Seattle Pen Club, February 15, 2014

I attended the Seattle Pen Club meeting on February 15, 2014. As usual, it was loads of fun and there were loads of beautiful red pens! I enjoyed getting to know Rudy Rostro a little better.
DSCN0312 Rudy Rostro, Bill Sexauer, Philip Arny, Dave Gruhn, Alex McHugh, Jim Wolfe

DSCN0313 Philip Arny, Dave Gruhn, Alex McHugh, Jim Wolfe, plus Mont Teague

DSCN0314 Seattle Pen Club President George Long, Ken Schillinger

Bill Sexauer shared his red pen collection. We talked a little bit about pen shows as a least two Seattle Pen Club members were at the Los Angeles Pen Show. Bill helped me by listing his pens. Let me know if I got any of these wrong!

DSCN0321 Top Row: S. T. Dupont Vertigo, S. T. Dupont Vertigo II, S. T. Dupont Laque Ecaille II, S. T. Dupont Montparnasse, Classic Pens LM1 Flame Red. Bottom Row: Cross Metropolitan, Cross Pinnacle, Aurora Ipsilon Deluxe, Sailor Arrow, Reform Komma Junior-K

DSCN0320 Top Row: Pilot Gold Band, Pilot 78G, Esterbrook J, Parker 45, Parker Jotter Ballpoint. Bottom Row: Lamy Safari, Lamy Safari, Yves Saint Laurent, Marceau, Parker “Big Red” Ballpoint, Parker 51

DSCN0319 Sheaffer PFM-II, Sheaffer PFM-III, Sheaffer Tuckaway, Sheaffer Snorkel Statesman, Sheaffer Triumph 440, Sheaffer Fineliner Pencil, Sheaffer TRZ Ballpoint, Sheaffer Prelude, Sheaffer Prelude, 1997 “Snow Pen” Holiday Special Edition, Sheaffer Triumph, 1996 “Holly Pen” Holiday Special Edition 3-pen set, FP, RB and BP

DSCN0318 Sheaffer Triumph Autograph, Vac-Filler, 1943, Sheaffer Triumph 1250, Vac-Filler, 1942, Sheaffer Balance, 1939, Parker Vacumatic, 1933, Parker Vacumatic, 1946, Sheaffer Cartridge Pen, Late 1950’s or so

DSCN0317 All of the items on the left page are Sheaffer Targas. The third and fourth items on the top row are pencils. All of the other ones with tapered tips are ballpoints. The remainder are all fountain pens.

Bill said that he purchased some very special pens at shows. He says the Pilot Custom 823 “Amber” Mottishaw ground .7 mm cursive italic has been in his his daily carry since he purchased it (the first pen). Pilot Custom 823 Amber (Chicago Pen Show, 2010), S. T. Dupont Vertigo (LA Pen Show, 2011), Classic Pens LM1 Flame Red (Dallas Pen Show, 2012), Classic Pens Black Resin Legend Prototype* (Dallas Pen Show, 2012), Blue Parker Vacumatic (Dallas Pen Show, 2012), * Note, this pen has an 18K (18 Karat) nib.



A writing sample from the Pilot Custom 823.


Jim Wolfe let me photograph a favorite fountain pen, at Pilot 14 #10 nib model 742 with a custom ground Mottishaw Spencerian conversion. It’s interesting that two people said one of their favorite pens had a custom ground nib done by John Mottishaw (check out Mr. Mottshaw’s site at

Pilot742 Levenger-Omas Articula, Blue, 14K Semi-Flex nib

Pelikan M400 White Tortoise

My Pelikan M400 Souverän White Tortoise is one of the prettiest fountain pens I own. The green, brown and golden striated barrel, with white cap, section and blind cap, gold ring accents and gold Pelikan clip is just stunning. It has a broad oblique nib that makes a beautiful shaded line especially with Caran d’Ache Amazon. This ink shades beautifully with this nib. The nib is white and yellow 14 karat gold and has lovely incised scroll designs and a line inscription of a mother Pelikan with two chicks. I ordered this pen from Printhardcopy on the Fountain Pen Network who has a good inventory available most of the time at good prices. He ships very quickly. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA






I love all types of pens

I love fountain pens and all types of pens and pencils, each had a place in my writing instrument universe.

Fountain pens are for writing in my journal, when I want to share my deepest thoughts and want to handwrite at length, the fountain pen is the thing. I like to use different pens as my hand gets tired easily, differences in barrel width, nib drag on paper and ease or difficulty in creating the line on paper all factor into my decisions on which pen to use.

For many years I’ve been working on improving my handwriting and have practiced calligraphy to facilitate this effort. Now there are so many more resources on the web, it’s a joy to explore. Gaining access to flexible nibs with their super expressive line widths such as the Montblanc 244 or the the Namiki Falcon Metal soft fine nib are fabulous. I’ve discovered the varied line widths found in the oblique nibs in the Pelikan M800, M400 and vintage 140. I’ll do write up on the Montblanc, Namiki Falcon and Pelikan in the future.

A partial list of the pens in the photos: Pilot M90, Tornado Retro pencil for Sudoku, brown Platinum, Platinum PG-200 (the short fountain pen with the pink barrel), Pilot with Arabeque designs on the cap and barrel, two Platinum Sterling Silver with 18kt white gold nibs, four more PG-200s (I use different colors in each pen and match the barrel color, Pilot PG-200 type in White with Pansy flowers on the cap, another Platinum with stripes and vines, leaves and flower designs in a band on the cap, this one has an 18 kt gold nib, Namiki Vanishing Point, Cross roller ball, Waterman Carene, Cross ball point, Pilot H1076, Sheaffer Targa, Waterman cartridge fill and multi-lead pencil for highlighting.

Why so many types you might ask? Each one is useful for a different purpose, I use the pencils for sketches or if I really need to write with an instrument that has no drag on the paper and need to write fast. The downside of pencils is their line is impermanent and doesn’t copy well. However, if I’m doing a pen and ink drawing, often I’ll use a pencil for the preliminary sketch.

You can probably see the photos of part of my collection that I use and own, “gasp” rollerball, pencil and ball point writing instruments. Sometimes you need a pen that can write on soft paper, like Moleskins or copy paper, ball points are great. When I write a check, I use a ball point pen as I have duplicate checks and need to press a little harder. Happily, check writing is nearly becoming a thing of the past. Rollerballs are great because they often have a wider, more expressive line. The durability of the written word with the ball point pens are rarely matched by roller balls, gel pens or fountain pens. Sometimes, I’ll discover my calligraphy practice sheet has wet paw prints from my buddy, Chaz.

Part of my collection

Part of my collection

Close-up of the collection

Close-up of the collection

More of the collection

More of the collection

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

To everyone who viewed my blog, thank you and have a very happy new year!

A good day for the blues

blue ink comparison

blue ink comparison

I’m often somewhat blue and so have an affinity for blue inks.  I also like blue gems, clothes, blue skys and just plain blueness.  Oh, you were wanting me to get to the ink review.

I have loads of blue inks and many of them are my go to inks during my work day.  Hey, do you really want to explain why you’re using Catus Fruit Eel during a meetng at work?  No, it’s better just to day in the blue zone, is much easier to stay in the shadows.

My first example on this page is Waterman Blue in the Waterman Cartridge.  Now don’t turn your nose up at fountain pen cartridges.   Some ink versions only show up in the cartridges.  This one is a fine true blue that is middle of the road but an excellent reliable performer.  When I want a pen that will work on the first try with no skipping, I choose my Waterman Carene with a fine point 18 kit nib .  With the Waterman blue cartridge, there is nothing more reliable and well, sedate.

I have a really nice vintage 1960 or so, Parker 21 loaded with Private Reserve DC Electric Blue.  This ink has a secret, it shines with a ruddy sheen on the page expecially on a non-asorbent paper like this Rhodia La Gamme, 80 gram, High Grade Vellum Paper.  The ink color is a dark saturated blue.  Very nice performer in pens, is a little on the wet side.

Eclat de Saphir has long been one of my favorite blue inks.  I thought I love another J. Herbin ink better, Blue Myosotis.  No this ink is darker, a hint more purple and is way more saturated..  As it is a J. Herbin ink it’s nicer in my pens, rinses out well and is such a good all-round dark blue ink that I use it in many pens at a time.  Here I have it in my Platinum Sterling Silver pen with an 18 kit nib that is slightly flexy.

The next ink is the Isoshizuku Ku-jaku (Peacock).  I fell in love with this greenish blue as soon as I tried a sample.  I’ve loaded it into several pens and in the Montblanc 224, 14 kt nib, the color is not showing any shading.  However with my Pilot Elite it shades, and shades as you can see on the page.

Next up is my Namiki Vanishing Point (blue and silver) with J. Herbin Bleu Pervence.  It’s a bright light blue that transports you to field of periwinkle blue flowers.  J. Herbin inks are easy to rinse out of pens, are neither wet nor too dry.  What’s not to love?

Caran d’Ache Carribean is the prettiest blue  green that brings to mind the beautiful blue greens of tropical seas.  I was able to witness the astonishing color of the tropical ocean in Hawaii last summer and this ink is of that color family.  Why aren’t I in Hawaii right now?  I have no real answer to that question.  I am yearning for a warm sunny day on the islands.  Oh, back to the review,  the pen, I found a vintage Pilot that has the most flexible 14 ktnib for a tiny little pen and nib, in silver and tourquoise blue.

At a local office supply store, not the big box kind, a local Olympia store that’s been in business for over twenty years, I found a cache of great inks and pens.  They stock Parker Quink ink and so to support them and to enrich my ink supply I bought blue and black inks.  I loaded my Montblanc white Noblesse with the blue ink.  It performed well in the pen, a middle of the road blue ink with no green tones.  I’d like it if this nib had a little more flex and so might take it to a nib meister for some tuning.  A nice medium blue ink with a very good fountain pen.

I was watching Steven Brown of Fountain Pen Geeks review a blue ink.  He moaned, or said, though I think it was a little moany, isn’t there a blue ink that shades?  Steven, I found an ink that shades beautifully.  It’s the one of our oldest brands of inks, Sheaffer, and a surprising modest color, blue black.  It shades in the most amazing way in my Pelikan Souveran M800 with a 1.1 mm Greg Minuskin nib.  I was so happy to discover that this ink shades.  Honestly, I somehow ended up with two bottle of this ink and was not impressed with the color.  It’s a little subdued, I like bright inks, but now it has this special property and has wormed its way into my heart.  The Pelikan Souveran is amazing too.

Private Reserve Black Magic Blue caught my attention as I like a bright blue and wanted one with a really dark tone.  This ink manages to do both with lots of style.  I have it here in my new to me Waterman Carenes Meridian stub 1.1 18 kt nib.  It doesn’t shade at all because it’s too dark and saturated.   However, it just jumps off the page with it’s blueness and richness.  I love the 1.1 stub pens because that thick and thin line is so pretty.  If you have an ink that shades, the stub will bring it out.  I also think a pen with a high performing nib and pretty ink will make your penmanship more beautiful, look what they’ve done for mine.

On to one of the most controversial inks in my collection, Noodler’s Baystate Blue.  If you want an ink that will knock your socks off with blueness, this is the one for you.  Be careful though, it’s a bit on the acidic side.  I advise not putting it in vintage pens.  I have it in my Pilot M90, a modern pen with a modern ink sac and it’s made of stainless steel, one tough pen.  Even so, I’ll likely rinse it out after a few days.  Better safe than sorry.   Look at the samples of this color on this page an other users.  It’s an amazing vibrant blue ink.   Here’s Nathan Tardiff talking about his ink Baystate Blue

I think everyone needs to do what is right for themselves. I have every computer overuse syndrome there is, so hand writing is a relief.. However, I prefer fountain pens because they have less drag on the paper than ball point pens. I also find relief I with using more than one pen as I need relief from gripping a pen. A simple change from a Namiki to a Sheaffer will give me many more minutes of writing time. Then, of course, a change in ink color is just a delight to the eye.

An Inkophile's Blog

It’s true. “Michael” submitted a comment to my “Does It Hurt To Write? Get A Fountain Pen!” post that is the absolute opposite of my experience.

I write for a living and I get through an A4 jumbo pad in half a day.
This business of fountain pens being easier is a complete fallacy. Ballpoints require no more pressure than is needed to keep the tip on the paper and the idea that a fountain pen can write with just the weight of the pen is nonsense, I gave up the messy, inky things when I left school in 1969 and good riddance to them. Rollerballs and gel pens just fall between two stools and they are expensive to refill.
I’ll stay with ballpoint or pencil.

Is this guy right? What do you think?

View original post