Rohrer & Klingner Verdigris Ink Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

As another part of the Ink Drop subscription from January, I finally got around to inking up the Verdigris sample from Rohrer & Klingner. This, like most of the samples, was one that I was completely unfamiliar with, so I looked it up online to see what I could expect. From what I could tell, I was expecting a black-green or black-teal color, which seemed like an interesting color that could add some interesting pop to the page. So, I inked it up in a Lamy Vista with a fine nib.

First, let's talk about the properties of the ink. This is my first experience with this brand, so I was really interested to see how it behaved in the pen and on the page. I've heard many, many great things about several of the other inks from the brand.

This ink is exceptionally smooth on the page. It's a real joy to write with. Dry time leaves something to be desired, but it's not terrible. If you're a left-handed writer, you might not do well with this one. There's a very small degree of shading that's really only noticeable under bright light. Even with a wide nib, it was difficult to coax out any shading. I didn't notice until taking pictures with an off-camera flash that there's a bit of sheen visible in this ink. If only this were visible under normal light, that would be fantastic! As it is, though, shading and sheen are hardly noticeable in real situations.

Now, I don't intentionally sniff new inks, but I do notice any scents that come up while writing. This ink does have a slight scent, but it's not bad. It's very similar to other ink smells that I've noticed in the past.

Cleaning the ink out of the pen is incredibly easy. I don't believe that this ink has the same reputation as other inks, such as Scabiosa, which has warnings about leaving it in a pen for long without being used because it's an iron gall ink. Of course, it's not a great idea to leave ink in a pen unused for too long, but Verdigris is more in line with "normal" inks.

As far as a drip test, the ink did not do well. Not surprising, but worth mentioning since it does have some black in it.

Which brings me to the color. This is a green-black ink that sometimes has some blue showing through, so maybe a teal-black. Either way, the black side of the ink is predominant in a way that makes the other colors difficult to detect. I've always disliked (insert color name here)-black inks that lean really far into the black territory, and this one is no exception. Keep in mind, this is just my own personal preference, but when using this ink, I'm disappointed by the lack of color on the page. Again, only in bright light is it possible to see the green (and sometimes blue) peeking through. For me, I like just a bit less black in these types of mixed inks, and Verdigris is just too dark.

Is it a great ink? Absolutely. Is it one that I'll use again? Probably not. Why? The color (or lack thereof) just isn't for me. Keeping all that in mind, this might be just the ink you've been looking for, and, if so, I highly recommend it to you. Otherwise, I'd stay away unless you're looking for a black ink that sometimes lets a tad of green/blue peek through.

Posted on March 4, 2015 and filed under Rohrer & Klingner, Ink Reviews.

The Pen Addict Podcast: Episode 144 - Found It!

MYKE!!!

Good things come to those who wait. Or something like that. After Myke's story time, I go through the big mail day I had and talk about my recent reviews of the Nakaya Portable, Pilot Custom 74, and Midori Traveler's Notebook.

Show Notes & Download Links

This episode of The Pen Addict is sponsored by:

lynda.com: An easy and affordable way to help individuals and organizations learn. Free 10-day trial.

Pen Chalet: use the code PENADDICT to save 10% on your order or click the ‘podcast’ link at the top of the website and enter the password 'penaddict' for even more savings, as well as your 10% off.

Squarespace: Build it Beautiful. Use code INK for 10% off.

Posted on March 3, 2015 and filed under Podcast.

Midori Traveler's Notebook Passport Review

To say the Midori Traveler's Notebook has a cult following is probably a bit of an understatement. The Western market has begun to discover this over the past few years, while the Far East is knee deep into all things Traveler's. I admit to not really "getting it" for a while, but now that I have a Passport sized Midori I'm beginning to see what all the fuss is about.

People ask me all the time "Why fountain pens?" My answer, almost always, is customization. I can take one specific fountain pen and build it exactly to my liking with nib and ink choices. Someone else can choose the same fountain pen and have a completely different, yet still perfect, experience. This exemplifies what the Midori Traveler's notebook is all about.

It starts with a simple leather cover. The not too thick, not too thin, rectangular hide has no adornments, aside from the few holes the elastic bands require, along with two small slits in the spine. If anything, I think the simplicity of the cover is what confuses people the most about the Midori Traveler's system. Why should I pay $50 for a non-descript hunk of leather? I struggled with that same question for years. But then again, why fountain pens?

Customization is at the core of what the Midori Traveler's system is all about. I use the term system loosely, because there are honestly zero guidelines on how you should use or build your Traveler's Notebook. I started out simple, in this case choosing two grid notebooks, a zipper case to hold business cards and loose papers, and a set of connecting bands, which we will get to in a moment.

To put it into action, you simply need to slide one notebook through the elastic band found in the spine of the leather cover, and then add any additional notebooks or accessories with the help of the aforementioned connecting bands. Mentioning these bands for a second time is where a slight digression needs to take place. Part of the fun of the Midori Traveler's system is that you don't need to buy any part of it to have a similar experience. The connecting bands? Rubber bands that you probably have laying around the house. Leather cover? Google the term "fauxdori". Any paper insert can be printed from one of the many Midori resources on the web. All that said, Midori gets design - and marketing - right. Quality and thoughtfulness of their products is part of the experience.

I'm a novice compared to those who have been using a Midori Traveler's notebook for a while, but I am having fun putting personal touches on my Passport. One of the most common questions that arise around this size Midori is will a Field Notes notebook, or any other standard 3.5" x 5.5" memo book fit in the cover? In short, no. The leather cover is designed to hold a 3.5" x 5" notebook, so standard memo books are too long. But you know what does fit perfectly? The Baron Fig Apprentice. Adding one of those into my Passport cover was a no-brainer.

While building it is fun, putting the Midori Traveler's Notebook into use as part of my daily carry is still something I am working on. Prior to getting this model from JetPens, I had purchased the regular sized Midori cover from the now shuttered Resor Shop. I loved every aspect of the bigger size, but I never fully committed to it. The Passport seems more my size and speed. So far, I am using it for daily tasks and future planning as part of my portable writing kit. I can toss my inbox (aka the Nock Co. DotDash Notebook) and any pen I want to use through the external elastic band and hit the road.

Before I owned a Midori I drooled at all of the pictures online of various Traveler's Notebook setups. Patrick Ng is my Midori muse, and should be followed by anyone with an interest in Midori, or even an in interest in product photography and design. His day job keeps him on the front lines of all things Midori, and his Instagram and Flickr feeds are not to be missed.

How do you use your Midori? What tips and tricks do you have? Who do you follow in the Traveler's Notebook world? I'm on board the Traveler's train and ready to explore!

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Posted on March 2, 2015 and filed under Midori, Notebook Reviews, Traveler's Notebook.

Three Questions With Johnny Gamber From Pencil Revolution

The Pencil Revolution will be written, and that’s just how Johnny Gamber wants it. Johnny has been doing his thing online since 2005, making him the godfather of our little online world. My thanks to Johnny for answering Three Questions.

1. What role do analog tools such as pens, pencils, and paper play in your day to day life?

Paper is literally My Brain on a daily basis. It is my Memory and my Expansion Slot. If I need to remember something, I have to write it down. A combination of sleep deprivation, over-exposure to technology and too much time in higher education have combined to really erode my memory. When I realize I haven't written something down, there is a horror I feel in the abyss of my Being because I know it is gone forever. I have an obsession with record-keeping that owning a lot of stationery probably exacerbates. I note cute things my kids say or do and what adventures we have together in my journal or in my 5-year diary (the latter, in seasonally-colored Micron 05 pens). There are also frequent times when I have to write something down to get it out of my head and have a better look at it. This can be something about which I am anxious or a diagram for making matchstick rockets on my marble stoop. In this way, paper becomes a literal space to expand My Brain. I don't leave a room without paper and something to write with. And while we joke about me hating pens on the podcast, this is sometimes a gel pen or a Bic. I usually have a sharp pencil somewhere on or near my person, though, and – to be sure – I will probably impale myself with it one day.

2. What are your favorite products you are currently using?

I am always using an embarrassing array of stationery at one time. Currently, my journal is a Baron Fig Three-Legged Juggler, while I am using a custom Write Notepads and Co. pocket notebook for Erasable podcast notes. In my pocket, my Field Notes change pretty quickly. I am at the last part of an Ambition notebook and am eying my next charge – possibly a Shelterwood for a winter feel. To write in these nice books, I have lately been experimenting with less soft pencils than I usually prefer. The Staedtler Wopex and the Faber-Castell Castell 9000 (in grade B) have been great on the Baron Fig paper, and General's Cedar Pointe has been the weapon of choice for my Ambition books, whose paper I really like for graphite. On the go, there is a short Blackwing 602 and a Bic Cristal in my vest pocket, with a small knife for sharpening and old grocery lists.

3. What post are you the most proud of on your blog?

I think the two-part interview I did with Aaron Draplin back in 2011 stands out the most (Part one, Part two). He was so kind and generous with his answers that I had no idea how famous he was/is. I found out first-hand that Mr. Draplin's kindness is as legendary as his amazing designs.

Posted on February 28, 2015 and filed under Three Questions.