Ink Review: KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise

KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise ink

KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise. This is an ink I first saw in a letter from a friend, at which time I thought “wow.” Now, after weeks of using KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise, I still think “wow.”  It’s a darker blue-green than many turquoise inks, with lovely shading, and great presence on the page.

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Pen of the Day: Aurora Optima Blue Auroloide


Aurora Optima Blue/Chrome with fine nib. I do keep using this pen.  It’s hard not to.  Also my friend just got one, so we are pen twins, and I had to get our two matching pens together on a playdate.

Her Optima has Aurora’s cursive italic, which is wide and really neat. It is a very crisp italic, with amazing line variation, and it wrote with the lightest of touches. Mine has a fine nib.


The ink is Bung Box First Love Sapphire.  In this pen, it really has sapphire sparkle.



J. Herbin Bleu Azur: Another Sky


My friend just gave me a sample of this lovely ink, J. Herbin Bleu Azur.

I have a strange fondness for inks that are nearly invisible.  One favorite is Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri-same, a delicate, pencil-like gray ink.  I also like very light greens, like J. Herbin Vert Pré and Lamy’s recent Charged Green.  I don’t know if this stems from my childhood love of spy stories, or just an interest in things that are different.  An ink you can’t easily read? How different.  I like that!

I loaded Bleu Azur into a Kaweco Classic Sport because that’s a wet pen, and I can interchange the nibs.  The above photo shows it with a double-broad nib.  Bleu Azur is pretty legible with a wide nib and good ink flow.

I do like the color of Bleu Azur. It’s like another sky, which is from a beautiful poem Emily Dickinson wrote to her brother:

There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields –
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!

Pen of the Day: Kaweco AL-Sport Grey


Kaweco AL-Sport in Grey with medium nib. I shared some photos of this pen yesterday, since it’s my newest purchase. I just really like it, so it’s Pen of the Day, too.

This one has a very nice medium nib.  It’s narrower than the medium nib on my Pelikan M400 White Tortoise, which you can compare here. I’m using the Kaweco with a wetter ink than the Pelikan, too.


I’ve got my new AL-Sport inked with Waterman Blue Black, now sold under the name of Mysterious Blue.  Waterman Blue Black is a traditional blue black with a greenish tint.  It’s not perfect.  It’s not an ink for a dry pen, because the color looks better with more ink flow.  And on some lower quality paper the ink color can lighten with time.  But Waterman Blue Black is very feather resistant, it won’t show through poor quality paper, and it’s a wet ink that works with most pens.

I use either Waterman Serenity Blue or Blue Black with every newly purchased pen.  That way I can tell right away how the nib writes. This one writes a little bit wet and is super smooth.


Pen Clutter


I was trying to find my yellow Line Friends Lamy Safari the other day — for the blog, of course.  Instead I found a clown car of pen-related clutter — boxes and boxes of it — all on a tiny shelf.  Which is not my only shelf of pen and ink things.

But I’ve learned my lesson, and I’ve turned over a new leaf.  And that is called: ignorance is bliss. From now on, I’m not going to pay any attention to what’s on my shelves.  Unless something happens to fall on me.  At which time, I’ll shove that item back on the shelf and walk briskly into the other room.  That’s called: just good common sense.

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Pen of the Day: Pelikan M400 White Tortoise


Pelikan M400 White Tortoise with medium nib. I feel like this is the Kevin Bacon or Kevin Hart of writing instruments for me. I seem to make it Pen of the Day a lot.  And for good reason. For a pen I long hesitated to buy, I like it very much.


This time, though, I was mostly focused on the ink.  My friend was talking about Pelikan Edelstein Amber, so I wanted to dip into my sample.  You’d think this would be a perfect ink for one my five yellow Safaris, wouldn’t you?  Yes, that would be sensible.  But moving along ….

Pelikan Edelstein Amber is a nice ink.  I find it similar to J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie, which I also really like.  Edelstein Amber is a touch darker and drier; and for me it does not shade quite as much.  Amber is also a past ink of the year, so harder to find.  But lovely.


Five Yellow Lamy Safaris


I have five yellow Safaris? Yes, I have five yellow Safaris. I really had no idea.

The truth is, yellow pens are not exactly necessary in my life, since I never use yellow ink.  Let’s say I own 9,043 bottles of ink.  Admittedly, that’s a rough estimate; the actual number might be higher (cough).  But I do know that, of those roughly 12,000 bottles, exactly zero contain yellow ink.  It’s not exactly legible, at least not to me.

But I still like the yellow Safaris.  And that photo puts a smile on my face.  The cute Line Friends Safari is especially adorable.  Though it lives in a box.  Which I had to search for. Because it was in a storage box.  In the basement.  We’re talking deep storage. I really only use the regular yellow Safari.

The funny thing is, as shocked as I am by the breadth of my yellow Safari ownership, I know that Lamy has made more than five different yellow Safaris.  There’s a lighter yellow with black clip for sure.  And there probably are other special edition Safaris in yellow: I think I’ve seen some with logos.  I just don’t buy the ones with logos.  Or the rare and expensive ones.

Rest assured that I am okay with not having every yellow Safari.  In fact, I’m thrilled.

It might mean a tiny bit of sanity prevails.  But you know me better.  It really means: more room for my blue pens!

Hey.  If I put a few more of these in the storage box in the  basement, wouldn’t that mean … there’s room for that blue Pelikan M205?!