2018 Hobonichi Pre-release Announcement

How is everyone's progress on the choice planner this year? In case you are jumping on the wagon for a Hobonichi in 2018 or just curious of which covers would be part of the line-up, check out this link (sorry for the late notice on my part!). Hobonichi will unveil one cover a day until August 12th. The full line-up will be announced on the 18th.

Are you looking forward to your future planner?

De Atramentis Violets

Awhile back in this post I wrote about a friend’s mission for a perfect shade of purple. Since then, she has selected three ink for me to do more extensive reviews. As you can see, two years have lapsed and I have not written a word on any of them, so it is about time!

An ink manufacturer based in Germany with a long history, De Atramentis is unique in the ink market for its wide array of offerings, from document ink to pearlescent. I am always fascinated by the selections available, as they satisfy both inky desire and olfactory senses.

De Atramentis Violets

Even though Violets is advertised as a scented ink, I did not notice any floral fragrance at all. A plausible explanation for this lack of scent could be that I have had this sample for awhile now and that the scent has faded. Curiously, the bottle of Plum by the same company that I have had for about 6 years now still has its fragrance. The fragrance of De Atramentis’ scented ink= I have tried thus far is not strong. In fact, I do not think the scent will last longer than the writing session itself.

Similar to other De Atramentis ink I have reviewed, Violets can be a bit finicky when it comes to paper; it feathers on most normal paper tested. In fact, it feathers on some spots of normally fountain pen ink friendly paper as well. On the writing sample above, you can see small feathering spots. I have tried the same ink on tomoe paper and Rhodia and both take Violets just fine.

Violets on Tomoe
Violets on Rhodia dotPad

In the writing sample, I pair Violets with rOtring Surf with a medium nib and the overall writing experience is phenomenal; in a way, the ink adds to the smoothness of the nib. Violets is also a bit more penetrative than other ink I have tested, as bleedthrough is common on most paper, with an exception of Tomoe. Bleed-through only happens when I do light watercolor wash on the opposing page. It is an ink with minimal shading and not sheen has been observed.

I can reassure you that biologists have not identified any purple spotted seal. Violets was used on the opposing side, and the wash activated the seep through

Violets is a wetter ink so the drying time can be a bit longer. Thus far, I have not yet had any smearing accident. It has some water resistance to it, as seen in the writing sample. With the passage, I did one wash with a waterbrush on the first line, twice on the second, and so forth. As you can see, the writing is more or less intact even with three washes.

To my eyes, Violets is a shade of royal purple with a tint of red. It is not dusky enough to pass as black, but it is not too obtrusive to use a daily writing ink. Violets is too bright for me personally, but if you are a royal purple fan, Violets could be for you. Priced at $14.95 for a 35-ml bottle (≈$.42/ml), Violets is an ink in the medium price range (compare to Pelikan 4001 series at ≈$.22/ml and Rohrer and Klinger at ≈.24/ml). Even though I have a couple bottles of De Atramentis ink, I would consider a Pelikan 4001 series or Rohrer and Klinger before it because the two are comparatively well-behaved and more dynamic.

Pelikan Edelstein Amethyst

Late winter/early spring is probably one of the most anticipated time for fountain pen lovers. Lamy usually announces its limited edition Safari and Al-Star, various brands broadcast new products/lines, and new paper goods also start to surface. Pelikan is not an exception. Around this time, it announces its ink of the year. What makes the announcement even more exciting is the competition component, where Pelikan solicits all Pelikan fan’s creative license to mix their choice of ink digitally and vote for the color that makes their hearts skip a beat. If I recall correctly, Amethyst was the first fan-elected color, as a shade of purple was sorely missed in Pelikan Edelstein’s otherwise gorgeous line.

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Original Sailor Jentle colors

When the original Sailor Jentle colors were discontinued several years back, I could literally hear the shattering noise of all ink lovers’ hearts. Perhaps now it is time to mend that wound. I just read an announcement from Goldspot Pens that the original Sailor ink line will return. As to whether this release is limited or permanent, it is still in the wind. If you have a hankering for Apricot, Grenade, Epinard, Ultramarine, Pêche, or Sky High, you may want to consider signing up for the notification email from Goldspot, as the ink will be available in early May. However, if you have purchased Sailor ink from its second release back in around 2013 or 2014, you may want to check out this post, for some colors in this line up are very similar to the original line.

*I am not affiliated with Goldspot Pens nor was I compensated for writing this post. Just want to give a friendship shoutout to those who may have missed the opportunity several years back 🙂

No Stationery, No Life

Does that phrase aptly describe you?  If so, head over to Everyday Stationery, a Japanese web-based magazine that features articles on Japanese stationery goods. Even though there are only a handful of articles in English, I am sure the collection will grow given time. For brave souls or those who are well-versed in Japanese, browse the Japanese articles that are published; most of them have a plethora of photos. Perhaps you will find an interesting item or two 🙂

Super5 Fountain Pen

Super5 Fountain pen first came to my attention by way of its waterproof ink. It was adored especially by artists since the ink is also extremely lightfast (fade resistance to light) and very close to PH neutral. To complement this seemingly amazing line of ink, the pen should not be too shabby, right? Last Christmas I joined one of the Massdrop offers on Super5 Fountain pens and purchased one with .5mm calligraphy nib.

Here are the details on this pen (information extracted from Massdrop and Super5’s sites)

  • Length: 14cm (≈5.5in; capped); 12.7cm (≈5in; uncapped)
  • Weight: 24g (≈.8oz; capped); 19g (≈.7oz; uncapped)
  • Filling system: international short, Kaweco mini converter, Super5 converter
  • Nib material: stainless steel
  • Body materials: plastic barrel and cap with metal grip and clip

Humans are visual animals so the appearance of a pen could play a role in the purchase. Looking at my purchase records, most of my pens have leaned toward the simple designs without much decoration (My most decorated pen is a Platinum Maki-e), so Super5 fits my usual modus operanti. It conforms with most classic pens, conical shape with tapered head and end with a black metal clip that ensures the pen stays put in pockets. The color selection for Super5 fountain pen mostly corresponds to its ink line: Arctic (white; it really looks like a Storm Trooper to me), Atlantic (dark blue), Australia (dark red), Darmstadt (black), Delhi (orange), Dublin (green), and Frankfurt (gray). It was a rather difficult choice, and I have contemplated purchasing multiple with different nib width for a couple days but at the end, I settled on Delhi.

Simple design


The only noticeable branding on pen, embossed with “Super5”

Do not let its simple exterior fools you, the grip section is surprisingly heavy. When I first opened the package, I assumed the pen was a lightweight judging by its plastic exterior, until I almost dropped it. By itself, the grip section plus the nib weighs 15g, which accounts for 94% of the body weight sans cap. Even though the pen appears to be top heavy, it is very balanced while holding it, as the weight gravitates down when one writes. Besides adding durability and balance, the metal grip warms up as you use the pen, which renders the hold more comfortable.



Super5 nib works right out of the box. With Stipula Grigio Fumo (Fading Gray), the nib laid down a web stroke with buttery smoothness. The italic nib is sharp so the ink flow cleanly to make those little “ticks” without piercing the paper.  Love by first write is not an exaggeration by any means, as I become more enamored with each usage. Another thing about Super5 pen is that it does not dry as easily as other fountain pens. After leaving the cap off for a couple minutes the pen will still write, picking up where it left off. My speculation is since the pen is designed to use waterproof ink, anti-drying property would be a must.

The .5mm italic nib is quite versatile; it is wide enough for calligraphy and adds a bit of personality to one’s writing when used normally. As seen in the picture below, .5mm nib writes just a slightly thicker than a European medium nib so it is close to two pens in one. Super5 fountain pen takes an international cartridge. A Super5 converter is available for purchase, and just for those who are curious, a Kaweco mini converter will fit nicely as well.

Super5 writing

Here is something good to look forward to, according to Matthias who attended Insights X last year, Super5 with a flex nib is in the making with an indefinite releasing date. I am very much looking forward to this new addition, as I am having a great experience with the italic.

The pen costs 24,90€ on Papier Labor that includes 19% VAT. I purchased it for $24.95, including shipping on MassDrop. For a pen that is easy to use and is designed to use iron gall ink, I believe it is a great addition to anyone’s rotation.