Tom Barrington

Tom Barrington sells beautiful exotic leather pen cases, and should be on your radar this holiday season.

I know the Red Stingray Double Pen Sleeve is on mine, or possibly the Single Pen Orange Sleeve. All leather exteriors are genuine, and each case is lined with Napa cowhide for an added layer of protection.

Whatever your pen case needs, Tom Barrington is certain to have you and your pens covered. And they make wonderful gifts too!

My thanks to Tom Barrington for sponsoring The Pen Addict this week.

Posted on December 2, 2016 and filed under Sponsors.

Two Robert Oster Signature Inks: Claret and Verde de Rio

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

I am a big fan of Robert Oster Signature inks, as anyone can tell from reading my previous reviews (Torquay, Tranquility, and Astorquiza Rot). Today, I’m reviewing two more Oster inks: Claret and Verde de Rio.


Claret is an ink color I thought I would really like. It’s obviously named for the wine, and in swabs it is a beautiful burgundy color.

However, writing with a medium nib, it is really more of a dusty mauve. I like the color, but it is not my favorite Robert Oster ink. It has some shading, beautiful gold sheen, but it is very dry, as you can see in the ink test.

The chromatography reveals some gorgeous colors—pink and blue.

But this ink is so dry, I don’t like writing with it. It seems to drag on the page, whether you’re writing on Maruman paper or Tomoe River paper.

But with a broad nib, the ink looks much more interesting.

Although dry inks can be excellent for pens with overly juicy nibs, I much prefer wet inks. Previously, I reviewed KWZ Brown-Pink, and I like that color more than Claret because the KWZ ink is much wetter.

Verde de Rio

Verde de Rio is a beautiful grass-green color. This ink is similar to Robert Oster Jade, but it is a slightly greener-green whereas Jade is more of a yellow-green.

In my ink testing, Verde de Rio is a medium-wet ink, with good shading in broad nibs and a little dark green sheen in ink spatters.

Chromatography reveals that the ink has a limited spectrum of color. In fact it almost completely washes out.

Verde de Rio is absolutely gorgeous in broad nibs.

I also used it with a brush pen and it’s very nice.

However, with my Franklin-Christoph medium SIG nib, the color is a bit too light for my taste.

You can buy Robert Oster Signature Ink at Vanness Pens, $16.00 for 50ml and $2.00 for a 2ml ink sample.

(I purchased these Robert Oster inks with my own funds.)

Posted on December 2, 2016 and filed under Robert Oster, Ink Reviews.

Leuchtturm1917 Pocket A6 Sketchbook Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

The build quality of Leuchtturm notebooks is always bound to impress. They're simple, functional, and durable--and with the bright colors, they're also fun. The Pocket A6 Sketchbook has all of the staple necessities of a standard Leuchtturm: a sturdy hardback cover, expandable back pocket, ribbon bookmark, elastic closure, thread binding, acid-free paper, and sticker labels. Because it's a sketchbook and not a journal, the pages are blank and not numbered, and there is no index in the front. Perhaps it's my inner librarian talking, but I'd still love a table of contents, even for sketches.

The paper is white, 180 gsm. It has a good bit of tooth to it and works best with pencil, rollerball ink, and brush pen or marker. I was surprised that there was no feathering with the wet marker I used. Fountain pens feathered a little, but not as much as I expected. I think this notebook would hold up well for pen-and-ink drawings, or could be used as a freeform journal.

I tried a dip pen with a flex nib, and that didn't go well at all. The nib snagged at the page, the ink feathered like a baby chicken, and it bled through the page and onto the next one. The paper stood up to some light watercolor use. There was some mild wrinkling, but not severe. In places where water was used more heavily, however, there was a little bleeding and deterioration of the paper.

The notebook does lay open quite well once the spine has been trained. It's a bit stiff at first, but putting it through a little notebook yoga did wonders. At 96 pages of thick paper, this book has a lot of girth for a small sketchbook. Despite its claim to being a pocket notebook, I don't think it would fit comfortably in a pocket, and it didn't fit in my pocket notebook cases. It is, however, a good size for slipping into a purse or briefcase for on-the-go sketches. It wouldn't take up much space in a daypack or messenger bag. The plentiful pages would be nice for travel, when you need something portable but don't want to run out of pages or carry multiple books.

My nine-year-old, who has claimed this on the grounds that it is his favorite color, intends to use it to write out LEGO instructions for his very complicated and important designs.

I personally prefer my sketchbooks to handle more sloppy media, but I think this book has a lot to offer a pen-and-ink or pencil sketcher with places to be. You just can't beat Leuchtturm's sturdy reliability.

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

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Posted on December 1, 2016 and filed under Leuchtturm, Notebook Reviews.

The Pen Addict Podcast: Episode 233 - Andrifolio Candrinople

Who knew our listeners we the shower pen experts? Y'all delivered the goods, and Myke and I deliver the goods on the Field Notes Black Ice edition. I also dig into the murky grey market of the pen world.

Show Notes & Download Links

This episode of The Pen Addict is sponsored by:

Harry's: Use code PENADDICT to get $5 off your order!

Foot Cardigan: Fantastic socks delivered to your mailbox every month. Get 10% off any subscription plan with the code PEN.

Tom Bihn: Bags made in the U.S.A. Lifetime Guarantee. Superior Construction. Thoughtful Design.

Posted on November 30, 2016 and filed under Podcast.