One change in 2018 was that I bought most of my inks in person, either at pen shows or a pen store. That’s kind of cool.
Here are the inks I purchased in 2018, by brand:
Diamine: (1) At the Chicago Pen Show, I bought a bottle of Earl Grey, a very nice ink, which I like, but which I’ve only used a few times. But that’s how 2018 went. Much less pen and ink use than prior years. I think there was some pen and ink exhaustion here in the Fortress of Fountain Pen Folly.
Graf von Faber-Castell: (2) A the Chicago Pen Show I bought a bottle of Moss Green, an ink I really like, and also a bottle of Electric Pink, an ink I hadn’t tried, but it was pink, so, of course. That was in May. I haven’t cracked open either bottle yet. Pen exhaustion.
KWZ: (2) One was Hawaii Blue, purchased at the Chicago Pen Show. The ink seemed too wet for the first pen I filled, so I put it away until later. It turns out, to my chagrin, that later hasn’t arrived yet, because I haven’t used it yet.
I also finally bought KWZ Honey, an ink I adore, when my pen club met at Anderson Pens Chicago. I gave away a lot of samples of Honey, but I haven’t used it myself this year. Pen exhaustion, definitely. That’s a great ink.
Lamy: (1) I bought Lamy Vibrant Pink in both cartridge and bottle form. The bottle turned out to have sparkles, which didn’t excite me. I used the cartridge, kept it too long in my new Vibrant Pink Al-Star, and found out that Lamy Vibrant Ink is an ink I don’t want to keep inked too long.
Papier Plume: (2) I bought two Papier Plume inks this year. An extra bottle of Da Blue, one of the two Chicago Pen Show special inks, and a bottle of Eleven (011), an ink to celebrate Papier Plume’s eleventh anniversary that I bought at the Ohio Pen Show. I’ve used Eleven a little, and Da Blue a lot. I like Da Blue better than the very similar, but much more expensive, Sailor Shimoyo that I also bought this year.
Platinum: (2) I bought a bottle of Platinum Blue-Black and a new box of cartridges of Platinum Carbon Black, both at Anderson Pens Chicago. I have used both these inks regularly, so good purchases. The one that was new to me was Blue-Black, which is an excellent everyday ink.
Robert Oster: (1) Pacific Ocean Teal. This was sold by the San Francisco Pen Show, and I was there, so I bought it. I like to support pen shows. I also like Robert Oster — he or whoever does his Instagram seems so nice. They are very enthusiastic and very kind. I haven’t used the ink, though. It’s another blue-green, which admittedly most people seem never to never lose enthusiasm for. But I am not those people. I’m hoping a blue-green fan I know comes to the Chicago Pen Show this year, so I can give her this.
Sailor: (4) I bought bottles of Sailor Shikiori Shimoyo, Yonaga and Yodaki (three Sailors in smaller bottles), and, at the Chicago Pen Show, I bought a replacement bottle of Sailor Jentle Grenade — all from Dan Smith, the Nibsmith. Two of the Sailor inks are blue or blue-black, and two are burgundy. Because, as I always say, I have limited interests.
I have used all three Shikiori inks, and while I still need to write up a review, the long and the short of it that I ended up thinking they are too pricey. But the burgundy one (Yodaki) is a special color.
Taccia: (3) I bought Kuro, Uguisu and Aoguro at the San Francisco Pen Show. Well-priced and well-behaved inks. I gave away Kuro and Aoguro at the holidays. I think Uguisu is the most interesting color, and I have someone in mind for that one, too.
And that’s all 18. If one were in an accounting frame of mind, conclusions could be drawn.
Primarily, I bought way too many inks. I bought 18, and used 12, but half of those 12 I only used because I was going to review them. Ink, schmink. I just wasn’t feeling it in 2018, it seems.
And I didn’t have much truck with wild colors last year. My most used new inks were Papier Plume Da Blue (a blue black) and Platinum Blue-Black (a blue).
But inks are good, and I bought some good ones. The 2018 ink purchases that I consider the absolute best were: Papier Plume Da Blue, Platinum Blue-Black, Sailor Shikiori Yodaki and KWZ Honey. Two are newer, two are older, but 2018 was when I bought them. These four would be a winning haul for any year.