Well another month has drawn to a close so it's time to reflect on my fountain pen use again. To be honest, they have not seen a tremendous amount of use during May. My family went away on vacation for the first part of the month and I purposefully did not take my pens with me. During my time away I used Pilot Juices for most of my writing and frankly, they worked quite well for my needs. I still prefer my fountain pens but for $1.65 from JetPens, a Pilot Juice is a very reasonable writing instrument.
Truth be known, most of my fountain pen use is confined to letter writing and I only wrote six letters during May, therefore not a lot of ink use. My Franklin-Christoph Model 20 that had been loaded with J. Herbin Poussière de Lune ran out early on. This is one of my preferred purple inks since it looks nice on all of the papers that I use for letter writing. While I haven't loaded the pen up again, I wouldn't hesitate to refill it with this ink and just continue on with the pairing. I really like it.
Next up was my Lamy Safari that had been fitted out with a 14K gold nib. When this nib arrived in the mail it came along with a bottle of Montblanc Leo Tolstoy Sky Blue. It's a really nice ink but I wouldn't consider it a "sky blue". I have been quite pleased with this gold nib; it is smoother than the steel Lamy nibs in my collection. I feel a bit of a snob extolling the virtues of a 14K nib on a Safari but the quality control on the gold nibs must be a lot higher, the writing experience certainly is better. Reviews stating that the metal section of the Lamy Studio is slippery has always prevented me from pulling the trigger on that pen. I think that the all plastic Safari better suits my needs. One issue I did find was that the ink would cling to the walls of the converter. Since everything in this combination is new; ink, pen, converter, and nib, I'm not sure which is the offending culprit. I never did a thorough flush before loading it for the first time so there could have been some residue in either the converter or the pen's feed. It wasn't too much of a problem in use but it would have been nicer not to have to prime the feed on the couple of occasions when the ink did get stuck to the converter's walls.
The next pen to run out was my Pilot Custom 74, it had been filled with Montblanc JFK Navy Blue. It is a good combination but it seems like every ink works well when paired with this pen.
My everyday carry pen for the month was my Pelikan M800. It had been loaded with Aurora Blue and got refilled with Sailor Sei Boku. The Aurora ink worked fine but it really wasn't rocking my world colour wise.
My final pen to be written dry is the yellow Lamy Safari that had been filled with KWZ Iron Gall Orange. By the time the pen was written dry, the ink in the converter had fully oxidized and no longer changed colour after application. It makes no difference to the final appearance of the document, but users who want to see the colour transition on the page will have to empty the pen in a timely manner.
When the month started I knew that I would be reviewing a new Pilot Custom 823. In anticipation of the review I partially filled my existing Custom 823 which has a broad nib. The ink of choice was Montblanc Blue Hour, a limited edition that came out last year. As always, this broad nib glides across the page like it was writing on oiled glass. The nib is a bit broad for my writing style and I keep thinking of getting it ground down but I'm afraid that it will affect the nib smoothness so I'm hesitant to pull the trigger.
My new Custom 823 was put into rotation as well. This nib is much more suited to my writing. I loaded the pen with Diamine Autumn Oak, a great shading orange ink with a lot of red tones to it. This pen is a clear demonstrator and I enjoy watching the ink slosh around inside of the barrel. Both 823's are really nice pens.
My Tactile Turn Gist finally arrived, only four months after the published Kickstarter delivery date. I splurged for the Zirconium grip and finial as well as a 14K gold nib. Since it is the pen's first filling, I thought that I should try an ink that is known for being well behaved. I opted for Waterman Mysterious Blue, formerly know as Blue Black.
I received a letter from a pen pal last month that had been written in a red ink so I got a hankering to ink up a pen in red too. To scratch this itch I pulled out my Sailor Pro Gear and loaded it up with Sailor Jentle Grenade. Its a wonderful colour for an ink that I pull out two or three times a year. I'm glad that I have an extra bottle in the stash.
Finally, as always, I have my Namiki Capless loaded with Pilot Mixable Blue Black. I use this pen exclusively in my Hobonichi Techo for journalling. For pocket carry I filled my Pelikan M800 with Sailor Sei Boku, a much more interesting ink that the Aurora Blue that had been in the pen. It is always nice to have a permanent ink on hand. I think that this is a pairing that will see a lot of rotation in the future.
I feel good going into June with a manageable number of inked pens on hand. The Custom 823's hold a lot of ink so I'm not convinced that I will manage to empty both of them them in the month of June but I'll give it a good try.