Posted on Leave a comment

Ink Review #1: Pelikan 4001 Dark Green

Pelikan 4001 Dark Green - Ink Review

Hi and welcome to another ink review at Pennonia! Before we delve into it I just want to talk a little bit about the review process. On upcoming reviews I won’t post this info but I want take a little time and talk about how I’m doing the reviews and what I came up with. 🙂

Okay so I only did two “proper” reviews on the site but as part of the 2019 refocus of Pennonia I decided to take things more seriously and come up with my own standardized process because I’m sure everyone values consistency and it’s basically needed to somewhat compare inks between themselves. So actually this first post will feature the “prototype” page I have created and the actual standard post will come after the next review (although only the presentation is slightly different).

Here’s how I’m going to do my ink reviews and what elements it includes:

1. Brief presentation and personal opinion about the ink
2. Scanned writing sample + water test scan
3. Ink swatch and similar inks (naturally only those which I own)
4. Optional: Some product/studio shots if I have the time to set up the lights, camera etc.

My monitors are color calibrated so I’ll try to match the inks as closely to what I can see in real life, but it’s really hard to get them to look like as they do and not to mention that everyone’s monitor displays color slightly differently.

The scanned writing sample includes the following information:

1. Paper: For my paper I chose Rhodia 80g/m2 (DOTPAD No 16) because I think it’s a fairly accessible paper and it seems highly regarded in the eyes of most people. I’m sure it won’t satisfy everybody’s needs but I don’t want to complicate things for myself by using different brands as there are simply way too many of them.

2. Writing test: This will be done using capital and cursive handwriting. I think both are necessary because capital letters show shading more easily due to the fact you have to raise the nib a lot more than using cursive (where you can write down whole words without lifting the pen). I chose to write down one of my favorite childhood ballads: “Toldi” by János Arany. Each review will feature one stanza. I will choose a random pen from my collection to write it and I won’t do different nib sizes.

3. Very rudimentary doodles: Literally a square drawn with lines and a square drawn with circles/loops.

4. Ink swab: Ink swabs are an integral part of most reviews and I wanted to include them in mine as well. Over at the Pen Addict slack user @Inkantadora suggested that I should turn the pen over and just drag the nib across the page instead of using a cotton swab and I have to say it’s a great idea because it’s super fast, doesn’t waste ink, no risk of contaminating your bottle and personally I think it spreads the ink more thinly so it’s not that unrealistically saturated.

5. Star rating system: Okay so the star rating system goes from 1 to 5, I don’t think I need to explain how numbered ratings work. Categories include flow, lubrication (yeah I know it can be considered the same as flow but to me lubrication means smoothness when writing, while flow refers to how much ink goes onto the paper), shade, sheen and water resistance. The only thing I want to talk about here is water resistance and how I’m doing my test. I write one line on a mini Rhodia Dotpad No 12, tear out the paper, put it into the sink and pour on it one mug of water (300 ml, simulates a spill on your desk)

Okay! So now that this is out of the way here’s the actual review

Continue reading Ink Review #1: Pelikan 4001 Dark Green

Posted on Leave a comment

Budapest Pen Meet – 2019 January

Some of you guys may already know this but we have monthly pen meets here in Budapest 😀 and I thought it would be a good idea to post a quick summary of what we have talked about and to post some photos as well.

This month’s pen meet we had a new pen enthusiast join us! Hi Adrian! 😀 It’s really nice to have a new person join our monthly pen meets. Usually there are at least 5 people but if adult life wouldn’t get in the way there are about 20 people who come to these meets as their time permits them. We tried out a new place this time because our usual place had really dim lights and it’s not so good when you’re trying to compare ink colours. We went to Mon Cheri Cafe and we found a good spot where light was directly shining onto our tables which did wonders!

We talked about quite a lot of things as usual. The main things we’re basically the state of fountain pen use and culture in Hungary and in Romania and we have concluded that it’s pretty much non-existent especially compared to some nations like the Dutch. In Hungary fountain pens are usually seen as a gift you give someone for graduation or as a corporate gift (or for your boss) but apart from that it has been pretty much phased out in everyday use partly do to our modern society and partly because not a lot of emphasis is given upon them in schools anymore.

Another topic we have discussed is importing fountain pen related goods outside of the European Union, we shared our experiences and our thoughts on buying from abroad, on how unfair paying 27% VAT is and how lucky Americans are that most of the stuff over there is cheaper (although I guess they could say the same thing about European brands 😛 ).

Naturally we also had to try out every pen and ink we have brought, Sailor, Pilot, Nakaya, Namiki pens dominated the field today since most in our group prefer Japanese pens (at least that’s the impression I have got) but there were some European pens as well like, Aurora, Pelikan (Ocean Swirl represent!) and Waterman. Daniel sent me an interesting story the other day posted to a forum, the tl;dr is that the Pilot Custom 823 was created because the staff at Pilot thought that the Pelikan M800 has degraded in quality over the years and they wanted to recapture the feeling of the old M800 they all used and loved. You can read the whole story here if you want.

I brought two things to the meet this time around. One was 160g letter paper from Piccolo Press Scotland because I wanted to get the opinion of the others whether it would be good to create notebooks out of them. Personally I think the paper is really nice but we’ll see what the others say in the February meet about it once they have tested it out. The other thing(s) that I brought were ink bottles! I contacted a glassware maker in Italy about ink bottles and they sent me some samples of their lineup. As it turns out they are most likely making bottles for Diamine, Omas, Jacques Herbin, De Artemis and probably somebody else as well. Now the reason I contacted them about these bottles is because I’m going to start selling my own brand of inks! 😀 This means that once I get my hands on the bottles I’ll be able to start offering Pennonia inks YAY! 😀

So the reason I brought these bottles to the meet is because I wanted to ask the others which ones did they like the most (and in order to catch any bottles that might be used by other manufacturers as I didn’t want to use a bottle design that’s already associated with somebody else). Anyway we managed to find the perfect bottle so once I have labels printed up and the bottles filled (and received the bottles 😛 ) I’ll be able to take some nice glamour shots and product photos. Hopefully everyone will be satisfied by the quality of the ink and the bottle as well!

That was about it but I probably forgot a lot of stuff since everybody had so much new things to say and talk about and I also didn’t manage to talk with everyone this time around. Hopefully next month! 😀 See you guys until then.

Posted on Leave a comment

Refocusing Pennonia in 2019

Pennonia is a very young venture since it “only” began in June of 2018. It was quite an eventful six months both in my life and in the development of Pennonia. I gained valuable experience on how to manage and run an online business and I thought I would give you guys an update on how things will change in the coming year…and I also wanted to say I’m still alive even if the blog and Instagram posts have stopped for a while.

When I first thought of Pennonia I wanted it to have as much content as possible in order to rival the offerings of more well known online retailers. To an extent I think I actually did quite good here because Pennonia currently has over 700 products listed and I still haven’t gotten around to upload Diamine inks, Platinum pens and inks. So this could grow even bigger easily. What I have learned though is that a small online retailer simply can’t compete or match giants like Appelboom, Fonto Plumo or Casa della Stilographica when it comes to variety of products offered. Every manufacturer has a bajilion pens with different colors and nib sizes and having everything in stock gets insanely expensive. Maintaining and updating availability of all of these products is also a huge undertaking and distributors don’t usually have everything in stock or don’t communicate with the retailers on what products are taken out of circulation and which new products are being introduced. (although if it were my company I would definitely create an API which retailers could use to verify stock levels)

Continue reading Refocusing Pennonia in 2019

Posted on Leave a comment

REVIEW: Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Bordeaux

Hey guys! I’m sorry for the slow updates, life always finds a way to come between you and your hobbies. 😂 I thought I’ll tackle the Rohrer & Klingner line-up before moving onto something else. I personally really like their inks, have tested them all previously before starting Pennonia. Generally Rohrer & Klingner inks are characterized by being wet inks that flow really well. Some of their colors are also rather unique and the colors that can also be found from other ink makers (well to be fair, really similar colors, not the exact ones) also write and look great.

Today’s choice was their Alt-Bordeaux color. The name of the ink and the color match perfectly and let me tell you why. In fact I’m going to start by telling you why I decided to start with this color specifically. Christmas is almost upon us and Christmas fairs are everywhere. One of the staple drinks of every Christmas fair is mulled wine. So me and my girlfriend decided to make some at home and it just so happens that if red wine dries it will have the same color as Rohrer & Klingner’s Alt-Bordeaux.

Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Bordeaux (50 ml bottled ink) Ink Swab
Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Bordeaux (50 ml bottled ink) Ink Swab

Now the name is fitting because “Alt” in German means “old” i.e. dried wine. Bordeaux is a wine making region in France (much like Burgundy, both of which are also color names) so the translation of the ink’s name would be “Old Wine”, which this ink definitely looks like. I’m sorry for getting into the linguistics part 😂 I was an English major and I like to babble about grammar, translation etc.

Continue reading REVIEW: Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Bordeaux

Posted on Leave a comment

ANNOUNCEMENT: Rohrer & Klingner SketchINKs are available at Pennonia

Rohrer & Klingner SketchINK

Good news everyone! These lovely inks are available from Pennonia as well starting from today. If you’re looking for permanent inks that don’t break the bank, are not iron gall and also have great colors then you found them. These can serve as alternatives to Rohrer & Klingner’s Dokumentus line which are basically the Bugattis of permanent inks with their ISO 12757-2 certification.

I’ll let Rohrer & Klingner describe their inks:

sketchINK® is a range of 10 inks for fountain pens. The broad range of colours offers outstanding versatility to its users. Not only can it be used on stylographs: sketchINK® can be used with quills or brushes as well. Moreover, it is exceptionally waterproof and lightfast. Nano pigments are used to enable an optimal ink flow. This makes sketchINK® perfect for drawing fine outlines, which take less time to dry and get ready to be painted over. For colouring, sketchINK® can be mixed with water to create brilliant highlights, making it the ideal companion for Urban Sketchers. Designers, graphic artists and architects will appreciate it as well.

Note that waterproof inks can cause clotting in fountain pens. To address this and for the daily care of your drawing equipment, we recommend that you clean your pens thoroughly after using the ink with either water or with a pen cleaning solution.

I did some glamour shots of these lovely bottles 😀 Check them out at the bottom 😉

What’s your favorite color out these? I’m personally in love with Marlene and Emma especially because I also love Alt-Goldgrun from them. Jule is also pretty interesting being a dull burgundy it feels like something you would expect from 100 year old ink to look like on some letter you found in grandma’s attic.

Continue reading ANNOUNCEMENT: Rohrer & Klingner SketchINKs are available at Pennonia

Posted on Leave a comment

REVIEW: Rohrer & Klingner Aubergine Limited 2018 (is available at Pennonia)

I’m happy to announce that the limited edition Rohrer & Klingner Aubergine fountain pen ink is available for sale at Pennonia! This year Rohrer & Klingner brought us a deep and dark purple color so that we can write our thoughts and notes down. Production is limited to about 2000 bottles worldwide so grab the limited color while stocks last!

It comes in a neat little paper roll and is also distinguished from the normal line up by a full color design of the label on the bottle.

Naturally I already tried out my own bottle and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the color of the ink. The inks flows and behaves just as good as any other Rohrer & Klingner does so no surprise there! I did try it out on numerous papers including Rhodia and Tomoe River 52 gsm and the ink does not sheen. Shading is also pretty limited, almost non-existent. As with almost all Rohrer & Klingner inks, Aubergine is also a bit more wet with less surface tension. This means that it flows easily out of the pen and I actually had trouble with this since if you combine a wet ink with a wet nib/feed then it will mean feathering. Usually Rhodia doesn’t feather but this ink has managed to do it.

You can also see this property in the ink swatch below as I used a dip pen to write the name of the ink on it and it clearly looks almost black while in reality if you use a normal pen with a standard nib size (i.e. Medium or below) you’ll probably get a really nice writing experience.

Rohrer & Klingner Aubergine Ink Swab
Rohrer & Klingner Aubergine Ink Swab

Here’s a writing test done on a Rhodia Dotpad 80 g/m2 (gsm) paper. The color of the ink in itself is beautiful. It’s not one of those highly saturated bright purples that you always see. It’s a really nice dark purple ink with nice shading and no sheen. I actually like that this ink doesn’t sheen because it’s normal color is really pleasant and I think it would detract from it.

I didn’t test dry times so unfortunately I can’t comment on that 🙁 . Sorry about that and I know it makes my review incomplete. On the other hand I did try a water resistance test and it’s not that great. If you’re looking for something that can withstand a spill, look elsewhere.

Check out the gallery below or head on to the product page for high resolution photos.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted on Leave a comment

Inktober 2018 – Day 31; PILOT Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku

So this is it! The final picture for this year’s Inktober! I would like to thank all of you for checking out the pictures and for staying with us until the end! A special thank you goes to Eli Tempfli for these beautiful drawings! It would’ve been impossible without you! 😀

Iroshizuku ku-jaku Ink Swab
Iroshizuku ku-jaku Ink Swab
Posted on Leave a comment

Inktober 2018 – Day 27; Rohrer & Klingner Blu Mare

There are so many turquoise inks in the wild and going by color I think some are indistinguishable from another. What makes the R&K Blu Mare distinct is it’s good flow. So if you like ink that is a bit more runny definitely check this out.

Check this post out on our Instagram 📸😀

Rohrer & Klingner Blu mare (50 ml bottled ink) Ink Swab
Rohrer & Klingner Blu mare (50 ml bottled ink) Ink Swab