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Finished The Bottle, Now What?

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I reached a milestone in this new fountain pen adventure - I finished my first bottle of ink. Well, technically, perhaps not, as I did write with a fountain pen years ago, in high school, but I don't exactly remember finishing a bottle then, so let's say this one is my first.


I cannot help but smile when I am browsing through ink discussions and pictures in this sub-forum. There's a mind-boggling variety of colors, properties, brands, and other factors to consider.


I have so far used the Pelikan Brilliant Black 4001 ink, which I bought along with my pen, an Aurora with an extra-fine nib. I like the Pelikan ink a lot! I have not experienced feathering or bleed-through, my pen never skips or dries out, the ink looks great on the page. The Pelikan ink is very easy to flush out of the pen and it doesn't stain my ink view window. I write mostly on ordinary office paper, laser printer paper, and in my Moleskine journal. I am definitely buying another bottle of the stuff.


However, I do want to try another ink, try something new. No doubt, my desire has been fuelled by all of y'all. No, I don't blame you for it, I thank you it.


What ink should I try next? Ideally, I'd like to keep most of the properties of the 4001 in terms of behavior, but I am open to trying other colors. Thanks for your recommendations!



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  • ac12


  • nickmazur


  • NinthSphere


  • musicman123


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Noodler's Dark Matter is a fascinating black with a great backstory.

Walk in shadow / Walk in dread / Loosefish walk / As Like one dead

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Hi Nick,


My story is just like yours in that we used FPs one year only. Freshman year, that's it!!! So just before I joined FPN was my first dedicated venture into these wonderful writing instruments. My first pen a Souverän M400 & Brilliant Black 4001 first ink.


I have a number of other brands of FPs now and pretty much like them all. I've used quite a lot of inks, too.


I would recommend:





Pelikan Edelstein Collection and of course

FPN Inks


There are a lot more inks that I've both used & not, and many of which I have never heard. Thankfully we have FPN members much more experienced than me to help you.



If your out-go is more than your income,


Then your up-keep.


May be your Down-falll!!!



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Pelikan Green :)


Actually go to Gouletpens.com or one of the other online vendors that has an ink sample page, and check out the different colors, and order a few samples. This way you do not commit to an entire bottle, that you may not like.

Blue is not blue, there are a LOT of blues. Same for greens. So you can get lost in either of those colors.

It is a slippery slope.


And you NEED another pen, so one one has your "normal" ink (such as blue, black, blue-black), and the 2nd pen has the ink that you are 'experimenting' with (such as green, orange, red, etc).

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California


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And you NEED another pen


Or a few. I'm fond of Pelikan Turquoise. The FPN inks are all great. I'd second hitting up Goulet for samples of what catches your eye.

Edited by NinthSphere
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I would also recommend getting a bunch of samples of different inks to see what you like. I would recommend anything by Waterman, Parker, Aurora, Pelikan Edelstein, and Diamine! It's hard to go wrong with those brands.



Check out my blog at Inks and Pens

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Just for thought, these are the ink/colors that I currently have inked up:

  • Waterman blue
  • Private Reserve DC Super Show blue
  • Waterman black
  • Cross/Pelikan black
  • Sheaffer Skrip red
  • Private Reserve black cherry
  • Sheaffer Skrip turquoise
  • Waterman green
  • Diamine Ultra Green
  • Diamine Sherwood Green

When I feel like using another color, I just grab a different pen.

Edited by ac12

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California


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Thank you for your suggestions! I wasn't aware of the samples, ac12. Well, I did see them mentioned around the forums but never really researched them. I can now see at least a couple of online vendors selling samples. Cool! I think I am going to start conservatively and order a set of Waterman and Pelikan samples, blue, turquoise, and maybe blue-black.


As for getting another pen, well, I feel like I am standing at the precipice just about to plummet down the fountain pen addiction void :). I wouldn't even know where to start, but if I was seriously thinking about it, I'd love to try a vintage pen. The thrill is (almost) irresistible.



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I'm a huge fan of Noodler's inks. I feel that the color and shading on many of their inks is just a cut above many other offerings.


I'm actually not that fond of most "well behaved" inks. They are boring.

Fountain pens forever and forever a hundred years fountain pens, all day long forever, forever a hundred times, over and over Fountain Pen Network Adventures dot com!


- Joe

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Tip: If you are going to play with a lot of different inks, get a pen that is EASY to clean.

For me that means a Parker 45.

For some an Esterbrook, a TWSBI, etc.

You want a pen that is EASY to clean the nib, section and ink reservoir.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California


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I'll second Goulet's website for finding your next ink. Click the Comparison Tools area and then click swab shop. You can search by color, brand or use the interactive tool to compare several side by side once you narrow down some choices. My own personal method is finding colors I like on Goulet then coming back here to FPN; searching the Ink Review Index and reading all of the reviews to decide if it's something I want to try.

"In this world... you must be oh, so smart, or oh, so pleasant. Well for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant."

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@nickmazur - be wild, get a sample of each color :) My propositions of well behaved, easily obtainable inks:


Blue - Private Reserve Ds Blue, Visconti Blue,

Turquoise - Turquoise - Pelikan 4001, Eel Turquoise - Noodler's

Azur - Topaz - Pelikan Edelstein

Blue/Black - Shin - Kai Pilot Iroshizuku, Verdigris - Rohrer & Klingner, Tanzanite - Pelikan Edelstein

Green - Lierre Sauvage - J. Herbin, Moss Green - Graf von Faber-Casstell, Alt-Goldgrun - Rohrer & Klingner

Violet / purple - Poussiere de Lune - J. Herbin, Tyrian Purple - Diamine, Violet - Pelikan

Red - Red Dragon - Diamine, Morinda - ROhrer & Klingner, Oku-Yama - Sailor

Brown - Lie de The - J. Herbin, Sepia - Visconti, Chocolate Brown - Diamine, Walnut - Noodler's

Orange - Orange Indien - J. Herbin, Yu-yake - Pilot Iroshizuku, Apache Sunset - Noodler's


I started with Pelikan Royal Blue cartridge, than I bought Pelikan Brown bottle and Turquoise. Lated some Diamines in new colors (green, red, brown) and J. Herbins. And then I was sucked into the world of fountain pen inks hues. It's fun adventure :)

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