“I take pride in using fountain pens. They represent craftsmanship and a love of writing. Biros, on the other hand, represent the throwaway culture of modern society, which exists on microwave ready-meals and instant coffee.”
― A Writer’s Year – Fennel’s Journal – No. 3
People give me Amazon Gift Cards for Christmas and my birthday – which is a good thing because I can’t hope for anyone to understand my odd and ridiculous tastes. The final box I ordered for my birthday arrived – taking over a month, probably because it was shipped from Japan.
It was a bottle of Pilot brand iroshizuku ink, in the syo-ro color, which is described as pine tree dew or gray turquoise.
It’s a fairly expensive ink, but that’s the idea of a gift card anyway – buy something you really like, but would be too dear for you to buy for yourself.
I wanted a new go-to color of ink and pored over the iroshizuku color charts to try and find the one I like the best – a sisyphean task. I wanted a dark color with subtle shading.
You see, once you start writing with fountain pens, you realize the quality of the writing experience depends on three primary variables. Everybody talks about the pen – people pay big money for fine pens. But the paper you write on is equally important. Some pens do better with some papers. And finally there is the ink.
Not only the color, but the qualities of the ink. Some ink works better in some pens, and the relationship with the ink and the paper is very complex.
Now I had my ink after its long journey on a slow boat. I love the bottle. Its a heavy, curved piece of glass art, with a cool little well at the bottom, to help get the last drops out.
After a little thought, I cleaned out my favorite Parker “51” and loaded it up. The ink and pen go together perfectly. It is a sweet luxury.
Had I only known. I just got back from Japan Monday. I could have loaded up my suitcase.
Yeah, I’ve wondered if fountain pen stuff is more available and reasonable in Japan – it sure is in China. Hope you had a good time.