good things come in threes: pennonia inks
Another dark, windy day awaits. June brings storms and today is not very different from others. A pot is set to boil on the stove, the blue fire dancing in the wind. The open window shakes as another gust of wind hits. A chill sets in, not even sitting in front of the open stove can break it. As the food cooks, the oil crackles and the water boils. It’s a homely melody. Smoke curls up in the air, gets flung to the other side of the room, riding the constant wind. The smell runs through the air, up the empty staircase to the upper floor. It is our invitation to dinner.
When I found out about Pennonia, they weren’t very well known yet. Except for their online store, they weren’t selling anywhere else that I could find. Then, Fontoplumo started carrying them and I bought my first bottle of ink from Pennonia.
Pennonia is apparently a one-man show from Hungry. Their ink names are in Hungarian as well, and they make for great conversations. My boyfriend brings his pens for me to fill them -I have all the inks!- and generally we cannot pronounce the names very good. Fortunately I managed to call them absurd enough names that they stuck and now we can communicate which ink that we want to use:
Kekfesto is called “the blue pesto”.
Vattacukor is called “cotton candy”, the one word I know from Hungarian I guess.
Tihanyi Lila is called “purple that dreams are made of”. Dusty purples are my favourite! Too bad most papers cannot show off their beauty to the fullest.
Before writing this post, I was trying to find a bit more information to mention and I found that they have recordings of pronunciations of their ink names. Now, excuse me while I go and try to say them all for the next two hours and fall in love with a newly learned ink and order another ink.
Generally I’m not very interested in bottles or packaging of the inks from small makers because I am not buying these inks for their marketing like Montblanc’s limited edition inks. Despite this, Pennonia’s bottles are among my favourites. The cap has ridges for you to grab so that even after the ink dries a little and the cap is stuck, you can comfortably hold it to open. Then, the opening of the bottle is quite large, say, large enough to put your fingers through to fish out a converter you might or might’ve not dropped inside. Bottles themselves are quite squat and well balanced too. Labels have an actual watch of the ink so you can see what you’re getting yourself into. Every detail about packaging is extremely well thought out without being the main marketing focus.
It has the best marketing a regular ink user can ask for: quality and interesting colours. They behave so good on a variety of papers, in variety of pens. The colours are special, they experiment constantly and then explain the thought behind their colours on their website. Most of them are inspired by life of the man behind Pennonia and Hungary. I do like a good story to tell.
Anyway, after gushing about the brand itself, let me actually get to the inks themselves. First up is Kekfesto. It’s named after the traditional blue-dyeing and embroidery of Hungary. This was not only my first ink from Pennonia, it was also among my very first inks. It’s a beautiful mid-blue with a slight shading. I have never put this ink into extremely dry or scratchy pens, but somehow the ink itself feels almost silky smooth. It makes for a really good writing experience. The shade of blue is quite unique, it’s not exactly a royal blue or navy, but not a bright blue either. I am already through half of the bottle! It’s currently inked in Pelikan M200 Petrol, and the moody blues of the pen barrel compliment the more cheerful ink beautifully.
I got my second Pennonia ink about 6 months after Kekfesto. It was my first pink ink and it’s called Vattacukor. It’s named after pink cotton candy. It’s again a hard to describe pink. Not a bright, vibrant pink, but also not a pastel one. It shades nicely in wider, wetter nibs. This ink actually made me like using pink inks so much that I bought a few others, and keep this one always inked in a pen. Currently it is in the Kaweco Sport in Iridescent colour. I like the unicorn vibe that’s going on in that pen.
My newest Pennonia ink is not actually very new and I has already seen its fair share of use. It’s a slightly pastel but still legible purple, Tihanyi Lila. It’s not very saturated and, like it’s inspiration behind the name, it reminds me of lavender. Once I was in French countryside, years ago, we had driven through a lavender field on a hot summer day. The air that you breathe was so saturated with the sweet scent of lavender that you felt like you were breathing in honey. The colour takes me back to that day sometimes. It is right up there with my favourite grey-purple inks.
For some reason whenever I imagine Pennonia inks being made, I think about a guy in his garage, bubbling colourful liquids everywhere, mixing test tubes like a mad scientist. It makes for a funny image, but it makes me happy to see people who are successful doing what they enjoy. One of my favourite things is the experimental inks that he does under the name of “Ink Lab”. While searching for new colours and the like they try some stuff and if it doesn’t make it to the regular lineup, it ends there. I saw some pretty good stuff and I look forward to trying them out one of these days.
Thank you for reading!