farmers’ market find– ebony green 2

A continuation of yesterday’s post about the fountain pen I bought earlier this month at the farmers’ market … and about the free sample ink cartridge that came with it.  Regular readers know that I am not a big fan of cartridge ink, preferring to fit my pens with converters and use the stuff in the bottles.  This is much more economical and allows some control of pressure and ink flow as well.  But when I do have a cartridge in, it’s fun to guess just how long it will last.

At this point in the story, the Ebony Green cartridge had inked the sample page we saw in the original post, plus the three drawings of the day we saw in yesterday’s post. (The second image is a detail from one of those drawings– the rest of it was extremely stupid.)  By this time, I was starting to be surprised by the capacity of this little cartridge.  These were four fully inked pages, with large areas of solid color.  The next morning I made this drawing of the day, with lots of intricate, ink consuming shading.

farmersmarket-ebonyblack4-blog I really like this drawing– the chubby hexapod has become a favorite sketchbook character.  If it looks a little less murky than some of the others in the series, that’s because it was drawn freehand in ink, with no pencil underdrawing to erase out.  If you click on it to see the large version, you will see there are a few corrections and even a quick line or two in black marker over them.

So, five finished drawings, and there was still ink in the cartridge.  Not much, but some.  I was now determined to empty that little thing out!  I was really liking the pen by this time and eager to try it out with some good black ink.  So I started another test page, designed to finish the cartridge off even if I had to shade the entire thing solid Ebony Green.farmersmarket-ebonyblack5-blog I started with the little figure at the lower left center, then added the owl on his should and the title in different kinds of lettering.  Then I started on the dragon, which was going to be big and complicated  with a lot of fancy shading that was going to use up that ink … and you can see where he turns black.  The answer to the big question was “not much longer”.  Of course, I couldn’t find the converter I was given free with the pen (since I put it “somewhere safe” instead of in the pen drawer in the studio) but an ordinary Rotring converter as used in their Art Pen series fits well and works perfectly.  You get a little bit more ink into the nib with this converter and the pen is better for it.

In conclusion:  While the Ebony Green experiment was just lighthearted fun (I’m never going to give up bottled ink for cartridges, and while I love playing with colored ink, it’s no substitute for a good solid black for everyday use), the farmers’ market pen is the real thing.  It’s as least as good as any other pen I’ve found in that price range, I love the way it handles and balances, and the nib shows signs of getting better with use.  If it does, I will consider moving it over to the studio for use on finished work once it is broken in.

And I think I am going to email its maker* and open a discussion on getting it a stablemate: a pen with the same body design in a different color of resin and a rather tasty fast flowing B nib I tried out at the market that day.  The pair should be dynamite together.

*David Tipton at

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