Saturday, April 22, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 484

Many thanks to everyone who attended our April meeting two days ago; I'll post a meeting review (with lots of photos) tomorrow or Monday. In the meantime, here's another installment of Lawrence's thoughts on his preferred fountain-pen-&-ink matchups (what he calls "Lavalife and pens" heh) for you to enjoy!

This review (Part 5 of Lawrence's series) features black inks and continues on after part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4. Many thanks to Lawrence for another excellent blog post :)

(All text below by Lawrence)

"I have to say that the most versatile ink "colour" has to be black. Some people corrected me that it's not really a colour, but a shade of other colours, which is more accurate I guess as we always see ink reviews where it was mentioned that this "black has a bit of other colours in them".... It makes sense, I guess. Visually, black inks work with almost any pen, but that would be too simple in my OCD world. LOL.  This is a moderately sized group that is based mainly on one ink: Parker Black:

(all photos courtesy of Lawrence ~ please click on images to enlarge)

Like my other Parker inks, it is a no-nonsense ink.  In some lighting situations, there is actually a blue-greenish tinge to it, but it's not obvious until I compared it with other inks (more on this later).  Unlike the other inks I have, I did not get this Parker ink for a pen in mind.  I got it because I needed to complete my childhood Parker ink set (Blue, Blue-black, and Black).  While blue (and in some cases blue-black) inks are used in school, black is reserved for office / "serious" use...even teachers don't use it. LOL.  Black is the colour I see on my grandfather's office desk all the time. I am allowed to use it in his desk pen, but I never really had this desire to use it in mine.   It's one of those enigmatic "grown up" colours, and everyone in my class stayed away from this colour; it's associated too much with our parents and other "boring" grown up stuff. Although adventurous kids, like moi for example, would use blue-black to be edgy and "mature" LOL. 

Since I have the ink already, I try not to waste it, so I had some of my pens use it.  My grail group does not use it as they are mainly black pens (...but of course LOL).  The first pen that I tried this in was a Sheaffer (Lady Sheaffer Paisley Gold?):

This pen is not really part of my childhood school pens (but I did bring it to school once because I was trying to be popular LOL). Anyway, this pen was a corporate gift given to my grandfather and it's the only "office" pen from my childhood that I managed to bring to Canada with me.  For a while this was the only black inked pen that I had.  But eventually I decided I wanted to take some "risks" LOL, and try it on my vintage school pens.  The only two that I am comfortable with are the Parker 95:

And the Parker 45:
These two pens have the black section that renders them more "grown-up" to me. The other Parker school pens  (like my Parker 21) have blue sections so they are more "school-like". These two pens I also seldom brought to school due to their relatively more "office-like" nature.

As I got more pens, this Parker Black has had more use.  My Waterman Carene loved this ink very much:
This Carene I got on sale from Amazon. It's the only other Waterman that I own aside from the Elegance. It's a very reliable writer and it's a reddish pen that works with black (basically an inverse match of black pen / red ink).  Another one that looks great is the red Sheaffer I got from Staples:
I don't recall when I got this pen, but it is another one of my impulse buys. I always thought about getting a pen for "rough / everyday" use and then end up babying them anyway LOL.  This is another great writer and it works with black of course. 

So far, this Parker black is sort of relegated to novelty use; pens that use this ink are only active occasionally. It's almost like a "backup" ink of sorts and does not have a "steady" pen partner like my other inks LOL.  It matches every pen after all. It's like this neighborhood tramp that "flirts" with everyone but does not seem to want to commit. got 'enslaved' by a demanding diva (almost like in some trashy romance novels, yes LOL).  Of all the pens that I have owned, one of the most temperamental would have been my Red Parker Sonnet.  This pen was intended to be an "update" to my vintage Parkers which I'm trying not to overuse.   It's as pretty as it was demanding (pictures don't do it justice...)
As a red pen in my OCD world, it would have been a black-ink writer anyway, but I did have a bit of fun trying out all sorts of other inks with it. This pen hated all of them, until it got to this Parker black. "I want the naughty player" it says, and so it had its eyes set on Mr. Parker Black.  I was not expecting it, as no one really recommends Parker Black for temperamental pens (maybe Parker Blue, but seldom Parker Black). I don't know why, but I'm just happy that the Sonnet wrote very smoothly, no baby-bottoming, no skipping, no issues since then with this ink.  I suppose it's meant to be. So far, this is one of two cases where I did not need to play matchmaker; the pen chose the perfect ink that it wanted to work with.  The other case has to do with my Faber Castell Neo-slim:
This pen I got on impulse because of the colour. I mistakenly thought the FB logo was a palm tree (at least to my not-so-awesome eyesight). I'm into Tiki's and I thought this would make a nice Tiki / tropical themed pen.  Anyway, like the Red Sonnet, this pen ended up being very picky as well, mainly due to its particular nib design. While the Sonnet is a diva, this pen I would call "misunderstood" LOL.   I tried the Parker Black to see if it would calm down, but it did not like that either.  So I decided to open up the new bottle of Leonardo Black ink that Maja gave me:

So now I can have a comparison to Parker Black. In some lighting Leonardo has a bronze-tinge  So if I compare the two side by side, it becomes very obvious. I guess "black" really is a darker shade of something after all. Normally this may trigger another new level of OCD colour match...but my eyesight is bad enough that black is black is for now I'm fine LOL.  I was initially saving this ink for future red pens that I may want to get. I am hoping that there will be a nice Darth Maul themed pen in the future (the ones I saw online by Sheaffer and Platinum are half-arsed), and so this Leonardo will be perfect for this hypothetical Maul pen (Montegrappa are you seeing this review? <3) . Anyway, the Neo-slim loved it, so for the time-being it is matched with the Leonardo Black.

As mentioned in the beginning, this ink group should have been the largest since all my pens work with black ink. But maybe because I did not have to constantly "search" for the perfect black ink, I only ended up with two LOL. In the future, I'm hoping to diversify and try black from other ink brands. The Aurora Black is apparently the "perfect" black ink...I hope to acquire that next."

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