My Fountain Pen Inks

Last year (April 2019) when I began my fountain pen adventure, I bought my first one from JetPens. It was a Pilot Metropolitan Gray Houndstooth with a Medium Italic nib. I had no idea what a converter was and so just used cartridges that came with the pen. I also purchased a Pilot Plumix set that came with different colored cartridges. I was happy and thought that’s all I need. Then I saw the tiny and cute Kaweco pens. Back to JetPens and a shopping cart that included the Kaweco AL Sport in Stonewashed Blue. Oh yeah. I needed ink cartridges to work with that pen. Into my cart went the box of Diamine mixed ink set of 18 cartridges. Oh the beautiful colors that were in my first box!

That’s how it started for me. I eventually learned about bottles of inks. The only way to use the bottles was with a converter. So I made sure the pens I purchased included a converter. Yes, I had to purchase one of those Pilot CON-40 converter for my Pilot Metro pen. I did not enjoy using the metal & rubber squeeze converter that was included.

My first purchased bottle of ink was Diamine Ancient Copper from Goulet Pen Company. The next bottles were “document inks” from De Atramentis in brown, dark blue, grey followed by red and then turquoise. Think artwork and watercolor washes over my sketches. I dabbled with Pilot Iroshizuku Yama Budo and loved how they packaged their ink. I added a few other Iroshizuku colors (Kon Peki, Shin Kai, Tsuki Yo, Syo Ro, Ku Jaku, Ama Iro, Asa Gao, etc) to my small ink bottle stash. A few more Diamine inks were added (Rustic Brown, Aurora Borealis, Syrah, Purple Dream, Imperial Purple, Earl Gray, Asa Blue, etc).

I went to my first local fountain pen show and sat for a few hours at an “ink table” where there were bottles of inks everywhere. In different shapes. Different sizes. I brought my disc journal with me and borrowed a dip pen. It was crazy and so new to me. I started to grab bottles of inks and then confusion set in immediately. Being the methodical person I am, I scanned the table to see what brands I was dealing with. In front of my chair sat Graf von Faber-Castell bottles. I lined them up and started to write and swab on my paper. Next was Monteverde. Then I had to move. To the next available chair. That’s when I met Robert Oster Signature inks. Oh my! Next came Noodler’s Ink, JHerbin, Private Reserve, and Sailor inks.

Next thing I knew I was ordering the Robert Oster ink samples from Goulet and various other online shops. I was hooked.

Here’s my current collection on swatch cards. Oooops! I’m missing about 1/2 dozen ink colors that I recently acquired. (Will be back to update this post with additional pictures). Until then:

Robert Oster gets his own card ring as I have a lot of his ink colors
I store his inks in a decorative box
This container holds the 15 ink colors I will be using for the current month and possibly the next month
This container holds 9 bottles of my favorite ink colors. This will change depending on the season.
Here’s a side profile of my plastic holder. It’s suppose to be a lipstick holder with 1-1/4″ slots that hold my bottles of inks. This one holds 15 bottles.

Yes. I’ve made an investment in his inks. Initially, I used his inks for artwork. I started out with many of his blues and teals. He is well known for his blue inks. When I started to use his inks on Tomoe River Paper and in my Stalogy journals that was when I noticed the shading/sheening properties of his ink.

I haven’t had any issues with his inks. His inks are easy to clean out of my pens. On average his inks flow extremely well. Some wetter than others.

I’m also experimenting with other brands of ink. The last two months I’ve been enjoying Taccia, Sailor, Colorverse, Blackstone, Rohrer & Klingner, and a few others.

Here are ink swatches that were on my desk the last two months. Ink colors waiting for their turn to be used. I’m venturing out into other colors and brands. I have way too many blues and needed more greens and reds.

I will be back to do a post on how I create my swatch cards and the tools I use. Stay tuned!

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