Misfill, Victorian Slang Edition

Each week in Refill, the Pen Addict Members newsletter, I publish Ink Links as part of the additional content you receive for being a member. And each week, after 10 to 15 links, plus my added commentary on each, I'm left with many great items I want to share. Enter Misfill. Here are this weeks links:

Victorian Slang

A Witty Dictionary of Victorian Slang (1909) (Open Culture)

Global Gathering 2019 at Nagareyama Factory (Travelers' Diary)

review: takeda jimuki TAG kyo no oto yamabukiiro (京の音やまぶきいろ) (ink between the teeth)

‘People in a Film’: A new movie about post-punk art rockers Wire (Dangerous Minds)

Which Mechanical Pencil to Pick: Rotring 600 vs. Rotring 800 (The Gentleman Stationer)

Wavēy — A set of vibrant wallpapers (Hector Simpson)

Cult Pens Diamine Deep Dark Brown Ink (Gourmet Pens)

August F. Foerste's Field Notebook (Notebook Stories)

Ernie Barnes's Iconic Chronicle of His Southern Roots and Sports (Hyperallergic)

Diamine Exclusive – Manggis (Nick Stewart)

July 2019 Ink Palettes (Mountain of Ink)

Lamy Crystal Ink Obsidian (Inkdependence!)

Want to catch the rest, plus extra articles, reviews, commentary, discounts, and more? Try out a Pen Addict Membership for only $5 per month!

Posted on July 7, 2019 and filed under Misfill.

My Ink Testing Kit

My Ink Testing Kit

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

Over the years writing for Pen Addict, I’ve done many ink reviews. typically using whatever pens I had on hand. But over time I’ve accumulated some tools that I use for all my reviews. Plus, I decided to standardize how I do ink reviews so each one is more consistent.

I realize that not everyone wants to do in-depth testing of their inks (even I don’t go so far as calibrating my screen for exact color matching or swatching every single ink in my collection). But, for anyone who is interested in going beyond the occasional swab, here are the tools I use.


Paper Stack

Although in the past I used the Maruman Septcouleur notebook for my ink tests, I switched to a Rhodia dot spiral because the Rhodia brand seems like a more popular choice among pen addicts. This is the paper I use for my primary pen testing pages.

Rhodia Example

I also test inks with a Tomoe River notebook (because this is such a popular paper) and the MD Cotton A4 plain for large lettering.

Large Lettering

One of these days I’m going to shell out the money for an ink bottle stamp that I can use on my pen testing page. Until then, I drew my own bottle on my iPad, exported it into a Word document, duplicated it, and printed it out on regular copier paper. I paste this in the corner of the Rhodia page to add visual interest.

Ink Bottle Print

For ink swatches I use the wonderful Col-o-dex cards from Well-Appointed Desk. The paper is excellent for swatching. Plus, I love putting everything into my Rolodex where I can organize the swatches by color.

Swatch Card

Another tool I use is chromatography paper. I ordered a set off of Amazon, but you can just use coffee filters or even paper towels. I like the strips I bought because they are consistent. I cut them in half, poke a little hole in the top, stick a piece of dry spaghetti through the hole, put tap water in a glass, and let the ink do its thing.

Chromatography Paper
In Action


I use several pens to test my inks. Two instruments that I’ve used consistently in all my ink reviews are my Kaweco straight nib holder with a Brause Blue Pumpkin nib and my Handwritmic Ruling Pen. The Kaweco/Blue Pumpkin is for writing the ink name and creating swirls on my Col-o-ring Rolodex swatch cards. The Handwritmic is for big juicy lettering to test for shading and sheen on the MD Cotton paper.

Pumpkin and Handwritmic

I wanted to provide consistent examples of a fine, medium, and broad nib in all my reviews. That’s hard to do if you’re using different brands of pens. So, I decided to purchase some pens just for ink testing. After researching various possibilities, I chose the Lamy Vista ($29.60). Although I could have gotten some piston-filler pens for around the same price, I wanted a brand with a converter because they’re easier to clean. Pilot Metropolitans were first on my list, but they only come in fine and medium nibs. So, I purchased three Lamy Vistas in fine, medium, and broad, and one Lamy converter ($5.00), which I can easily move from pen to pen as I test the ink. This way I have a consistent writing sample with a western fine, medium, and broad nib.


Other Tools

An obvious additional tool is a cotton swab. I go through a lot of these with each review, swabbing the Col-o-dex cards and the ink testing page.

Another tool that comes in handy for making ink splats and doing water testing is a fine-tipped pipette. Although it’s disposable, I use it over and over, rinsing it out in between uses. My first one developed a leak, and I’m now on my second one. These are quite inexpensive and you can buy them in bulk (as in 200 pipettes!) from places like Amazon.


I found a toiletries holder at Target where I store my supplies. I love this one because it has a variety of round tubes to hold my pens, chromatography strips, and cotton swabs.

Kit Holder

The last tool is my camera. I use an Olympus OMD EM1 with a 60mm macro lens for all my reviews. I shoot in our Florida Room using natural light, though occasionally I use a light box (but setting it up is a pain and the cats always climb in and get hair all over, so . . . yeah). In order to get semi-accurate color, I have to brighten the exposure when I take the photo and when I process it in Lightroom.


So, there you have it: my wondrous ink testing kit!

(Most of the above supplies were purchased with my own funds. A few items, such as the Col-o-dex Cards and Tomoe River Paper Notebook, were provided by a retailer for Pen Addict reviews.)

Posted on July 5, 2019 and filed under Ink Reviews.

The Pen Addict Podcast: Episode 366 - A Beautifully Told Story

Season 3 of Stranger Things dropped today, and while I will have to wait a few weeks to get chills up my spine from the show, you don’t have to wait to hear what Horror Stories we have to share from our listeners this week.

Show Notes & Download Links

This episode of The Pen Addict is sponsored by:

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Posted on July 4, 2019 and filed under Podcast.