Are Pennonia inks good for calligraphy? Will they work well with a dip pen?
I often get these questions on various channels and while I personally don’t dabble in calligraphy I do have a great friend who does! Her name is Melinda and she has an Instagram channel which you should check out if you’re a fan of lovely handwriting!
Tivadar Kosztka Csontváry was famous Hungarian painter. He had an eccentric personality not understood by his contemporaries. His works were universally recognized only after his death.
Most of his works can be categorized under expressionism or post-impressionism but truly they were neither. I invite you to have a look at some of his magnificent paintings using the power of a Google search.
Csontváry used magnificent blues in his works and this ink is dedicated to him out of gratitude and respect for the awe and emotions his paintings have evoked when viewing them.
This name was inspired by the humble, beautiful Greenfinch which unfortunately is a threatened species in Hungary. I used to hear them sing a lot back in my childhood but unfortunately it was so long ago that I can’t remember when it was the last time!
For me personally, preserving nature and wildlife is an important issue and I try to do my own part so that my children and grandchildren will also be able to hear a Zöldike sing one day in our gardens.
Pennonia Mustvörös (Must, also known as Young Wine)
So technically this ink is a must-try for everyone! 😉 (sorry for the bad pun)
This ink actually got inspired from my childhood. For literally half of my current life I have lived with my grandparents and my granddad used to always make wine from the grapes he had all over the yard.
Well those wines were taken out of the ground last week after being there for over 30 years as we are completely redoing the yard. So on hand, I chose this color so I can remember the good old days (nostalgia is one hell of a drug, and you get addicted the more older you get) and also because must is really really really tasty! Even if you don’t try the ink, you must try must!
Again…nostalgia, longing for the old days. Admitedly this brown could’ve have been called quite a lot of things. I chose chestnuts specifically for two reasons:
When we were kids we used to collect chestnuts for fun when they were in season (like sacks of them) and we’d race who can throw them the furthest or make dolls out of them using match-sticks! Good fun!
My sweet hometown of Nagykároly has a beautiful avenue with enormous chestnut trees which are really beautiful when they are bloom.
Ooookay. I really wanted to name this ink using the synonym for “gödény” in Hungarian but I don’t know if I’m allowed. I’m a huge Pelikan fan/collector and this ink is THE ink that I will now use in my trusty green striped M1000 probably for the rest of my life! 😂
There’s really no backstory, I wanted an ink to match my M1000. 🤷♂️
Can I get away with calling it Pelikánzöld? Maybe, but Gödény is such a unique word and well, I am Hungarian and the language, customs etc. play a big role in choosing a name. So I’m going with Gödényzöld and as always, sorry to non-Hungarians, you must hate to pronounce all these weird words! 😅
Hey everyone! I’ve been super busy working on the in-house inks and they finally came to fruition! 😀 It took a little bit more than half a year to get here and truth be told progress was slow…tooo slow. I feel like the bulk of the research that needed to be done is past me and I am confident that the inks high quality and safe to use even in the most expensive pens.
The Inks and the Colors
Currently there are 15 new colors available but I do plan to introduce more as my time permits.
As you can see from the cover photo as well, not only the colors are new. While the old bottles were beautiful I needed to switch because the post kept breaking +50% of the fancy bottles each time. Needless to say that’s unfair for both me and the glass maker to bear the cost of so I now source these bottles locally from Budapest. I opted for amber bottles both because they were visually more appealing than the clear versions but also because it protects the ink from light.
Next up the labels. The design completely changed. For once, the old logo got replaced with the new Hungarian runes version. “Handmade” got onto it as well since these are 100% made by me in my small home lab and as you can see the color of the ink is now drawn directly onto it and not printed on. It was hard to match the color of the ink on the label previously to what was in the bottle plus that was plastic, this is paper which can be completely washed away. The adhesive that holds it onto the bottle is also water soluble because it’s….wait for it…milk! Yeah you have read that right, I use milk to stick labels onto the bottles. It turns out it’s a popular adhesive in the homebrew beer scene for sticking labels on bottles.
This means that the bottles can be completely and easily cleaned and reused once the ink runs out. I’m even seriously considering offering a free bottle of ink in anyone’s next order for every ten they send back. Although this probably wouldn’t be worth it considering shipping costs but hey, if we ever meet at a pen show I’ll definitely trade in old bottles. I mean why waste when you can recycle?
Finally one more thing. I now have boxes for the inks. Previously I haven’t thought about it and by the time I realized that I needed boxes for safer shipping I have already decided to switch bottles so it wasn’t worth paying for the custom tools required to cut out the boxes.
Why go with Pennonia inks?
I did a lot of testing with these inks and I feel they came out great, they are safe to use in fountain pens and I’m constantly trying to improve the formula and the preparation method to produce high quality inks! I also think some of the colors are unique but I do understand they might not satisfy the needs of all inkaholics who have moved past “standard” colors. They perform well, have decent water resistance too. I wouldn’t call them dry inks and I’m always open to feedback on how to improve them! So if you do get to try them and have any thoughts about them, let me know via e-mail or through Instagram!
Being a new player in the field I know the brand has to build up trust in the eyes of my intended audience. I was lucky enough to catch the eyes of the famous Nick Stewart who created swatch tests of the inks.
I will also attend the Pen Show Poland 2020 in Katowice this year so you can come up to table 19 and have a chat with me, try out the inks and see for yourself how they behave.
I was also lucky to catch the eye of @ink.o.holic and @by_stalowka who will soon receive samples of the inks so be sure to follow them! They will also be at the Pen Show Poland!
I’m happy to announce that our own store brand inks are available! 😀 It has been long in the works but they are finally here! There are a total of 11 colors available with plans to include a purple color in our line-up soon.
1. Why did you choose to use Hungarian names?
A. You may have read my first ever blog post. Pennonia is derived from Pannonia, the geographical region where Hungary is located. I wanted to pay homage to my Hungarian heritage and nationality.
2. Why did you choose these specific colors?
A. Quite honestly, personal preference. I also wanted to cover all the main colors so there would be more choice than a blue and a black ink.
3. Will there be more colors and new colors in future?
A. The short answer is yes. The long answer is: probably. Depending on how popular things get I’ll consider introducing more new and maybe even wacky colors or even taking out existing colors! All I know is that I don’t want to go crazy and have a bajilion of them. My goal is not to be the next ink vendor who has 100+ colors. I want to stick to a core set of colors for the time being and maybe introduce a new color a year, or do limited editions. I know some might not agree with me on this but I’m a simple guy, I want my stuff to be simple too.
4. Okay okay, so did you make these inks on your own?
A. Ink making has become quite popular with brands popping up like crazy over the last few months and I knew that if I’m going to start a fountain pen business then I will want to have my branded merchandise in it. I already have my ink swatch book (which btw I’m going to update in the near future based on customer feedback! 😀 ) so ink was the next step. Unfortunately I’m not a chemist so I didn’t create the inks myself, instead I contracted the ink making out to professionals in Europe who do know what they are doing. They have been very helpful and supportive and I can’t thank them enough for making Pennonia inks a reality.
5. I have a question but it’s not in the FAQ, what’s up?
A. Shoot me an e-mail and I’ll answer your questions as soon as possible! 😀
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