks of use. When that had happened three or four times in a row, I started looking around. I originally searched for gel pens because I had had one that I loved, but for some reason none of the shops near me, even the big department stores had any gel pens at the time 🙁 And googling good pens kept leading me to fountain pens, and fountain pen inks, and I eventually ordered one to try it out. I’d never seen a fountain pen in real life much less used one, so it was weird and exciting – I didn’t know they were still a thing elsewhere!

What’s your collection like? How do you organize your collection or information related to your collection?

Most of my fountain pens cost about 35 euros (TWSBI Ecos, PenBBS), I also have a handful that cost 5-25 euros (Jinhaos, TWSBI Swipe and Lamy Al-Star) and three that cost up to 69 euros (TWSBI 580, Nahvalur Key West – Las Curidas – the violet one CultPens sells – and the TWSBI Eco Smoke & Rose Gold). I don’t really want any of the truly expensive pens, although I wouldn’t say to to Sailor Spring Rain (what gorgeous colors!). I prefer European nib sizes M-1,1 stub, so although the PenBBS pens are so pretty and write so well, I don’t use them a lot. I did buy them the RM nibs from PenBBS but even those aree too fine for my taste. I didn’t know this about myself when I started, and everywhere fine nibs were recommended. Also, my handwriting is rather bigger than a lot of other people’s seem to be, looking at their pictures, so my writing just looks better with larger nib sizes.

Currently I’m pretty satisfied with my collection. There are one or two pens I’m considering buying maybe later this year, maybe. These are all Hongdians on Etsy/Aliexpress and one Wancher that been out-of-stock for at least three months so I’m not sure if it’ll restock or not. But I’ve been feeling happy with my collection for about six months now as far as pens go.

The only pen I’m disappointed with is the TWSBI 580 ALR Punch Pink. I just don’t like it – the piston is difficult to use, the M nib writes like an F (I think – too narrow, anyway!) and I don’t even like it when I switch the 1.5 stub nib on. I’ve tried it with several of my most favorite inks and… nope. I just don’t like it. The pen is a pretty color and the nib is easy to switch but those two are about the only things I like about it.

Uninked pens I keep in a pen cup at my desk. The inked pens are in the small container on the sofa table because I usually write at my sofa and this keeps them within easy reach.

The only list of my pens is in my head, it suffices thus far. I do keep an ink record – which ink is put in which pen on what date. I sometimes have 7-8 pens inked and I found out quickly it’s impossible to remember which pen has which ink and when it was filled the last time.

You’re given a fountain pen to test out. What would you typically write or doodle? Show us!

My name, Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow and various wavy lines and squicklies. Maybe some lyrics or a my favorite poem, or some aforisms to see how it’ll write longer pieces.

Pens

Your first pen

My first pen was an PIlot Metropolitan Retro Pop Turquoise (the European version). I didn’t love it and never really used it. It was a fine nib (because all the guides said to go for fine nib for every day writing) but for me it was too fine – I didn’t like the width of the line it did, but I thought it wrote really well and smoothly. It was just too fine for me, and it also never felt comfortable in my hand, like it was too small. So I noticed after about 6 months that it sat at the bottom of my drawer. Disappointed I didn’t think about fountain pens much for the next year or so, and went back to frustrating ballpoints. But was I was still really curious fountain pens and still had same the original problem which had led me to look at fountain pens. So I decided to try a Lamy Al-Star which was the other pen experienced users recommend to new users. So I got one and I loved it! I went with a medium nib and that was so much better, and European medium’s now my favorite nib.

About two years or a year and a half ago I gave the Pilot Metropolitan to my Mom, who’d never used a fountain pen with a converter/cartridge capability, only a dip one apparently when she was a kid in the 1940s/50s. She likes it and the fine nib is suitable for her handwriting which is much smaller and finer than my own. I’m glad that the pen didn’t go to waste!

Your newest pen

TWSBI Eco Persian Green with 1.1 stub nib (I also got an extra M nib for it at the same time so I can switch nibs as desired). I now have 5 TWSBI Ecos – I just love how they write, and love the colors. I got them mostly in M nibs but also two B nibs, and now that new 1.1 stub. I’m going to get an F nib at some point too, just to see if I’ll like it any better than the other (Chinese) F nibs.

A pen you’re currently using

I’ve got about half of my pens inked, if not more. Five TWSBI Ecos, one Jinhao x450, one Nahvalur and one WSBI 580 and one TWSBI Swipe. M nibs, two B nibs and one 1.1 stub. These are the pens I’m currently using:

Your “essential” pen (e.g., everyday carry/EDC, favourite pen, etc.)

The TWSBI Ecos! They never dry up even if I haven’t touched them in a couple of months. Ever since COVID-19 started I haven’t had to carry pens often (I have one or two gel pens in the top pocket of my backpack for incidental needs but that’s all) because all the activities I was required to participate in either by healthcare or the unemployment office shut-down and then I was on sick leave for a year so I didn’t need to. But the next time I’ll need to do writing out and about in any sort of regular fashion, I’m taking one or two TWSBI and a Jinhao 82 because that ones M nib is finer than European one so it should work better on random papers. And if the TWSBI Swipe is as good as i’m expecting, that too!

Your “fanciest” pen

I think of my Nahvalur Key West Las Coloradas fountain pen as my fanciest – it’s so very pretty too! Luckily, it also writes like a dream 😀

What tends to catch your interest when it comes to pens? e.g., drawn to particular colours, features, types or sizes of nibs, brands, etc.

Colors and patterns! I love pretty colors and colorful, patterned resins. My PenBBS pens are the most prettiest along with the Nahvalur Key West Las Colaradas. I love the Las Colaradas’ violet color and the sparkles the resin body has.

I love many of the Sailor pen color combinations, but the cheaper ones don’t come with nibs sizes I like (and honestly, they also don’t look as great) and that ones that do, are like 350USD which I can’t even dream of buying (like the Spring Rain), and even if I could afford it no problem, I’m not at all sure I could justify paying that much for a pen!

I also admire the artists who decorate the Maki-e pens – such artwork on such a tiny, round canvas! I love looking at them, so skillfully painted. But they are more art than functional tool, and certainly prices say so (1000+ USD). Wancher does have one line of Maki-e fountain pens that are only 79 euros so I don’t think those are hand painted or something, but they’re very pretty but have been out-of-stock in the only EU fountain pen store I’ve seen them at.

I’m also always curious to see what new pens or colors the brands are coming out with. The selection of nib sizes is important to me – it’s it available only in EF or F, I won’t consider buying them no matter how pretty they are.

These are the rest of my pens:

Inks

An ink you’re currently using

As I said, I have several pens inked at all times. Currently I’m using Pilot Iroshizuku “Kosumosu” and “Yama-Budo”, Sailor “Yamadori”, Sailor Ink Studio “224” and “731”, Diamine “Cerise” and Organics Studio “Copper Turquoise”.

An ink you love

Of the above ones: Kosumosu, Yamadori, Copper Turquoise + J. Herbin “Violet Pensee” and “Rouge Grenat”, Pilot Iroshizuku “Murasaki-Shikibu” and “Kon-Peki”, Diamine “Spearmint Diva” and KWZ “Cherry”. There are others but these came first to my mind.

An ink name that stands out to you

All the Japanese ones in the Pilot Iroshizuku and Sailor lines, and J. Herbin’s French ones!

What tends to catch your interest when it comes to inks? e.g., drawn to particular colours, features/characteristics, brands, etc.

Color – I’m partial to reds, violets, interesting blues. Not dark colors but more like pink or light violet, but not light enough to be pastel. I love shading, and appreciate sheen. But maybe in a way one is that ink should flow well! I don’t think I’ve like any ink that reviews say is particularly dry. So I’d say I like lubricated inks.

Bonus

hare a fountain pen/ink related tidbit. (Examples: a show or local shop that you love; something you made with fountain pens/inks; a personal memory or story related to pens/inks.)

All my writings are personal (such as diary of my illness symptoms or random fanfic tidbits) that I’m not comfortable sharing. But I can tell this: I learned to bind pamphlets because I needed notebooks with Tomoe River paper, and could only get loose leaf TR paper for a bit during COVID-19 restrictions. I love making them but I don’t use them up fast enough to be able to make them as often as I’d love to! Pics of two I’ve made:

My great sorrow is that we don’t have fountain pen shops in Finland. Some physical bookstores may or may not have some very limited selection of fountain pens, but it’s usually like only Montblanc or only Lamy or only Kaweco and not all models/colors of those either. Some online stationary stores maybe have Kaweco fountain pens, if any, and a few online/physical art stores have small selection of mostly Diamine inks. I’ve only ever bought two Diamine inks here in Finland, when a local physical art store had them for a short while. So I order from UK (before Brexit always, since only twice) and EU online fountain pen stores such as https://fountainfeder.de and https://www.stiloestile.com/en/ Fountainfeder does ink samples so that’s great and makes me happy 😀

I LOVE ink samples! I was so sad when online stores removed ink samples from the offerings post-Brexit and during COVID-19 even though I understand the reasons why. I’ve avoided buying so many inks that I didn’t like when I tried them by being able to get samples of them first to try instead of a full bottle.



Jun 24, 2022
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intothisshadow

Friday 5 for June 24: Consumer reports

Answers to today’s questions @ f.riday5.com

1. When did you last eat or drink something purchased from a truck or other wheeled vehicle?

I don’t actually know if it’s wheeled, I’ve never looked but I don’t think it is… But strawberries from the fruit/vegetable movable kiosk in front of my grocery last summer. Before that, ice cream kiosk some earlier summer might have been a wheeled kiosk or not. So to be clear, I’m not too sure!

2. When did you last purchase something previously owned?

It’s been more than a decade – I don’t usually buy used because I can’t afford to risk being cheated/product being bad condition/broken and not have a quarantee and/or return right. I used to buy DVDs used in late 90s and early 00s a lot though because I watched a lot of movies, but haven’t needed to do that either. These days the DVDs/Blurays I want to buy are usually rare enough to I’m lucky to be able to find at all, never mind used ones.

3. When did a purchase most recently exceed your expectations?

I don’t buy stuff that often so “recent” in this case means the last year. I’ve been exceedingly happy with the two Jinhao X750 fountain pens I bought in March 2021. They work so well!

4. When did you last overpay for something because you needed it right away?

I think I overpaid for The Colbys DVD set I bought a while back. I didn’t “need” it, but Amazon was the only place that had it and the price hadn’t changed for over a year, and I did need to buy something else from Amazon that would’ve been a ridiculous buy alone so I bought the DVD set too.

5. Among recent purchases, what was the best bargain?

A month ago Paperimuru had their entire catalog off by 20% so I bought a bunch of MU print-on-stickers. I’m now set with stickers for the rest of the year!



Feb 24, 2022
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intothisshadow

J. Herbin Fountain Pen Inks

I’m so in love with several of the J. Herbin inks that I’ve been inking my two JInhao X750 pens with only them the last three or four months 😀 I didn’t expect to love them as much as I do – they’re my favorites along with Pilot Iroshizuku inks.

Image by J. Herbin

I bought six colors in international standard cartridges (they come in cute little tin cans! colors in the regular line shown in above image) instead of bottles just so I could give some of each color to my Mom – who relies on me to give her inks because she goes through ink a lot slower than I do, and doesn’t speak English so can’t order them online herself – and also, just so I would have some cartridges I could just snap in, especially if I’m out and about, instead of having to deal with filling from a bottle. I’ve also found I love using up cartridges – I seem to finish them faster than converters, and feel accomplished every time I do!

I’m totally in love with Violette Pensée and Rouge Caroubier, so much that I used two cartridges of both in row which is unusual for me, I usually want to switch inks when a pen runs out. Also love Corail des Tropiques and Rouge Grenat just may be my favorite dark red. Admittedly, I’ve only used them in the two Jinhao X750s so I don’t know how they behave in other pens, but in these, the these inks flow perfectly 😀 Especially Violette Pensée is delightful – so cheerful yet calm and a pleasure to write with, I always feel happy when I’m writing with it 😀

I’ve been trying to get Rouge Opéra and Orange Indien cartridges along with a few of the other J. Herbin colors while doing my last few online orders, but they seem to be out-of-stock every time 🙁

I don’t like majority of blue inks because they remind me of those cheap pens you can buy anywhere/work gives you which would dry up on after a couple of weeks of use. So blues even by makers such as Pilot Iroshizuku though they write excellently and might even sheen or shade, I still find boring. The association is just too strong. I seem to be favoring reds, pinks and violet inks along along with some teal ones. I have many reds/pinks and a few violets I love, but only three blues I even like: Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-peki, Organics Studio Copper Turquoise and my newest find Robert Oster Fire & Ice – at the moment I’m very much into this last one. I only have a sample of it, but definitely want a full bottle at some point down the line. Fire & Ice is a pleasure to write with and look at 🙂



Feb 7, 2022
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intothisshadow

Pottering Around With Fountain Pen Ink

Jinhao X750 Rose Gold, one of my favorite fountain pens. Image by unknown.

One of the first ink samples I ever got was KWZ’s Brown Pink, which all the reviews I’ve seen say is either wet or medium wet. My experience with it is that it’s dry – every pen I’ve ever tried it on, hard starts with it 😥 Even in my trusty Jinhao X750 with an M nib which even my dry inks have loved, and that has worked awesomely with all the other inks I’ve tried it with. But when I put Brown Pink in it, only hard starts and never gets going well.

I’ve read a lot of advice to add some White Lightning by Vanness to improve ink flow. I’d love to try White Lightning, but Vanness is a US shop and while they also have two inks I’m salivating after, shipping from US is crazy expensive and will also require VAT to be paid once the package arrives to Finland, making an already expensive purchase even more so. It’s just not cost effective in any way. So Vanness and White Lightning are right out!

Many also say that you can do the same with Dawn dish soap – well, we don’t have Dawn but from looks of it, it like our Fairy and others like it.  I decided to try the only colorless (because I’m not sure if Dish is colorless or yellow like Fairy) liquid dish soap my grocery store does have. I figured even if the experiment fails, nothing would be lost but a about one  milliliter of troublesome ink that I’d likely throw out anyway because it just. won’t. work. And if the pen doesn’t like it, well, it’s just a cheap Jinhao X750 so it’s not a huge loss either. I paid like 3,5USD for it and can always buy more if necessary. And dish soap is what can be used to clean out fountain pens too, so it shouldn’t do anything to it.

So the other day I injected some Brown Pink into an empty vial (which I had nicely handy from other already used up ink samples) with a blunt syringe, took a tooth pick and stirred it in the dish soap a couple of times, and then stirred the ink with it well. Then I injected the ink back into the Jinhao converter again with a syringe and low and behold, it started writing after a few seconds! The Jinhao X750 + Brown Pink ink combo work great now, even after a couple of days sitting in the pen, no more hard starts 🙂 I was very close to throwing the ink out so now I’m glad I won’t have to! It’s not a favorite ink as far as color goes and I’m not sure whether the dish soap changes it or anything, but I won’t mind using it all up over time. I might also try the Brown Pink + dish soap procedure with some other pens of mine, just to see if it works for them too.



Aug 9, 2021
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intothisshadow

Roomba + Weather + Fountain Pens & Inks

About 3 months ago I filled in a website usability test at my local energy company’s website. I never win anything so I had forgotten all about it until when in early June I got an e-mail that I had won their main prize: a Roomba robot vacuum cleaner!

I’ve now been the proud owner of a Roomba for almost 2 months and it’s such a life saver 😀 I’ve always loathed vacuuming, and never did it weekly like you’re supposed to at least. But especially since I got sick and became a spoonie with daily exhaustion and pain, vacuuming became a really hard task for me because it takes so much of my energy, and makes my chronic migraine worse (there’s something about the arm motions and the back/head posture of vacuuming that aggravates my chronic head pain) and so it went down to bottom of things I need to do when I realized I can’t do everything as often as I used to do them I was healthy. But now with the Roomba I can get my floors vacuumed every week, or even more often if needed :mrgreen: I’d always been doubtful about Roombas but after just a few weeks I can’t imagine my life without one now 😀 The Roomba is maybe the best gift I’ve ever gotten, it’s that good!

Now I can’t say I never win anything either 😉 

Also in other happy news – looks like the heatwave is really over! It’s been two weeks now of 18-24 degrees (Celcius) and lately it’s rained quite a bit, and it promises more of the same for the next 10 days at least. I’m happy :mrgreen:  Weird how 24 degrees has felt relatively cool now, it used to be way too hot for me. I guess this summer calibrated my hot-o-meter somewhat.

Finally was able to buy the TWSBI Eco Smoke Rose Gold. I’ve been salivating after it since it was released earlier this year. It was really difficult to decide what nib to get. I like M(edium) nibs the best so far, but I also got one Eco in B(road) and I’ve been liking that more and more this year. So I decided to go with a B nib for the Smoke Rose Gold. Can’t wait to get it! Also bought some inks at the same time, mostly notably to me the Sailor Shikiori Yamadori. I got a sample of it, and fell in love with it immediately. It flows and writes perfectly, and I love the teal & burgundy sheen combo :mrgreen:  Teal is one of my favorite colors. Also got some J. Herbin cartridges in that order to use in my two Jinhao x750 pens.

Also got a blue Kaigelu 316A fountain pen on the way from esybuy on Etsy, heard a lot of good things about it and it looks so pretty in pictures. It’s shipped from China and the estimated delivery is in September-November. It’s already shipped so we’ll see how long it’ll take! The two PenBBS orders I done during COVID-19 took 4 weeks both, but TheWashiTapeShop.com order took only 2 weeks and all those shipped from China too. I’ve bought from esybuy once before but I can’t remember how long it took to get it – propably around 4 weeks because that’s what my orders usually take from China or USA to get to Finland, and I don’t remember there being anything unusual about that time.

One pen I’ll get at some point is the new TWSBI Swipe because sometimes I need a cartridge pen for ease of use when out and about and I love how TWSBIs write the most. I’m just not sure about the two colors available at the moment – the Smoke looks so much like Go and I don’t like the looks of the Gos, and the Prussian Blue isn’t among my favorite colors. I hope TWSBI will come out with other colors for Swipe, preferably soon!

The first fountain pen I ever bought was the EU version of Pilot Metropolitan (it and TWSBI Ecos are recced for beginners usually,) with an F(ine) nib, but turned out I hate the feel of that pen in my hand and that I like a wider nib. It wrote really well but I just didn’t like to use it. Luckily it didn’t go to waste though – I gave it to my Mom who’s now been using for about six months! I also gave her one of the little Tomoe River paper notebooks I made along with some blotting paper. She’s still on her first cartridge (Diamine Syrah) though because she mostly uses it to list the books she’s read this year. She says she used a similar pen but a dip one when she was a kid in school in the 1950s but never one with cartridges/converters. I’m trying to get her to use it for other things as well such as shopping lists etc. where it doesn’t matter if the paper isn’t that great.