Inks Chris Bought in 2016

Ink Bottles

I asked my friend Chris to tell us what inks she bought in 2016. I love her lists, because they always contain such interesting things. On the one hand, we both love Caran d’Ache and Montblanc inks. So, we’re practically twins. But Chris has much broader ink interests than I do. Occasionally I will insert an Editor’s Note in her text, because silence is not my forte. But here’s Chris.)

I think I’ve bought a similar number of bottles to last year, but I’m not counting any inks that I received for free. Like last year, I bought some more inks that I intend to sell, so I haven’t included those either.

I still haven’t kept very good records of inks I have bought, but I’ve gone back through PayPal and credit card purchases to compile a list for the purposes of this post. I buy inks from quite a few sources so my new years resolution for 2017 will be to keep an accurate record. (Editor’s Note: Good idea. I think my resolution will be to “forget” half my 2017 purchases.)

(click Page 2 below to continue)

Comparing Parker Penman Sapphire and Bung Box (First Love) Sapphire

Parker Penman Sapphire compared to Bungbox First Love Sapphire

When I got my new bottle of Parker Penman Sapphire (not actually new, but new-to-me), I hemmed and hawed about what pen I should use.

Part of me wanted to put it in a gorgeous Azure Blue Parker Vacumatic, because PPS is a gorgeous blue Parker ink. Another part of me thought, this is a job for my Pelikan M205 blue demonstrator: PPS is an ink that should be appreciated in a demonstrator. While all the votes on Instagram were for the Vac.

But I ended up choosing the beautiful new Kaweco AL-Sport Light Blue with extra-fine nib instead. I’ve got that pen for review, and it deserves a special ink.

Parker Penman Sapphire ink

After a few days of using PPS in the Light Blue AL-Sport, a light bulb went on: I also have Kaweco AL-Sport in raw aluminum with an extra-fine nib. The same pen, the same nib. So I grabbed the second AL-Sport and filled that with what remains of my sample of Bung Box First Love Sapphire, which is often compared to PPS.

You can see the results at the top, and I’ll put some closeup photos on the next page.

(click Page 2 below to continue)

Blast from the Past: Parker Penman Sapphire

Parker Penman Sapphire ink

A very nice friend found a partially full bottle of Parker Penman Sapphire for me, and it arrived on Friday.

I don’t chase vintage inks, so this will be my first and last bottle of this one, but it’s great to have more to use.  PPS is a great blue color, very deep, with nice shading. This ink is saturated, is not easy to clean, and it has red sheen out the wazoo. I like less saturated inks; I like easy-to-clean inks; and I’m neutral on sheen. And I still adore PPS. It is special.

I put it in a Kaweco AL-Sport with extra-fine nib this time.

Parker Penman Sapphire writing sample


A Peek at the Pen Cup: This Week the Pen Cup Runneth Over

pen cup

It is pure chaos right now at Fountain Pen Follies. That cup is so full of pens I was sure I couldn’t fit even one more.

But I needed to, because, unable to bear the suspense any longer, I opened the world’s best ink bottle and filled a Pelikan with Graf von Faber-Castell Cobalt Blue.

So imagine one more Pelikan, jammed into the last empty spot, right in front.

pens in pen cup

This pen cup is now filled wall-to-wall.

What’s taking up all the room? There’s a rollerball. Also the Parker 51 and the charcoal Lamy Safari that are my everyday pens. Every other pen in there is for an ink review or other ink post that I’m working on. Except the pen that’s in there for a pen review I’m working on.

A bunch of Pelikans. A bunch of Lamy Safaris and a Vista. An Edison. Two Montblancs. A Platinum. All fantastic. Except, this is so overstuffed. I need to go on a pen diet. Or start cranking out content faster.

Or I suppose I could just move the rollerball….

Serendipity: Ink and Pen Department

J. Herbin ink bottle nearly empty

I adore J. Herbin inks (well, most of them), but I can admit that the bottles, while lovely, are not always easy to fill from, especially as the ink level declines.

However, there are some pens that are so perfect in every way that they adapt to difficult conditions like I would adapt to winning sixty million dollars.

The Parker 51, ladies and gentlemen.

J. Herbin ink bottle nearly empty


Pen of the Day: Kaweco Classic Sport Blue

Parker Penman Sapphire ink Kaweco Classic Sport blue

Kaweco Classic Sport with calligraphy nib. Again we have what’s really an Ink of the Day, but, shhh, don’t tell anyone. This is the sample of Parker Penman Sapphire a friend very kindly sent me.

Is it the world’s most beautiful blue ink?

Parker Penman Sapphire ink writing sample

The pen is my son’s Kaweco Classic Sport in blue, which is a very good pen at an excellent price. I swapped in Kaweco’s 1.1 mm calligraphy nib, which is a smooth writer with excellent line variation, and another real bargain.

Parker Penman Sapphire ink Kaweco Classic Sport blue

Pen of the Day: Parker 75 with Graf von Faber-Castell Carbon Black

Parker 75 sterling silver ciselé

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Ciselé with fine nib. The Parker 75 is a business-like pen with a no-nonsense, no-flair nib.  It a fairly slim pen by today’s standards, but it’s comfortable to use and works without fuss. It could easily be the one pen you use every day.

The 75 comes in a number of finishes. In fact, this weekend I just saw a beautiful, new-to-me 75 pattern that a pen friend had purchased. I’ve had a few 75s over the years, but I’m down to just this one: the US-made flat top sterling silver ciselé pattern.

This is probably the most common 75, but it’s also my favorite. I’d say it’s the iconic Parker 75.

Parker 75 sterling silver ciselé

Being a total wild child, I threw caution to the wind and filled it with a random ink sample, Graf von Faber-Castell Carbon Black.  I know, settle down, right?

Well, it all worked out because Faber-Castell Carbon Black seems to be my kind of black ink: not dark-as-night, but more interesting to me because it has some shading. This ink also writes very smoothly and resists feathering nicely.  It reminds me of all my favorite black inks: Pelikan Brilliant Black and the black inks from Stipula, Montblanc and Seitz-Kreuznach.

Parker 75 sterling silver ciselé Faber-Castell Carbon Black ink writing sample

Pen of the Day: Parker Duofold Centennial

Parker Duofold Centennial Black and Pearl with Rohrer & Klingner Fernambuk ink

Parker Duofold Centennial with medium stub. This is the modern Duofold in Black and Pearl. I saw a few of these at the pen show. Along with a number of vintage Duofolds in the original black and pearl celluloid. So it’s nice to take out mine again.

However, the main thing I’m interested in today is the ink, Rohrer & Klingner Fernambuk.

(click Page 2 below to continue)