A Prismatic Diplomat Magnum

While I was looking at Goulet’s exclusive Lamy Vista Black, I was also taking a gander at their Diplomat Magnum offerings. The one that caught my eye was their Prismatic Purple color. This is a Goulet exclusive color in the US. I noticed on the box it came in it said “John Doe.” Apparently, that’s what it’s known as outside of the US.

My pen matches the Storm ink perfectly

Depending on the lighting, the pen could look purple:

or blue:

This is my fourth Diplomat fountain pen I own. The other three include the Traveller, Aero and the Excellence A+. Personally, the one thing that stands out about Diplomat’s pens is how well theirs nibs are tuned and they simply write beautifully. That’s all I need to say.

The Magnum would be considered a slightly skinny pen. The grip/section is kind of ergonomic where there are three thin flat surface areas which helps to keep my fingers in position with this skinny section. This grip is around 8.3mm. I typically enjoy writing with grips around 10-11mm range. I can already tell I won’t be writing for extended periods of time with this Magnum.

The only real issue I have with my pen is how hard it is to pull the cap off. I believe it’s because the pen is slim and with my joint issues, I have a hard time grasping the body to pull the cap off. It could also be with this particular pen I have, the cap fits tight.

This Goulet exclusive Magnum comes with a converter. The pen weighs around 14.50 grams with the included converter filled with ink. It takes short and long international standard ink cartridges.

When I screw the body back into the section, I keep turning until the body feels as though it twists into a lock position. It’s a very slight locking feel and one of the windows will line up with the top of the nib.

Speaking of windows, the Magnum has two ink windows or cut outs on opposite sides of the body. Helpful to see how much ink I have left in my converter or ink cartridge.

I know I will not be writing with this pen for extended periods of time, but it would work perfectly for creating my quick inky sketches. It’s a lightweight fountain pen with a snap cap, a clip on the cap, and fits nicely in my artsy pen case. Also, it’s prismatic and depending how I hold my pen in the light I’ll see blue or purple or maybe a little bit of both.

Pen: Diplomat Magnum Goulet Exclusive Prismatic Purple (John Doe) with Medium nib

Ink: Diamine Storm (Inkvent-shimmer)

Paper: Rhodia

A New (to me) Fountain Pen Ink Brand – Anderillium Inks

I’m always searching for and coming across fountain pen inks that I can use for both writing and sketching in my journals. I was elated to have an opportunity to try out a new-to-me brand of inks. The samples arrived at my studio desk and I immediately began swatching the colors.

This new-to-me inks are made by Anderillium Inks and they are based in Tampa, Florida. Their inks are handcrafted and inspired by nature. They have two inky offerings: Cephalopod and Avian. It appears I’m missing a color. No worries. I found the missing vial hidden in the bubble wrap. I will swatch the missing color later.

Look at the bright colors!

The Anderillium inks are hand made in their own laboratory. They do not use any animal products in their inks or in their packaging. They are passionate about protecting our oceans and our wildlife. They choose to use the most sustainable and environmentally friendly materials whenever possible.

Their inks are water based and are made only with chemicals that are safe for the environment. I was so happy to read about their inks and their passion in protecting the ocean and wildlife.

Over the next few weeks, I will be spending some quality time (writing & sketching) with each of the ink colors I have on hand and provide some thoughts about the inks in general. In the meantime, I have written a few notes to myself so I wouldn’t forget my initial thoughts. I will do my best to describe the color(s) I see and any inky qualities that stand out.

As I was flipping through the swatches I created, I found a few of the Anderillium ink colors unique enough to add to my wish list. There were also a few colors that appeared to be somewhat close to some of the colors I have in my inky collection.

My inky collection of fountain pen inks

I am looking forward to this fun adventure. Stay tuned.

Thank you Frank from Federalist Pens and Paper for providing the ink samples.

Inks: Anderillium Inks

Swatches: Col-o-ring Cards

Paper: Rhodia

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

It’s Fude Nib Time!

A little over two years ago my friend “M” sent me a package. Inside was a gorgeous and ornate fountain pen.

My initial thoughts on this pen was how wet and how broad this fude nib was! At that time I was into Extra Fine and Fine nib fountain pens. As you can imagine I was thrilled, but also a bit curious about this nib.

The Fude nib or bent nib

I’ve inked and tried this pen a few times. Initially, I found the pen to be quite slender. I think this is the skinniest fountain pen I have in my collection.

Platinum Prefounte, Duke Ruby, & Platinum Preppy

The pen weighs about 35 grams. The cap and body appears to be made of brass with a black lacquer finish. It’s a snap-cap pen which I prefer to use for my artwork as I can quickly remove the cap and start sketching.

It took some time for me to really appreciate what a fude nib can do. I follow a few artists on their creative adventures and found they keep a fude nib pen in their art bag.

With renewed interest, I pulled out my Duke pen and filled it with Smokescreen. I was feeling a bit creative and wanted to use this fountain pen to sketch with. I left my pencils and permanent fine tip pens on my studio desk. I went outside with my sketchbook and my fude fountain pen filled with ink and started sketching.

It took me about 15 minutes to complete this piece. This turned out to be a loose sketch as the Smokescreen ink with the fude nib had no issues laying down color on my paper. I literally went with the flow in my sketch.

I’m enjoying the broad strokes this pen creates. The line thickness reminds me of my TWSBI stub nibs. This pen can also create fine lines when I hold the pen between 45 to 90 degrees over the paper. The line is even finer when I turn the nib upside down and write with it.

Here’s my writing sample and a look at the different line variations this pen can produce.

At around a 40 degree angle or less, the line width reminds me of a Stub 1.1 nib. At 45 degrees and higher, the line width gets narrower and close to a Fine nib. At a slightly less than 90 degree angle, the line reminds me of an Extra Fine nib. When I turn the nib upside down, it produces a consistent and slightly narrower Extra Fine line.

There is a learning curve to handling this pen. For me, I had to be cognizant of how I was holding the pen in my hand. For sketching, I found if I held the pen like a paint brush (around the top of the section) I could control the stroke sizes easier. The key here was holding the pen loosely. The other thing I had to think about is what angle the pen & nib was over the paper. Did I want to create a broad stroke or a fine line? After a few inky refills and some practice sessions, I finally became one with this pen.

Overall, this is a smooth nib to write and sketch with. It’s a sturdy nib and well made. The smooth grip area has a slightly textured feel that I hardly notice in my hand. It does keep my fingers from sliding down the section.

Now that I understand the Fude nib’s capabilities, I’m having a blast sketching and writing with this pen.

The decorative filigree and a man-made ruby bling on the cap

Thank you “M” for introducing me to this wonderful and gorgeous fountain pen. Sorry it took so long for me to really appreciate how well this pen sketches and writes.

Note: I have an inexpensive Sailor Fude nib pen arriving soon. I am looking forward to seeing how this light weight pen performs in my sketching adventures and how it compares to the Duke Fude pen. Stay tuned!

Pen: Duke Ruby with Fude nib

Ink: Robert Oster Smokescreen

Paper: Rhodia

Journal: Canson Artist Mixed Media sketchbook

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

A Quick Q & A for Today

(Update 03/23/22: I was asked another question related to the Avery labels I use. See * below)

I’m absolutely thrilled to see some wonderful feedback and comments about my art adventures and my blog. It’s always wonderful to share experiences and insights as well as ask questions.

I thought I would spend a few minutes answering a few questions that came up within the last week or so.

I received a question about removing the nib unit from a Maiora Posillipo fountain pen. I pulled out my pen and tried to unscrew the nib unit from the section, but it would not budge. I answered the question with a “no” and then realized that I might be wrong. I went back through my blog to find out that the answer should have been a “yes” and here’s the result:

I used a piece of my grippy rubber liner (shelves) and gently unscrewed the nib unit from the section.

Another question that came up was about the labels I use for my TWSBI GO fountain pens. I use the Avery 5408 – 3/4″ round white labels. Besides identifying the ink in my GOs, I’ve also used the stickers on the lids of my ink sample vials. I’ve also used the stickers to label the tops of my ink boxes (e.g. Van Dieman’s Inks).

*An additional label question came up related to how do I keep the labels on my pens. Here’s a tip. Once I apply the label to my pen, I place my thumb over the label for about 30-60 seconds. This heats the adhesive on the label a bit and the label adheres to the pen.

The next question is related to issues with pen/nib drying out or having hard starts. The questions I received were related to Maiora Impronte and I want to add I have had issues with another pen brand model.

Let me begin by saying I hardly ever have any issues with a pen drying out or having hard starts. If I do, it’s more than likely because of a cap problem. That’s based on my personal experience and a consistent pattern I’ve seen.

My Maiora Impronte Posillipo had an issue with hard starts within an hour of receiving the new pen. I wrote with it for a few days and I documented the issues I was having. I provided writing samples and pictures of my cap: a rubber disc inside was not secured and there was a hole where the clip goes into the cap. Yafa Brands was able to resolve it by replacing the cap with a new one. You can read about this on my blog by looking for “Category” on the right side of my blog and click on the drop down menu and look for “Maiora” or you can click here to get the same information: https://susiegstudio.com/category/maiora/ .

The other cap issue I have is with one of my Conklin All American pens. I have several of them, but one of them always has a hard start. I’m sure it has to do with air going into the area where the clip connects into the cap. When I use a different colored cap on the pen, the pen writes fine. I found a work around.

For those of you who have pens with hard starts, the problem may or may not be with your nib. I would check your cap first to see if there are any openings or holes. Do you see daylight or feel any air when you blow into the cap? That’s where I would start before touching the nib.

Before I go, I thought I would add this picture from this morning. I cleaned out 12 fountain pens I had inked from last year’s workshop. I placed some paper towels in a jam jar and placed the nearly clean nib units on the paper towel to draw out the remaining ink.

A lovely tie-dye pattern from Robert Oster Thunderstorm ink.

Using a Fine Liner Pen in My Pen & Ink Sketches

As a few of you know, I enjoy using my Platinum Preppy (02) with Platinum Carbon ink to create my initial pen & ink sketches. I was struggling a bit and recently had a fall-out-of-love feeling with my Preppy. I found my Preppy fountain pen a bit too sharp to use on my Stillman & Birn Journal paper. I was not able to create some fine, continuous, and clean lines on my slightly textured art paper.

I dug around in my art drawers looking for a “pen” with permanent ink. I have a bunch of Sakura Microns, but they have brush tips that I used for my calligraphy. I finally came across a Faber-Castell PITT artist pen I had purchased several years ago. I was amazed that this pen still had some ink and I was able to do a few sketches including this gnome.

In the above sketch, I used my PITT fine liner pen with black ink to sketch the outline of my gnome. I also used the pen to add in some lines in the gnome’s beard. Sadly when the ink ran out of my PITT pen I had to dispose of it.

I watched a few art lessons and saw an interesting art pen other artists used for their sketches. This particular fine liner pen uses pigment ink and is waterproof. It’s the Copic Multiliner SP and it’s made in Japan.

This pen comes in 10 different nib sizes including a brush nib. The sizes start from a very, very fine 0.03mm to a 0.7mm line size. It took me awhile to figure out which nib size to get and I ended up getting three different pens in 0.1, 0.3, & 0.5 nib sizes. Copic also carries their Multiliner SP pens in a 10-pen set with all the different sizes one could need to sketch with.

Once my pens arrived I could not wait to try them out. I did a writing sample to compare the different the nib sizes. Initially, the 0.3 and 0.5 nibs appear to write very similar on my paper. When I looked at the nibs close up, I could see the 0.3 nib was slightly smaller than the 0.5 nib.

I can definitely see the 0.1 nib writes extremely fine compared to the other two sizes I have. Depending on the paper I use, my Copic pen with 0.1 nib makes a tiny noise when I sketch with it. Maybe I need to lighten my grip on the pen and put less pressure on the paper. I’ve read a few comments where other artists mention how delicate the finer nibs are especially the 0.03 and 0.05 nibs. My pen with 0.1 nib might fall into this category.

Here’s a close up picture of the Copic nibs. You can definitely see how delicate the 0.1mm nib is. The 0.5 and the 0.3 nibs are very close in size, but you can see a slight difference.

The nibs: 0.5mm, 0.3mm, and 0.1mm

Here’s my colorful gnome sketch where I used my Copic Multiliner SP to draw the outline of the gnome and a few lines around the beard.

I used my 0.1mm pen to outline the beard.

Here’s a pen & ink sketch of my fountain pen using my Platinum Preppy to create the outline of sketch. Notice the broken lines on the paper (left side) and in my fountain pen sketch.

The Copic Multiliner SP pens have an aluminum body. It’s lightweight and feels good in my hand. You will notice that I have been calling the Copic pen’s tip…a nib. That’s because the nibs are replaceable and can be pulled out of the pen. That is so cool! The ink inside the aluminum body contains a black ink cartridge that can also be replaced. When the ink runs out all I need to do is pull out the cartridge and put in a new one. I saw the spare nibs and ink cartridges are available online. It will be interesting to see if my local art shop carries them as well.

I can now say I’m a Copic Multiliner SP fan. I like the clean lines this pen creates on the various art papers I use. It’s a pigment ink pen. The ink is water- and Copic-proof meaning it will not smear when water or other Copic alcohol-based pens are used to draw over this ink. I like the idea I can replace or swap around the different size nibs. I also like the ability to replace the black ink cartridge when needed.

Fountain Pens: Lamy 2000 Makrolon with EF nib. TWSBI Swipe Salmon with Stub 1.1 nib. TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs. Platinum Preppy with 02 nib.

Fine Liner Pens: Faber-Castell PITT artist pen in size S with black Indian ink. Copic Multiliner SP in sizes 0.1, 0.3, & 0.5 with black pigment ink.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardbound (4″x6″)

New Paint Palette and Another Turban Shell in Watercolor

The month of January has flown by rather quickly for me. I had plans (goals) to create some artwork, spend time with my Cricut Maker, sit through some online courses, and publish a few blog posts. I managed to do a little bit of everything and at the same time not a whole lot.

I thought I would end the month with another sea shell sketch. Oh and I might as well write about it here and include a new paint palette I used to create my artwork.

Sometime last year, I kept seeing some beautiful watercolor sketches appear on my social media feed. It was the paint colors that made the sketches appear to pop off the paper. I ended up acquiring two sets of palettes in different color themes: Currents and Tropicals.

Today’s post is about a new palette of colors from the Art Philosophy Confections series called Currents. This palette has some beautiful blues and greens and everything in between. The colors are gorgeous straight from the pans. I’ve also mixed a few colors to see what other color ranges I could create.

Here’s my latest creation of a Turban shell. Look how bright the colors are!

I found the Art Philosophy paint colors to be quite opaque. At first, I was not too sure how I would like using them. After working on a few pieces of artwork, I found I enjoy painting with this type of paint. The colors are bold and bright as you can see from my swatch of colors.

Art Philosophy advertises their Confections palettes to be “artist-quality” paints and highly pigmented. So far, I find their colorful paint pans to fall somewhere in between student-grade and artist quality paints. There’s no chalky look or feel to this paint so I would not classify it as student-grade. Plus there is quite a bit of pigment in their colors. I’m sure I’ll have a better description/classification for their palettes the more I use them.

There’s plenty of mixing space in the metal case. Clean up is easy and certain pigments will leave a slight stain.

I had to roll up some paper towels and place them strategically around the sides of the palette to keep it from sliding around inside the case and banging against the edges of the case.

The journal cover and watercolor journal I’m using are from Franklin-Christoph. This dark denim cover is called Vagabond and is similar in size to the normal Traveler’s notebook cover. The F-C watercolor journal came out late last year and well, I had to give it a try. I like this paper a lot. For watercolor sketches. I’m still on the fence with using my fountain pens and inks on this paper. I’m working on a future post on how this paper handles various art medium.

Watercolor Set: Art Philosophy Watercolor Confections – Currents

Brush: Cheap Joe’s Golden Fleece Travel brush in size #4.

Pen & Ink: Platinum Preppy 02 Extra Fine with Platinum Carbon ink

Journal Cover: Franklin-Christoph Vagabond NWF (natural wood fiber) Notebook cover in Dark Denim

Watercolor Journal Paper: Franklin-Christoph Watercolor Paper refill (100% cotton). Vagabond/Traveler’s notebook size.

My Rugged Art Case for Fountain Pens

I have several fountain pen cases I use for travel. For my everyday writers or EDWs I like using my 3-pen case from Franklin-Christoph. I use my EDWs for my daily/weekly/monthly BUJO, for journal writing, and taking notes for online courses.

For my “durable” artsy fountain pens (e.g. TWSBI GOs), I have to use a completely different pen case. I like having several different ink colors available when the sketching urge hits me. This is where function overrides a nice looking case. I mentioned some time last year I was using a pouch like case like this one pictured below.

This case had served it’s purpose as it could hold a number of fountain pens in the main zippered pouch. I think at one point I was able to cram about 20 TWSBI GOs. Over time I found the pouch was cumbersome to use.

The main issue I had was I could only see a few pens on the top and I had to dig around inside the pouch to look for an ink color. Many times I had to dump all my pens out to see what I had or wanted to use.

I did some research (because that’s what I enjoy doing) and followed a few other artists to see what tools and cases they had in their art bag.

I came across a watercolor artist who was using a Maxpedition Beefy Pocket Organizer case. This case looks quite rugged and durable. I actually bought two of these when I came across a BOGO sale at the manufacturer’s site. One in black (shown here) and another in a pretty olive green color that I use to carry my watercolor brushes and paints.

Here’s the front of my case. I lightened the picture slightly to show off the stitching and how well made this case is. Remember I am a sewist and I look for good stitching. The front has two velcro pieces at the top if I wanted to add a personal patch. There is also a front pocket made of netting that is secured with velcro behind the Maxpedition logo. I added two fountain pens and a blotter card to show the pocket size.

Let’s start with the left side of my case. Immediately you can see the horizontal elastic loops. There are two sets of elastic loops with the narrower loop sewn on top of the wider loop. The top narrow loops (six of them) hold my individual pens in place. Behind the narrow loops are three wide loops. There’s an open pocket behind my pens that can hold more pens, pencils, a small notebook, or folded paper towels.

Here’s the right side of my case and there is another set of elastic loops. It’s a similar set up to the right side except the loops are sewn in vertically to maximize storage space. It also looks like the elastic loop space is wider. I removed my pens to show the configuration better. There’s a zippered pocket behind the loops for another small notebook or other accessories.

There’s a horizontal elastic loop at the interior edge of the case. This is a large loop that holds my three water brushes and my Platinum Preppy filled with Carbon ink.

I went ahead and put my pens back into the case. Again I’m only using the upper loop configuration to hold my pens. I can slip two pens into each loop.

Here is the backside of my Maxpedition case. It has a grab handle and another set of loops to hold more stuff. The loops on the back are not elastic and made out of webbing material just like the handle.

Since I use mostly TWSBI GOs for artwork, I have no issues with throwing those pens into this case and hit the road with them. My GOs are durable and can take the jostling around in my backpack.

This is a rugged and durable case. Think tactical gear. The material in the Maxpedition feels a bit rough. The elastic loops are stiff and have a rough feeling. I found the roughness eventually lessens the more I use my case. As you can see in the pictures, there is no padding in the case.

It’s perfect for my use to hold and carry all my artsy fountain pens (TWSBI GOs). When I open my case I can see all my pens and art tools and can quickly get to work creating art.

I will be back with another review on how I use my green Maxpedition case for my watercolor supplies.

Case: Maxpedition Beefy Pocket Organizer in Black

Pens: TWSBI GO, Eco, and Diamond 580. Monteverde Innova Carbon Black with Rainbow trim. Conklin All American Lapis Blue and Duragraph Matte Black with Rainbow trim. Maiora Impronte OS Posilippo. Esterbrook Estie OS Dreamer Purple. Turnt Pen Co Pynchon PM4. Pilot Stargazer Black and Prera Pink. Lamy 2000 Makrolon.

Other: Pentel water brushes. Pentel Energize pencil.