Fountain Pen Favorites for January 2017

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January is over? How did that happen? Well, swiftly, I guess. In terms of pens and inks, January wasn’t particularly notable for me. But if I dredge, I can dig up some highlights.

1. Ink Dips. I liked the first two, Sailor Something Something and Pelikan Edelstein Onyx. Oh, yes, Sailor Oku-Yama. Details … poof. The mind is the first thing to go. Or maybe vision. Possibly hearing. What was I saying?

2. Yellow Journalism. I wrote in my new journal pretty consistently. Not every day, but almost. So it’s becoming a habit, which is nice. Unfortunately, I have written 96 pages since Christmas, which is going to be financially ruinous; these things are costly. I’m going back to a Rhodia Webnotebook when I fill my Nanami Writer, to see if the type of journal makes a difference or not.

3.  Hmm, a Rant. Yeah, um, well, hard to think of a third highlight, to be honest. I liked the inks I used this month. Pens were pretty calm for me — there is not much happening here in pens. Actually, I dislike something. I am not in favor of the newly announced 2017 Lamy Safari color, which is “Petrol,” which is the German word for “Teal.” I can’t even pretend to care about this Safari. Especially when the 2017 Al-Star is already an aquamarine called Pacific.

It seems I’ve gone off Lamy. After so many years of the neons and the greens and the greenish yellows, now in 2107 we’re getting not one, but two, blue greens. That’s not what I’d call progress.

I’ve lost faith in Lamy, or interest, or both. I don’t know if the string of similar colors is due to lack of imagination, cost-consciousness or trying to profit off an influx of newbie buyers with no apparent discernment (given the prices they’ll pay for counterfeits). But whatever the cause, I don’t care. I’m bored with the result. It seems cheap and cynical, and worst of all dull, by Lamy.

Yes, I am now completely unexcited about Lamy Safaris. And I used to be their biggest fan.


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

16 thoughts on “Fountain Pen Favorites for January 2017

  1. Laura, I am sending you six (6) samples of Robert Oster inks. Was going to be a surprise but thought it better to say here just in case anyone duplicates. The samples are: Moss, Deep Sea, Bondi Blue, Fire Engine Red (discontinued I think), Emerald, and Yellow Sunset. I thought I had Jade as well but I am mistaken.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Teal is one of my favourite colours, at least in inks. I do like the new AL Star, but the Safari is too dark I think. Maybe better photos will show something different. The Petrol to me reminds me of Bosch power tools. Actually, that’s not such a bad thing…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Laura, I love hearing different opinions. That makes things more interesting to me. If we all agreed on everything it would be so boring. I don’t dislike the look of the Safari, I just don’t like the looks enough to buy it. I probably have pens that you think are flat out UGLY…lol.

    As far as journals, I have different journals for different jobs. Not any one journal will fit my needs. You are right, it does have thin paper, and ghosting. At first that bothered me. But the way it makes shading and sheen appear so much more dramatic can make me overlook the negatives. I think my Webnotebook is an A5 size. So maybe that is why I feel that way. I do like the paper very much. I love the look of it, and the feel of it. I also like the thick paper. I don’t have blank journals. I couldn’t write in a straight line to save my life. 🙂

    Deep Sea is the only Oster ink I’ve tried, and the only one I have. I bought it recently on a road trip with friends. With a regular medium nib, it doesn’t do much for me…especially on lesser quality paper. It is pretty, but not outstanding. But with a better nib with flow, the dark shading is spectacular. But I’ve found that look only on Tomoe River paper, and nothing else compared to it. The price is high, especially for getting it in a plastic bottle. I hate plastic bottles. I don’t mind getting plastic with a 30ml bottle of Diamine. But if it is a regular size, I want glass bottles. I also bought a new to me ink brand on the same trip. Yes, KWZ-Grapefruit. I’ve been wanting that ink for ages. It looks reddish orange in a F nib. Put it in a regular M nib, and it looks red. So, I keep it to an F nib, and I’m a happy camper. One of my friends bought Honey. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Maybe it is one of those inks that grows on you. I have it in a broad cursive italic nib, and it is very nice. (she gave me a sample) Then I got the 3rd bottle of a new brand to me ink…Akkerman #24 Zuiderpark Blauw-Groen. Yes, I lost my mind. I really do need to stop reading ink reviews, but cannot seem to stop.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Okay, those are really good ink reviews! Just tell me if you ever want to do any here!

      I don’t think I have samples of either of those KWZ inks, but Grapefruit sounds like something I’d like. The Akkerman bottles are so cool! I had one of the original ones, but it was just too large; the new ones are a great size. Your Oster Deep Sea ink sounds like an ink I would like, since I love shading, but I just don’t use TR paper enough to get the most of it. You know though, this reminds me: a friend recently bought Oster Fire and Ice — so I’m going to tell him to try it on TR paper. You’re right in pointing out that a lot of inks look better on TR — sheeny inks do! Like so many Sailor inks. Are Oster inks like that?

      My friend Chris dislikes plastic ink bottles, too. Until I got Graf von Faber-Castell ink, I never cared enough about the bottles. Now I’m a total convert to beautiful ink bottles. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, I am glad you liked what I said about the inks. The Deep Sea does have some sheen. It is sort of like a greener version of Sailor-Yama dori, but not as much sheen. Maybe I haven’t tried it in the right pen. It is more green than Emerald of Chivor. It is also close to Diamine-Steel Blue (but still more green), but the shading is much darker. These are all colors that are definitely in my wheel house so to speak.

        I am interested in that Fire and Ice color. But I can only buy so much, sadly. I love the Akkerman bottle. I have only tried the #24 in a fine nib so far. I have refilled that pen 3-4 times with the same ink. That is very unusual for me to do. It also has a good amount of shading. I don’t have to have sheen, but shading is almost a given.

        Now Grapefruit doesn’t shade much at all. It is darker and more red than Diamine-Sunset. It WILL grab your attention, and is bright, but not too bright to me. If a color speaks to me, I don’t have to have shading. But I do like both when possible though.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Teal is a sample-first ink for me, because I can’t predict in advance. Yama-Dori, I didn’t love and gave away. Amazing ink, with that sheen, but wasted on me because something about the color was too dark or something.

          I’m with you about the shading.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You gave Yama-dori away? 😮 Well that is a shock. Okay then, you may not like the Deep Sea. Sounds like you are getting several samples. I really love ink that shades with a very distinct contrast. Like you have one color, and then the pooled areas are much darker. Maybe I will grow out of that later, but for now I love it.

            Liked by 2 people

  4. I love my Safari. I am not excited in the least about the Petrol. I don’t own an Al-star and I am really excited about the newest one. I haven’t been a fountain pen user long, so that may play into why I am so excited for Pacific. I will be buying one as soon as my favorite online retailer has them available.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt the same way — I think the Pacific looks attractive and I will get one of those. I just don’t understand why both have to be blue green. I mean, I know I sound like a baby. I guess it’s not as bad as when the third Neon in a row came out. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The Safari has never excited me enough to buy one. I am probably one of the few who have never even tried one.
    I adore Sailor-Oku yama. I have both the Nanami journals and the Rhodia Webnotebook. Nanami wins hands down. Of course it is entirely a personal opinion, and nothing else. My webnotebook does not lay flat. I hate writing with a hump in the middle of the book. Almost all ink looks better on Tomoe River paper. Nanami paper is thin, and in the long run cheaper.

    I do love teal/blue-green. Have you tried Robert Oster-Deep Sea? I love it. On Tomoe River paper with the right pen, it reminds me of J. Herbin-Emerald of Chivor, without all the glitter stuff added. I have both of the inks I just mentioned.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Awesome! I love discussion like this, with differing viewpoints. And I know you won’t mind my slightly different perspective either. 🙂

      1. Though I understand why many don’t like it, the Safari is in many ways my favorite fountain pen, and it was the first one I ever bought myself. So I’ve been a fan. But you’re not missing anything pen-wise — it’s only good if you like the looks.

      2. I just don’t feel the same way about the journals. I’m in the minority, but I do not love TR paper — to me, it’s too thin, it changes the color of many inks, and what it does beautifully (sheen) is something I don’t care about. Also, dry time for many inks is much longer on TR paper, and for me, that’s bad in a journal. I’ve luckily not had a problem with the large size Webnotebook lying flat, but I do notice the showthrough on the Nanami which keeps me from using both sides. As you say, it’s just personal opinion, and different ways of using a journal. I know people who use blank journals, which would be impossible for me. It’s nice there are so many options for all of us.

      The huge advantage (for me) of the Nanami is how attractive it is. I’m going to see how much that matters to me, because it may. 🙂

      3. I haven’t ever tried any Robert Oster inks. That would be nice — I’ll have to depend on the kindness of friends and strangers. 🙂 But I do like both Emerald of Chivor and Pelikan Aquamarine.

      Teal isn’t my favorite color, but it’s nothing I’m averse to. It’s not “not liking the color” that turns me off the newest Safari. I don’t like Lamy’s lack of interest or effort, which I think is betrayed by the laziness of their color choices over the years. I can’t blame them in a sense. As I said, when people will pay over the odds for an obvious counterfeit, it starts to look like they also might buy literally any Safari Lamy puts in the annual collection.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. ooh, good to know I’m not the only one who finds TR too thin 😛 I mean sometimes this is a good quality to have, and it’s definitely true it’s a good thin paper with minimal show through and other thin paper problems, but it feels thin enough that you have to baby your notes and I’d rather not.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. So the journaling is going well:) Sorry to hear that you are off Lamy Safaris at the moment. But it is natural that not every colour they come up with, will be to everyone’s liking. And perhaps you may later change your mind about teal and we will see positive vibes in future “Pen Dips”:)

    Liked by 2 people

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