If like me, you could not attend the 2016 DC Pen Show, I have collected some links. Have fun living vicariously through some great people in the pen community.
Starting with the #dcpenshow2016 Instagram tag generates mouth watering lust for the beautiful pens, inks, and other goodies. You will also discover pictures of the people that really make the shows great.
You will find more pictures and a nice write-up by Ana at the Well Appointed Desk. Ana’s post highlights some of the interesting people.
Two Sheaffer Snorkels Desk pens adorn my desk at work. Desk pens on a desk, imagine that. I didn’t want them to be only decorative so I keep them inked. These pens have been restored but being from the 1950s, like me, they can be a little finicky, again like me. They screw into the trumpets so they don’t dry out too bad. I try to use them at least a little every week to keep them flowing. I have Anderson Pens Green Bay (a great name for an ink from a Wisconsin-based company) in one and DeAtramentis Alexander Hamilton in the other. I will point out that I had Hamilton ink before the musical became a sensation.
I plan to keep these in service. I don’t want them to be just show pieces. So no desk pens to eliminate. But next up is pens just inked so I have color choices. Maybe I can cut down those.
Since these are vintage pens, write to the oldest person you know.
I am not talking about people who are good writers, but pens that write well. A few of my pens I think of as primarilygoodwriters. I likekeeping them ready for a card, letter or note. Each one of these pensdeserves a quick mention.
My Karas Kustoms INK with a Franklin-Christoph Masuyama cursive italicnib writes great. The combination of heft, flow, and italicoftenmatches my mood for quick card or note.
I oftenreach for my smooth writing Edison Nouveau Premiere with a stubnib when writing a letter. This beauty is the Majestic Pine special edition from Goulet Pens. This lightweightpen produces less fatigue in longerwritingsessions.
My nextgoodwriteris a Sheaffer Legacy with a 14k finenib. One of my firstfountainpens, Ibought it new in 1995. The fineline writes smaller than the cursive italic or stubnibs.
Another goodwriter, my Lamy Studio, belongs in this category. I know this mediumnibis the same as a Safari or AL-Star, but something about this Studio I really like. I tend to keep DeAtramentis Sherlock Holmes in it which matches the pen nicely.
My lastgoodwriteris my Pelikan M205 Amethyst. Another mediumnib, it lays down a niceamount of ink. So far I haveonlytried Edelstein Amethyst ink, but any ink with shading or sheen should look nicer coming out of this Pelikan nib.
These five give mechoices for most normal writingtasks. If I were to pare it down, I could alternate between the INK and Nouveau – cursive italic and stub – and also between the Lamy Studio and the Pelikan M205 – both mediumnibs. Of course, that would onlygive me 3 colorchoicesinstead of 5. Having many colorsavailableis what I will talk about nexttime.
While I will use any pen and ink that catches my fancy for note taking, I have two pens specifically configured for this task: a Franklin-Christoph Model 02 and a Pilot Vanishing Point. Right now I have a blue-black in both but typically I keep a black ink in the 02.
The Franklin-Christoph Model 02 is the Anderson Pens Edition. It has a marble blue finial and section. This pen helps me realize I prefer a medium diameter, light weight pen. The XF nib works well but after testing the different Franklin-Christoph nibs at pen shows, an even finer nib is in my future. I foresee outfitting this pen with a 14k Masuyama needlepoint nib and laying down a very fine line, perfect for small notes.
My other note taker is a Pilot Vanishing Point Blue Carbonesque purchased at the 2016 Atlanta Pen Show. I immediately took it to Mark Bacus for an architect grind. The architect grind excels when printing and for me note taking involves a lot of printing. The retractable nib is handy when taking notes. Summer time finds me using this pen less. The Vanishing Point is a natural for a shirt pocket. Alas many of my short sleeve shirts lack a pocket.
While I have been experimenting with various black and blue-black inks, I have decided to emphasize note preservation. In particular one incident leads me to deciding on a permanent ink. So far for permanent, or at least water resistant, black I favor Noodler’s Heart of Darkness. The search for a good blue-black continues.
Reducing the note taking pens I keep inked from two to one, would involve alternating between the Franklin-Christoph 02 and the Pilot Vanishing Point. The Franklin-Christoph 02 takes a long time to deplete a convertor of ink. The Pilot Vanishing Point, not near as long. So alternating would not be very even. I expect to try it as an experiment, but I suspect I will miss having the Vanishing Point available while waiting to empty the Franklin-Christoph.
So far, I am not doing much to reduce the number of inked pens. Perhaps tomorrow’s category, good writers, will produce better results.
I am examining the number of pens currently inked. Today I will look at the pocket pens.
I almost always carry a pocket pen. Slipped in my front right pocket, a pocket pen settles in deep and safe. I can quickly access it on demand. Currently, three pens, including two fountain pens, fill this role.
I primarily choose my Franklin-Christoph Pocket 40, an ice model. I prefer to keep a bright colored ink in it because it is just so much fun to tilt back and forth and watch the ink. Curre
ntly, I am enjoying watching OMAS turquoise. The Pocket 40 ranks as my number one favorite pen. The 14K Masuyama cursive italic nib contributes to the
top ranking. Several times I feared the Pocket 40 was lost. This freaks me out, so I need an alternative.
I recently purchased a new Kaweco Sport, a good fountain penalternative to the Pocket 40. But what ink? Currently the Sport is filled with Cross Blue. I bought the Cross Blue ink on the same trip and I wanted to try it. The Sport holds ink in a small cartridge which I fill with a syringe. Even with the Sport’s fine nib the ink empties quickly. Since I would rotate ink quickly, the Sport makes a good pen to try new inks.
For the most rugged conditions, I pull my Fisher Space Pen out of its special spot in my computer backpack. Small, tough and always ready to write on any surface describes the Space Pen.
So will I reduce the pocket pens I keep inked up? I think the two fountain pens with the Space Pen backup works for me. I like using a fountain pen but there are time I don’t want to put my favorite pen at risk. Having the Sport for those times, means I still get to use a fountain pen. I can save the Space Pen for the most challenging conditions.
Maybe I will find a pen to eliminate in the next group – note taking.
Get out your pocket pen and write down what is on your mind.
Recently I startedwriting a line with each of my currently inked pens. The completedlistcontainedtwentypens and inks. Keepingtwentyfountainpenswritingproperlyprovesdifficult. I decided to reduce this number. Documenting why I inked each of these pens inked gives me some insight into how to reduce this number.
Pondering the varioususes for my pens, I distilled it into the following categories:
Some pensfit into more than one category but I assigned each to the predominate category for its use.
Here is the list of pens and inks in the order I picked then up. I will be talking about each category soon and finish with a post discussing what I learned and modifications to how I ink my pens.
Pelikan M205 medium nib – Edelstein Amethyst
TWSBI 580 extra fine nib – Diamine Florida Blue
Waterman Expert medium nib – Caran d’Ache Vibrant Green
Waterman Expert medium nib – Iroshizuku tsuyo-kusa
Waterman Expert fine nib – Caran d’Ache Infra Red
Pilot Metropolitan fine nib – Sailor Shigure
Edison Nouveau Premiere – Setz-Kreunznach Dark Orchid
Franklin-Christopher 02 – Franklin-Christopher Blue Denim
Sheaffer Legacy f nib – Ackerman 23 Bekakt Haags
Retro 51 Postmaster medium nib – R&K Sunfower
Aurora Style medium nib – Lamy Blue
Pilot Vanishing Point – Mont Blanc JFK
Lamy AL Star fine nib – Lamy Copper Orange
Lamy AL Star medium nib – Edelstein Adventurine
Lamy Safari extra fine nib – Lamy Dark Lilac
Karas Kustoms INK Masuyama cursive italic – Lamy Green
Kaweco Sport fine nib – Cross Blue
Sheaffer Snorkel Desk Pen medium nib – Anderson Pens Greensboro Bay
Sheaffer Snorkel Desk Pen medium nib – DeAtramentis Alexander Hamilton
Franklin-Christopher Pocket 40 – OMAS Turquoise
Check back for more in this series.
Pick up one of your pens and write someone a letter.
I was listening to Brad and Myke on the Pen Addict episode 202 and was intrigued by the pre-fountain pen discussion. Almost every thing I had at my desk was a fountain pen.
* Franklin-Christoph 02
* Pilot Vanishing Point
* Franklin-Christoph Pocket 40
* pair of Sheaffer Snorkels in a desk set
I did have my iconic Retro 51 Jack, a Karas Pen Co EDK, and a Palamino Blacking Pearl readily available. But what I had been using that morning were fountain pens. So I had the feeling that gel pens, roller balls, pencils, etc. were not part of my daily use. But as I paid attention to the rest of my day, I discovered I was wrong.
The first things that happened was I realized that my A5 notebook, used for a mix of work and personal items, did not have all the pages numbered. In fact I had used lots of pages past the pages I had numbered. Since I keep the first page as a table of contents to important items, this is a problem. So I decided to number them. A fountain pen is too slow for this because it takes much longer to dry than to turn the page and number the next one. So I turned to my EDK for this duty. Score 1 for roller balls.
Next, when I got home my lovely bride was planting some new plants. I helped her with the last couple and then when to get my landscaping notebook to document it. For that I use a Uni Style Fit with 3 gel refills: brown, green and red. Score 1 (or is it 3?) for gel pens.
Later in the evening, my phone reminds me to test the aquarium water. Working around the aquarium and water samples I use a Write In The Rain notebook. I used to use a Fisher Space Pen for that but have switched to a 0.3 Hi-Tec C in black to allow smaller writing. Score another 1 for gel pens.
This got me to thinking and I found a Sharpie Pen, 0.38 Signo DX in brown/black and a Kura-Toga mechanical pencil at the ready in my computer bag. I also remembered a 0.7 Uni Power Tank blue ball point in both our vehicles. The Power Tank is known for working even after months in a hot or cold car. It can be found with a original Field Notes in the glove box.
So while I use fountain pens a lot, I still have plenty of uses for my other pens.