My Modest Ink Collection

  A few of my ink bottles


A few of my ink bottles

I am a little stumped at the moment with reviews for the site so todays post is slightly different. One of my aims for this year is to finish a whole bottle of ink. With this in mind I thought I would share my modest collection of bottled ink. This exercise is hopefully interesting to you, but should also shed some light on my ink buying habits.

The complete list:

Ink swabs

Ink swabs

Writing out a list of the bottled ink I own highlights some obvious points. I gravitate to a number of ink brands, predominantly Pilot Iroshizuku ink. Once I’ve tried a manufacturer that I like I tend to go through the ink colours and buy several more. I’ve done this again recently with KWZ.

My choice of colours is very limited. I seem to sway to the blue and blue/green shades. This is a little disappointing, its like the school mentality of blue ink has followed me into adult life. I need more colour!

My Noodlers Black ink is the only anomaly in this list. This ink is waterproof and therefore great to address envelops and for sketching. I have been using this ink a lot in recent months as I try to improve my sketching skills. I doubt this will be the ink I’ll finish this year with an impressive 90ml of it, but I should deplete my stock pretty well.

All of the inks in this list are essentially full bottles. I never make it far before being distracted by a new colour which means I have a lot of ink to hand. If I am to finish a full bottle this year it will likely be the Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai even though this is one of the larger bottles. I really enjoy using this ink and usually have it in one or two fountain pens. It’s a year round ink choice for me.

KWZ Brown Pink Ink Review

I was prompted to buying this ink after seeing it reviewed on The Pen Addict. The colour looked so unusual and different I knew I wanted to try it for myself. I bought this last year at the London Pen Show where the guys from KWZ were working with the Bureau Direct team. After using it for a few months I feel like I can give an honest thoughts on this ink.

It’s not as great as I thought it would be

I do like the colour of this ink. The dusky pink is really pretty and a tad unusual. The dark shade of a usually bright colour makes this ink a contender for an everyday writer because its legible on the page. But despite these benefits it falls down for me because I don’t find myself wanting to use it.

The downsides

I have been using this ink for some time and I’ve noticed that the ink can clog the feed. I have this loaded up in a medium nib Lamy LX and if I don’t use the pen for two or three days I have to work the nib to get the ink flowing again. I haven’t experienced this with any other inks I own, presumably because they are much wetter. Having to coax the ink after such a short time of no use is something I don’t expect.

Putting this issue aside the main reason I bought this ink is the colour. However I ended up being disappointed after using it for a little while. There is no shading and definitely no sheen. The best way I can describe this ink is like it’s a matte colour because it feels flat. It’s just not a very exciting ink.

Performance on paper

The ink works well on various different types of paper. If I use this ink in my Hobohichi Techo there are some slow dry times, in part due to the medium nib on my fountain pen. Using it in my other fountain pen friendly notebooks (Travelers Company, Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Leuchtturm1917 etc.) it performs really well.

In Summary

I want to like this ink colour more than I do but it just doesn’t excite me enough. A dusky pink ink shade that had a bit of depth to it would be perfect. I don’t need glitter and shimmer, but I would like something of interest that you notice if you use and look at an ink colour. With the huge number of inks out there and the enjoyment I get from other inks I own, I don’t think that this ink colour will be the one bottle that I use up this year.

InCoWriMo Toolkit

A selection of the tools I am using for InCoWriMo

A selection of the tools I am using for InCoWriMo

This year I am taking part in InCoWriMo and so far it’s going pretty well. It's my first year participating and as I am a stationery addict I was pretty excited to have another reason to use all my goodies. I don't normally write many letters and very quickly found that I was missing a few things. I quickly fixed that and I wanted to share what tools I have and will continue to use for my correspondence.

I bought some writing paper from First for Paper, a site recommended by Priya from The London Parchment. I opted for the Light Grey writing paper in A6 (this was a mistake I meant to get the A5 size) and an A6 card stock. To go with these I bought golden yellow and wedgewood blue envelopes. These colours are so pretty and look great in person. The paper has worked well with fountain pen ink and some light watercolour washes. I would definitely buy more paper from this company again.

Close up of the gorgeous envelopes from First for Paper

Close up of the gorgeous envelopes from First for Paper

Most of my cards and letters are being written with a fountain pen. To address envelopes I am using the Pitt Artist Pen with a B nib to brush letter the recipients name. Then to complete the address I am using a fountain pen with Noodlers Black as this is a waterproof ink. I don't want to risk using another ink colour in case the rain washes away the address on the envelope.

I am sending a mixture of cards, letters and postcards for my correspondence. I am making most of the cards myself. I like the idea of this as I can be a little playful and creative with the designs and I think it adds to the fun of InCoWriMo.

At the end of the month I will share with you the letters and cards I created and update you on how many I managed to send through the month.

January Stationery Usage

This year I have decided to play closer attention to the tools I am using to try and fulfil one of my 2017 stationery resolutions, to consume more of what I own. Therefore this month I thought I would share with you what I have used.

Januarys Notebooks

This month I have flown through three pocket notebooks, all of which have been Field Notes. Completing three pocket notebooks in a month is not usual for me, I am lucky if I work my way through two. I have been scribbling down lots of different notes as part of my studying and I think that has contributed to higher than normal use. This month I decided to use up some of my Field Notes stash which has the added bonus of meaning I can use my Foxy Fix Wanderlust leather notebook cover.

This month I also finished my morning journal notebook. I have been using the Life Vermilion A5 notebook which has been really lovely to use. It handles all my fountain pens and inks really well and I love the cream coloured paper. I will start February with a new morning journal, which will be a Midori TN insert.

Januarys Inks

Earlier on in the month I shared a photo on Instagram showing the inks that I am using this month. Taking inspiration from Priya at The London Parchment I have gone for a wintery theme with lots of muted tones. I am recording these colours in my Hobonichi Techo on the monthly preview page. At the end of the year this could be a nice way to see what inks I have used each month and where there are gaps in my colour palette.

I have really enjoyed my January colours but I do have some clear favourites. Pilot Iroshizuku Syo-ro is a lovely dark green ink colour that I find perfect for this time of year. It provides a little colour in my notebooks but keeps on the winters theme reminding me of Christmas and evergreen trees.

J.Herbin’s Lie de The is a firm favourite of mine. I use this in my Kaweco ART Sport snd I love it, so much so that I have actually used up all my cartridges.

The one ink I actually don’t think I like at all is Diamines Ancient Copper. When I bought this ink I thought it would easily be an ink I would enjoy but its been the opposite. To give it some credit it has great shading but there is something about this ink that I really dislike. This will definitely be one for the February rotation.

Planner progress

My planning system is going pretty well so far. My A6 Hobonichi Techo is working perfectly as a bullet journal. As this is a pre-dated planner I am finding it very easy to plan out my week. I do feel like this format means I am less creative with the pages than when I used a Leuchtturm1917 notebook, but it’s a small compromise.

The larger Avec Techo has been working as an art journal to a point. I don’t find that I have enough time or energy at the end of the day to really use this as I want to, so for February I need to try and find ways of being more creative. I think I need some more inspiration so I shall be digging around online.

Alongside this I have been recording my studying and blog activity on the monthly calendar. I like the additional space that the Avec provides.

Using the week on two pages view I simply record what I am doing. For February I am going to try and use this spread as a time management tool. I think space could be an issue here, but I am interested to see how I am spending my time and as I cannot find an app that works for me I am resorting to pen and paper.

In Summary

Spending some time thinking about my stationery January I feel like I have done quite well at consuming existing items. I did make one purchase this month, but this is tied to InCoWriMo prep for February.

February also marks my first attempt to take part in InCoWriMo. I will do my best to send a letter, postcard or card each day of the month and hopefully I will be able to get most days completed. I will of course be sharing my InCoWriMo journey here on the blog, so be sure to come back and check it out.