Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ink According To Paper Or Paper According To Ink?

Do you buy your inks so that you can use any quality of paper or do you tend to buy your paper so that you can use any ink regardless of its behavior?  A couple of years ago or so I decided I was most comfortable in the former.

I want the inks I use to have practically no feathering or bleed-through on the papers I most often find myself using throughout the course of the day at home and work--20lb copy paper, Moleskine weekly planner & cahiers,  Made in Brazil Norcom Composition Notebooks, Ampad Gold Fibre Project Planner, Ampad Gold Fibre Classic Planning Pads, Leuchtturm1917 Journals and Rhodia Classic Side Staplebound Notebook (3x4.75). Basically, I want inks that will behave very well regardless of the quality of the paper. Therefore, my most commonly used inks include Lamy Blue, Lamy Blue-Black (old formula, iron-gall), R&K Scabiosa, R&K Sepia, Stipula Calamo Musk/Moss Green, Quink Blue-Black, Quink Black, and Skrip Red. Most of the inks I use regularly would make Inkyjournal's 100% Moleskine Proof list of inks. As Inkling13 writes in a post over at the Fountain Pen Network, "Ink and pen are with you for the day, paper will come and go. I like my ink versatile."

While I like Diamine Emerald, for example, I would be limited to using paper such as Rhodia, Clairefontaine and 24lb-32lb copy paper.

So which way do you lean, inks that behave well on any quality of paper or paper on which any ink behaves well? Please include the applicable inks and/or papers.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Favorite Fountain Pen Inks (In No Particular Order)

Lamy-Blue Black (discontinued bottled, iron-gall formula) is currently being used in a Noodler’s Konrad fountain pen fitted with a 1.1 mm italic Goulet Nib. I use this for journaling, some note taking, addressing envelopes and as one of my primary signature inks. This is a relatively dry ink with great shading and no bleed-through or feathering on even low quality paper. It is very water resistant. (One possible substitute for this ink is Rohrer &Klingner’s Salix.)

LamyBlue (preferably bottled) is almost always found in my blue Lamy Safari with a fine nib. Used for underlining, marginalia, jotting notes/to-do lists, sermon prep notes/ideas. This non-flashy ink is so well-behaved even on low quality paper. It has some shading. It is not at all water resistant but it is low-maintenance. Like all Lamy inks, it’s quite affordable and comes in a very user-friendly bottle complete with a built-in supply of blotter paper! (I accidently let myself run out of my bottled supply of everyday workhorse ink. Trying to be a bit more frugal this year, I elected to finish my bottle of Sheaffer Skrip Blue (Slovenia) ink before restocking Lamy Blue. Fortunately I do have a few cartridges of LB remaining.)

My Lamy Al-Star with a 1.1 mm italic nib is loaded with my favorite brown-shaded ink, Rohrer &  Klingner Sepia. This ink shades beautifully, behaves splendidly, dries quickly and resists water faithfully.  R&K Sepia comes in a sturdy, light-resistant bottle. In my opinion, it is a true sepia. Uses include journaling, letter writing or note cards to friends and some underlining and marginalia. 

StipulaCalamo Moss/Musk Green smoothly flows from a 1.1 mm italic Goulet-nibbed, Noodler’s Konrad fountain pen. It exhibits shading and performs well even on low-quality Moleskine paper. It’s a bit pricey. (I received it as a gift.) It has met all my expectations. I mostly use it for some journaling and note-taking. 

Other favorite inks currently not in rotation include Parker Quink Blue-Black, Parker Quink Black (now in my charcoal Lamy Safari (EF) and R&K Scabiosa (which is an iron-gall ink). All of these behave relatively well on a wide range of paper qualities. In fact, I generally try to only purchase inks that work well on the generally unfriendly-to-fountain-pen-ink Moleskine paper.

Swabs of all of these inks can be found at GouletPens Swab Shop. (In my opinion, the Lamy Blue actually more vibrant and has a hint more purplish tint.) 

When possible, I try to purchase my inks from brick and mortar stores, which is hardly ever. Online, I generally purchase ink (and pens) from, and

What are your favorite bottled fountain pen inks?

(Note: I have no affiliation with any of the companies listed in this post other than being a satisfied customer.)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

“Sons and Daughters, Mothers and Fathers”

Sons and daughters,
Honor and obedience to your mothers and fathers
is good, holy and rewarding.
But disobedience and dishonor
will not keep them calmer.  
For the Lord’s sake submission stop hoarding!

Mothers and Fathers,
Your children you are not to exasperate
even though they instigate
frustration in you at times.
For while they must honor and obey,
listening carefully to all that you say,
harsh pushing may lead them to crimes…
against you, God and others.
For the Lord’s sake flee ruling that smothers!  

Children AND Parents,
Let’s look to the perfect Daddy and Son
in Whose family by faith we’re made one
when obediently we’re buried in water.
For the Son, on that night
that was filled with great fright,
said, “Not my will but Yours” to His Father.

(Inspired by Ephesians 6:1-4.)

By Bart W. Newton
February 1, 2014