A Fabulous Year with Narwhal/Nahvalur

Nautilus Voyage in New Orleans

Earlier this year, I created a blog post about my sparkling limited edition Nautilus Voyage in New Orleans. I was so enamored with this sparkling beauty (I still am) and the way it wrote and felt in my hand that I created a pen & ink sketch.

The pen itself is a gorgeous design and well made. It’s a piston filler pen that has an inky window to show how much ink is left in my pen.

This pen with a Fine nib handles my shimmering inks well.

Exclusive Galen Demonstrator with Rose Gold Trim

My first stop at this year’s pen show was at the Galen table. As in a Thursday afternoon stop. While they were still unpacking their boxes around me. I was checking out their exclusive ink colors and was immediately drawn to their Prairie Green ink color from KWZ. I had them set the bottle of ink aside so I could check out their pen tray filled with demonstrator pens with rose gold trim. I had uncovered another Galen exclusive and this one was with Narwhal. I tried both the fine and medium nibs and had a hard time selecting a nib. After a few minutes I trusted my gut instinct and went with the smooth medium nib.

This turned out to be my sleeper pen purchase from the pen show. When I finally had some time to fill my pen with ink and write with it, it was then I realized how stunning this pen was. Sure it looks like a typical clear demonstrator, but it feels wonderful in my hand. The quality, the weight, and the attention to the details of this pen is just lovely. I can honestly say it feels delightful and a bit better than my TWSBI Diamond 580 pens.

To give you an idea on the weight between these two pens. My TWSBI Diamond 580 ALR weighs about 26.59 grams. My Narwhal x Galens pen weighs around 29.52 grams.

You can see in the picture how clear the cap is and I can clearly see my rose gold plated nib.

Original Plus (Melacara Purple and Azureous Blue)

During the pen show, Nahvalur did an unveiling of their newest pen called the Original Plus and in four different swirls of colors.

I was able to get two Original Plus pens in Melacara Purple and Azureous Blue. Both with stub nibs. Since the Original Plus is a vacuum filler pen and holds a lot of ink, it made more sense for me to go with a broader nib. Plus I had plans on using these pens to sketch with.

I naturally filled my Melacara pen with Robert Oster Sydney Lavender. I’m thinking of pairing my Azureous with Robert Oster Australis Hydra or the lovely Fire and Ice.

The Nahvalur Stub nib writes a bit bolder and wetter. It writes like a 1.1 stub nib on the down/vertical stroke. The horizontal stroke writes like a fine nib.

Nautilus Stylophora Berry

I remember seeing a few of these pens on Nahvalur’s table on the last day of the pen show as I was quickly walking around in search of bottles of inks. I made a mental note to stop by their table later in the day and I forgot to go back. This is what happens when I don’t write down my reminders on paper.

I happened to see a video of this pen in someone’s hand and noticed how lovely it looked in natural light. It was the same pen color I had seen as I quickly ran by Nahvalur’s table at the show. It’s that peripheral vision I have when I see something out of the corner of my eye that makes me stop for a minute before running off towards my inky mission.

Yes. I added this one to my collection. A much appreciated Labor Day sale along with a coupon and my saved up inky rewards helped lower the cost of this pen.

This is my first ebonite fountain pen. I did a bit of research and learned that this ebonite material is made of hard rubber. The rubber is vulcanized for prolonged periods of time. The end result is a hard, durable and highly chemical-resistant material. It also makes it wear resistant. I also read that when the pen is held in the hand, it gives off a warmth feeling. It does.

The combination of this berry color with rose gold trim is quite stunning along with the three port-hole like windows on the body of the pen. I’m finding an ink window is a must for piston filling pens.

This pen is hard to photograph. When the pen sits on my desk I can actually see the lines of berry color running throughout the cap and body. The section has a lovely ripple pattern of color.

I’m pretty sure this pen is a Nautilus model and not the Original Plus based on the information from their website. My box was mislabeled.

My Thoughts

Now that I have several Nahvalur nibs/pens in my collection, I can say their nibs are lovely wet writers. Their stub nibs appear to be a bit thicker and writes really wet. The feel of their stub nibs remind me a bit of my Pilot Custom 742 with a stub nib. While my Pilot stub nib feels really crisp around the edges, my Nahvalur stub nib has a lovely smooth feeling around the edges.

My Nahvalur stub nib is actually wetter than my TWSBI stub nibs (Diamond, Eco, & GO).

I’ve read a few comments where folks do not like the stiff nibs. I actually enjoy the stiff nib writing experience. The Nahvalur nibs are quite smooth and put out a bit more ink than my comparable JoWo nibs.

I do want to add that I have enjoyed my Nahvalur fountain pens right out of their boxes with no need to adjust their nibs. That says a lot about a fountain pen manufacturer who produces their own nibs.

Pens: Narwhal Voyage in New Orleans with Fine nib. Narwhal-Galens exclusive in Rose Gold trim with Medium nib. Nahvalur Original Plus (vacuum filler) with Stub nib. Nahvalur Nautilus in Stylophora Berry with Fine nib.

You can find a review of my Narwhal Voyage in New Orleans and my Narwhal Original pen on my blog post here.

One More Use For a Nib Holder

This will be a quick post for today. Last week, I read about using a JoWo nib in my nib holder. I did not think too much about it until this morning.

I was in the midst of decluttering my studio and came across a tiny zip locked bag with two JoWo nib units. I remembered they had cracked housings. I pulled out the generic nib unit from my bag and removed the JoWo nib which was so easy to do as the housing was no longer doing its job.

I gently installed the JoWo nib into the nib holder. I was pleasantly surprised how well it fit.

Now, the true test was to see how well this nib wrote and also how much ink would this nib hold without the feed.

I’m liking this combination a lot. My writing feels similar to writing with a fountain pen. The nib holds a lot of ink as you can see from my writing sample. I made sure the ink covered the breather hole which turns out to be a decent amount of ink. Also, the nib is so easy to clean. I just dip the nib into some water and wipe with a towel.

I can definitely see using this for creating sketches and I can quickly change ink colors without too much fuss. I can also do the same for writing and journaling and using several different colors.

Nib Holder: River City Pen Company nib holder in Pink, Green, & White DiamondCast

Nib: JoWo #6 Fine nib

Ink: Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide

Paper: Rhodia

Follow the Butterfly

Here’s a sketch I’m working on today. This is a work in progress. I have to remind myself not to get caught up in the details and sketch loosely.

Pens: TWSBI GO with Stub 1.1 nib. TWSBI Swipe with Stub 1.1 nib. Lamy Vista Black SE with Cursive nib. Lamy Al Star Ballpoint pen.

Inks: Robert Oster Heart of Gold. Colorverse Brane. Jacques Herbin Shogun. Ferris Wheel Press Roaring Patina Black. Diamine Frosted Orchid, Pink Ice, and Starlit Sea.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Softbound A5

FWP Roaring Patina Black

For the last three years, I’ve been collecting fountain pen inks in every imaginable color except for black. Let me clarify and say except for the Platinum Carbon ink which is a permanent ink color. I’m talking about dye based inks.

I saw a few swatches and writing samples on my social media feed and fell for this black shimmering ink color from Ferris Wheel Press. I saw lots of golden shimmers and a bright red sheen. In the back of my mind, there was something familiar about this ink color that I could not put my finger on.

My inky swatch completely dry. Lots of sheen and shimmer!

I was patiently waiting two weeks for my Ferris Wheel Press ink to arrive. It was in stock and I was hoping to get it within 2-3 days after placing my order. Well, my online retailer had other plans and decided to hold my order until a few items I needed came back in stock. Seven days later, my package shipped. It made it’s way up the west coast and spent a lovely day in Anchorage, Alaska. Thank goodness someone saw it was going in the wrong direction and redirected my package. It took a few days to arrive at my local distribution area.

Once this nicely packaged bottle of ink arrived in my studio, I quickly created a swatch. While the ink was drying on my card, I could see swirls of gold sparkles. The red sheen appeared after my swatch started to dry. Oh my, this was so familiar. Then it hit me! I quickly flipped through my shimmering ink swatches and found another swatch sample that matched this Patina Roaring Black ink color. Personally, I think Diamine Tempest is closer to a blue black ink color.

Do you think they match?

If you remember from previous posts, I enjoyed Diamine Tempest so much that I placed it high on my wishlist to get a larger bottle. I can honestly say the two colors, Patina Roaring Black and Tempest, look exactly alike. It has the same golden shimmering particles. They both have a red sheen. This red sheen can be a bit deceiving as I can also see a lovely pink sheen at most angles. That includes both swatches. It could be the result of combining a red sheen and gold shimmer in the same ink.

I decided to add another swatch, Shogun, to the mix.

I’m happy I trusted my gut instinct and purchased my Shogun before Roaring Patina Black. Shogun is a beautiful black shimmering ink color and it’s been a joy to write and sketch with.

I need to fill one of my pens with Roaring Patina Black and spend a few days writing and sketching with this lovely ink color. I will post any new updates and findings on this blog post.

My FWP swatch still a bit damp

Inks: Ferris Wheel Press Roaring Patina Black. Diamine Tempest (Red Inkvent). Jacques Herbin Shogun.

On a Lamy Adventure

This month appears to be my Lamy month for writing and sketching. Right now I have a few Lamy pens inked in nib sizes Fine, Medium, and Stub 1.1. While I enjoy writing with my Fine nib, I do find I’m spending more time with my Stub nib. The line variations are not dramatic, but subtle and I like that my handwriting style has a bit of flair.

I’ve mentioned a few times before, I use my TWSBI GOs for sketching and I rarely use them for writing. Probably because they are chunky pens. My Lamy’s are comfortable in my hand for extended periods of writing time. I now include them in my sketching kit. I enjoy my pens more when I can use them for both writing and sketching. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy my GOs as they are very durable and hold quite a bit of ink and of course easy to clean.

I was watching a Goulet video when they introduced their special edition Lamy Vista Black. It’s the first time that Lamy has worked with a retailer in the US to produce an exclusive fountain pen. There are a few unique features with this pen that are different than the regular available Vista. First, the included converter is black. Notice I highlighted the word included. I checked a few sites and the regular Vista does not include a converter. With this SE version, they included a black ink cartridge instead of their standard blue cartridge.

The clip trim is black PVD coating. The nib that comes with the pen is a black steel nib. My Medium nib is a lovely and smooth writing experience. My Lamy Vista weighs in around 20 grams with the included converter filled with ink.

All of my low-end Lamy fountain pens are the AL Star and LX models. This Vista is my first plastic like pen from Lamy. The edges on the body of the Vista feels a tiny bit sharper and a bit more pronounced than my AL Star pens. I like the demonstrator look of this pen. I can see the shimmers settling around the feed.

For the past three years, I’ve learned to appreciate my Lamy pens. A big plus for me is the ability to swap around their nibs. It doesn’t hurt that they come in various pen colors that I can easily match with my ink colors. I like the large metal pen clips and of course the snap cap capability.

I’m looking forward to swapping my Medium nib for the black Lamy Cursive nib. Now, to keep on writing.

Pen: Lamy Vista Black SE (Goulet) with Medium nib

Ink: Jacques Herbin Shogun

Paper: Rhodia

My Lamy Gift Set

In my last post, I had my Lamy Marron filled with my lovely black ink called Shogun. I thought I would do a blog post about this special gift set I received.

This set included a lovely A5 hardbound journal with a beautiful rose gold geometric pattern. For this post, I will do a quick review of each product.

My Lamy Journal

I hate to admit this, but I only spent a few seconds checking out my new pen. I immediately gravitated towards my new journal to check out the lovely pages. I did some research and read the paper is acid free, bleed proof, and fountain pen ink friendly. It has two bookmark ribbons in black and bright neon green. It has 192 pages. The last eight pages in the journal have perforations to allow you to remove the sheets. There’s an elastic pen loop and a pocket in the back of the journal. The paper weight is around 92gsm. There is also an elastic closure to secure your closed journal.

After I opened my new journal I was surprised to see the lined paper. Yes, this is my first Lamy journal. From what I read on Lamy’s site, this paper is unique for those wishing to preserve personal notes in the form of handwriting.

The unique lines in this journal are interesting and would make a lovely practice journal for handwriting.

Before I start writing in a new journal, I always create an inky test page on the last two pages in the journal. That serves two purpose. First, I like to keep track of what inks I use in the journal and also see if there is any ghosting or bleed through. Second, after writing my first entry on my inky test page, the journal is no longer new and I can start journaling or sketching. I know, it’s a mind game I play with myself, but it does help me overcome the blank pages staring back at me. Hahaha!

From my inky test page, I do notice some bleed through on the backside of the page. Mostly it came from writing with my stub nib pens like my Pilot 742 SU and my TWSBI Swipe Stub 1.1. I can also see a few dots where my nib lingered a bit longer on the paper and showed up on the other side. So much for bleed proof paper.

With the paper having the unique lines, I was more conscious about the way I wrote in my journal. I took my time writing and in the end my handwriting turned out consistent and legible.

The only issue I have with this journal is the problematic bleed through. Maybe I’m suppose to use a Lamy with an extra fine nib with this journal. If anyone has a similar or different experience with this journal paper, let me know.

My Lamy LX Marron with Fine nib

Okay, back to my Lamy pen. The pen is made from lightweight aluminum with an anodized finish. The Marron color is a lovely dark brown color with bronze accents/trims. It’s a beautiful pen. What makes the LX model different than the AL Star model is the trim and the nib. On the top of the cap it’s the same trim color used in the clip and it looks like shiny metal.

The Lamy LX pen has a glossy black PVD nib with laser engraved Lamy name and nib size. The section is a bit more transparent than the AL Star model.

I’m finding the Lamy nibs work perfectly with shimmering inks.

This Lamy pen is a snap cap which makes it a perfect art tool to use in creating my artwork.

My Lamy came with a blue ink cartridge. A converter has to be purchased separately. Luckily I keep a few spares on hand.

Pen: Lamy LX Marron with Fine nib

Ink: Jacques Herbin Shogun

Journal: Lamy A5 hardbound with rose gold geometric pattern

My First Bottle of Black Ink (Dye Based)

I can’t say how many bottles of ink I have in my collection. I’ve lost track at number 130-something. I have a few boutique ink brands that I had to try out like Birmingham and Franklin-Christoph. I have my go to brands like Diamine, Robert Oster, Van Dieman’s Inks, and Jacques Herbin.

I noticed I was lacking a basic black ink color. I do have a bottle of the Platinum Carbon ink, but that is a pigmented/permanent ink that I use primarily for sketching.

I recently purchased my first bottle of black (dye based) ink and it happens to have two beautiful shimmering particles.

Here is my lovely Jacques Herbin 1670 Shogun by Kenzo Takada & E3. They call this a twilight-colored ink which represents a beautiful night of stars and is coated with red and gold shimmering particulates.

This black ink is gorgeous in person. In normal lighting and looking at my writing sample straight on, this ink looks like an average black color.

Upon further inspection and looking from a different angle I can see the red shimmers. To me it looks pink in normal light, but when I take it outside the red definitely pops on my paper along with the gold shimmers.

I never thought I would be excited about a black ink color.

To me, it’s a subtle black ink. I’ve seen a few folks comment that it’s dark brown. From my swatch and writing sample, I do not see any brown at all. This ink has a lovely flow in my Lamy pen. The sparkles are subtle and beautiful at the same time.

I’ve been writing for a bit and the shimmers still appear in every line I write.

Pen: Lamy LX Marron with Fine nib

Ink: Jacques Herbin 1670 Shogun by Kenzo Takada

Paper: Rhodia

Journal: Stalogy 365 Editor’s Series

My BUJO (Bullet Journal)

I have a BUJO that I use on a daily basis. I started this back in August 2020. I would do a page a day of my to-do lists, reminders to drink water, exercise, declutter, organize, run errands, etc. I would decorate each day with stickers and add thin strips of washi tape around the edges of the paper.

That lasted a week. As my days got busier, I had less time for decorating. My detailed lists became brief and shorter.

As time went on, I continued to create my daily pages and tried out different formats that made more sense to me and my lifestyle.

My monthly calendar page changed from pre-printed calendars to a two page spread that I drew out with my fountain pens and inks.

My daily pages were a waste of space and I was able to come up with another configuration of putting all seven days across a two page spread. That made a huge difference in my ability to see the whole week at a time.

It was back in early 2021 that I started this monthly and weekly configuration you see here from the two pictures. As I have limited space, no stickers or washi tapes are used. I might occasionally sneak in a sketch or two.

The little red cups I sketched out are reminders to drink water throughout the morning and afternoon.

I also record the weather outside (sunny, cloudy, rainy) and the temperature for the day. This activity allows me to do a bit of sketching in my daily BUJO.

My Stalogy journal holds a lot of pages and can get chunky as a result of all the washi tape and sticker applications. It’s a lovely journal I can leave open on my desk and the pages lay flat.

Pens: TWSBI Swipe in Pear Green with Stub 1.1 nib. Narwhal Voyage in New Orleans with Fine nib. Pilot Prera Red with Calligraphy Medium (CM) nib.

Inks: Colorverse Brane. Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide. Diamine Pink Glitz.

Journal: Stalogy 365 Editor in B6 with Navie Travels Journal cover

Happy Easter Weekend!

I created my own version of Easter eggs!

Pens: Uni Pin Fine Line pen in 0.3mm. TWSBI Swipe in Pear Green with Stub 1.1 nib. TWSBI GO with Stub 1.1 nib.

Inks: Colorverse Brane. Jacques Herbin Cornaline d’Egypte. Kaweco Summer Purple. Robert Oster Heart of Gold and Thunderstorm. Diamine Pink Glitz, Subzero, and Starlit Sea.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardcover 4″x6″

My Whimsical House

Sometimes I just feel a bit whimsical. Enjoy!

Pens: TWSBI Swipe in Coral with Stub 1.1 nib. Uni Pin Fine Line pen in 0.1 and 0.3mm.

Inks: Colorverse Brane. Jacques Herbin Cornaline d’Egypte. Robert Oster Heart of Gold and Thunderstorm. Diamine Vintage Copper, Amaranth, Cocoa Shimmer, and Winter Spice.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardcover 4″x6″