Issue#26 Chennai Pen Show and Some Other Things

Chennai Pen Show, Journalize Inks, Alchemy, Lamy Dark Lilac, Kaweco Piston

Issue 26 | 17 March 2024

Finally, after many false starts, i have been able to publish Issue#26.

I am trying out a new format from this issue - hope you folks like it!

Journalize Inks

I got to swatch three Journalize inks. What a fantastic set of inks they have created. All of them have been designed by Journalize in Hong Kong and manufactured in Hungary.

Handmade Vintage Pen

I had the privilege of handling an old Indian ebonite pen with a story. There is no indication of who the maker was. The marks on the pen seem to indicate it was turned on a manual treadle lathe. The ebonite pen has been encased in a custom silver framework on the barrel as well as the cap. It is about 140 mm long capped, and had been well-used. The nib is marked “Krishna 14-Ct Gold 1st Quality” It was probably owned by a wealthy person in the Chettinadu region of Tamil Nadu in India, where it was sourced from. It most probably dates back to the 1950s. Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment.

The gold nib, and the ebonite feed

Chennai Pen Show

Last weekend was the Chennai Pen Show, and I spent three days there.

I had a fantastic time meeting pen makers, retailers and fellow fountain-pen enthusiasts, trying out many pens I had never seen in person before and chatting with people from different parts of the hobby and learning about their perspectives. The 3-day immersion was like nothing I have ever experienced.

The Pen Show was also very well attended. There were traffic jams outside the venue and the place was packed with visitors. While it was brilliant to see so many people turning up to attend a show about what we think is a niche hobby, I was also quite pleasantly surprised. I lived in Chennai for more than a decade, at the turn of the millennium and I had no idea the hobby had so many adherents there.

I also attended a nib-tuning workshop and hung out with folks whose products I use and admire every day! There are many many pictures from the show, and putting them here is a bit too much. Check out all my images on the Instagram posts below.

More images at these posts here, here and here.

Alchemy Ink Swatches

In the last issue, I had waxed poetic about the Alchemy inks from Endless and shared some swatches of Mystic Forest. I had the good fortune of acquiring samples of all the Alchemy inks and I made swatches of all of them - do check them out here:

I also had a long chat with Dhiraj from Endless about how much I liked the packaging - the innovative bottle and the stunning boxes - and he described the creative process that went into the product. Clearly this was the result of a lot of though and careful planning. More power to them!

Everyday FPness

The papers that we have been testing at the Hyderabad Fountain Pen Club have finally made it to the next stage. A traditional old-school binder is working on turning them into notebooks - if I am lucky I might even get to see a couple of finished prototypes today. If you would like to get your hands on a prototype and give me feedback, I will be happy to send you one - just hit reply on this email and let me know. I will be able to ship only within in India for now.


The Lamy Dark Lilac saga has been quite interesting to watch. It’s fascinating to see how the brand sees itself and its products versus how it is viewed by us in the hobby. No doubt the new ink will sell like hotcakes, at least initially.


The Kaweco PISTON AL SPORT has everyone in a tizzy, with reactions running the full spectrum. I myself am quite thrilled by it and will probably end up buying one. At this point I am still basking in the glow of the Toyama Teal sport I bought some time ago - the PISTON’s time will come, methinks.

Get featured in Fountain Pen Weekly

Share your take on fountain pens and related things in one (or more!) of our upcoming issues.

Any and all content you share will belong to you and will be credited to your name (or a pen name of your choice) and linked to any of your online profiles. Ideal content would be a write-up between 200 and 400 words with 1 to 5 images.

Here are a few things that can go in the Fountain Pen Weekly:

  • Pen / ink / paper ownership experience

  • Favorites in FP, ink, paper etc.

  • Your social handles with your FP content - Insta, FB, Twitter, Reddit

  • Any FP-related content you want to call out - articles, podcasts, videos.

If you have any other ideas as well, do share, and I will be happy to think about it.

That’s all from me this week.

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