One Minute Ink Review: Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz

Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz

Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz. Pelikan’s 2017 Edelstein “Ink of the Year” is Smoky Quartz, an earthy brown that’s dark and legible. It strikes me as a darker version of J. Herbin Lie de Thé.

Like all Pelikan Edelstein inks I’ve used, Smoky Quartz has excellent lubrication and flow. I don’t get much shading, except on Tomoe River paper. The ink color looks different on different papers, which I usually like, but if you’ve ever changed a baby’s diapers, choose your paper wisely here.

Apparently the color was picked by internet voters to be the Ink of the Year. And apparently it’s popular.

Is this an everyday ink? If it’s your kind of color, then yes. Pelikan makes well-behaved and dependable inks, and Smoky Quartz is no exception.

Comparing Papier Plume Lake Michigan Summer and Kaweco Paradise Blue

Papier Plume Lake Michigan Summer and Kaweco Paradise Blue writing samples comparison

Here is a comparison of Papier Plume Lake Michigan Summer and Kaweco Paradise Blue, both in Lamy Al-Stars with medium nibs.

Lake Michigan Summer is greener, wetter and has more shading. Kaweco Paradise Blue is, as the name would imply, bluer. These lines were written with Lake Michigan Summer first, and Paradise Blue second.

Papier Plume Lake Michigan Summer and Kaweco Paradise Blue writing samples comparison

On cream-colored Tomoe River paper.

Papier Plume Lake Michigan Summer and Kaweco Paradise Blue writing samples comparison

On white Clairefontaine Triomphe paper.

Papier Plume Lake Michigan Summer and Kaweco Paradise Blue writing samples comparison

I love both inks, frankly, and the differences are enough to justify both for myself. (I consider my excessive interest in fountain pen inks to be a little silly, so it’s lovely to be able to use the word “justify” here. Any port in the storm.)

About Lake Michigan Summer, it was one of the two inks made for the recent Chicago Pen Show. But per Instagram, Papier Plume is making another batch of Lake Michigan Summer and Ivy 108, to be released on Thursday, June 15. I have more photos of, and information about, both inks in the posts at those links. For myself, I like them both so much I have kept refilling my own pens since April.

Thanks to blog reader Nicole for the question that prompted me to compare Lake Michigan Summer to Kaweco Paradise Blue. This was also just the excuse I needed to ink up my Pacific Blue Al-Star, Lamy’s 2017 annual Al-Star. The Pacific Blue, in my opinion, may be the absolute best Lamy pen color in recent years — and I mean across the entire Lamy fountain pen line. If you’re on the fence, buy one.

Ink Snippet: Papier Plume New Orleans Collection — Calle Real, Garden District Azalea, Mardi Gras Indians, Sazerac, Streetcar Green

Papier Plume New Orleans Collection inks

The Papier Plume New Orleans Collection of inks is back, and Papier Plume kindly sent me them to review. These are five fountain pen inks in attractive shades of pink, orange, green, blue and purple. I’ve put writing samples and more detailed impressions of each on the next page.

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Ink Review: KWZ Old Gold

KWZ Old Gold

KWZ Old Gold. This is yet another attractive and appealing golden brown ink from KWZ, a dye-based light brown ink with green and gold notes, that behaves very well. It closely resembles its stablemate KWZ Iron Gall Aztec Gold, but without any trace of iron gall.

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Ink Review: KWZ Iron Gall Aztec Gold

KWZ Iron Gall Aztec Gold

KWZ Iron Gall Aztec Gold. Another day, another captivating light brown ink from KWZ. This one is Iron Gall Aztec Gold, and it’s an ink with green and gold notes, and just a bit of iron gall, that behaves supremely well and cleans up very easily. I think it’s lovely ink and so gentle that it would be a good introduction to iron gall inks.

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Ink Snippet: KWZ Grey Plum

KWZ Grey Plum

KWZ Grey Plum. This is a very popular ink, and it’s almost unbelievably well-behaved. When I wrote with it, the “plum” part submerged into the “grey,” so I consider it essentially a dark gray or light black ink with a purple tint. I’d recommend Grey Plum to anyone looking for an interesting black ink. Or to fans of inks that change color as they dry.

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Pen of the Day: Franklin-Christoph 03 with Robert Oster Tranquility

Franklin-Christoph 03 Iterum and Robert Oster Tranquility

Franklin-Christoph 03. When you work at a pen show, geography is destiny. Just like a college dorm, you are going to hang out with the people nearby. And my little corner of 2017 Chicago Pen Show was charmed, with Papier Plume behind and Franklin-Christoph to the right. Between Renso, Audrey, Mike and Jim, I had the nicest neighbors.

And as Chicago Pen Show Instagram, I loved documenting the action at both tables. Tracking Papier Plume as they sold out their Chicago Pen Show special inks, and watching the tsunami of customers at Franklin-Christoph. Most fun was when Audrey put out the trays of Franklin-Christoph pens in prototype materials each morning.

So it was probably inevitable that I ended up buying a Franklin-Christoph myself. I chose my 03 because it’s a nice, larger size, it has a comfortable section, and it has a clip. Mine is a prototype, but an understated one, in dark blue with a glassy color medallion in the cap top.

Prototype colors aren’t named, but Jim Rouse dubbed mine “Royal Navy Blue with a Porthole.”

Franklin-Christoph 03 Iterum and Robert Oster Tranquility

I am all over that name, as fellow Aubrey and Maturin fans would understand.

I chose a Masuyama stub nib in medium. I did test their SIG nibs (recommended by my friend). In fact, I tested all their nibs. And I retested. That’s a big advantage to picking out your pen at the show. You can mull.

I inked my pen with Robert Oster Tranquility, another pen show purchase. Tranquility is one of the many Oster blue-green inks. This one is on the greener side. The second and third photos are the best for accurate depiction of the ink color.

Tranquility has nice shading. It also has Oster’s trademark red sheen, slight with this pen, but more noticeable from a wetter pen.

Robert Oster Tranquility writing sample