Freshly inked and first impressions

It’s a lovely sunny, activity-filled Sunday, so a quick post of some freshly inked pens and a couple of first thoughts of pens that came in over the last couple of weeks.


From top to bottom:

  • Pen: Aurora Optima Burgundy, medium nib. Ink: Aurora Black. I love this pen-and-ink combination, I have started using it as my bujo pen and ink, because I find that the simple bujo style in black suits me best. More on that next Sunday when I’ll update you on my bujo experiences.
  • Pen: Bexley Gaston’s Angels, stub nib. Ink: Noodler’s Lexington Gray. I needed a bulletproof ink in one of my pens, but I will not hang on to this combination. The Lexington Gray is just too wet in the Bexley, even for my taste. Might try it in the much dryer-writing black Kaweco later.
  • Pen: Montegrappa Fortuna Mosaico Marrakech, medium nib. Ink: Private Reserve Lake Placid Blue. I really like this pen and ink combination, the ink complements the blue hues in the lovely material of the Marrakech. The ink tends to run dry in the nib pretty quickly, so it needs to be used regularly.
  • Pen: Kaweco Skyline Sport Black, medium nib. Ink: Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green. I bought this pen because I wanted to try the medium Kaweco nib. I was not happy at all with how it wrote out of the box. Dry, scratchy and more like a fine. So I rinsed the pen, flossed the tines and feed with a brass sheet. Didn’t help. Then I stubbed the nib and the ink line has slightly improved. Next ink in is the Noodler’s Lexington Gray, to see if that will give a better ink flow.
  • Pen: Sailor 1911 Standard, Zoom nib, ground to an architect by John Mottishaw. Ink: Blackstone Barrier Reef Blue. Another great shading and sheening Blackstone ink in this pen after the Sydney Harbour Blue I had in it before. I only have samples of both inks, so now I’m contemplating which to get as a full bottle…
  • Pen: TWSBI Eco Clear 1.1 stubby italic nib. Ink: Robert Oster Signature Forest Green. A lovely combination, I think. The ink sloshes around like a lovely jewel in the piston filler and the flow is excellent. Nice calm green, good shading but not much sheen on this paper (G. Lalo Verge de France).
  • Pen: Pilot Prera Vivid Pink, fine nib. Ink: KWZ Ink Raspberry. This is my now favorite modern fine steel nib. It feels just right, this is definitely a fine nib that suits people with largish handwriting like I have when writing in this style. Great pen for office use on not so great paper. The pink of the body is very hard to capture in photos, so if you are one for hot pink pens, this is one for you. I love the combination with the bright yet still eye-friendly pink Raspberry ink.
  • Pen: Pelikan Twist Jungle, medium nib (comes in only this nib size) which I ground into a fine-medium architect. Ink: J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune. The soft violet ink combined with the light taupe of the pen is a combination that speaks to me. The Pelikan writes very well for an 8-9 Euros pen. I liked it so much, I ordered the final pen in this list not long after…
  • Pen: Pelikan Twist Bronze, medium nib. Ink: Kaweco Caramel Brown. I have not worked on this nib, because I like it as it is. And you cannot grind all your nibs into architects. That would not be sane… right…? Anyway, this nib has a slightly stubby feel to it so there is some very slight line variation. I love the Kaweco ink in this pen. The cola-colored ink suits the bronze Pelikan very nicely. It’s a nice pen if you are looking for an ergonomic grip but you are not after a kiddy-colored pen. Even though those are darn cute as well! This grip suits both right- and left-handed writers, by the way.

Would you like to know more about these or other pens or inks on my blog, be sure to send me a comment. Have  great week and thank you as ever for reading! As always much appreciated! OK, one more pic…


Ink comparison: J. Herbin Stormy Grey and Diamine Sparkling Shadows

Today I started out by prepping a review of the J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey only. But was frustrated to once again find the Lamy fine putting down a broader line than the medium and a much wetter line than the broad. So, single ink reviews will resume once I get a fine and extra fine that are actually more true to size in general. Until that time, I’ll do comparisons and the odd Page of Shame (that is a page filled with writing samples of all currently inked pens… *blush*… that’s usually a sizable number of pens with me)

So, as I had already inked the Lamy Vista up with Stormy Grey, I thought it would be nice to compare it to its Diamine cousin, Sparkling Shadows. Both are grey inks with golden shimmery bits in them.


To the left the Diamine Sparkling Shadows, to the right the J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey. Looking with the naked eye (I am a woman of a certain age so I have to take of my glasses to take an up-close look), the particles in the Diamine look more yellowy golden and a little less finely milled than those in the Herbin. The Herbin particles look a bit more rose gold to me.


Above the writing samples side by side. Both inks felt about moderately wet in the Lamy fine with which I did the faux calligraphy, and in the 1.5 used for the alphabets, passes and writing. The J. Herbin Stormy Grey is a darker grey that seems to have a little more depth in color than the Diamine Sparkling Shadows, although the Diamine shades better. That will be due to it being a lighter grey. The particles look to be better suspended in the J. Harbin, but with both inks you do need to give your pen a gentle shake regularly to get the shimmer to float again.


Above: Stormy Grey


Above: Sparkling Shadows


Above: Stormy Grey


Above: Sparkling Shadows


Above comparison shots of the feed. Top left with Herbin Stormy Grey, bottom left with Diamine Sparkling Shadows, to the right the feed after cleaning. It does take a good couple of rinses and thorough flushing to remove the particles from the feed, but that is to be expected from an ink containing glitter. Both inks’ glitter does rub off a little on paper and hands, so be aware of that. But if you are writing something worthy of glitter, you should not mind throwing a little extra glitter around!

Let’s have a look at the chromatography I did with these inks… First a glimpse of my highly professional chromatography gear:


Yes, a soy sauce dish! Everything for the “science” of it! Tonight, there will be mushroom soy sauce and light soy sauce in it again for dipping dumplings. Or perhaps tonight we’ll have pizza… Anyway, the outcome of the chromatography was pretty spectacular.


Wow! The Herbin consists of separate pigments and the particles are clearly visible at the bottom of the strip. The Diamine is a single pigment ink and the particles are, well, they seem to be gone. Absorbed by the paper strip?

A closer side-by-side look:


Well, that accounts for the shading in the Diamine and the depth in the Herbin, I suspect.

What would I use them for? Now that I have seen them side-by-side, I think I would use the Diamine for a congratulations card for a wedding or anniversary, it being a bit more subtle ink, yet it gives your message a little something extra. The Stormy Grey is more of a personal favorite and I actually use that in a Kaweco Classic Sport Demonstrator on a daily basis for journaling and for personal notes or shopping lists. At least when the subject is boring, the ink keeps it interesting.

Which is your favorite and what use did you find for your sparkly inks?