Van Dieman’s Ink Enchanted Woods

Earlier this year, I came across a sample vial of a lovely green shimmering ink color called Enchanted Woods. My fave online shops were out of stock of the full size bottle. So I signed up for a notification and waited.

I read a few comments and did a bit of research. My ink sample came from a previous version from their Midnight Series. The new bottle I finally received was from their Night Collection.

It’s noticeably a different color than what I expected. It’s not dark green, but a very bright green color. This lovely ink makes me smile.

This ink has plenty of shimmering sparkles and matches the green in my diamond cast pen from Nahvalur.

A tiny bit of red sheen appears in my swatch.

Here’s a swatch comparison of the ink sample (left) and the latest bottle I received (right). It’s remarkably different. For me, in a good way.

I actually prefer this newer version of green ink. It is a bright green color with a bit of dark red sheen. The older/previous version reminds me of an unsaturated green color a bit darker than Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide, which I already have. For me, this worked out perfectly.

I looked through my swatches and could not come up with another bright green inky color that comes close to my shimmering Enchanted Woods. Did I mention how beautiful this is?

I’m cherishing my old bottles of Van Dieman’s Ink I have. I understand they reformulated their ink line and most of their colors have changed from the original colors. I do enjoy their inks for writing in my journals and for creating my artwork. They are mostly wet inks and their shimmering inks are absolutely lovely.

Ink: Van Dieman’s Ink Night Series – Enchanted Woods (shimmering)

Pen: Nahvalur Voyage New Orleans with Fine nib

Journal: GLP Creations The Author Tomoe River Paper 68gsm

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.

Swatch Card for September

I’ve been pulling out my fountain pens filled with shimmering inks and cleaning them out. A few have been in use since May and I thought it was time to rotate the colors out and try some new inks.

I used a 4″x6″ watercolor paper post card to create my swatch card. So far, this includes 19 inky colors I am currently using for this month. These inky colors reside in my TWSBIs, Pilot, Opus 88, Nahvalur, and Indy pens. That includes about a dozen TWSBI GOs.

I am still missing a few colors like a golden yellow which I will add to my currently inked collection in the next day or so.

I keep my swatch card with me in my art bag along with my fountain pens and inks. There are times when I forget what inky colors I have ready to go for my sketches or when I’m trying to find the right inky shade for a particular sketch.

Post Card: Tumuarta Watercolor Post Card 4″x6″ 140lb/300gsm cold press

Pens: turnt pen co “Grisham 13” in Peach Agate (Bob Dupras) with Fine nib. Pilot Custom 742 with Soft Fine <SF> nib. Nahvalur Original Plus in Melacara Purple with Stub nib.

My Narwhal 2022 LE Fountain Pen

Back in 2019, I attended my first pen show The DC Fountain Pen Super Show. I stumbled upon Narwhal’s table and purchased two of their original piston filling pens in Hippocampus Purple and Merman Green. During that time I did not realize it was Narwhal’s first pen show as an exhibitor as well as their first launch of their Original Series.

My initial attraction to the Narwhal original pen was their nibs. Who could not adore the lovely & cute narwhal logo engraved into their nib? At the show, they introduced the four pen colors: Poseidon Blue, Yellow Tang, and the two others I mentioned in the previous paragraph. I tried out each pen color and had a hard time deciding which colors to get. I was happy I went with my gut instinct and purchased the purple and green pens. I went back to their table a few hours later and their pens were sold out.

Hippocampus Purple
Merman Green

The Narwhal nibs are manufactured in-house. Yes, I do find their nibs to be a bit stiff with a pleasant writing experience. I have so many fountain pens with JoWo or Bock nibs that I have become comfortable with their consistent and familiar writing experiences. Narwhal’s nibs are a nice change for me and provides me with a unique writing experience.

When I first saw the Narwhal Voyage in New Orleans, I knew it had to be a DiamondCast resin by McKenzie Penworks. I already have two Esterbrook Estie pens with the McKenzie DiamondCast resins and they are stunning pens. I knew this one would be too.

The colors in my New Orleans pen includes dark purple, golden yellow, and dark teal green. Definitely reminds me of Mardi Gras colors.

I love the shape and weight of my Voyage pen. This is my first pen with a rounded top and rounded bottom. The tapered section has a slight lip towards the end where the feed/nib goes into the pen and is very comfortable to hold while writing. When uncapped, the pen is well balanced in my hand. I wanted to add my pen does not post. Good thing as it would make the pen back heavy.

The overall diameter of this pen is not too slender and not too bulky. The pen weighs roughly around 33-36 grams depending on the specs you find. Not a lightweight pen at all. I have to mention again my pen is well balanced in my hand. For me, it feels like the perfect pen to hold.

My New Orleans was a lovely surprise when I received it. I was happy to see a small dispersion of the golden yellow color scattered around the pen. I believe having the dark purple and dark teal resin against the yellow plated gold trim creates a lovely contrast.

The Narwhal Voyage has an oversized piston filling tank and an ink window where I can see how much ink I have left in my pen. The piston knob has a nice smooth and solid feel while turning. Overall, it’s a well made pen.

My lovely pen has a unique writing personality. The Fine nib produces a smooth writing experience with just a hint of feedback. My sparkling pen needed a shimmering ink and I went with my fave ink Vert Atlantide.

The other colors in the Narwhal Voyage collection includes Shanghai and New York City. Each color collection is limited to 500 pieces. Personally I thought New Orleans had the most depth of colors with lots of sparkles. Do you like how I phrased that? I could not say colorful as that description would belong to the New York City pen color with bright swirls of white, blue, and orange. Shanghai appears to be dark blue with subtle hints of turquoise. It appears to be a dark colored pen in normal light.

Another Narwhal Voyage color that is available exclusively through Atlas Stationers is Chicago and has swirls of predominantly red with hints of blue and white colors.

Before I forget, I need to mention that I’ve seen various retailers calling this pen model Nautilus Voyage or Nautilus Voyager. When I look at the boxes (outer and inner) my pen came in, it says Narwhal Voyage. I think I will stick to that naming convention.

Here’s a picture of my Narwhal with my other favorite fountain pens to show a size comparison.

Lamy 2k, Franklin-Christoph 31, Narwhal Voyage, Esterbrook Estie OS, and TWSBI Diamond 580

Pen: Narwhal Voyage in New Orleans (gold, purple & green) with Fine nib

Ink: Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide

Paper: Rhodia