Noodler’s El Lawrence Ink and Fluorescence – by LPC Member Rick M.

I read a post on Fountain Pen Network (FPN) this morning about how Noodler’s El Lawrence ink was supposed have some fluorescence to it. As I just so happen to have pens filled with both El Lawrence (thanks to Mike W) and Blue Ghost inked at the moment {the Blue Ghost is in a Platinum Preppy (pen on the left) and the El Lawrence is in a Lamy Al-Star (pen on the right)], AND I just bought a new ultraviolet flashlight, I naturally had to have a look.

Noodlers pens loaded

The Blue Ghost is invisible on paper until you shine a black light on it. The El Lawrence sort of glows when the black light shines on it.

Noodlers fluorescence

I have got to hand it to Noodler’s, they’ve got some (ed.’s note – pretty, pretty) cool stuff!

Have you found El Lawrence or any other fountain pen ink to have fluorescence?  We would love to hear from you!

Noodler’s Badger & Blade 5 O’Clock Shadow and Zhivago inks

Recently Badger & Blade commissioned Noodler’s Ink to create a signature ink – “5 O’Clock Shadow” (FOS).  FOS is a deeply pigmented black with shadings of grey and green.

At a recent pen club meeting there was a brief discussion about the colour of FOS and how it compares to Noodler’s Zhivago ink. 

Interestingly, there has been some discussion on the online pen boards whether FOS is simply Zhivago in a different bottle.  Our trusty ink testers assure us that this is NOT the case.  Yes, both are a dark green ink and appear very similar; however, there is a subtle difference – FOS is more grey (grey-green-black) than Zhivago (green-black).  The scan (below) of the two inks made with a Q-tip on Rhodia paper provides further evidence of this subtle but real difference.

Comparison of Badger & Blade 5 O'Clock Shadow to Zhivago ink

The $100,000 question is how FOS compares to the now discontinued Mont Blanc Racing Green or the recently released Diamine Racing Green (created for Missing-Pen ) and offered for sale in this FPN classified ad??

2010 Toronto Pen Show

A collection of comments from various members who attended the 2010 Toronto Pen Show (TPS):

By Owen

“The TPS, although small, was my first show. By far, the neatest thing about it was seeing all the pens that previously, you had only heard about. Pictures don’t do justice to the real thing. They certainly don’t show the beauty and detail that goes into making these instruments. One memorable table held several old filigreed eyedroppers. Nothing much to look at in pictures, but infinitely interesting in person.
I went with only a little bit of money, just enough to get something small and a bottle of ink. And I’m glad I did. Most,  I imagine, plan to get something really nice, or expensive, or unique, or even their grail, at a  pen show. It would have been nice to go with a hundred dollars and get an impressive, memorable pen. But I would have spent the whole time trying to pick out that particular pen, second-guessing what I really wanted. I would have only looked at pens that cost a hundred dollars. I may not have even seen those beautiful $500 filigreed pens mentioned above. I would see the price tag, move along.

So, to all those first-time pen-show-goers, I say this: Bring twenty dollars. It’ll be enough to get you something small, as a souvenir of the show. You will be able to spend your time a lot more wisely. By the time the next show rolls around, or you get onto the Internet, you’ll have handled dozens of pens, and have a much clearer idea of what you really want in a pen.”

By Mike

“I met a gentleman from the UK who kindly hand-delivered my copy of the new Conway Stewart book – Fountain Pens for the Million, The History of Conway Stewart 1905-2005 –  from the author, Stephen Hull (long story), I had also arranged to buy this gorgeous Swan 46 Eternal fountain pen when it came up on FPN (for less than what was asked here) but waited to have it brought to the TPS rather than pay for shipping.  The owner of the Swan was also interested in a 2006 LE mandarin Parker Duofold that I own but we could not agree on a price.

Swan 46 Eternal fountain pen

I have an Edison Huron with a custom grind steel nib but I decided that I wanted to have an Edison gold nib in it (also custom grind) so I met Brian there to pick up the new nib and have it swapped into the Huron.  I yakked with a bunch of people who I know, looked at a few pens (but did not buy) and bought a few bottles of ink (Noodler’s EL Lawrence – a green/black colour and Parker Penman Emerald) from Sleuth & Statesman.  I was hoping to buy some of the new Diamine inks like the Amazing Amethyst and Syrah but unfortunately there was a dearth of ink at the show.  Finally, I bought some large Apica recycled notebooks from Nota-Bene.”

By Dan

“Being my first ever trip to a pen show I was not sure what to expect. There was certainly more to see than I expected for what I had been told was the smallest pen show around. I was amazed and commend the vendors who made long treks to Toronto to bring us their wares. It was great to meet a couple of guys from the Michigan Pen Club, they were disappointed not to see Doug and John there (LPC members who could not attend) and asked me to relay greetings to them. Of course seeing most of the members of our neighbor club from Cambridge again was also nice. Sadly I did not purchase anything at this year’s show, which I think surprised my wife even more than it surprised me. All in all it was a fun day and I look forward to doing it again next year.”

By David

“Once my travel-mates had stopped squabbling about the position of the front passenger seat, the trip to Toronto proceeded smoothly enough with a discussion of pen show hopes and wishes. It was good to see a new natural light-filled room for the show along with familiar faces from previous shows. Following a brief tour around the tables, I settled down to examine a Parker Duofold Junior desk pen with a grey and white marble base. The seller had two – the esthetically less desirable model with the better nib, a nice juicy medium with stubbish tendencies. He switched nibs for me and the deal was done; I am very pleased with this pen, which writes like a charm.

Parker Duofold Junior desk pen

I bought a bunch of paper items from Russell at Nota-Bene, including some Apica notebooks (best value for money of any notebook), a Rhodia Clic Bloc mouse pad, some other paper and an Exacompta notepaper holder. There were a couple of other minor purchases before I bought a 32 oz. bottle of red Waterman’s Ideal Ink, bottle almost full and complete with original box. I won’t need red ink for a while.

Vintage bottle of Waterman's Ideal red ink

I spent a little time talking with FPN’s “goodguy” who showed me the four magnificent pens he had in his shirt pocket, including three Montblanc Writers Editions and the biggest pen I have ever seen, the Visconti Jewish Bible fountain pen. And of course it was fun to watch all the goings-on, such as Mike negotiating a potential trade, Rick drooling over a plum Parker 51, and Gord fondling his new Visconti Opera fountain pen in Honey Almond. The trip back was relatively uneventful; fortunately I managed to tune out some rather conservative and highly misguided political chit-chat by tuning into “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” on NPR, which was appreciated by all.”


Without Ink

Perish the thought!  I am not writing what would be, for most of us, an unthinkable predicament, that is to find ourself without ink.  Ask the question “Does anyone have ink?” at one of our pen club meetings and there will be 20+ bottles on the table before you can say “Noodler’s”. 

As a seasonal aside, for the past two (?) years, at our Saturday meeting just before Christmas, the London Pen Club  does a gift exchange of sorts.  Everyone brings a gift of “mystery ink” – ink wrapped up in everything from LCBO bags to men’s underwear (they were clean but for the rainbow of ink stains).  The booty is placed on a table and we each get to pick the package that calls to us.  This year I gifted five FPN sample vials of Noodler’s ink – Borealis Black, Dragon’s Napalm, Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham, FPN Galileo Brown, and one that I did not know (the label was off the bottle).  I received two baby food-size jars, one containing MB Blue – Black and the other Diamine Presidential Blue.  Very nice – but I can’t forget that the MB Blue-black is an iron gall ink.

Back to the scary notion of “without ink”.  Like you, I probably spend too much time looking at and reading about pens and ink on the web.  Occasionally, I come across sites or blogs that catch my eye, such as WithoutInk   The writer describes himself in a way that struck a chord with me – “… even with all this cool technology. i have noticed — life is very different without ink. i used to write a lot. i enjoyed it. now i type a lot… and thats totally different.”  I could not agree more – I wished that I wrote much more and typed less (perhaps after reading this far, you also agree that I should type less!).  The site has a number of pen and ink reviews, each of them are thorough and well written.  I particularly like the template that the writer employs to give the reviews structure and consistency.  In fact, the format and content reminded me a lab report, which makes sense as the writer describes himself as a “tech geek”.  I actually sent the writer a note asking him if he would link our site and send me a copy of the template, which he (Matt) did kindly and promptly.  Matt mentioned that he intends to update the template soon, once he designs it.  I can’t wait.  Thanks Matt, keep up the terrific work!  Your site is now on my regular reading list and others would do well to add it to theirs.

Ink – a fluid or viscous substance used for writing

Ink – the lifeblood of a pen.  When vintage pens were modern, it was “the black liquor with which men write”, then blue and blue-black.  Today, it’s a completely different ballgame altogether – you can get virtually any colour of the rainbow and with different characteristics – fast-drying, eternal, scented,  and so on.  At the current rate of innovation, I predict it won’t very long before we are able to order our own “custom” ink.

Ink was the theme of yesterday’s pen club meeting.  We have had terrific attendance and participation with the themes and yesterday was no exception.  I for one enjoyed seeing such a large quantity and variety of ink (modern and vintage).  Plenty of discussion about the characteristics and quality of different colours and brands.  I am also sure the other customers in Williams raised their eyebrows and shook their heads as they watched us sniffing ink like it was a fine wine – was this ink still good, smell this Solv-X, doesn’t this FPN Brown smell like paint, etc.  And let’s not forget the assortment of ink bottles – Parker Penman, Levenger, etc.  All in all, another terrific meeting.

As the member of our club who is believed to have the largest collection of ink (especially if it is blue), I was asked a number of different questions about the inks that I prefer, etc… and I suggested the best way to describe my addiction to ink is that it is a cheap thrill – very inexpensive relative to most new pens but the possibilities are endless – you can write with it, sketch with it, mix it and even trade it for another kind.  To me, it is analogous to those who collect Lamy Safaris – very nice pens, wide range of colours and nibs – what more could you ask for?

Finally,  I wanted to mention a number of terrific blogs that feature ink.  I really enjoy reading their comments and marvel at their creativity in presenting the many colours of ink that they are using/demonstrating.  Here is a list of ink- related blogs that have caught my eye – if I have missed one, please let me know.

Ink Quest – brilliant narrative!

Inkophile – amazing imagination and presentation!

Spiritual Evolution of the Bean – The name seems to capture it perfectly!

The Harmless Dilettante – has a digital ink sampler with over 160 reviews!

The Laurel Tree – the latest on Japanese ink and pens!

I posed a question to the author of Inkophile about how they were able to ink so many pens and keep them all clean – http://inkophile.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/how-do-you-keep-up-with-all-those-pens/ .  The author will be happy to know that I ordered my ultra sonic cleaner after I read their response – I have been on the fence about one for some time, the author just pushed me over.

Until next week or sooner!

YIPPIE,

Mike

FPN Inks – Van Gogh Starry Night Blue & Dumas Tulipe Noire

The great people at the Fountain Pen Network (FPN) have created a few inks of their own (in association with the ink wizards at Noodler’s).  To date, the FPN has created three inks to be exact – Galileo Manuscript Brown, Dumas Tulipe Noire and the just released Van Gogh Starry Night Blue.  I ordered a number of the blues and one each of the brown and tulipe noire, however, I have not yet received the brown.  In any event, here is a scan of the blue and tulipe noire.  The people at FPN are so artistic that they even created the labels for the bottles!
 

 

The first two scans are of the blue – one of handwriting with a Sailor King of Pens Professional Gear with a Togi nib and the other a swab using a Q tip. 

  

 
 
This is a scan of the tulipe noire scan, swabbed with a Q tip.