Guest Post: Brad Dowdy - The Pen Addict - Cult Pens
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Guest Post: Brad Dowdy - The Pen Addict

Brad Dowdy

In this guest blog post, Brad Dowdy, known to the world as The Pen Addict, tells us about his his history with fountain pens and inks - over to you, Brad!

I’ve cared what I’ve written with and on since I was a child. The finest tipped ballpoints and rollerball pens, mechanical pencils, and college ruled notebooks got me through my school years. That love continued as I got older, and turned into an obsession in finding the tiniest micro tipped gel ink pens on the planet, which prompted me into sharing my journey on a blog called The Pen Addict.

For the first 30+ years of my life, fountain pens played no role. In fact, as I’m frequently reminded, I once said I would never use fountain pens on The Pen Addict Podcast. That statement I made in 2012 didn’t hold up well, because within a year I was hooked.

There were two reasons why: Extra fine Japanese nibs, and colorful inks.

You're telling me I could write really small AND pick the colors I wanted to write with? And change them whenever I felt like it? Count me in!

With that lead up you would think I would have picked the hottest pinks and brightest oranges. Those came later, but at first, one color caught my eye more than others, and it still does to this day. I’m in love with Blue Black fountain pen inks.

What attracted me to them initially was how classic they looked on the page while still having character. I've never regularly used standard Black or Blue inks, and Blue Black often gets lumped into that basic group, but they are far from deserving of any kind of basic tag.

Brad DowdyOut of the 20+ Blue Black inks I own, there are two I go back to time and time again. Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-kai tops the list, with its beautiful mixture of the core ink colors, plus a healthy dash of grey. The ink shading on the page is excellent, and it even leaves behind some sheen on the edge of the lines.

Sailor Blue Black comes in second on my list, but is close to Shin-kai in usage. It is darker, and has more sheen and less shading. Both of these inks have great flow and are easy to clean when the time comes.

These were two of the first inks I purchased on my fountain pen journey, and remain two of my most used inks to this day. Sure, I've added a rainbow of colors to my ink arsenal over the years (don't get me started on orange!), but Blue Black inks remain inked up and in use on a daily basis. In fact, I think I need to go ink up another pen now!

Michael Randall

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