INK SWAB: 117/365 – Sailor Jentle Peche



In swabs, this ink looks like a pretty pink-to-lavender color, but in reality Sailor Jentle Peche was so light as to be unusable. If I’m remembering correctly, it was also super-dry and just didn’t flow from the pen at all. A truly frustrating experience.

This ink (and all others in the Sailor Jentle line) has been discontinued.

PEN REVIEW: Pilot Custom 912 – Music Nib

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Pilot Custom 912 – Music Nib

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The Pilot Custom 912 is a nice looking pen with classic styling. The body is black resin and the trim is shiny and silver in color.

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The cap screws on and posts easily to the back of the pen. The section is a bit shorter than average and this could present an issue for people with larger hands.

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Fill using the included Pilot CON-70 converter or Pilot’s proprietary cartridges. The CON-70 is unique in that it is a push-button / pump converter and it holds a bunch of ink (around 1 ml). I love it, but there are varying viewpoints out there.  The good news is that if a user hates it, one of the other Pilot converters can apparently be swapped in easily enough.

To learn more about the CON-70 pump converter, I suggest watching Brian Goulet’s video. Informative and entertaining:  “You have to really want it.”  “You have to attack it!” “BAM! BAM!”

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Music nibs are sometimes referred to as trident nibs because they have three tines. That is to say that this nib has two slits through which the ink flows. Lines drawn vertically are thicker with this kind of nib than lines horizontal lines.

Pilot Custom 912 Writing Samples

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With cursive writing, the pen writes wonderfully. But with printing I’m having some hard starts on some downstrokes. Arrgh.

The trouble can be seen in the image below. See where the M in “Music” and the I in “Nib” look a little off? It looks like there’s an issue with the left side of the nib.

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Now what?  Well, I love the pen and I’m not going to return it, but I will be looking for someone to tune the nib. Do you know a nibmeister with expertise making music nibs sing?

Also, if you have this pen, I’d love to hear what you think of it. Did you get the music nib, too?

SAN FRANCISCO PEN SHOW 2014: Review and Haul

Mr. Pentulant and I decided to head down to the SF Pen Show over the weekend (Saturday) and I thought you’d like to hear all about it.

The show was held at the Sofitel Hotel in Redwood City. It was a bit south of SFO, but easy enough to find – just look for the Oracle campus and take a right on Twin Dolphin Drive.

There were probably 50-60 vendors. I’m wondering if some who were expected didn’t show up? There was a large empty area to the right as soon as we entered – as in about 10-15% of the floor space.

I wasn’t too surprised at the small size of the show. The DC Pen Show was just two weeks ago, after all. The crowd was decent Saturday morning (we arrived around 11:00) and it looked like money was changing hands – all good news.

The SF Pen Show is a on/off thing – meaning that some years there isn’t a show.   I’m so glad it was on this year and definitely wanted to support the vendors who showed up to sell.

There were many familiar names and faces. Susan Wirth was there, Franklin-Christoph,, Mike it Work, Wahl-Eversharp, Bittner, Arizona Pens, Carmen Rivera, Steve Curnow, and many familiar faces even though I don’t know all of the names.

Here’s what I ended up with . . .

I’m a huge fan of my friend Steve Curnow, what he does, and how he does it. These handy notebooks (think Field Notes, but better) are filled with Tomoe River Paper.  Three notebooks for ten bucks, yo.

Steve also had a sample of ink waiting for me. It seems he found a GALLON of vintage Skrip Washable Blue.

1. How does someone “find” a gallon of ink? (Maybe he wasn’t being literal?)
2. Do I trust this old old ink in one of my fancy pens?

Mr. Pentulant scored this sweet Sailor Pro Gear Mini. He loves a cap that screws to post and this one has been on his wish list for quite awhile.

At the LA Pen Show earlier this year, I was so tempted by George Butcher’s Arizona Pens, but ultimately decided to pass.  I didn’t pass this time!

I want to tell you all about George and his pens, but will save that for when I review the pen. I can’t wait.

Carmen Rivera has very good taste in pens. This is the smaller and slimmer version of the Pilot Vanishing Point – called the Sesenta.

I don’t know much about this pen, but I’m definitely willing to learn. I love the pattern – it almost reminds me of a leopard print, but not nearly as tacky as that could be on a pen 😉

Wahl-Eversharp has an interesting history and it was difficult to choose just one.  I’m really excited about this pen – and so many others in line.  Can’t wait to talk more about them and Syd Saperstein.

I ultimately decided on the clear demonstrator (look at that packaging!).

I picked up two bottles of ink.  Above – Sailor Jentle Grenade

Below – J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage

Lierre Sauvage (and Lily Tomlin) is responsible for one of my most popular Instagram posts ever. At the time of that writing, I only had a sample. Excited about writing a complete review of this one for you.


Rhodia makes yellow paper! I’m oddly excited about this because I’ve never seen it available.

Annnnd….I have no idea what I’m going to do with the paper below, but I had to have it. It’s huuuuuge – that’s a box of J Herbin ink sitting on top of the paper.

So! That’s it.

Bottom Line:  It was a good time, lots of super-friendly people selling some really beautiful items. I only wish the show was bigger.

Were you there?

THIS OR THAT: Yama-dori or Ku-jaku

This or that? Top or bottom?  Which do you love?

Can you see the differences between these two inks?  One color is always on top. The other is always on the bottom.

Let’s take a closer look . . .

One of these is Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-jaku.  The other is Sailor Jentle Yama-dori.
Color is quite similar.
I see a definite difference here.
Not much difference here.
Which ink is this?  Hint:  it’s both!

Alrighty, which do you like? Both? Neither?  They are pretty close, yes? I would choose the top color – but not by much. It’s the shading that made the difference for me. I think I could be happy with either (even though teal isn’t my most favorite color).

Scroll down for the spoiler . . .

The top shade is Sailor Jentle Yama-dori. 
The bottom is Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-jaku.  

What is so interesting to me about this is that Yama-dori is legendary. Ku-jaku gets favorable reviews, but it’s not a Big Deal. The differences are subtle and if they weren’t side-by-side, I wonder if you or I could tell them apart.

Like I said yesterday, Yama-dori is my E.T. ink. You can read all about that right here.

What do you think? Am I crazy and there’s a huge difference that I’m not appreciating here?

INK REVIEW: Sailor Jentle Yama-dori

Sailor Jentle Yama-dori Fountain Pen Ink Review

I generally try to avoid reading much about inks before I have the opportunity to try them for myself. I want my opinion to definitely be my own and not influenced by others as much as possible.

That was impossible with Yama-dori. This ink has superstar status over on Fountain Pen Network. Even before the ink was re-released, there was chatter about how amazing it is – it sheens, it shades, it’s perfect! Gotta get me some of that!

I got mine from JetPens with pennies from my own piggy bank. It’s listed at $20 there. Looks like it can be had for a buck or two less at some other online stores.

There are things I really like about Yama-dori. It sheens, it shades, it flows really well. It passed the smear and highlight tests with flying colors.

Yama-dori is my E.T. of inks. Let me explain . . .

Waaaay back when the movie E.T. (you know, the Extra-Terristrial) came out in theaters, it was the Must See movie. OMG, gotta see it. What, you haven’t seen it?  You don’t know what you’re missing!  Best. Movie. Ever.

The build-up was just so much that there was practically no way the E.T. was going to meet my expectations. And it didn’t. I mean, it was ok.

And that’s kind of where I am with Yama-dori. It’s good. It’s nice. I like it. But am I coco-crazy-go-nutters for it?  Nah.

I’ll be back tomorrow (a rare Tuesday post!) with more show and tell on Yama-dori.  (How is that for a tease?)

In the meantime, check out the full review (click here for the full-size image – it’s huge), and tell me what you think.  Do you love Yama-dori?  Do you have an E.T. ink?

INK PREVIEW: Sailor Jentle Epinard

Oh man. I hate this ink. Lots of others love it – and I’ll admit that I have nothing against it other than the color.

Sailor Jentle Epinard is just not for me.

It even has some pretty nice shading.

If you can get past the color. Epinard.

But I can’t.

I used a TWSBI with a stub nib for this review. I’ve mentioned before and I’m saying again, I don’t think stubs are for me, but that has nothing to do with this ink. I just don’t like it.

In fact, I loaded up my pen, wrote a tiny bit with it and immediately rinsed it right out my pen. So glad I only had a sample and not the full bottle.

Love it, hate it?

QUICK LOOK WEDNESDAY: You call that red?

Time for another Quick Look Wednesday!

What do all of these inks have in common?  They are all samples from my bag of red inks.


 Private Reserve – Vampire Red
 Diamine – Maroon
 Pelikan Edelstein – Ruby
 Sailor Jentle – Grenade
So, yes, I sort my ink samples by color. I have so many that there has to be a system – I’ll take pictures and show you sometime soon. 
I first look at the name of the ink and sometimes it’s obvious where the ink belongs.  Delta Brown?  Not a big decision. Frankly, Pelikan Edelstein Ruby didn’t seem like a big decision either. Ruby – Red, right? Not so much. Yikes.
When the name doesn’t make it obvious, I open the sample, have a peek, and make a best guess. Sailor Jentle Grenade belongs with the purples. Oops.
I’m really liking Private Reserve Vampire Red. Perfect name for this color, yes? Can’t wait to write with it!
Maroon from Diamine is ok – nothing special to me. It’s one of those colors that isn’t really a color. Haha.
What do you think?  Do the names of inks get you all bothered, too? Ruby – ha!