Inksmudge

The Price of Ink

October 08, 2018

You can find cheap ink, and expensive inkk. More expensive bottles are sometimes larger, but other times not. The price range of inks, I’m talking about fountain pen inks by the way, vary from around $5 to a little bit under $40. The cheapest from JetPens is about $0,55 per ML while $0,74.

If you compare the price of ink to the other part of this that you actually use up - paper. Then you will realise that ink is not that expensive. When I wrote a lot with and exclusivly with fountain pens, I used maybe close to three 50 ml bottles a year, but I think most people would struggle with using one a year. I don’t know the number, but imagine how many notebooks of your choice you need to buy to use all of that ink.

If you use Pilot Iroshizuku inks and Leuchtturm1917 notebooks, you spend about the same per bottle of ink that you spend on a A5 notebook, but I think you need at least 20 notebooks if not more to use all of that ink.

I get that some people don’t have that much disposable inkcome, and I get that those of you that this applies to have some different priorities, but I personally went with Pilot Iroshizuku inks even when I was on a tight budget because I enjoyed using it so much more than cheaper inks. If you like me have some disposable income to use on this hobby, I think there are much better places to how much money you spend than inks. Because you get a bottle and it lasts forever. Notebooks are a place where you can save a lot of money. And not buying pens are another.

Baron Fig

October 05, 2018

I have tried to write this thing many times. But I always end up deleting it because I feel like it doesn’t say what I feel about the subject.

BaronFig makes well designed, high quality products that a lot of people love. Or I just assume it is of high quality, because that is what I have heard.

I don’t like the products they make. I love minimal, but some times minimal turns into this pile of nothing. That is what I think about most of BaronFig’s products. It looks good, but I don’t like it because it just looks like “meh”.

I also have some issues with their communication, but that have been covered by Brad Dowdy on the Pen Addict Podcast well enough for me to not get into it.

To be perfectly clear: I don’t say that their products are bad, I just don’t like them.

Daily Carry

October 01, 2018

My current daily carry is a little bit larger than usual because I am trying some stuff out at the moment. But I hope to have things back to normal by the time I do the next one of these.

In my pocket I carry a Bullet Spacepen, with a clip on it, a pocket sized notebook, and a Nock.co Talluah filled with Nock.co Index Cards, and two TWSBI Eco.

The stuff I carry in my bag is still a lot like always, my good old Hightower filled with a couple of fresh Field Notes, three pens (Pilot Vanishing Point, Lamy 2000 and Pilot Metal Falcon), a KUM Masterpiece sharpener. I have recently started to use a Nock.co Pencil case, that I love, I usually have it filled with around 24 pencils, Currently Golden Bears.

My current notebook setup is a little bit in the middle of a change. I’m filling up my last Leuchtturm1917 notebooks as we are speaking, and I plan to start using Travelers Notebooks again. This is because now that I can get them from Norway, I can save a not unsigficiant amount of money on notebooks.

A look at Blackwing after just using the Golden Bear for a while

September 28, 2018

I decided to get a box of Blackwings with the extra firm core. Because I managed to find them for sale on the Norwegian store I buy most of my pen stuff.

It is the Volume 54. It is pink, which is not really my thing, but still not that bad. This core is much better than anything else I have used from Blackwing. It feels really smooth like every Blackwing, but still firm enough to not be annoying.

This is the first Blackwing where I don’t think “damn I have to sharpen this a lot”. And I think I could have used this as my only pencil without issue, if it was a part of their regular line of pencils. But it is very expensive…

There are three things I always notice when I use Blackwings:

  1. Design, they always look great, even though it isn’t always my thing, they always feature the best pencil design ever.

  2. Their cores are always very smooth. It being smooth seems to be the number one priority, and that firmness will never come before that.

  3. They are very comfortable to hold. It is either something with the pain job or how they form the wood case.

Nock.co Index Cards.

September 24, 2018

I just got some Index Cards from Nock in the mail the other day. This is the first pack of Index Cards I have bought in years. They have never been a part of my system for many different reasons. Mainly because I think books are more practical when you have a very portable setup. Sometimes I write in the office, other times my home office, or on the train or using the table in the living room. You get the picture.

But I got a Talluah as a part of the latest PenAddict Kickstarter. So I figured that I had to find some index cards to fit in it. And of course Brad had made some from Nock.co. I don’t have much to compare it to except the really think and cheap ones we had at home growing up.

These cards are smaller than the standard. Exactly the same size as a business card.

It will be a seperate review of the case and how I use these cards later.

These cards are great, handles pencil and my fountain pens great. Exacltly what you expect from Nock.co. They are not cheap, but not that expensive either. $5 for 50 of them. I got four packs of them, and I’ll probably get more of them soon.

I recommend checking out the Nock.co ones if you are looking for some great cards that work with more or less any kind of pen.

Nock Co Pencil case

September 21, 2018

When I got into pencils (a few hours later) I started to look into a pencil case of some sort. It seems like most go for a roll of some sort, with induvidual slots for each pencil or a puch where you can stick how many you wish.

Then you have a lot of leather, or either very cheap or expensive non-leather materials.

My first thought after trying to navigate this is that this is exactly how it was with pen cases before Nock Co.

So, I just found a cheap pen case at home, you know the kind you used when you went to High School. And used that until I found something that matched my criteria

  • Not leather
  • Not overpriced
  • Not cheap.

Then Nock Co made a pencil case. And I love this thing. It is very inexpensive, $15 (Blackwing makes something similar for $35), and the quality is the same as all other Nock.co products.

It is simple, and exactly what I want.

A Pile of Pencils

September 17, 2018

The moment I got home after recieving the Clasroom Friendly Sharpener through eBay and tested it out on a few pencils I started to consider ordering another one. Because it is the only sharpener I want to use.

I did not do that. But instead I found a pen case or pouch at home and sharpened 24 pencils on both ends and started to carry that. The pouch I found at home have since been replaced by one from Nock. But the same principle stands.

Instead of doing what I did in the beginning, where I used up on pencil before moving on to the next, I now carry a lot of sharp pencils. And I use one after another and then re-sharpen them when I get home. Not usually every single day, but 2-3 times a week. But I usually stick to one pencil and re-sharpen it as often as I need when I am at home.

I still carry the KUM Masterpiece though, just in case, but I have never needed it.

I got rid of most of my noebooks

September 14, 2018

I looked at my insane pile of notebooks a while back, and decided to just throw the damn pile in the trash. But then some great people at Micro.blog convinced me to keep parts of it.

So, I went through them all and decided to keep everything that contained stuff I have written. But I decided to get rid of everything that was lists, tasks, notes etc. The result was that most of it are gone. I think the result was that 2/3 of my notebooks are gone. And most of the new ones I fill up are thrown out as soon as I am done with them.

This have done a lot to make my netbook collection more manageable, and limited to what might be interesting at some point.

Why is the site called The Ink Smudge?

September 10, 2018

When I use a fountain pen I always end up with ink all over the side of my left hand, and the ink end up being all over my fingers when I refill any of my pens. Also: when I use a pencil I end up having graphite all over my hands.

The Ink Smudge is one part a description of how it looks when I use writing instruments, and one part a metaphor for my writing. I’m a little bit messy when I use pen and paper, and my writing is also a little bit messy. Some people write, and edit, and edit and work on their blog posts until they end with a beautiful piece of art. I just get an idea, write it and schedule it for publishing. There are times I have to re-write some of it. But I’m not the kind of person that try to write something perfect like that.

Spacepen

September 07, 2018

I have no idea how many times I have almost ordered this little black bullet Spacepen. It is a lot.

I finally did it, and it is awesome. It is the best pocket pen I have owned. It is very small, but it becomes large enough to be comfortable when you post it.

It is very well built, it comes without a clip, but I recommend that you order one with your pen, because I almost lost it a lot before I got mine.

The only thing I do not like about this pen is the refill. I would change over to the refill from the Retro 51 right now, if I could find one that fits.

Get this pen if you want something really solid that just works, that is made to be small, and pocketable.