Everyone Loves a LAMY Green Puppy!

It’s been a stormy winter, great for staying indoors and playing with fountain pen ink. With spring just around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about the color green. I filled my Green Safari fountain pen with LAMY Green fountain pen ink to sketch a picture on a Clairefontaine sketchpad of a friend’s new puppy .

As a left-handed writer I appreciate that this green LAMY fountain pen ink dries quickly so I don’t smudge it very often. It’s safe to use in any fountain pen and easy to clean up so it’s great for beginners. I would describe this ink color to be a cool shade of medium green.

LAMY fountain pen ink bottles have an ingenious and practical design. There’s a small nib-sized basin in the bottom center of the bottle that collects ink so that you can fill a fountain pen even when the bottle is getting close to empty. There’s also a tiny roll of blotter tape that you can pull out of the bottom of the bottle that can be used to clean a nib after filling, or to blot your writing.

LAMY Fountain Pen Ink - Green

LAMY Green Fountain Pen Ink

The ink bottle is heavy and wide so it doesn’t tip over easily. LAMY green fountain pen ink is also available in the form of cartridge refills that fit LAMY fountain pens.

What green fountain pen inks will you choose for your fountain pen this spring?

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Fountain Pen Ink Art: J. Herbin Rouge Hematite 1670 Anniversary Ink

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink - Rouge Hematite

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink – Rouge Hematite

It’s the end of another year and we’ve been reminiscing about special releases of new fountain pens and fountain pen inks over the past few years. Back in 2010, when J. Herbin released their first 1670 Anniversary Ink in the red Rouge Hematite color, we had no idea there would be more to come. In addition to the original 1670 Anniversary red ink, J. Herbin has created Caroube de ChypreEmerald of ChivorBleu Ocean, and Stormy Grey.

The J. Herbin Rouge Hematite 1670 Anniversary Ink is a vibrant, earthy, rich blood red color, reminiscent of the historic color of the J. Herbin logo and the red sealing wax used by royal courts. Using the right combination of paper and nib, you might even see a gold colored sheen in this ink.

We’ve created a homage to Rouge Hematite using that very ink. The drawing is on Clairefontaine 90g sketch paper and was made by using a Pelikano fountain pen with a left-handed nib, a dollar store paint brush and a Pentel Tradio Stylo Pen.

What would you like the next color of J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink to be?

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink - Rouge Hematite

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink – Rouge Hematite

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8 Retro Accessories That Will Rock Your Desk

In this digital age, fashionably nostalgic stationery is still highly treasured by writers all around the world. Here are eight of our top modern choices that reconnect us with days of the past.

J. Herbin Wax & Seal Kit

A personalized wax seal is a great way to make any invitation, thank you card or old-fashioned snail mail stand out in the crowd. Wax seals can be used to embellish wine bottles, for scrapbooking, to seal packaging, to add the finishing touch to a wrapped gift and much more. J. Herbin’s Supple Sealing Wax resists cracking or chipping when applied to envelopes being sent through the US mail.

J. Herbin Glass Pens

J. Herbin Glass Pens

J. Herbin Glass Dipping Pens

J. Herbin’s hand-blown glass pens are beautiful and elegant works of art made in the style of glass pens popular in 17th century Venice. The glass nib on this dipping pen has small spiral grooves that hold enough ink to write several lines without the need to re-dip. They can be used along with fountain pen ink or other specialty inks made for dipping pens.

Brause Calligraphy Dipping Pen Gift Set

Brause Calligraphy Dipping Pen Gift Set

Brause Calligraphy Dipping Pen Gift Set

For over 150 years Brause has been making steel calligraphy nibs of excellent precision and durability. This gift set includes a small bottle of ink and 6 different nib types for both script and calligraphy.

J. Herbin Calligraphy Ink

J. Herbin Calligraphy Ink

J. Herbin Dipping Pen Calligraphy Ink

J. Herbin Calligraphy Ink is specially formulated with natural resins allowing the ink to adhere to a metal nib, yet flow smoothly and consistently. For use with dipping pens, steel nibs, glass or quill pens, calames and brushes. It pairs well with the J. Herbin Glass Pens and Brause Calligraphy Dipping Pens.

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Fountain Pen Ink

J. Herbin’s 1670 Anniversary Fountain Pen Ink comes in a cool retro cube-shaped bottle that is sealed with wax and decorated with a “1670” wax seal. J. Herbin created its “Anniversaire 1670” inks in honor of the 340th anniversary of the J. Herbin ink brand. Napoleon, Victor Hugo and Louis XVI all used J. Herbin inks!

Delta Vintage Fountain Pen - Ruby Red

Delta Vintage Fountain Pen – Ruby Red

Delta Vintage Fountain Pen – Ruby Red

This Delta Vintage Fountain Pen is made from a mother of pearl acrylic resin that beautifully catches the light. Like fountain pens of the past, it is carefully hand-crafted and made with attention to detail to produce a quality writing instrument that can be treasured for generations. Also available in Lava Stone Black, Deep Ocean Blue and White.

J. Herbin Wooden Rocker Style Ink Blotter

J. Herbin Wooden Rocker Style Ink Blotter

J. Herbin Traditional Wooden Rocker Style Ink Blotter

The Traditional Rocker Style Wooden Ink Blotter from J. Herbin is easy to hold and a clean way to avoid smearing excess wet fountain pen ink. It can be refilled with Rocker Ink Blotter Paper Refills, or purchase larger sheets of Blotter Paper to tuck inside the cover of your journal or notebook.

Clairefontaine Triomphe Stationery Tablet

Clairefontaine Triomphe Stationery Tablet

Clairefontaine Triomphe Stationery Tablet

In addition to all of your great nostalgic writing gear you’re going to want some high quality paper to enjoy it with. Classic Clairefontaine Triomphe Stationery Tablets fit the bill with brilliant white 90g, acid free, ultra-smooth paper. Fountain pens write like a dream on this paper! Matching envelopes are also available.

What are your favorite “vintage” writing tools?

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Experiments With Fountain Pen Ink

Back in 2009 we were like mad scientists with our fountain pen ink – instead of buying a bottle of ink in each color we were mixing ink colors to create our own custom color shades. It was creative and a lot of fun, with some so-so results and some fantastic inky discoveries! Have you ever given ink mixing a try?

The four very basic ink colors you need to create a rainbow of other colors are cyan, magenta, yellow and black (or CMYK) which are also the basic ink colors used in printing. To get the equivalent of CMYK in fountain pen ink you need:

J. Herbin Ink
Cyan = J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche
Magenta = J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen
Yellow = J. Herbin Bouton D’or
Black = J. Herbin Perle Noire

Noodler’s Ink
Cyan = Noodler’s Navajo Turquoise
Magenta = Noodler’s Shah’s Rose
Yellow = Noodler’s Yellow
Black = Noodler’s Black

Platinum Mixable Ink
Cyan = Platinum Aqua Blue
Magenta = Platinum Cyclamen Pink
Yellow = Platinum Sunny Yellow
Black = Platinum Smoke Black

This was the inspiration behind creating our own Noodler’s Ink Starter Kit in 2009, which is still available at Writer’s Bloc. This kit contains about 1/2 oz each of the 4 basic Noodler’s Ink mixing colors in glass eyedropper bottles that are useful for measuring ink drops in your experiments. If you need somewhere to store your ink color creations, we’ve got several solutions for you: capped test tubes, eyedropper bottles, small plastic bottles and a blunt tip needle bottle (for filling empty ink cartridges).

Ink Mixing Color Chart

Ink Mixing Color Chart

Read more about ink mixing and check out some of our favorite custom ink colors:

Ocean Jade Ink

Ocean Jade Ink

Other reasons we were experimenting with fountain pen ink back in 2009 were to see if this would improve ink flow in some dry-writing pens and also to find the most saturated, blackest black fountain pen inks.

Green LAMY Safari with a Calligraphy Nib

Green LAMY Safari with a Calligraphy Nib

Another experiment that proved to be popular in 2009 was swapping the regular nibs on LAMY Safari fountain pens with LAMY calligraphy nibs. It’s a great way to try out some calligraphy without having to buy a whole new fountain pen. Have you tried this yourself? We used to swap the nibs for you in our shop. Now, you can buy an extra LAMY calligraphy nib at a discounted price at the same time as you purchase a LAMY Safari fountain pen. Or, if you’ve already got a LAMY Safari, you can buy the nibs separately. We’ve got easy instructions so that you can change the nib yourself.

Changing the Nib on a LAMY Safari Fountain Pen

Changing the Nib on a LAMY Safari Fountain Pen

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Get the Ink Out – Ink Stain Removal

Ink Stain

As a person who loves pens, fountain pens and all sorts of art supplies, there have been many occasions when I’ve needed to remove ink stains from different types of cloth and other surfaces. I’m happy to report that I’ve had success most of the time with my ink removal efforts.

I’m not a stain-removal expert, but here are some of the things I’ve learned from my own experiences: I’ve found that the sooner you can try removing the ink stain the better the results will be. Testing the stain removal method you’re going to use in an inconspicuous place before tackling the problem is important too. Once or twice I’ve ended up with a noticeable faded spot on a garment when I didn’t take the time to do this kind of test first. Be sure not to put any garment in a clothes dryer if the ink stain hasn’t been completely removed from the fabric. The heat from the dryer can permanently set the stain. I always allow a garment to air-dry first before I determine whether or not my stain removal was successful. If the garment needs a second treatment and another wash cycle the stain often comes out the second time around.

The effectiveness of each method of stain removal will vary depending on what type of ink created the stain. When I’ve tried to remove ballpoint ink and permanent ink, I’ve had the most success when using alcohol based stain removal methods. Once I used hairspray to remove a bunch of ballpoint ink from the cloth upholstery in my car. Water-based ink, including many types of fountain pen ink, is so much easier to remove, especially if you work on it right away.

What ink stain experiences have you had? I haven’t tried the milk or glycerin stain removal methods yet. Please share some of your favorite methods!

Here are some websites with plenty of instructions on how to remove ink stains:

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Fountain Pen Ink Art: Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin

Pelikan Edelstein Ink - Mandarin

Mandarin Pelikan Edelstein fountain pen ink is a well-balanced orange color, perfect for sketching autumn leaves. This ink is not water-resistant, and when I applied water with a paint brush it became a peachy-orange. When the ink is heavily applied it has the appearance of a dark orange, almost red. When I use this ink in a fountain pen for handwriting, it’s a fairly consistent orange, without a lot of shading to it.

I used J. Herbin’s Terre de Feu fountain pen ink for the background contrast. Upon first glance Terre de Feu looks like a chocolate brown, with a closer inspection I can see that it has a reddish undertone to it.

I chose an on off-white/ivory 100g Exacompta paper to complement the warm autumn ink colors. It was interesting to create this sketch using a glass pen. At times it was a little bit difficult to control the ink flow. Sometimes where would be too much ink and sometimes too little. I really enjoy the freedom of using a glass pen – it’s extremely easy to clean, easy to write with and rather fun to keep dipping it into your ink bottles as you run out of ink. When the paper was wet with a lot of ink, it did scratch the paper a bit which you can see if you look closely at the photo below.

What are your favorite fall shades of fountain pen ink?

Mandarin Ink

 

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Your Fall Stationery Style Guide

Do you like to change your stationery supplies with the change of the season? I do! Now that autumn is here the ink in my fountain pens changes to warm, rich fall colors such as orange, gold, maroon and brown. Of course, it is necessary to select a harmonizing pen and notebook to complete the ensemble. Here are some of our fall stationery favorites:

Yellow Leaf

Yellow & Gold: One of my favorite everyday writing tools is the LAMY Safari fountain pen which is available in a cheery bright yellow that reminds me of the autumn color of some maple or birch tree leaves. Yellow ink is not practical for regular handwriting writing, so I like to use a golden amber shade such as J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie fountain pen ink. If you’re new to fountain pens, and you’re going to use bottled ink in your LAMY Safari or Al-Star pen, you’ll need to get a LAMY Z24 ink converter.

LAMY Safari Fountain Pen in Yellow

LAMY Safari Fountain Pen in Yellow

J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie Fountain Pen Ink

J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie Fountain Pen Ink

Orange Pumpkin

Orange: I love seeing all of the colorful autumn squash in the supermarket this time of year. The star of this fall’s orange fountain pens is the limited edition copper-orange LAMY Al-Star pen. This relative of the LAMY Safari fountain pen is made from light-weight aluminum with a metallic finish. LAMY created special copper-orange ink cartridges just to match this fountain pen. A couple of my favorite orange bottled inks with nice shading are Noodler’s Apache Sunset and Noodler’s Habanero ink. Want a paper notebook with an orange cover? Go no further than Rhodia‘s famous orange notepads available in all sorts of styles and sizes with fountain pen friendly paper.

LAMY Al-Star Copper-Orange Fountain Pen

LAMY Al-Star Copper-Orange Fountain Pen

R by Rhodia Notepad, Medium Size, Orange Cover and a Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen

R by Rhodia Notepad with an orange cover and a Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen

Red Maple Leaves

Red & Maroon: Doesn’t this orange Rhodia notepad look stylish next to these red Japanese maple leaves? The color of these leaves makes me think of the deep burgundy red color of the clear resin Bourgogne Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen. Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink in Momiji or Autumn Leaves is a red shade emulating the bright red leaves that are iconic of a Japanese autumn landscape. The ivory paper inside the red Quo Vadis Habana Journal complements the warm, autumn shades of ink that I use this time of year.

Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen - Bourgogne

Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen – Bourgogne

Brown Turkey Tail Fungus

Brown: I absolutely adore anything in tortoiseshell, and the Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen in Brown Tortoiseshell is no exception! It’s a pity that this manly pen is too large for my small hands. This pen pairs well with J. Herbin Lie de The Ink Cartridges or Pilot Iroshizuku Wild Chestnut ink which is a brown color similar to the shade of a ripe, fallen chestnut shell during autumn. Aston Leather’s pen cases in golden caramel Tan or dark Brown are going to look great with and provide protection for any of your fall writing instruments.

Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen - Brown Tortoiseshell

Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen – Brown Tortoiseshell

What are your favorite stationery items for fall?

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Noodler’s Ink: Same Great Fountain Pen Ink, Different Bottle

Noodler's Ink 3 oz Glass Bottles

Noodler’s Ink 3 oz Glass Bottles

January 2016 Update: Noodler’s Ink glass bottles will be back soon. Once the plastic bottles are all used up the glass bottles will return. Great news!

Noodler’s Ink has just started to use a new container for some of their fountain pen inks. Instead of a square clear 3 oz glass bottle, new batches of ink will be contained in a round white plastic bottle that holds slightly more ink. Why the change?

For now, glass bottle manufacturers have discontinued producing the traditional 3 oz glass bottle. Noodler’s Ink was given the choice to switch to a smaller size of glass bottle and to raise their prices, but instead they have chosen to use a plastic bottle. It is unknown as to how long the plastic bottle will be used. They are hoping to switch back to the 3 oz glass bottles in the future. The glass bottles used for the 4.5 oz and 1 oz sizes of ink will remain unchanged.

We agree with Noodler’s Ink that what is contained in the bottles is more important than the bottle itself, and we trust that they will continue to provide us with a wide variety of fantastic fountain pen inks! If you’d like to hear the story in more detail, you can watch Nathan’s 10 minute video below about the new bottles.

If you’re a fan of the glass bottles and you find that your new Noodler’s Ink is now inside a plastic bottle, remember the pros of their decision:

  • There is no price increase
  • Reduced risk of breaking a plastic bottle
  • Slightly more ink is inside the new bottle
  • Reduced weight
  • UV light resistant bottle

 

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Fountain Pen Ink Art: Noodler’s Bernanke Blue

DSC00656If you’ve ever sketched with fountain pen ink perhaps you’ve had the same experience I’ve had – you’re almost done with your creation and then you accidentally smear an area of the sketch that’s not quite dry yet. Doh! I’ve been wanting to try Noodler’s Bernanke Blue fountain pen ink for drawing to see if this fast-drying ink would improve my odds of avoiding any smearing. My first experiment was a success! During the entire sketching process not a line was smeared anywhere in the drawing.

Noodler’s Bernanke inks are formulated with left-handed writers in mind. This ink is smear resistant even when writing over the words (or a drawing) with your hand. In addition to Blue, Noodler’s Bernanke Ink is also available in Black. It is not water resistant, so if you want ink that stays put when you paint watercolors over it, this would not be it. For general sketching purposes it worked great!

I used a Platinum Plaisir fountain pen with a fine nib and a Clairefontaine Graf-it Sketch Book with 90g paper to make this drawing of my canine friend Murray. By the look on his face I think he’s trying to say “What does a pup have to do to get some sleep around here?”

DSC00663

DSC00659

DSC00634

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Fountain Pen Ink Art: J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche

Mountain Bluebird drawn with J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche Ink

Mountain Bluebird drawn with J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche Fountain Pen Ink

J. Herbin’s Bleu Pervenche fountain pen ink is a bright summery turquoise blue color. It makes me think of the mountain bluebirds I used to enjoy seeing when I worked in the hills just outside of Portland, Oregon. This drawing was created with Bleu Pervenche ink using a Kaweco Liliput fountain pen (fine nib) on Exacompta 100g paper.

J. Herbin’s Bleu Pervenche fountain pen ink can be found in both 30ml bottles and standard international cartridges at Writer’s Bloc. Kaweco Liliput pocket-size fountain pens are also available with black or silver finish.

The Mountain Bluebird photo was found on wikipedia.org and it is credited to Elaine R. Wilson (source Nature’s Pics Online).

What’s your favorite summer blue fountain pen ink and what memories does it bring to your mind?

Mountain Bluebird 2

Mountain Bluebird 3

Mountain Bluebird 4

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