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 gouletpens.com, jetpens.com and shopwritersbloc.com.

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.)

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