In my previous post, I rounded up my green inks to remind myself of what I had. It was also done in part to assess the task of how much ink I still have to get through in my life time. I think we all know that that is not going to happen! There were seven green bottles alone. And since writing that post, I found that I had missed one, a bottle of Pelikan Edelstein Olivine.
I thought that today, I would continue the exercise, and see what brown inks I have. And to avoid the risk of missing any, I got out all of my bottled ink and put them into groups, so no-one got forgotten.
As soon as you start this, you run into problems of classification. I had to make a few policy decisions, such as separating my blue ink into (a) royal blue (b) blue black and (c) light blues, including turquoise. As for the brown inks I had to decide whether to include Cult Pens Deep Dark Red, and Diamine Oxblood, or whether to put them in the reds or the Burgundies. Without getting too bogged down in deliberating, I put the Oxblood in with the browns, and Deed Dark Red with the Burgundy. I am sure many would disagree.
And then, where do you group Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-budo? I put it with my Waterman Tender Purple, which was lonely in its Purple category of one.
Another category that consisted of only one ink, was orange. I put Diamine Pumpkin there. I had two pinks (although they were duplicate bottles of Pelikan Edelstein Star Ruby), three Burgundies, a surprisingly high number of nine black inks given that I do not regularly use black ink, and an even more surprising number of nine red inks. It is nice to have so many different shades and from different brands, but do I really need nine bottles of red?
For someone who does not use brown ink regularly, I have a respectable seven bottles. Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz, a freebee from the Pelikan Hub one year, remains a firm favourite. It is great in my Montegrappa Fortuna with a fine steel nib. Another favourite is Diamine Cherry Sunburst, with its musical connotations as part of the Gibson Les Paul guitar series. I use that sometimes in the gold Lamy Lx.
Since getting into the fountain pen hobby, I have kept a record of pen acquisitions but have been in a fog of denial about the ink situation, having only a vague idea of what I have accumulated. Sometimes it is quite nice not knowing the numbers.
Given that for the most part, I prefer blue and blue black inks, it is rather surprising that I have gathered so many other colours, which tend to be for “recreation” and occasional correspondence with other pen and ink users rather than regular work use.
I think it was some time around 2014 that I fell into the rabbit hole, when the internet kindled my long-standing enjoyment of fountain pens. I lapped up Stephen Brown’s pen review videos and discovered a few blogs, and went to the London Pen show for the first time. And over that time, my bottled ink ownership has quietly grown from only a handful, to its current tally of 82 (including a few duplicates). I seem to have massively overestimated my life expectancy. And this is not even taking into account the stash of ink cartridges.
It is not all bad of course. I do get a lot of enjoyment and relaxation from my pen hobby. Even when not actually using my pens, I can unwind just by thinking about them and pondering some future combinations of pens and inks to try. As hobbies go, it is cheaper and takes up less space than many others I can think of.