Kenneth Schwartz is an inventor and entrepreneur. He is an expert knife sharpener, particularly of Japanese kitchen knives, a gourmet chef, and most of all, an aficionado of fountain pens, paper and inks.
I first got to know Ken when he volunteered to review a Quo Vadis planner late in 2008. At the same time I sent him a Journal 21 to review, I included one of Quo Vadis’s Habana notebooks. Ken liked it very much, and posted his review here on The Fountain Pen Network. He is a regular contributor as ksskss.
What was intriguing is that Ken made the notebook into his ink journal. He was using the notebook to record as many different inks and colors as he can possibly experience. I asked him how he got started, and what are his current favorite pens and inks.
When did it occur to you to start an ink journal?
As soon as I wrote my name in the back of the Habana journal. I loved the bright paper and the way the nib felt on the paper.
What are some of your favorite inks and pens?
* Sailor Kiwaguro Nano Carbon – waterproof, flows nicely even in very fine nibs
* Noodler’s Violet Vote – waterproof, ‘bulletproof’ – resists attempts to forge
* Noodlers La Reine Mauve – also like the above bulletproof but more readily available – a new ink
* Diamine orange – my favorite orange so far
* Waterman Blue Black – excellent flow characteristics
* Pilot Iroshizuku Inks – Shin-ryoku (green), Syo-ro (dark teal), Tsuki-yo (dark teal), Yu-yake (Orange), Yama-Budo (purple) and Tsutsuji (red) (very approximate descriptions, all in the Habana ‘ink book’)
* Platinum Preppy – a cheap standardized comparison pen, so that I can have ink samples loaded for standardized comparisons. Useful for inks I’m unsure of – e.g. if they might damage an expensive fountain pen.
* J Herbin glass pens – useful for ink sampling and blending colors
* Platinum President 18k UEF (Ultra Extra Fine) nib – writes very well on a variety of paper
* Sailor Saibi Togi 21kt SEF (Super Extra Fine) nib very unique nib design – ‘picky about paper’ – thrives on Clairfontaine, Rhodia and Habana paper
* XXXF and XXXXF Pelican M200s modified by Richard Binder – similar requirements to the Saibi Togi – XXXXF is very picky
* 1970’s vintage Platinum, Sailor and Pilot pocket pens in XF and fine 14k 18k and 22k nibs
* Sailor 1911 XF (Clear Demonstrator)
* Waterman Opera (I have a custom ground italic, fine and medium point nib section for this pen), one of my oldest pens
See the ink journal here.
Does anyone have a suggestion (or two) of inks or pens for Ken to sample next?