In my shirtpocket, Jan 2017: Pelikan M120N and Pelikan 400 (1950-54)

Friends,

From a whim I have made this a New Year’s Resolution: To publish a monthly feature “In my shirtpocket” where one pen is going to be exchanged and a new one presented every month. If short of time perhaps only with pictures, another month perhaps with a presentation and perhaps even writing samples. Sometimes I’m willing to sell the presented pen, but definitely not today. (Even if I have a still sealed DHL package with another M120N with F nib, which I myself have never seen…)

Pelikan M120N and Pelikan 400. Copyright: Lennart Wennberg

The M120N is filled with Sailor Kiwa guro black and the 400 with J. Herbin “Terre de Feu”.

The Pelikan 400 needs no further presentation as it is one of most iconic pens in the history of writing instruments and you can find a lot of information elsewhere. Let me just show an old picture from Pelikan.com.

1950-sidebar-M400

Fountain pen, Ink and Paper – my recommendations for the novice

As a blogger at WordPress.com you get a lot of information “behind the scenes”. I can see statistics regarding from where my readers are coming, what they are reading and how they have found my blog. One thing is clear. I just have to mention a fountain pen, and it attracts readers, more than my other writings. I assume that many of my readers are looking for their first fountain pen, but don’t know where to start. I’m not a pen-expert but I have found my path in the jungle and that is what I would like to share with you in this post. Different pen-users may have different preferences, but I personally stand behind these recommendations, which I also try to motivate and discuss.

Pen:

Sailor Sapporo

Sailor Professional Gear Slim

As I’ve said before, you can never go wrong with a Sailor Professional Gear Slim, (aka Sailor Sapporo), with H-M, (medium), nib! It is a medium-sized pen of good quality, with a smooth gold nib, that can take ink in Sailor cartridges, or with the supplied converter, just any fountain pen ink from a bottle. Later you may find that you want a bigger pen. Fine, but still you’ll find that the Sailor PG Slim fits perfectly in your shirt-pocket and is easy to bring with you both at work or when you are travelling. As a novice you may find it a bit pricey, but remember, it is going to serve you for many years, perhaps even for the rest of your life.

Sailor 14 K nib

Sailor 14 K, H-M nib

Ink:

Sailor Kiwa-guro, black is a prefect ink for general use. It is pretty fast-drying, non-smearing, light- and water-resistant and will work just fine on any kind of paper without feathering or bleed-through. You may later want inks in other colors. Fine, but this is a very good ink to start with for general use. (If you can read between the lines you’ll understand that not all inks are fast-drying, non-smearing, light- and water-resistant, non-feathering and non-bleeding.) It is regarded as a high-maintenance ink, which only means that you should not leave the pen with ink for a long time as the ink in the pen may dry and cause clogging. (But that is a general rule for any pen and ink.) It is also good practice to rinse the pen with plain water between fillings from time to time.

Sailor Kiwa-Guro

Sailor Kiwa-Guro Black nano ink

Paper:

Now that you have a good pen and good ink, and are thus able to write on just any kind of paper, even cheap office-paper or Moleskine. But if you haven’t used good quality writing paper in your entire life I have a couple of hints: For note-taking and general scribbling, Rhodia is a very good choice. For my personal journal-writing I use Quo Vadis “Habana”. When it comes to writing letters and personal notes I rely on Clairefontaine “Pollen”, paper, envelopes and folded cards. I am especially fond of the ivory color.

Thank you for your attention. Comments and questions are welcome.

Christogram

Ink Review: Sailor Kiwa-Guro Carbon Nano Black

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Wonder Pens - Life Behind a Stationery Shop

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Kiwa-Guro Black is one of Sailor’s “luxury” inks, more costly than their standard Jentle line. This is one of Sailor’s two pigmented inks, made with ‘nanoparticles’ – they also make a blue-black called Sei-Boku.

Pigmented inks are different from dye-based inks (most other fountain pen inks) in that they are made with micro-fine pigments suspended in the liquid to give the ink its colour. In order to make these safe for fountain pens – to prevent persistent clogging or flow issues – these particles are really micro-fine, and the inks are designed for fountain pen use.

Be careful not to mix these up with the inks that are not okay for fountain pens – India ink, calligraphy ink (thicker, to hold a little better to dip pens) or inks that have shellac in them. These inks will definitely clog up your fountain pen’s feed, and may even cause more…

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