Ink Review: KWZ Rotten Green

KWZ Rotten Green Writing Samples

KWZ Rotten Green. There’s nothing rotten about this one, other than the name. KWZ Rotten Green is a very dark green that is especially nice with extra-fine and fine nibs, and cleans up in a flash.

(click Page 2 below to continue)

Problem Solving, With the Very Large Array

pen cups

There are good problems to have, of course, and having too many fountain pens inked is probably one of them. I’ve been looking at a lot of new-to-me inks, so I can’t complain if that requires a lot of pens. And in there is one awesome Platinum pen I’m going to be giving away. But I still had the small issue of where to put all those pens.

Last time I confronted this, I went for a temporary solution: I ejected a rollerball from the pen cup, and moved the fountain pens around like puzzle pieces until they all fit. Not ideal, but a workable quick fix. “You go, girl.”

However, one new ink led to another, and another led to a third, and so on. Before you could say “J. Herbin,” I was over-penned once again. This time, there were no more squeezes possible, and nothing to do but add another pen cup to the lineup. And not a pretty one, either. “Le sigh.”

But it’s all in how you look at things, right?  So I shall look at my pen cuppage not as excess, but as a small tribute to the Very Large Array, which uses 27 movable radio telescopes to explore the universe.

And I mean, even the number 27 is inspiring.  When I think how many pens would fit into 27 pen cups….

“You go, girl!”

Here’s Some Good News: Enter to Win This Bottle of J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre ink bottle

You know what’s really nice? J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre. You know what else is really nice? Pen Chalet. Since Pen Chalet gave me that bottle to review, I’d like to pay it forward to a blog reader.

If you aren’t sure about inks with gold particles, Caroube de Chypre one would be a nice one to try, because it’s fairly mellow. And if you already like inks with gold particles, Caroube de Chypre is a nice one to add because it gives a different look. Caroube de Chypre and Emerald of Chivor are my favorites of the 1670 inks, but they are very different.

I ended up liking Caroube de Chypre so much that I expect to put a bottle in my own Pen Chalet shopping cart before the year is up. And that makes me happy, because it’s nice to share something you like.

Rules: This contest is open to anyone, anywhere. To enter, just post a comment below. Your comment can be about this ink, any other ink, Pen Chalet or any topic. Enter any time in the next week: I will randomly select a winner on August 25th, and post the winner on the blog.

Ink Review: J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre writing samples

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre. This is a lovely red-brown ink containing gold particles from J. Herbin. It’s a quieter gold-infused ink, in which the gold serves to deepen the rich color, giving an effect like a dark copper, or from some pens, a warm cocoa.

Caroube de Chypre won’t be the choice for those wanting a dramatic ink, but I loved the ink color and versatility. And because Caroube de Chypre is a relatively low-maintenance ink, I would trust it in any pen for an extended time period.

(click Page 2 below to continue)

I’ve Been a Miner for a Heart of Gold: J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre

 photo DSC_4969_zpsbvb8hlqh.jpg

I’ve been searching long and hard for how to bring out the most gold in J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre, and I think I’ve found it. But there’s going to be a “but” in there.

Caroube de Chypre is on the quieter side for inks with gold ink particles.  It is a gorgeous dark copper ink, but it doesn’t pop like J. Herbin’s previous 1670 ink, Emerald of Chivor.

That’s actually fine with me. I love the color and how it looks on the page. But what if you want more gold? Can you get it?

Yes! And, no.

(click Page 2 below to continue)

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre: Pretty Pictures and Sheen and Shimmer

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre writing sample

I have been enjoying the heck out of J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre, while I try to understand it.

I’m working this ink. I’ve found you need to coddle and coax any gold- or silver-infused ink, whether from J. Herbin or Diamine, for maximum shimmer.

Some steps are obvious: shake the bottle thoroughly before you fill a pen. Some are not so obvious: shake the pen before writing. And some steps go against my very nature: only use a wet pen, which means no Lamy Safari. Sob.

However, even with all that, Caroube de Chypre isn’t showing a huge amount of gold in my wet-writing Kaweco Sport. Not even with a 1.5 mm nib.

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre writing sample

It’s a gorgeous color, though. And I’m happy with the lower-key shimmer: actually, it makes me think I’d use Caroube de Chypre more. But I still would like to figure out how much shimmer is possible from Caroube de Chypre.

(click Page 2 below to continue)

A Peek at the Pen Cup: This Week the Pen Cup Runneth Over

pen cup

It is pure chaos right now at Fountain Pen Follies. That cup is so full of pens I was sure I couldn’t fit even one more.

But I needed to, because, unable to bear the suspense any longer, I opened the world’s best ink bottle and filled a Pelikan with Graf von Faber-Castell Cobalt Blue.

So imagine one more Pelikan, jammed into the last empty spot, right in front.

pens in pen cup

This pen cup is now filled wall-to-wall.

What’s taking up all the room? There’s a rollerball. Also the Parker 51 and the charcoal Lamy Safari that are my everyday pens. Every other pen in there is for an ink review or other ink post that I’m working on. Except the pen that’s in there for a pen review I’m working on.

A bunch of Pelikans. A bunch of Lamy Safaris and a Vista. An Edison. Two Montblancs. A Platinum. All fantastic. Except, this is so overstuffed. I need to go on a pen diet. Or start cranking out content faster.

Or I suppose I could just move the rollerball….

The “Wow” Ink Bottle: Graf von Faber-Castell

Graf von Faber-Castell ink bottle

I think of myself as a person who doesn’t care about ink bottles that much. A great ink bottle is always appreciated, and might tip the scales towards purchase if I like the ink, but an unappealing ink bottle won’t stop me from buying an ink.

But I just got this ink, in a trade: Graf von Faber-Castell Cobalt Blue. And, wow. This is a beautiful ink bottle. This bottle, alone, makes me want to buy more Faber-Castell inks.

I haven’t even tried the Cobalt Blue ink yet.  They had me at the bottle.

Graf von Faber-Castell ink bottle

You can’t really tell from photos how nice it is. The bottle is made of thick glass, and feels nicely heavy, with a stable base. The main part of the bottle is attractively ridged, and there’s a wavy undulation at the bottom. The label is lovely. And I don’t think I’ve seen a nicer cap on an ink bottle.

Graf von Faber-Castell ink bottle

Even the box is nice.

So, apparently I am besotted by an ink bottle.

I’m sure Faber-Castell focused on the bottle design. A great bottle can make an ink brand stand out. But I still expect it to be good ink. I really liked both Graf von Faber-Castell Carbon Black and Garnet Red. I have confidence in the Cobalt Blue.

I just wouldn’t have thought that I would ever be tempted to buy more inks solely because of the bottle. But if I were ever going to do that, it would be this one.

Graf von Faber-Castell ink bottle


A Rose by Any Other Name: Comparing Montblanc Shakespeare Ink to Diamine Carnival

Diamine Carnival and Montblanc Shakespeare ink writing sample comparison

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet”

-Romeo and Juliet

Blog readers, you know my love for William Shakespeare, the playwright and the ink. And while Montblanc Shakespeare is new, I think it’s already popular. It’s hard to find online. But do you know what ink is quite easy to find? Diamine Carnival.

And Diamine Carnival looks close enough to Montblanc Shakespeare that I wonder if Diamine Carnival might make a decent substitute.

(click Page 2 below to continue)