What I Bought in 2018: Inks

Papier Plume 011 ink bottle

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.

Diamine Earl Grey ink bottle

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.

KWZ Hawaii Blue and KWZ Honey

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.

Papier Plume 011 and Da Blue

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.

Sailor Shikiori Yodaki ink bottle

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.

ink bottles

18 thoughts on “What I Bought in 2018: Inks

  1. 18 is not too many inks for an entire year, in my opinion. My ink collection gained 3 bottles this year. ( Two were gifts)
    Blue Green is a great color, and I have a few in that category.


  2. I love blue green colors and inks!

    The hubs is already planning for the next Chicago Pen Show before I even thought about it! I hope to see you there!

    I’m not sure how many bottles I bought, but not nearly as many as 18. I did finally splurge on an expensive bottle of Graf von Faber-Castell Turquoise 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great to read about all the inks you have chosen this year. I use ink like I use perfume – well, not literally, that would just be odd, but my usage is equivalent. With perfume, everyone else seems to gallop through it and be buying replacements every ten minutes, but I wear it every single day and it takes almost a year to finish one 50ml bottle. Likewise with inks, I think I will (and, indeed, I do) enjoy having a variety of colours, but that means even boxes of 6 cartridges last months, let alone bottles. If I bought 18 bottles of ink it would last me until my dying day! I work on a system of ignoring a lot of brands entirely; treating shimmer inks as an item for artists, not writers; and wherever possible trying cartridges or an ink sample before I commit to a whole bottle. I don’t really move enough in circles of people who use fountain pens to be able to redistribute inks easily.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a good way to be, buying one and using it every day until you use it up. Did you buy many bottles or boxes of cartridges then, in 2018? I am curious slash gently envious. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I often wish I had a “wardrobe” of perfumes and could ring the changes, but it doesn’t seem to work for me. With inks, I bought a bottle of Graf von Faber-Castell Cobalt Blue, a box of Waterman Tender Purple cartridges to try the colour, and a tin of J Herbin Rouge Caroubier cartridges. Then for Christmas I put the Lamy Crystal inks on my “interested in” list and my lovely daughter gifted me two bottles – the Ruby and Peridot colours. I used up a lot of my stash of cartridges through the year as I want to move more to bottled inks going forwards.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmm, from my perspective you were a pretty well behaved gal, I’d say.

    Don’t ask how much I bought or got gifted … you do ask, do you? 54 bottles and 117 samples. BUT, 16 bottles I got as a Hub Master from Pelikan and later gave 10 of these away, 4 bottles I got for working for a stationery shop (write s.th. for their shop window), another 12 bottles I got as a gift. The ones I bought were either Diamine 30 ml or, ahem, the much more expensive and oh-so-tempting Kyo Iro / No-Oto. And the samples? Well, the Berlin and in general German fountain pen scene is really amazing and friendly and generous when it comes to sending samples around. Many of us travelled around last year and muled inks and samples from A to B. That was a huge lot of fun and inky goodness!

    Have a happy and colourful 2019, dear Laura!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wow! Honestly, that is so impressive that it is to be embraced, and celebrated, unreservedly. Well done!

      You also bring up an important point. I did not count all the samples people were nice enough to give me, but that is always so lovely. I have come to think that giving things away, and accepting the gift of other things, is by far the nicest way to handle ink acquisition. Instead of guilt from overspending, you feel bonhomie and gratitude. It’s such a positive, whether giver or receiver.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I also bought Sailor Yodaki, a special ink because it’s the same colour as one they make for Maruzen called Akane Red. I bought the new J.Herbin Grenate too, which is well worthy of note. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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