Fountain Pen Favorites for October 2015


The leaves are falling faster, bare branches are showing and chilly November arrives tomorrow. What better time to look back at my personal fountain pen highlights from October.

1. Aurora Optima 365. I really did luck out getting this pen. Just wow.

2. Fall Color Inks. So much fun to use these. Oranges, yellows, browns and reds were very October.

3. Caran d’Ache Inks. The ones I tried this month were fabulous. Just fabulous.

4. Architect’s Nib. I loved playing with Dan Smith’s broad Architect’s Nib grind. I’m going to add one soon. I’m debating between a medium and a fine. I’ll miss that broad nib, though.


Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

Pen of the Day: Aurora Optima 365


Aurora Optima 365 with medium nib. Yes, this was Pen of the Day two weeks ago, too. It’s so worth the repeat.

But it has a new ink this time. My friend sent me a sample of Conway Stewart Kingsand, which I think is a really lovely ink, perfect for the pen and for the time of year.


Conway Stewart is out of business, unfortunately, but a number of stores still have the inks in stock. Moreover, Conway Stewart inks were made by Diamine, and to me, Kingsand looks very much like Diamine Ochre. I hope to put on my ink detective hat and investigate it. That hat? It’s a deerstalker. Of course.

Pen Twins: Aurora Optima Nero Perla


My friend Chris just bought a pen that I also have, and adore: the Aurora Optima in Nero Perla. Don’t look now, but I think that makes us pen twins.

I couldn’t resist inking my Nero Perla at the same time. And the Nero Perla is the perfect pen for me right now. After having tested so many colorful inks recently, I was ready for a black ink. The choice was Stipula Ebony Black, a lighter black with nice shading that is one of my favorite black inks.

Chris chose Diamine Vivaldi, from the Music Set, which is a great gray purple and an inspired choice. I have a feeling I will shamelessly copy the same combination very soon.


Pen of the Day: Pelikan 400 Tortoise


Pelikan 400 Tortoise with oblique medium nib. This is a vintage Pelikan. The oblique medium nib offers line variation with a fairly narrow nib, since a vintage Pelikan medium is close to the width of a modern Pelikan fine nib.

I think the tortoise binde looks beautiful against the brown cap and piston knob.


The ink is Waterman Absolute Brown, formerly known as Havana Brown. It’s a reddish brown with nice shading.


Monday Morning Quarterback: October 26, 2015


Looking back on the previous week, having learned a few things. Looking ahead, wondering a few things.

1. Inked out? I feel like I’ve been very focused on ink these past few weeks. It has been fun, and I’ve learned a lot. But I just cleaned out nine pens. I’m thinking longingly of my normal blue and black inks right now.

2. Penned out? I bought a few pens this year, and I’ve been feeling like my pen cases are overstuffed. I’m not really sure what to do about this. I’m mulling the options.

3. Nice pen; cheap thrills. I really enjoy using clear Kaweco Sport fountain pens as eyedroppers. I like tilting the pens and watching the ink roll to and fro. It’s neat to see the range of color. But, yes, that does show that I am easily entertained.

4. New job? A possible job change occurred to me yesterday: I should be a billionaire. I’d be very good at that.

Pen of the Day: Parker Duofold Centennial


Parker Duofold Centennial with medium stub. You might have guessed by now that I am a Parker fan. This is the gorgeous Black and Pearl Duofold Centennial, which is about the size of the original Big Red.

I just recently got this back from the nibmeister. I was never perfectly happy with how it wrote, so I asked Dan Smith to decrease its over-enthusiastic ink flow and make the stub smoother. Thanks to Dan, it finally writes as beautifully as it looks.


It’s inked with Caran d’Ache Saffron, my all-time favorite orange ink.