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Chicago Pen Show 2016 (Day 1!)

Hey folks,
I'm not actually at the pen show, but my wife (Audrey) is helping out at the Franklin-Christoph table there this weekend, and she had some time to take pictures yesterday and she sent them to me. So, get ready for a smorgasbord of pictures!

This is a pen-maker that I've not seen before (at least I don't think I have). The brand is WritePensInk, and they don't appear to have a website anymore, but their Facebook page seems pretty up to date. 

 I mean...look at these clock pens? Awesome.

Edison Pen Co.

I really like the pens below. That shape is slightly hour-glassed or something, and I dig it. I don't have any, but they're cool. 

Anderson Pens

Anderson Pens has the Sailor Bespoke line, now, and some of these are awesome. That ribbed pen above is really cool. You can also get some really nutty nibs on these things. 

 I can't get these pictures to rotate to landscape. I don't know why, but Blogger will not listen to me when I rotate them. So..turn your head over to the right, I guess.

So, if you're at the show this weekend, go see Audrey and Jim. Tell 'em I said hi!

Blackstone Barrier Reef Blue

This is the first of several inks in the Blackstone set. It's an Australian brand carried by Just Write in Australia, and by Anderson Pens in the US. I hadn't heard of it before Brian offered to send me out some samples. From the way that this one performs, I'm really looking forward to the rest of these inks.

Barrier Reef Blue is a bright blue that's plenty saturated. The color is pretty awesome. It's not really like anything I have, I don't think. Just kind of striking. It really does remind me of the video that you see of the Barrier Reef. Just that warm (?) blue color.

Anyway, I've waxed on about this enough. I like it. Let me know what you think of it in the comments.

Written Review


 I think the architect nib really shows a different side of this ink. It's lighter and more blue, for some reason. It's certainly the same ink, though. Promise.

Copy Paper Test

 That's really solid performance, actually. Even with the big nib it's not bleeding through. Good stuff.


Video Review and Water Drop Test

You can find this ink (only) at Anderson Pens, and it's totally worth a try.

This ink sample was provided free of charge for the purposes of this review. All opinions and impressions are my own. Your mileage may vary.  Etc. Etc.

Cross Blue Black


I wasn't all that excited about these inks when Brian Anderson sent them to me. I was like "Cross? I guess I'll try them out." Snooty. I know.

My attitude changed when I swatched these inks. The blue black is solid (as you'll see today), the red looks promising, and the violet looks really great.

I decided to try this one first because I had a bunch of greens and reds and oranges in pens, and I wanted something a little more staid. The flow on this ink is good, maybe a little wet. The performance on copy paper is pretty good, though there was some really minor bleed from the broad stub.

 The best things here might be that it's a real blue-black. Lots of "blue-black" inks are actually green or slightly purple. This one goes on to the page a little bit purple, but it dries to blue-black. It's not the flashy-est ink, but it's gonna really good for those who need a more serious ink for the workplace.

Write Up!

Close Ups!

 Man. I really love this Franklin-Christoph nib. That Mike Masuyama is darn good at nibs.

Color Comparisons!

 Yeah. I got some Baystate Blue. Its in a Platinum Preppy. I think I like it so far. The jury is still out on the Yard-o-Led ink.


Copy Paper Test!

This is pretty minor bleed from the medium nib, and the bleed from the broad stub isn't terrible either.

Video Review and Water Drop Test!

So, in the final analysis, I like this ink. It's probably not going to go into my regular rotation of inks, but I can totally imagine it making the short list for people who have more restrictive work environments and need a more somber ink. I'm lucky enough to be able get away with most any color I want, but I know that's not the case for everyone.

You can find this one at Anderson Pens for $15 in a 62.5ml bottle. You can also get it in 3ml samples. It's a little on the pricey side, so get a sample if you're unsure.