Lighten Up: Three Lamys

Lamy Trio

Remember how when we were kids, the summer was long and our task list was short? We awoke to wide open days, and warm months that seemed to go on and on. Now it’s just the opposite. Even though it’s summer, there’s so much to do, and the days and months zip by. One minute it’s Memorial Day, then suddenly it’s Labor Day. What happened to those lazy hazy days??

Even though summer might not be as magical and carefree as it used to be, it’s still pretty awesome. Grilled food, shorts & t-shirts, patio time, and maybe even a vacation. (Like the DC Pen Show?! Yup!)

Since summer is a time to eat lighter and dress lighter, I figure it might also be a good time to lighten up on the daily pen carry. Especially since I’ll be hitting the road soon. Here’s what I’m taking along– a trio of Lamys.

My three Lamys

Lamys are a bit rough-and-tumble, as ready for the road as the office. Light weight, sturdy, and easy to maintain, these are pens that won’t weigh you down and can take a bump or two. They’re as ready for an adventure as you are.

I’ve loaded the white Safari with Iroshizuku kon-peki, a refreshing combination. The azure blue ink reminds me of the ocean, while the body of the Safari conjures up images of my pale, pale legs at the beach. Yup. Pure white. Just like the pen.

White Safari
White Safari, F nib

The orange Safari is filled with Iroshizuku fuyu-gaki, a pleasant well-balanced orange that’s bright and fun, but not blinding. This pen and ink combination is a real mood-booster, and I find myself looking for excuses to use it.

Orange Safari
Orange Safari, F nib

And because there’s always work to be done, even in the summer, I’m keeping my matte black AL-Star, filled with Monteverde Black, close at hand. This pen is cool and stealthy. Monteverde Black has recently become a favorite and is as deep and dark as my post-vacation mood. Which is pretty dark.

Matte Black AL-Star
Matte Black Al-Star, EF nib

Three Lamy nibs

Summer’s here. I’m packing lighter. I’m packing Lamys.

Lamys on vacation


Not beige: Lamy Safari Apple Green 2012 Limited Edition (EF nib)

My cousin and I are a lot alike. We both tend to gravitate towards “earth colors” and muted tones. Karen once joked that her autobiography should be titled My Life Is Beige, as she stood in a check-out line with a fistful of khaki-colored and taupe socks. So could mine, Karen. So could mine.

When I select pens, I often gravitate towards the subtle or stealthy colors…matte black, gunmetal, and the like. (I think it’s genetic.) There are exceptions, to be sure, like the Edison Collier Persimmon Swirl, which is eye-poppingly gorgeous. And very bright. But generally speaking, I’m drawn to the blacks and silvers and subtle patterns.

Apple Green Lamy Safari
Prescription for seasonal doldrums

But not this time of year. The Christmas lights are quickly disappearing and the skies are a dull grey. It’s easy to start feeling very BLAH at this point in the winter, especially because we still have months of limited sunlight left.

Maybe that’s why I had the urge to start using my Apple Green Lamy Safari this week. It’s anything BUT blah. Subtlety is NOT its strong-point.

Apple Green Lamy Safari
Want some sunglasses with that pen?

The EF nib on the Safari is no-nonsense, quite stiff, and very plain. I’ve gotten used to seeing nibs with curlicues, scrollwork, and logos, and there’s none of that here. The Lamy Safari nib is a real workhorse that never fails to do its job.

Lamy EF nib
Amish nib…plain and strong

I filled this pen with J. Herbin’s Eclat de Saphir, a favorite blue. The combination of the neon green pen and warm, lovely blue ink just POPS.

Eclat de Saphir (J. Herbin)
Eclat de Saphir by J. Herbin

The iconic Lamy clip is sturdy, yet flexible enough. Eric Schneider, one of the FPGeeks, once said that it reminds him of one of those WHEE-LO toys we had as kids, and I absolutely agree. (Remind me again…why did we think WHEE-LO was fun?!)

Lamy clip
Clip ala Lamy

SO, here we are mid-January, and I’m holding a pen that screams “WAKE UP!!” And while I’m writing, I do.

Front-burnered: Lamy Safari Charcoal with Private Reserve Tanzanite Ink

Still life with Lamy Safari & Tanzanite

That’s the hand-written version up there. In a nutshell, I wasn’t as crazy about the “stealthy” Lamy Charcoal (EF nib) as I thought I’d be, but that was undoubtedly due to the fact that the first pen just wouldn’t write. I shot an evening trying to get it going before I shipped it off for an exchange. Once the second pen arrived, it wrote just fine…fine as in “good” AND fine as in “a very thin line.” But I just didn’t find myself reaching for it.

Act II: Stephen Brown did an Inkcyclopedia video on the Private Reserve Tanzanite ink, and shortly thereafter, a bottle found its way into my online shopping cart. What a great pairing…the matte finish of the Lamy coupled with the purpley-blue (or bluey-purple) pop of the ink. Okay separately. Great together.

The body isn’t what I would call a true black. To me, it looks like more of a deep espresso. This Lamy is very lightweight and sports the signature clip in black, as well as an all-black nib. Understated and pretty cool.

Iconic clip

The stealthy nib

The Tanzanite ink is a super color– very fun, but not out of place in a business setting. It can party, AND put in a full day of work. Best of both worlds. I LOVE it.

Jar of awesome

The ink bottle is very no-nonsense, with a nice wide opening so you can see what you’re doing when you’re filling your pen. I appreciate that, as do my counters.

One is subtle. One not so much.

Like lobster and butter (mmmmmm), this is a pair that was meant to be together. Where together? Why on the FRONT burner, of course.