This is one of the Pilot Iroshizuku ink made specially for Pilot’s 100th anniversary. Daikokuten is a bright yellow ink that shades nicely from a sunshine yellow to a yellow-orange colour when it pools. I really enjoy how bright and happy this colour is. It is surprisingly visible against bright white paper. Sadly this is made just for Pilot’s 100th anniversary celebration. I wish this ink is part of Pilot’s standard line up.
Length (capped): 130mm
Length (uncapped): 120mm
Price: USD$80 onwards from Karas Kustoms
Body Material: Delrin
Nib Material: Stainless steel
Filling Mechanism: Standard International Cartridge / converter
My thanks to Glenn for the fountain pen. He had sent me this pen a long time ago having won it in a giveaway organised by Karas Kustoms. I’ve been happily using the Fountain K for years. This is my very first board nib fountain pen and I was never one for those.
But this is the start of me shifting my preferences towards the broader nibs.
The Karas Kustoms Fountain K came in a cardboard box. Points for the packaging being minimal and recycle able. Inside, instructions were included. The pen despite being free came with a converter and an ink cartridge, among other things.
This Fountain K is a special one. The body is made of black Delrin, it is a special polymer plastic that’s smooth and soft to the touch. Its cap and grip is made of aluminium and is left in its unpolished state. The unpolished aluminium gives the pen a rough and tumble aesthetic and knowing the pedigree of this pen, I’d dare say this pen will stand up to the test of time and serve me well for the years to come. (I’ve been using this pen on and off for more than a year at this point)
The Fountain K isn’t a large or long pen. It is relatively compact though still maintaining its ability to accept a full length standard international converter and cartridge. It is well balanced. The aluminium grip is a nice counterweight to the length of black Delrin that makes up the barrel.
The Fountain K comes with a super stiff clip that’s screwed into the cap. That clip is not going anywhere. It still slides over paper and pen cases with ease, of course the thicker the material, the harder it will be. The cap unscrews in about 1.5 revolutions to reveal a Bock #5 nib inside. The grip is relatively short, shaped with a dip towards the front end of the grip and flaring out towards the nib again. This provides a nice little lip for your fingers to rest against.
The threads that the cap screws in against are sharp. And after more than a year of on and off use, it still remains so. They are not so sharp they cut you but it isn’t the most comfortable experience. But this is on the Delrin barrel version, I’m not sure how it would feel on the metal barrel ones.
As mentioned previously, the Fountain K takes a standard international converter and cartridge. And these comes standard with the pen as well. And the cap doesn’t post. That’s not a problem for me since I don’t post my caps but for everyone else do take note.
The Fountain K comes in a B nib. I’m assuming it’s a board nib because there is no indication on the nib itself. But it writes broader than any other nib I’ve owned. The writing experiencing is smooth and wet as expected from a nib with such a generous tipping but there was no baby’s smooth problem.
The Karas Kustoms Fountain K is a way better experience I have when I compared it to the first version of the Karas Kustoms INK many years ago. I’ve not revisited the brand after that first Kickstarter I’ve backed for the INK. And I’m glad they have improved greatly since then.
Also this is my first foray into broad nibs and I must say there is something to them.
Once again, my thanks to Glenn for the fountain pen.
- Takes standard international converter and catridges
- Can’t be posted
- Sharp threads on the barrel
My thanks to Ana of Well Appointed Desk for the ink sample.
Rose Quartz is a very odd and unique ink. It’s pastel grey-red colour. It goes down more grey than red but eventually drying to a rose colour. It isn’t very bright. It is a shading ink but objectively it is really hard to read against white paper. This is an ink that works best with a wetter ink. Right now this isn’t an ink that is suitable for day to day writing. It feels like it is being undone for the sale of being unique. Personally, I am not a fan.
This is yet another TY Lee exclusive ink. It's is a scented ink from De Atramentis. The scent is light, slightly floral. It’s not overpowering or too in your face. Hu Shi is a dark blue ink that shades subtly. It’s very much a corporate sort of blue which to me is which rather boring. I don’t really enjoy this kind of blue but as an ink it’s completely serviceable.
- Noodler’s Polar Blue
- Caran d’Ache Idyllic Blue
- Pilot Iroshizuku Ajisai
De Atramentis Li Zhao Qing is a TY Lee shop exclusive ink. It’s a wet and lubricated strong purple ink. It doesn’t shade very much but it is bright and pops right off the page. It is a scented ink that smells a little like talcum powder. It’s not unpleasant or very overpowering. Personally Li Zhao Qing isn’t my favourite shade of purple and I don’t think it’s particular unique either.
Musubi is a Singapore company that specialises in making notebooks with Tomoe River paper, hand woven and bound with beautiful fabric exterior. But with a twist. Their focus on hiring people with physical or intellectual disabilities in Singapore and training women from abusive families in Indonesia allows them to create a social impact in a way not many companies do.
They have launched their pen cases sometime last year and, yes I am late to the game, but I’ve picked up an Oversized (150mm) Pen Case in the seigaiha (waves) Kon (navy) colour. It is essentially a two pen case with a removable divider to make sure your pens don’t touch. It fits my girthiest pens, two Nakaya Piccolo, side by side without any trouble. It also fits my tallest pens, Pilot Custom 823, with no problems.
The case is well made, stitching flush and tight. Its frame semi-rigid, which helps protect the pens inside from impact. The pen case is secured with a button and has a fabric pull tab on the exterior for easy access to your pens. I personally do not take good care of my pen cases. After all they are there to protect and carry my pens, not be yet another item I need to baby. After using it as my solo pen cases for months, being thrown into my bag with other stationery without care, it looks as good as the day I’ve purchased it. The fabric exterior didn’t even looked like it is dirty in a way fabric tend to do.
My only pet peeve is the divider. I wish it is stitched to the interior of the case so that it can be folded down, which is probably never going to happen, and pushed back up when required. The divider being removable just meant I’ll be prone to losing it. Thankfully, that hadn’t happened thus far.
The pen case just screams understated (excuse the oxymoronic play of words here) high-end product in a way my other pen cases do not. It is form matched with function, paired with a direct social impact. And retailing at SGD$100 for the Oversized and SGD$85 for the Regular, I’d say this is a steal.