it would be interesting to examine what happens exactly, when
it is time to fill up, for the first time a pen you just bought,
and more importantly what ink do we use ?
occasions we go by experience or some unwritten rules, kind
of dictating our taste, like we prefer white wine with fish,
chicken with curry and most persons would not order an orange
car with a turquoise interior. Hasn't somebody told you sometimes
in your life not to wear brown shoes with a black suit !?
It is easy to decide what to fill your car with - either diesel
or gas - but when it comes to choose ink for your pen, you're
on your own, unless you're still in school where they require
a certain color or your boss only likes your reports written
we have two main possibilities:
if you are the type person who prefers one sort of ink and/or
color, then it is no question about what to do. You fill your
pen with your favorite and hope that it is gonna' work. If
not you might start a more or less longer quest for the most
similar ink or you'll try your second favorite.
case is more complicated. If you don't have one or two favorite
inks or color you like the best, then like me, you have a
little problem (let's better say a little problem regarding
your pen affection, somebody else would not understand).
resume how I make my decisions most of the time:
thought is always to take an ink, I'm pretty has been non-problematic
most of the time, so I can enjoy my purchase. I'm always afraid
to get disappointed by a new pen, like I have been a couple
of times. So I use the ink first, which is recommended by
the manufacturer (most likely to be their own brand) in an
unproblematic color (unfortunately Royal-Blue in many cases,
which I don't like the best). If the pen is a cartridge pen,
I might use the cartridges which came with it.
have two possible scenarios: The pen either works or it does
not. If a common brand like Pelikan, Montblanc, Waterman,
Parker Quink, some Omas colors (I've found Hong Kong red to
write quite well) or Sheaffer, does not work in it's own brands
pen, I have to consider sending it back!
not dare to start with my "favorite critical inks to
use" (Parker Penman, Omas Grey and Sepia or Visconti
pen writes at least acceptably, I will move on. Because this
was a more reasonable choice and not an emotional one, I'll
think about what ink I really want flowing in this particular
piece of plastic, hardrubber, gold or others.
ink do I want and how do I find out? This seems far more difficult
for someone who does not have a certain favorite ink.
go for black inks so they won't be a choice of mine.
a healthy distance from purple and pink inks (regardless of
about 10 or so open bottles of purples and pinks!).
have to think about the inks I only have in cartridges, when
I have a piston or other "not cartridge" filler.
If it is a cartridge filler I first will try to use some bottled
ink in a converter first, because I have a lot of opened bottles
I'm afraid of becoming bad and mouldy over the years.
So it's time to use some up.
are still lots of oranges, reds, greens, turquoises, browns,
greys and blue-blacks left to choose from. Ordinary blue (I
don't mean to offend somebody who likes a nice decent blue,
it's just a matter of taste) is not my color, as I said before,
except it goes with the pen, which brings me to my next chance
to find an ink I want to use; do I want to match the pens
so quite often, because this way I decrease the variety to
think about a lot.
Waltraud Bethge Olive Green (which is pretty similar to Herbin
Olive Green) into a lychee nut green Omas Tokyo. It matches
perfectly an gives you a feeling like writing with a crayon.
put Montblanc Blue-Black (because it's the darkest Blue-Black
I know) into the dark Blue-Black Omas 360. Parker Quink permanent
Brown is a good match to Montblanc Hemingways cap and gripping
section (yes, it is brown!)
is with the yellow Sheaffer Triumph Imperial? I used Sheaffer
King's Gold and Omas Triratna Orange and it did match, but
I didn't want to write with orange ink the whole day!
your pens color is fun for a while, but does not pay of all
the time, especially if the pen is light colored like the
Aurora Talentum in light blue, or it is a metal pen either
gold or silver or whatever.
have to be other hidden thoughts or feelings which make us
choose a certain ink.
a few times that I use contrasting colors. It seems that I
prefer turquoise or green ink (Sheaffer, Montblanc, Waterman
or Herbin) in silver metal pens. Strangely enough I have a
lot of green pens (I like crazy colored pens but have more
green pens than other colors) and most of the times I end
up using red ink in them. My favorite ones are Omas Hong Kong
or America Vespucci Red, Jansen Dark-Red (which is darker
and more intense then Montblanc or Penman Bordeaux) or Waltraud
Bethge Dusky Pink which is more a light lobster red color.
In some pens I like cherry tones like Sheaffer Red or Pelikan
Cherry-Red as well. The only pen I use with purple ink is
the Coral-Red Waterman Carène; its color produces such
a nice contrast to the deep Waterman Purple.
all does not help, I'll end up with a Blue-Black or sometimes
I'll give my best mixing a true Green-Blue (which has not
worked yet) or I'll pray the ink-flow is "wet" enough
to allow the use of Omas Grey which I really like.
all sound like a lot of work, but for us fountain pen aficionados
it is the complete opposite of a problem at all. It's fun
and relaxing to worry about such unimportant and trivial things
and not about the serious things, at least for a while, which
make us worry.
maybe I do have some favorite ink but don't know it yet, or
there are too many nice ones I like the same to call them
favorite, which brings me to the conclusion, that I enjoy
every single ink I have in some way.