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A visit to Anderson Pens in WI!

Hey folks!

I know, I've been gone for a week or so. We were on a road-trip with the family that went from NC to TN to WI to OH and then back through TN to NC. It was a whirlwind tour, but we got to see some of my wife's family in those states and we got to hang out at the Anderson Pens store in Appleton, WI.

Wisconsin: A great place to visit. In the summer.
It's a pretty great store, and it's very cool that we've gotten to visit a couple of times. Aside from sponsoring (enabling) my ink-dependence, Brian and Lisa have become our good friends.

Audrey took most of these pictures for me, as I was too busy jaw-bonin' to take pictures. 

These cases are full of Pilots, Deltas, Cross (including the new Peerless with Sailor nibs) and probably some other things I'm forgetting. There's also a Sailor case in the background (the reddish one) and cases of Sheaffers, Lamy, TWSBI, Retro51, all sorts of things.

The other wall of the store is covered with six-foot shelves of ink. I don't think that anyone carries more ink than they do, but I've never seen a wall like this before. It keeps going off the left-side of the picture, but you get the idea. It would take a panoramic to capture the whole thing. 

These are the new Hugo Boss pens, and some of them look pretty promising. They're not super-expensive, but they're in the "fancy groomsman gift" price range. 

There are a couple of these pens (you can see them below) which remind me of the Porche Designs pens. They're a sort of woven metal barrel that comes off looking more expensive than their price tag. I haven't tried any of  them, but I'm interested to hear from those who have.

 There are lots of VPs out there, but that red bamboo one is pretty special, I think. I'm tempted to get one, but the limited-edition price is pretty high.

You like Akkerman inks? Well, here they are! The Andersons aren't allowed (by Akkerman) to advertise these online, but if you give the store a call they can tell you what they have and they can mail them out or add them to an order for you. I haven't used hardly any of them, but the ones I've used are solid inks. Also...that bottle...whoa. 

This is the paper corner, and it was hard to resist buying one of everything. I need to use up some of my paper before I go on a paper-bender, though. Will power, Mike. Will. Power.

Speaking of cool paper, these Paperblanks notebooks are really nice. The covers are really ornate and the paper inside is quite good. At least, it seems good from a casual examination. I can usually tell by feel if the paper will be good for fountain pens, and this feels good. 

I meant to pick up some Field Notes, but I kinda forgot. Maybe I'll get some at the DC show.  That Verge De France paper is really good, by the way. I use it when I want to be fancy.

Lastly, Tomoe River is coming to the store soon. I've heard lots about this fantastic Japanese Paper, but it's another thing I haven't had a chance to try out just yet.

Lisa is less blurry in real life. I don't know why I couldn't focus this one. I totally took it, though. Not Audrey.
Annnnd...I came home with a boat-load of ink samples. I think some more might have been added to this pile before we left, but it's a LOT of inks. Pretty much everything from Akkerman, Montblanc, Iroshizuku and a smattering of other things that I haven't tried out yet.  So, what's coming to the blog? EVERYTHING. :)

Audrey took this action-shot where I look extra-wide. I blame Culvers and Chesters and brats all through Wisconsin. I may have gained 10 pounds, but that state knows how to eat!

And then I looked over and ruined an otherwise great candid shot. You can see Dave in the background there. Such a nice guy, Dave. There's just an aura of calm around him, somehow. I don't know how he does it. 

Anyway, those were the only pictures we got from that visit. We should have taken more, but Audrey is the only reason that there were any at all. I don't know what I'd do without that woman. She's the best. Also, if you like nailpolish, go and check out her blog: RightOnTheNail. She's been at it for years, and she's got the best nail pictures around (if I say so myself).

Montblanc's Blue Hour Limited Edition


Another Montblanc Limited Edition? Yep! This one is a stand-out, too.  It's a blue that's supposed to remind us of twilight, and I suppose that it does. I do know that this is an excellent ink with a bit of shading and a bit of sheen (if you lay it down thickly enough).

One interesting thing about this ink is how different it can look from different nibs. All of these nibs were mediums, but they have different flows, and that's reflected in the hue of the ink.

Check it out below.

Written Review


 I couldn't resist putting up a couple more images of this one. It's too good.


A cool box that surrounds a pretty cool bottle. A bottle, I might add, that comes with a little, plastic hat. 

Copy Paper Test
 And it doesn't bleed on copy papers! Hooray! Even with the wet Ondoro nib, it stays on its side of the paper.


These are both the same ink. The top was laid down with the Ondoro, and the bottom with the Esterbrook. I was actually concerned that I'd used some other ink in the Ondoro, but I didn't. It's Blue Hour. It's just a lot more Blue Hour.


Since I had these cards handy, I decided to do some side-by-sides. First, the last two LE inks to come out. I like Blue Hour a lot more. JFK is a fine ink, but it doesn't have a lot of personality.

Next, a few inks that are in the same color range. I think Blue Hour is closer to Yama-Dori, but they're not exactly twins. 

Water Drop Test and Video Review

Whoops. I said that this ink is $18 per bottle, but it's actually $16. This ink is thoroughly good, and I recommend a bottle if you can find one. It's a new LE ink though, so it sells like hot cakes, and you shouldn't wait to get a bottle.

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Noodler's Air Corp Blue Black


This is an ink that I reviewed a long time ago. I think it was actually one of my first. I really don't want that to be the only time that I visit this ink, though, so I'm re-reviewing it now in my current style.

This one is called Blue Black, but it's really a green black to my eye. The shading is great, and it's got a little bit of an iridescence, but I wouldn't really call it a sheen. In a wet enough pen, this will look like a black that shades over to green in the thin spots.

The interesting color, smooth flow, and excellent behavior on copy paper make it one of my go-to inks over the last few years. Definitely check this one out.

Written Review

Apparently I forgot to fill in a couple of my blanks before I took these pictures. I didn't notice that until I took the video, so I filled them in live on the air. Exciting, right? Anyway, it shades, it doesn't bleed/feather/spread (unless you're using a big nib, then there's a little bleed), and there's no real sheen to speak of.


Color Comparisons

Fortunately I'm addicted to blue, so I've got several to compare this one against. It's not quite like any of these.


Copy Paper Test

The Bottle

Water Test and Video Review

As I said, this is one of my go-to inks. I really like it. Check it out at Anderson Pens for $12.50 in a 3oz bottle (filled to the top, most likely) or in a sample.

No disclaimer on this one. I bought it ages ago, and I'll buy more when this one runs out.

Pelikan Edelstein Amethyst


I almost forgot about this ink! It's one that Appelboom Pennen sent me back when I reviewed the Montblanc Pink and JFK inks. I put it off when I did the others because these Ink of the Year inks are generally more available than the Montblanc Limited Editions. They are a bit limited, though, so if you like what you see, pick up a bottle of this ink.

Look, I don't really like purple inks most of the time. I might be coming around on them, though. This ink is really solid. It's a deep, rich purple that flows super well and behaves itself on copy papers. It's purple enough to be interesting, but it's dark enough to be subtle. I bet you could get away with it in most settings as long as you use a slightly wet nib.

Check out the review below.

Written Review


Ink Comparisons

I don't have any other purples in pens right now, but that Akkerman #4 goes down pretty purple. The Amethyst is much more purple in this picture. This was written with the TWSBI 540's dry-ish fine nib, so more of the purple is showing up.


Copy Paper Test

There is some bleed with a wet, broad nib, but not a whole lot.

The Flacon
Pelikan calls this bottle a "flacon". That's old French for "flagon" and I like that usage. I don't know if this is a legitimate flagon, but it sure is a nice bottle! 

Video Review and Water Drop Test

Get this ink in cartridges, if you like. They come in a pretty rad metal case.

There's also a matching Pelikan M205 in Amethyst coming out soon.