What’s What 2/4-2/10 2024

An old favorite ink leads to series of connections, unexpected Lamy, more swatching, and last week’s payoff.

Inked Right Now

  • Pilot Custom 845 with Iroshizuku Ku-jaku

  • Franklin-Christoph 65 with Colorverse Ginkgo Tree

  • Pilot Decimo with Pilot Light Blue

Gone from last week: Parker Sonnet.

Yama-guri ran low in the 845 so perused the Iroshizuku selection and landed on Ku-jaku. I bought a sample of Ku-jaku from Goulet in July of 2017. (6 ½ years feels like a lifetime in this pen hobby/journey). As best I can remember, it was the first Iroshizuku ink I used. It taught me two things — Iroshizuku ink is high quality stuff and I have a thing for inks in the teal/aqua/blue-green range.

I have distinct memories of Ku-jaku in my Lamy Vista with a 1.1 nib, writing a note at work and someone asking Oh, what color is that?” A random moment frozen in time that Ku-jaku was part of. Ku-jaku gets lost in the shuffle of my much larger ink collection these days. I should revisit it more often to make more memories with it. Sailor Yamadori is another great blue-green I’ve had a long time that doesn’t get the run it should. Using either of those inks gives a sense of nostalgia for the initial few years of growth and discovery in the hobby.

With Ku-jaku replacing Yama-guri’s chestnut brown, the currently inked set had all blue or blue-adjacent colors. The Sonnet fill of Colorverse Supernova was getting low so I pulled it and sought a warmer, earthy color for another pen.

Since I had enjoyed Supernova in the previous few weeks, I chose another Colorverse ink — Ginkgo Tree. No matter how many times I write or type ginkgo I never seem to get it correct. This is evidenced by the overwriting correction of the ink name in the first picture above. I also somehow thought it was still January and tried start February with a J. Ginkgo Tree has a nice warmth to it. Seems to have a drier flow and benefits from priming the feed every few days, particularly in these very dry winter stretches.

New & Exciting

I went to Staples today for some sundries and just as I always peruse the stationery at B&N, I always check the pen aisle at office supply stores. The fountain pen selection appears reduced to a single Waterman model in two colors. The only Parker Jotters left were ballpoints. No more Pentel Tradios or Sheaffer calligraphy models. No more Cross. There were Parker blue and black cartridges available but no Pilot, Cross, Waterman or Sheaffer carts on the refill rack. No Parker or Waterman bottled ink like there used to be. For as much as I noticed what wasn’t there, something new did stand out.

How long have you been here?How long have you been here?

Those are Lamy ballpoints on top and rollerballs below. I’m fairly sure I used to see Lamy fountain pen cartridges and other refills at Staples, but not the pens. When looking at the Vista rollerball I wondered if the cap would fit my Vista fountain pen, whose original cap was damaged a few years back. I could have taken a few minutes to confirm that one way or the other on my phone but affection for the demonstrator overtook any sense of patience. I grabbed one off the hook and checked out.

Typical Lamy.Typical Lamy.

Pristine and beautiful. Pristine and beautiful.

So, how about that cross-compatibility for the rollerball cap to the FP section? No, sadly, it’s not quite there. The sections are almost identical between the two pens. The rollerball cap will fit on the FP section but it takes some pressure to fully close and feels like you’re forcing it. The black Safari FP cap I had been using in place of the Vista’s original cap did fit on the rollerball section but has no retention strength. It comes off with the lightest touch and wouldn’t last two seconds in your pocket. Oh well. Looks like I’m now the proud, if somewhat misguided, owner of a Vista rollerball.

As Maxwell Smart would say, missed it by that much. As Maxwell Smart would say, missed it by that much.

I don’t have much experience with Lamy rollerballs. I bought a 2000 roller as a gift for my brother a few years back and tested it upon arrival. It wrote fine but that was just a few scribbles. The medium black M63 refill in today’s Vista writes smoothly and the ink dries almost in an instant. While black ink fits the pens aesthetic, a blue refill is more my taste so I suppose I’ll be looking for one somewhere soon. One thing I don’t prefer is that I feel like I can’t see the point of the pen well enough when I’m writing. It gives a sense of not knowing exactly where you’re writing. It could be counteracted by holding the pen at a steeper angle to the page but that’s not comfortable for more than a few sentences in most scenarios.

Ink performance is good.Ink performance is good.

With the two Vistas side by side, I noticed their logo markings.

That’s what years and miles do.

Working On

Swatching continues in the Wearingeul book. Since I’d recently inked up a pen with Colorverse I decided to swatch all their inks for my next batch.

I recently had a pen using my last bit of Colorverse Supernova, but did I remember to swatch it before cleaning out the pen? No, of course I didn't. I recently had a pen using my last bit of Colorverse Supernova, but did I remember to swatch it before cleaning out the pen? No, of course I didn't.

Colorverse has been a sneaky large presence in my ink collection over the years. My introduction to the brand was in 2018 when I bought an Ink Flight sample box from Tom Oddo at Ink Journal. The catch is you don’t know what inks are in the flight when ordering, so you get to be surprised. I may have heard the name Colorverse before getting them in the flight but I certainly hadn’t used or seen them in person.

A brief aside about Tom. You may know him as the online face of Goldspot Pens. Ink Journal is his personal venture where he offers flights of different ink samples every month. Tom also produces lots of other content centered around journaling, pen tips, buying advice, handwriting, creativity, and more. You should check out his blog and if you like what you see then signing up for his weekly newsletter would be worth your while. He’s also one half of the Pentertainment Podcast with PenBoyRoy, of which I am a devoted fan. I just wanted to take a moment to recognize Tom for everything he does for the pen community and the passion that shows through in his efforts.

Back to that first bunch of Colorverse samples. I liked all the inks included but Gravity Wave was surely my favorite. Can you guess what color Gravity Wave is? If you said teal, you’d be right. So, I guess teal is the color of the week given my previous talk of Ku-jaku and Yamadori.

A year or two later I got an ink sample pack from Goulet as a Christmas gift. It was all Colorverse inks from their Joy in the Ordinary series. I preferred Delicious Sleep out of that bunch with Coffee Break coming second. I’ve also been gifted Ham #65 and I won a bottle of Horizon in a giveaway from Roy and Tom on their podcast.

One thing you can’t deny Colorverse is the effort they put into their collections. The names, themes, artwork, and packaging are all the result of a great deal of work from people who care about their products. They even make the cutest little 5ml bottles you ever did see.

When I lay that all out, it’s strange to see most of the Colorverse inks I’ve had are ones I didn’t know I was getting. The flight from Tom could have been from any maker but it happened to be Colorverse. Same for the inks I was gifted. The brand established itself in my life almost entirely through the choices of other people. I’m glad it happened that way because the happiness of the unexpected is somehow a bit more than that of the choice you deliberated over making for yourself.

Closing Out

I wrote last week about an old knife I used to own and buying it again. The carbon fiber Delica has arrived, new old stock in mint condition, and I’m happy to say it is everything I remember it was. If I acquired nothing else for any of my personal interests this year, I would be fully content having regained this knife.

Spyderco C11CFPSpyderco C11CFP

Older Delicas have a more acute point to the blade, which I prefer to the more recent versions. Older Delicas have a more acute point to the blade, which I prefer to the more recent versions.

Carbon fiber Delica alongside my other Delica, a first generation example with a G-2 blade. Carbon fiber Delica alongside my other Delica, a first generation example with a G-2 blade.


5 February 2024