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My pen storage and ink tracking system


mhwombat
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I wanted a way to keep my pens easily available, but protected. Pen chests and leather cases don't particularly appeal to me.

 

So here's my solution. I found an Etsy maker in the Netherlands who makes these absolutely gorgeous pen rolls. The photos don't do them justice; you have to see them in real life. The material and construction are very sturdy; this thing will outlast me. You can just tell this person takes pride in their work. I can grab the case and pull out the pen I want with one hand. I don't have any connection to the maker; I just like to share good handmade crafts when I find them.

 

I also wanted a way to keep track of which ink is in which pen. But I didn't want to use a spreadsheet or other file. I'm a tech geek, but fountain pens are one area of my life I'd like to keep low-tech.

 

So I got some large popsicle sticks (you can buy these at art supply stores), enough to have one for each ink I own. On the end of the stick, I apply a colour swatch. Below that, I write the name of the ink. After I fill a pen, I put it in the pouch with the appropriate popsicle stick tucked in behind. If you zoom in on the first picture, you can see the system in action. At a glance I can tell which pen has which colour, and if I want to know specifically which ink is in the pen, I can pull out the popsicle stick and read it. The large popsicle sticks are the perfect size for this, when you put them all the way in the pocket, just enough peeks out to see the colour.
 

 

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looking for a pen with maki-e dancing wombats

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I use Taccia pen rolls.  I like the better than any other storage system as they are useful, beautiful, and portable!  I will have to try out the popsicle stick idea- thanks!

Festina lente

Optimism kills

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I like your popsickle stick idea. I assume you only want to have a particular ink in one pen at a time.

 

How do you organize the sticks for the inks you aren't using at the moment? 

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What a wonderful idea to use popsicle sticks!

 

I use a name-engraved personalized leather pen roll for the "arts" set (mechanical pencil, Kuretake fude pens...) bought off AliExpress, but I guess nowadays one can find pen rolls almost anywhere in almost any make. Choosing a really (not claimed) handmade one is also a great idea, that will give you an also personal and unique craft item.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Paul-in-SF said:

I like your popsickle stick idea. I assume you only want to have a particular ink in one pen at a time.

 

How do you organize the sticks for the inks you aren't using at the moment? 

Yes, I only have each ink in one pen at a time. Also, I don't use similar colours simultaneously, i.e. I would only have one pen inked with a red ink, one with grey, etc.

 

I only have about 20 inks, so I just keep the sticks for the unused inks in a bundle. However, as I acquire more inks I will probably do the same thing I do with my ink swatch sheets: group them by colour family.

looking for a pen with maki-e dancing wombats

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Funny story. When I got that pen roll, I said to myself "This roll holds eight pens. Eight pens is enough. You're going to give away or trade your least favourite pens until all your pens fit in this roll. Eight pens, no more."

 

But I just bought a second roll in a different pattern because it was just too lovely to resist.

 

So, um... does anyone have the phone number for a good rehab facility for fountain pen addicts?

looking for a pen with maki-e dancing wombats

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16 minutes ago, mhwombat said:

So, um... does anyone have the phone number for a good rehab facility for fountain pen addicts?

No, but after thinking the same way as you did I am hunting for roll #4 and pondering what other patterns I could get Taccia to expand their line to.   Other than the one I am eyeing, the remaining fabrics they have on offer are not my cup of tea.  I find the more rolls I have, the more pens I use regularly, so on a price per use basis my -ahem- hobby has become much more affordable!

Festina lente

Optimism kills

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Just now, essayfaire said:

I find the more rolls I have, the more pens I use regularly, so on a price per use basis my -ahem- hobby has become much more affordable!

LOL! I like your logic.

looking for a pen with maki-e dancing wombats

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I don't normally obsess over this type of thing, but some people do, and it did occur to me, so though I would ask the question - how do you keep the popsicle sticks from scratching your pens? Or do you not worry about it? It seems, that on at least some materials pens are made from it might be a legitimate concern.

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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The popsicle sticks are very smooth, and the wood is soft.

 

I should clarify that these aren't just ordinary popsicle sticks that you get in an ice cream. Those would be smaller and wouldn't stick up out of the pocket. Also, those might be made of harder wood. These are larger and are made for crafting.

looking for a pen with maki-e dancing wombats

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That is a great system.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OK ... the craft stick idea is GENIUS!  I keep forgetting what colour is in my pens and cannot be bothered to look it up.  This solves that issue in such a simply elegant way.  Thanks for sharing.

I am different.  Let this not alarm you.  ~ Paracelsus

If you're interested in corresponding, let me know!

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you for pointing out VOSCrafts!  I ordered a pen roll and it's truly beautiful.  I'll be trying out your ink-tracking system with it, too.  Great ideas! 

 

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4 hours ago, BrassRatt said:

Thank you for pointing out VOSCrafts!  I ordered a pen roll and it's truly beautiful.  I'll be trying out your ink-tracking system with it, too.  Great ideas!

Glad I helped!

looking for a pen with maki-e dancing wombats

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