I have been working with fountain pens recently which has been fun and illuminating. The trick for me is the ink. Most fountain pens use cartridges (god knows what kind of ink is in the cartridge) or has a cartridge converter, or in the case of older pens, a bladder system that allows the user to fill the pen with ink of his /her choice. I was using cartridges just for the plain stupidity of it...but found that the blacks were anemic and thin...not the macho black that I strive to use. Now, I am filling the pen with a converter--and have, over the course of the week filled it daily with india ink starting with Koh-i-noor's Encre a Dessin. It works but towards the end of the day, it gets a little techhie and begins to slow up flowing so I find myself grinding the pen into the paper just to keep the pen going. Not good. So, away to the sink for cleaning.

Then, I filled it with the formerly extolled Dr Martin's Black Star Matte. Same deal...the blacks were gorgeous but about 6 hours into the fun, the pen slows down to the point that even grinding it into the paper is ineffective.

This week, my plan is to mix "Quink" which is the seeming standard for fountain pen ink with the Dr. Martins ( half and half) to weight up the blacks a bit more for the Quink, but allow a little more fluidity. I'll let you know what I find. I did discover this new ink I am itching to try-- Noodler's Bulletproof ink Here is a bit on Noodlers (doesn't this sound like the trick?):

The manufacturer also states that Black has lubricating properties for all pistons and converters -- tested to flow smoothly in all types of feeders! Writes very smoothly in a rich dark black color. This ink is all U.S. made and has Archival, Anti-Forgery and Anti- Feathering features. The ink is described as bulletproof by the manufacturer and is waterproof. The ink is specifically designed for fountain pen use. Noodler's is very proud of the qualities their inks provide. Some of these qualities relate to how Noodler's inks interact with the mechanics of your pen. These inks are designed for use with any fountain pen new or vintage. Any brand of ink can attack pen parts because all inks generally are corrosive agents. Noodler's technology has lessened this factor to protect the value of your writing instruments. For example aluminum has been used in many pen brands over the years and still today. Aluminum is relatively unstable with exposure to many ink brands... Noodler's is friendly to aluminum [and other pen materials]. Test your ink and Noodler's with a piece of aluminum foil leave the ink in contact with the foil overnight and see what the results are. You better replace your ink with Noodler's if your ink eats the aluminum foil (vintage & some European inks currently made are conspicuous culprits).

Noodler's fuses with the cellulose in the paper. One down side I have learned is that if you use their Polar Bulletproof, it stays very wet for a long time and that the plain Bulletproof or Near Bulletproof is much better. Sounds like I have to try this? What do you think?