Autumnal Cheer

It was International Fountain Pen Day on the 1st of November, and I missed it. Never mind.

I met my mum for lunch and belated birthday presents, including a Minoan salt cellar, a new pen, and ink! The latter is Noodler’s Zhivago which I have yet to break into.

The pen is a Noodler’s Ahab, in the “Truk Lagoon” colour.

Ahab Konrad

That’s my Ahab above and my Konrad below. These are affordable flex pens that produce a lot of line variation with pressure (as you can see in the Diamine Sunset scan). I don’t know whether it’s bad luck or bad design, but the Konrad’s seating for feed and nib is clearly defective. You can see a lot of gap between section and feed, and the pen generally gushes ink. The Ahab doesn’t have this problem; one reason is that it has grooves for the nib to slot into.

Plenty of people love the Konrad and I prefer it aesthetically, but functionally the Ahab is better–from the filling mechanism to the fit of the parts (the Konrad is a piston filler, but it’s not great). The one thing the Konrad does better is post.

I filled Ahab with Diamine Sunset.


This is my writing sample:


I’ve both photographed and scanned the text. The reason for this is the scanner is very bad at picking up the subtle orange in Sunset which is really an orange ink. It looks almost red:

In short — I really like Diamine Sunset in very specific circumstances, but those are few and far between. It needs a wet pen but in a wet pen it’s no good for marking up on office documents on printer paper. If I use it at work in a dry writer it comes out light and boring, best used for hilighting only. It’s too bright for extensive notes.

While I’m on the subject of light inks, I also scanned Diamine Amber:


That’s my TWSBI mini with a broad nib. Here’s a scan, which is a bit more faithful:

Two fairly autumnal colours that are warm and cheering. I doubt I’ll ever get to the bottom of either sample bottle, but they’ll see some use in birthday cards.