What are your favorite pens to use in mail art?  I have a few good (sort of) ones for my regular-size collage work -- for applying lines, not for actually writing -- but they aren't turning out to be great for mail-art scale.  New ones for writing, asemic writing, drawing, and outlining are needed.  All suggestions welcome.

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I´m quite rude to my bamboo pens sometimes the water version but sometimes a sharp knife I don´t care to much about blotches ( nice new word understand without translater), or other "faults" I like them. With a good knife and some bamboo you can make them by yourself but careful with your fingers! I like them as longer i use them the very front (spitze) I try not to change because it get used to your style of drawing (direction of pull and push and the angle).













I always draw and write with fountainpens. i buy them cheaply,

because these pens tips will deform and help give any glyph or symbol more life.

Longtime ago heard of a girl in school who cut off the tip of the pen and then smoothed

it and wrote beautifull calligrafy with it.

I am sorry, i don't know anything about ink, i just use the cheap cartridges and focus on the

images and symbols i am doing.


Do you do any asemic writing with your fountain pens, Gabriel? I now have two that I love but think my asemic writing would be sort of nutrition-deprived with them. But that may be all in the nib. Yes I use cartridges in the fountain pens too. Pen and india or sumi ink is a new approach for me (old to just about everyone else, probably), and so the particulars of inks and ink pens are, well, enthralling right now.

Looking at more of the images and symbols you are using/creating is something to look forward to! And by the way I will be sending you something early next week.

Now that's an interesting idea I'd never have thought of. You are full of them, aren't you? So many things to try...it's very annoying to have to stop to eat and sleep. Will give your idea a shot today, Lisa, thanks.

I use Staedtler Lumocolor permanent. I have an assortment of sizes - 0.4mm, 0.6mm, 1.0mm and 1.0-2.5mm. They have to be permanent because of the weather here as I use them on envelopes and postcards. I do go through them quite quick. I remember using one pen up after only three envelopes so I bought some china ink and use it with a paint brush for filling in detail. Hope that helps. 

The Staedtler pens are refillable so that's a plus.

Hi all--just like Val, you'll be sorry that you asked! And, yes, I do use all of them.


My absolute favorites: wooden twigs, and 2 sizes of Chinese bamboo pens (see Frieder Specks last pen in the line-up below) usually with sumi-e ink, but have used India ink and fountain pen inks as well

For Photos: Slick Writer; Zig Photo Twins

For writing and drawing: Fountain pens and a variety of ink colors-- Lamy Safari (EF) and an ancient Shaeffer pen; plus Fiber tip pens by Faber Castell/Pitt and Sakura ( in various colors and sizes)

For Calligraphic lines: Hero bent nib pen; dip pens with an assortment of nibs and nib holders; Sakura and  Pentel brush pens for Japanese calligraphic lines; Chisel tip markers

Opaque white pens by various manufacturers--a must for black or other dark papers

For pure fun: Gelly Rolls regular and metallic inks in many colors; Magic markers

NB: Some of my favorite pens are Japanese ink brushes using sumi-e ink


For pencil snobs only-- the Blackwing Palomino and Blackwing Palomino 602 have the smoothest writing graphite and are the latest acquisitions to my collection

Graphite pencils in various gradations by various manufacturers

Prismacolor pencils

Inktense watercolor pencils 

Derwent and Faber Castel Watercolor pencils

Koh-i-noor Tri-tone pencils-just to be wacky

Scribe-All pencils write on glass, metal, plastic, wood (so it says-but I've not tested on all surfaces)

Finally, the ubiquitous yellow 2B pencils

Thanks for reading about my collections which have been built up over many years. 


I use Noodler's Eel Bulletproof Black in my Lamy which has a EF nib. Caution: some people complain that Noodler's inks clog their fountain pens. In general, for all ink brands, if you are not using a fountain pen regularly, remove the cartridge and clean the nib by soaking in water ( I like to add a teeny touch of dish detergent) and rinse thoroughly. Let dry. I use Higgins Eternal for dip pens, as well as India inks.

Some people like Platinum Carbon Black ink--read this review posted on Amazon.

"We've had a number of customers asking for Platinum Carbon Ink - enough so that we sourced this unique Japanese product for them. The ink comes in an elegant 60cc glass bottle (a touch over 2 ounces) - and is in a black box with Japanese characters (I have no idea what it says). Users of Carbon Ink fit into two groups - those who swear by it, and those who swear at it. So a caveat of caution is required for anyone unfamiliar with the ink. Platinum Carbon Ink is pigmented in order to improve its water-resisting property, light stability and heat-resisting qualities, while other inks might be illusive water-based dyes. Carbon Ink is thus suitable for important documents requiring archival qualities. Carbon Ink also performs well with watercolors or colored inks as Carbon Ink tends to resist running. This ink has many fine art applications, but many users enjoy its performance in fountain pens Relative to dye based inks Platinum Carbon Ink contains ultra-fine particles that may prove problematic for some fountain pen users. There are so many combinations of techniques, fountain pen styles, maintenance, humidity, etc. that your particular experience will need testing to make a personal judgment on this product. There should be no obstacles for brushes or dip pens. Forget-a-bout-it if you get this ink on your hands or clothing - it is not easy clean up. This ink goes down very black and seems to quickly dry waterproof. I soaked inked paper in water and all was stable. Being pigmented the ink should be lightfast - but I have no technical info supporting this."

As for my collection--I've been adding to my supplies for over 30 years, and keep them in good condition and they have served me well. I'm envious of your de Atramentis inks and have been wanting to try them. Have Fun!!

I am looking for a pen with white ink that is dense enough to thoroughly cover black paper without streaks. I have tried several without even remote success. I prefer not to have to use a fountain pen with white ink. Any ideas?

Susan-thus is a good review article & backs up Carina's suggestions. Jetpens is a good site for everything about pens, as is http://gouletpens.com

FYI: I find that white ink pens tend to dry out and I am constantly having to replenish them. For dip pens, there is a white India Ink that works well.





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