Fountain Pens, Ink, Paper & More

I missed the TWSBI Eco when it originally came out in orange, so you better believe when they recently released it in Heat (i.e. orange), I was all over that like spilled ink. I opted for the medium nib—they can’t all be broad, right?—and it writes well. But broad is always my happy place. I enjoy a good, saturated black ink, deep and dark… and Private Reserve Infinity Black is not it. Too bad their inks come in lifetime supplies.

I’m pretty darn sure this is my first experience with a Majohn stub nib, and I was not disappointed. In fact, I’m quite impressed. It’s one of the best ones I’ve used. So it made this P136 in Gray a delight to use. And speaking of delight, Monteverde Purple Mist was made for a stub nib, so this combo is a winner. Isn’t that periwinkle lovely?

I had to jump on the bandwagon and get my very own Jinhao 9019 which is making its way around the YouTube fountain pen community. I opted for the Wine Red with a medium nib. Let me tell you: Jinhao is stepping up its game! This is easily the best Jinhao in my collection… and I have a lot. I thought my ink choice, Monteverde Pumpkin Cake, would be a better match. It goes down red, but dries to a definite brown. Keeps just that tinge of red, so I guess I’m okay with that. I do love brown inks. This is a smooth, wet combo. I love it.

I thought I had TWSBI Black loaded into this TWSBI Diamond Mini Classic in black, so it was a pleasant surprise when the green hit the page. Diamine Sherwood Green has some excellent shading and makes for a wet pairing with this pen.

The Diplomat Aero was at the top of my wishlist for a long time. I always imagined getting the orange one, but this black stripe version was definitely my second choice, and the price was very right. I wanted to ink it with a very different color that I hadn’t used in it before, and Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Gaki was perfect. I mistakenly imagined it would be more of a consistent red, but it makes sense that it is an orange-red for its namesake, the persimmon.

I had been curious about the Pilot Prera for a long time, and had it on my wishlist for nearly as long. In a birthday outing yesterday, we found ourselves at Mai Do, inside the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Costa Mesa, California. I spotted the Pilot Preras in the glass case at the register. With a hand basket already full of stationery and other Japanese goodies, I put back an all-black Kaweco Perkeo in medium and some air mail envelopes to make the purchase of the Prera in Slate Gray with a medium nib more sensible. Perkeos are decent beginner pens, but the Prera is a step up from Pilot’s beginner pen, the Metropolitan. And it’s well worth the higher price. I couldn’t be happier. Happy birthday to me!

I wanted something a little different from the standard black cartridge that came with the Prera, and I happened to have an unopened box of Pilot Blue Black cartridges. Nice combo!

I was browsing Lamy fountain pens in the price range of a Safari and stumbled upon this Nexx M in Graphite. The look appeals to me far more than the Safari, though both pens share a youthful style. I just think the Nexx M puts a little more emphasis on the word “style.” (I’ve always thought the Safari just looks clunky.) My only Lamy stub experience was a disappointing 1.9 mm, so I had to get this in the more common/useful 1.1 mm. It’s smooth, with just a touch of drag, but the line is a scant 1.1 in comparison to any other stub I’ve used. As a result, the effect is subtle. For a quick and easy inking, I just popped in the standard Lamy Blue cartridge, and was just as quickly reminded that it’s appearance is far too washed out for me. I prefer a more vibrant blue. Is the pen better than a Safari? For me, yes. Would I get another one? No.

Yes, yet another Nahvalur Schuykill, this time in Dragonet Sapphire with a double broad nib—my favorite Nahvalur nib size. What better to pair one of my favorite pens than with one of my favorite inks. This Monteverde Capri Blue was a “blind buy”—I hadn’t sampled it or even really seen a swatch. It had a super low price on Amazon, and I had previously had great success with Monteverde inks. So I have one of the big boy bottles: a whopping 90 ml. And I have no doubt I’ll use every drop. I keep coming back to it.

If one Nahvalur Schuylkill with a 1.1 stub is good, a second has to be great, right? Right. This Schuylkill in Chronis Teal might be even better than yesterday’s Betta Mint. For the ink, I quickly fell in love with Birmingham Pen Company. Grey ink is actually one of my go-to inks, so Birmingham’s Smokebox fit the bill nicely, with perfect shading. At times, it’s as light as I would ever want to go, but the darker tones help it pop on the page.

I wasn’t sure about Monteverde Olivine ink until I put it in this 1.1 stub. Nahvalur makes some excellent stub nibs—right up there with Kaweco, in my book—and this Schuylkill in Betta Mint makes for the perfect matchy-matchy. (Yes, I’m one of those.) It shows off some nice shading, yet you can actually tell the ink is green. My previous attempts at using this ink essentially looked black.

Since this is my first time sharing my daily writing here, it includes the following: the time; current temperature, expected high, expected low, current conditions; ink swatch; pen brand and model; ink brand and color; daily quote; English word of the day; and Spanish word of the day. Oh, and in the margin, I write my work schedule.

And yes, you don’t have to have good penmanship to use good pens.

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