Saturday, January 28, 2017

Trying Out A Glass Dip Pen

As I get ink samples in the mail, it was always a chore to have to fill up a pen, try it out then clean the pen before moving to the next sample. This happens when cataloging inks as well, at least for me. There must be an easier way to accomplish this.

Enter the glass dip pen. I have seen these before online for sale and other people using them for the same reason I mentioned at the beginning. I have a huge ink sample collection and this pen is great.

I was surprised by the smooth aspect of the glass nib. I have not had to use any micro mesh at all. The glass nib is fluted and those flutes are what channel the ink to the page, much like a feed in a fountain pen.

I did notice that if you hold it and write as you would with a typical pen, the ink runs out rather quickly. Thinking this through logically, if you write a couple words then rotate the pen about half a turn then write again, you will be using all of the flutes on the nib and then you do not need to dip into ink as often.

The nib width seems to fall between a fine and a medium nib. It is not a gusher by any means but does lie down an adequate line of ink. Would I write a letter with this pen? I don' think so but so far I have used it on some new inks and cleanup was a breeze. A quick whisk through clean water then dry with a towel or napkin then good to move onto the next ink.

I purchased this pen from Amazon for a modest fee of $12.99 which to me is a great bargain. It looks nice, is hand made and performs very well. Sampling inks will be much more efficient from now on. Wonderful.

Try one out. They are cost effective and fun. Just don't tap it on the bottle to get any excess ink out since it is a glass pen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

InCoWriMo is Coming!

Last post was all about writing letters and a great organization aimed at doing just that. Who's heard of InCoWriMo? Anyone?

InCoWriMo stands for International Correspondence Writing Month and takes place during February. The goal or challenge, if you will, is to write to 1 person per day for the 28 days of the month. Ready for the challenge?

There is a great website devoted to InCoWriMo. It has a lot of great information and even has a list of 28 people who would love some correspondence if you would like to use. Do you have to write to a different person every day? No, not at all. You can write to whomever as often as you choose. It doesn't have to be a letter either. This correspondence can be a letter, postcard, greeting card, note or whatever the only rule is it has to be hand written. This is an analog based endeavor after all.

I will be participating and I sure hope you are inspired to try it too. I will write to at least one person per day but knowing me, it will be multiple people per day. I do like to write letters and make connections around the globe. What a better way to use your fountain pens, ink and paper? Heck, it can be any pen or a pencil even. Want to write in crayon, do it! Color a picture while you are at it. The recipient will enjoy the surprise and hopefully there will be 28 smiles or more during February's writing extravaganza!

Would you like to receive some mail during InCoWriMo? Eric at has a forum on his blog where you can post your address for other participants can write you. The post is the InCoWriMo Address Exchange.

There is also a participation map on the site where you can place a pin on the location you will be writing from. It is all in good fun so try it. Write someone and make their day. There is nothing quite like getting some mail you actually want to read rather than bills and ads. Give it a try and have some fun!

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Letter Writer's Alliance

With InCoWriMo (International Correspondence Writing Month) starting up in February, it seems fitting to focus on a worthy activity to put those pens to paper and make someone's day. Writing letters seems to be a lost art in this digital age, much like fountain pens, but the Letter Writers Alliance (LWA) formed to change that.

I became a member early on in 2016 and a lifetime membership is a whopping $5, how can you say no to that? I made a personal goal in 2016 and that was to become better connected to my fellow humans on this planet we call home. This blog sprouted from that goal, but so did my love of writing letters. The LWA supported my goal through their pen pal match program and I have a hefty pen pal list that is ever growing.

The LWA was formed in 2007 by Kathy Zadrosny and Donovan Beeson and these two ambitious women run this endeavor from a passion of mail and the art of letters. I have to admit, I love the feeling I get when I come home after a long work day and see a letter has arrived. It is an excitement that us analog people understand. These two women started this alliance and have seen it grow to over 11,000 members worldwide. I find that to be impressive.

Donovan and Kathy also work to make the LWA more interactive through social events throughout the year. Whether it be a virtual letter social, a mail art class or even their book club, members have some time to engage with other like minded individuals and "geek out" as it were.

I have met many people through the LWA and fulfilled my goal in 2016. That goal continues here in 2017 and I love writing letters and meeting new people. Donovan has become one of my pen pals and I always look forward to her letters. Her mail art and her wit always make me smile.

So grab some paper and your favorite pen and ink! Sit down and write a letter. I bet you will feel rewarded for doing so and whomever is lucky enough to receive that letter will have a smile on their face. A letter is a small thing with a huge impact. Make someone's day.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Diamine Deep Dark Ink Collection

Previously, I compared some of these inks to the Ebony Ink series from Private Reserve but that was only 4 of the inks. I now have the set of the Diamine Deep Dark Inks that are exclusive to Cult Pens and now we can look at all 6 ink colors.

Deep Dark Brown is a nice brown ink with decent shading. The saturation is rather dull on the writing compared to the swab. The shading really makes the deep dark portion of the ink come to life. Without it, the brown is a tad bland and unexciting.

Deep Dark Blue is a dark blue I really like. It really looks like a nice dark denim color and dries the same color unlike the Deep Dark Brown. This blue has decent flow, decent shading for a dark ink and good saturation. Overall, it is a solid dark blue color.

Deep Dark Purple is a nice purple if you like a purple based more off of the reddish side of purple. It is another example of shading saving this ink color. Without the shading, the red value of purple bleeds out the life in this color and the lightens it dramatically. The shading saves this ink and adds some dimension to the color.

Deep Dark Green is a lovely shade of green. It flows well, shades well and has a nice balanced saturation. It is very reminiscent of a Hunter Green and could pass for an everyday writing ink color rather than a green ink outside of the office.

Deep Dark Red has quickly become my red ink of choice. It is a very dark red offering that really embodies the color of blood. It is even darker than Diamine Oxblood and it doesn't seem to stain the converters I have tried it in. Great flow, saturation and shading. A great dark red ink color.

Deep Dark Orange is a pleasant surprise as I was very hesitant to order this ink color. I was very wrong and love this color. I assumed it would be bright and quite impractical to use but it is a decently dark shade of orange with lovely shading, and saturation. It is much darker than Noodler's Apache Sunset and it does not have the red/yellow shading elements.

There they are, all 6 of the Diamine Deep Dark Ink colors. I really enjoy 4 of them immensely whereas the brown and purple are not really my type of color. They are exclusive to the UK based Cult Pens but they ship internationally and they deliver very quickly. I am impressed. Enjoy the ink and keep writing!

This review is based off of my experience and opinion. I do not represent Cult Pens nor Diamine and I am not being compensated in any way.