In the month of March, two fellow fountain pen aficionados put on a month-long challenge called the "6 Pen Challenge." The premise of the challenge is simple- have a maximum of six fountain pens inked at one time throughout the entire month. You can find more details about the challenge over at Hand Over that Pen, which is definitely a site you should check out and follow if you are not already doing so!
I have been wanting to clean out a number of my pens and limit the number I have inked for a while, so I thought this monthly challenge would be a good time to move towards that goal while also sharing the experience with other fountain pen friends. I added two personal adaptations to the the challenge: 1) I will stick with the same 6 pens for the entire month of March, and 2) I will ink up all 6 pens with a new ink each week. At the end of each week, I will chronicle my experiences using my six matchups for the week here on Inkpothesis.
To get started with the challenge, I had some work to do.
First major task: Clean out all the pens that were currently inked...
As you can see above, I had ALOT of pens inked. I tend to clean my pens out on a pretty regular basis, but I also tend to ink them immediately with another ink. It was nice to clean them all at once so I could see what I have, and strategically think through what I would ink up for the challenge.
Second task: Pick the pens.
This choice was made both easier and more difficult by two new long-awaited pens that arrived from Japan in one epic mail day on February 28th.
Each of these pens is a limited edition Sailor released exclusively in Japan, and so when I figured out how to get ahold of them I sold several other pens to fund the purchases and then waited patiently for over a month for them to arrive. Being the new pens on the block, they both got automatic entry into the six. Since this meant I already had one-third of my challenge pens selected, I had to fit everything else I could ever want in pens for the month into the other four open slots. After much consideration, second-guessing, and flip-flop decision making... I finally sketched out my six choices and made it official. Each of the six choices along with a preview of this weeks' ink pairings are outlined in more detail below.
The Workhorse Pens
Even though both of these pens are Sailors with the exact same H-F nib, I had no real problem including both in the set of six. The sailor fine nibs are that good. Aesthetically, these two pens are also very different, and they even feature different filling systems. It will be fun and interesting using two brand new pens among such a limited number of pens and inking them with a new ink each week. I think this will be a more controlled, in-depth way to learn the ins and outs of the pens, and using them side-by-side will only add to the experience. The clear demonstrator Sailor came with ink, so that made a natural first choice for an ink pairing. For the black and gold model, I chose a grey ink that I have been wanting to test out for a while. The black and blue give me two solid work-friendly inks for my two workhorse pens this week.
The Pocket Pen
The second thing I knew I had to have in my set of six was one of my pocket Kaweco pens. In my most basic carry when I am running errands or going out for the evening, I always carry one of these in my pocket or my purse. I tend to reach for my grey AL Sport model a majority of the time, so I thought this challenge would be the perfect chance to utilize my lovely classic Sport model (graciously tracked down by the pen communities official "unicorn hunter") to good use. Bungubox June Bride seemed like the perfect match, so add another point to the Sailor column.
The Rock Your Handwriting Pen
I knew some type of cursive italic nib had to make it into the mix for the month. There's no nib type that I enjoy more than these- especially in terms of the end result on the paper. My handwriting just works with the italics. It was hard for me to choose which italic to include, but in the end I switched a "Daily Italic" nib that I got from Indy-Pen-Dance into my green Pelikan highlighter pen, and matched it with an amazing green Akkerman ink.
The Ink Showcase Pen
Another sailor?! Three sailor pens out of six seems a little excessive, even for me, but I couldn't help myself. First of all, my Sailor Pink Love was arguably my favorite pen before the arrival of my new pens. Secondly, I wanted a stub type nib that I could use to showcase inks and create emphasis in my writing. My favorite nib for that is actually the Sailor Music nib. Since I wasn't willing to put four Sailors in the mix, I interchanged my music nib into my Pink Love pen and paired it with a Kobe ink.
The Throwback Flex
I knew I wanted a vintage flex in the grouping, and I decided to go with the pen in my small vintage collection that I have used the least. I also wanted an orange ink for the week, and since Sailor is already taking over, why not?
Look for more details about this weeks' ink pairings later this week, and follow along all month as I make my weekly switches and chronicle the experience of enforcing an analog limit.