Tools of Trade

Have a look into our work space and see which tools we use.

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Fountain pens

Pilot Urban

The cheapest fountain pen on the list, but certainly not the least. It’s a quality pen, which you can expect from a brand like Pilot. I bought this to keep at work. I didn’t mind if someone ‘borrowed’ my pen and didn’t return it. Thankfully, everyone was considerate enough not to borrow my fountain pen, but the ball point I had available.

This is an excellent pen for someone who wants to try out a fountain pen. The medium nib is thicker than a ball point, which might take some getting used to if you’re someone with small handwriting. The nib dances over the paper. I didn’t feel any scratching in all the time that I’ve used it. It’s also conveniently light and it can use international cartridges, which might be a big plus for some (if not most) people.

Parker Urban Night Sky Blue

Many, many years ago, when I first started university, I walked by this fancy office supplies store. They had wonderful pens on display, some over a thousand euros. This was also the time that I had to write much more than before (taking notes during all the classes, all day long). My hand couldn’t keep up and soon enough writing began to hurt. I was writing with ball points at the time, and I noticed that I used force to push the pen onto the paper. I wanted to see if a fountain pen would be easier to use.

I bought a Parker Urban in midnight blue, but it’s not available anymore, so here’s a replacement. The sales clerk helped me pick it out. I immediately felt I didn’t need to use any force to get the ink on paper. It helped me out so much. The Urban line has a special shape where the waist of the pen rests on your hand. The weight distribution is also taken into consideration to make writing as pleasant as possible. It was exactly what I needed.

Parker Urban CT Vibrant Blue Metal Edition

I love fountain pens, as you can see, and I wanted a special one to mark a special occasion, my wedding. While we didn’t have an official theme, this vibrant blue colour was seen everywhere. My hair, shoes, the cake, the invitations. I knew this pen would be the one the minute I saw it. I had the two pens (one for me, one for my husband) engraved with our names and the date.

This one is heavier than the other Urban, probably because the outside material is metal. Both Parker Urban pens use the Parker cartridges.

Waterman Hémisphère White CT

Another pen for a special occasion. My parents gave me this pen with the graduation date of my master’s degree. I also used it to sign the papers for our house.

It’s one of the few pens with a fine nib, and it shows in my writing. Every time I pick up this pen my handwriting because smaller. The fine nib gives me the feeling that it scratches the paper while it doesn’t. Using a good quality ink will also help getting rid of this feeling. It’s light compared to many of the other pens.

Waterman Perspective Azure CT

The first pen one my wishlist. I had a subscription on a writer’s magazine and one of the international fountain pen magazines was included. The Waterman Perspective had just been released and a beautiful close up was included in the release article. The details caught my eye and the image never left my mind. Years later, my husband and Raven teamed up to give me the pen I wanted the most. I never saw this random gift coming. Thanks again, guys!

This is one of the heaviest pens I own, one thing I hadn’t expected. Besides the weight, it was everything I wanted. The lovely ice blue colour with neat relief which can also be found on the nib.

Cross Botanica Hummingbird

I fell in love with the colours of this one. I could’ve picked any of the other pens and feel that same joy. The whole Botanica series is perfect for a smile on your face.

This pen is also the very reason why you shouldn’t fall for the exterior. I don’t know if all the pens have this, but mine scratches the paper. It’s especially noticeable when I run out of ink. This is a big downside. Another one is that the beautiful pattern started fading after frequent use. Just below the chrome ring the pattern has faded slightly. Most people wouldn’t notice until you point it out. I’ll think twice before buying a pen with decorations painted on it.

Pelikan Classic 205 Aquamarine Edition

I bought this one as the limited edition set with an ink bottle. The bottle was already on my wishlist, and, heck, another pen. I don’t mind. The Pelikan M205 is a classic model, with the aquamarine colour as a limited edition. It’s the only pen I own with the piston system build in the pen. The semi-transparent body makes it easy to see how much ink is left. It’s one of the best refill systems I’ve used. Not all converters work as smoothly as this one.

Most of the pen is made of plastic, which gives the pen a nice weight. It’s another light one. The medium is also much longer than of the other pens, making it more elegant. I recommend this one for anyone with a higher budget for a pen. The only downside is that you can’t choose if you want to use a cartridge or converter. You’ll have to stick with bottled ink. On plus side, it’s cheaper in the long run.

TWSBI Eco-T Turquoise

My husband has made it a habit to give me pens for special occasions, and Christmas is no exception. Last year he gave me a TWSBI. I had never heard of that brand before, but the Japanse lettering and piston filling system peaked my curiosity. The pen is transparent, except for the turning mechanism at the bottom and the cap.

I filled it with De Atramentis Ruby Red to test it out, and the red looks beautiful in combination with the blue. I wouldn’t say it’s turquoise, but more of a light blue. You can see the ink moving from the compartment to the nib, something I hadn’t seen before since I don’t own any demonstrators and the Pelikan M205 isn’t clear enough.

The TWSBI has a fine nib, which would’ve been my choice as well. The finer the nib, the smaller I write, which can be a problem since my handwriting will become close to unreadable. It writes smoothly on Rhodia paper. In combination with the De Atramentis ink, it flies over the paper. No scratching, no ink leaking.

You can also get the EF, M, B and 1.1 stub nibs. Remember that Japanese nibs are thinner than Western nibs. An F nib from TWSBI is comparable to a Western EF nib.

The big advantage of this pen is that you can completely disassemble the pen. You can clean every single part. It isn’t something you should do in a hurry or without checking the instructions.

I looked up the price for this wonderful new addition (yes, I know it’s rude to check how much your gift costs, but it’s part of my job, right?) and I was pleasantly surprised that it fits in the lower budget list. It’s definitely a good starter pen or addition to someone just starting out who wants to use bottled ink.

Inks

Bottles

Diarmine inks Turquoise, Mint

Pelikan Edelstein Ink Collection – Aquamarine

Lamy Vibrant Pink Limited Edition

Parker Royal Blue

Pelikan Navy Blue

De Atramentis Ruby Red Ink

Cartridges

J. Herbin

Cross

Parker

Pilot

Ballpoints / Highlighters

Parker Rollerpen

Pilot Frixion

Notebooks

Moleskine

Paperblank

Leuchtturm 1917

Filofax

Rhodia

Misc.

Post-its

Converters

Washi tape

Kobo ereader

Talens Watercolor paint

Software

Scrivener

Google Keep

Hardware

Asus Transformer