Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How to Refill a Pilot Parallel Pen cartridge

Here’s a diagram from my class notes for StrongLines, suggesting an easy way to refill an empty a Pilot Parallel pen ink cartridge. (Click on image to enlarge.)


Anonymous said...

Wow... wish I'd seen this post sooner! I just threw out two or three empty cartridges, because I thought they couldn't be reused (doesn't the literature that comes w/the pen discourage the practice?)... so like the naive, literal, easily swayed parallel pen "newbie" I am, I pitched them! DARN! I really do like those pens... now if only you lived nearby so I could take class w/you! Do you do any correspondence teaching? If no, have you ever thought about it? Hint, hint! Have a great weekend, thanks again for the tip! (no pun intended)... your work is really beautiful, I'm a great admirer.

Alice Young said...

Hi Kathy,

It's true, the manufacturer doesn't recommend re-using the cartridges, but as long as you rinse them clean, they're not cracked, and that little metal ball is still rolling... well, there is no reason not to re-use them! Here's to recycling! There are lovely inks out there that are much better quality than the ink that comes in the cartridges, anyway. "Parallel Pen Wizardry" by Brenda Broadbent has lots of great tips for using these pens, too.

Thanks for your compliments on my work, and while I haven't done any correspondence teaching (I do teach weekend workshops), you've got me thinking about it for the first time! Even mini-lessons online would be cool, wouldn't they?! You have a great weekend too, and if you have any questions about the Parallel pen, feel free to drop me an email. Cheers.

Kim from Hiraeth said...

Thank you for directing me to this post and online lessons (mini or otherwise) sounds fabulous. I am located in Chicagoland. Is that near you? I'd love to take a class. I am completely self taught and I continue to struggle against bad habits established early on. : (

Alice Young said...

Hi Kim,
I'm on the west coast, so not too close to Chicago. Did you attend the calligraphy conference that was in Chicago this summer - "Letters Mingle Souls"? Are you a member of a calligraphy society or guild? They usually bring in teachers which is really helpful.

Kim from Hiraeth said...

No, I did not attend. I'm sure it would have been inspiring and challenging, however I just don't think my skills are up to par for such a gathering.

What I need is instruction. I've been doing calligraphy for over 25 years and even making money at it (if not a living) but I haven't grown as a calligrapher--it's been an insular, envelope addressing life for too long.

I've taken my nose out of calligraphy books and poked around the internet and I see how far I have to go. It is both discouraging and exciting.

I believe good work is in me but I need to break free of self taught and book taught moorings.

(I'm sure that's WAY more than your question implied--too much information, I am sure!)

Anonymous said...

A blog worth reading on forward until the end! :) I really admire the wording in this blog, quite precise to the details but I just might change one or two things, never-the-less, bravo on well choiced words mate.. p.s.>> Thanks for sharing, I actually picked up some knowledge on this one :)
-Have an amazing day!

Alice Young said...

Thanks for your comments, cheap pens. Now you've got me curious as to what you would change. Constructive criticism welcome!
Cheers, Alice

Zachary said...

Would you be willing to share some inks you used with success in the Parallel?

I've just done this process using Pelikan Brilliant Black and I'm finding it doesn't flow as well as the Pilot refills, takes a bit of movement just to get it flowing, and it comes out a bit watery once it does flow.

Thanks in advance.

DrMeow said...

Thank you for this post. I ordered a Parallel Pen recently and I really want to experiment this tip, thanks to you !
But I have a question : can I refill my empty cartridges with Indian Ink ? In fact, with which fluids can I refill my cartridges without danger for my Parallel Pen ?
( Sorry if I have a bad English : I'm French )

Enrico G. said...

Hi Alice, Your work is great and your tips are very precious!
I'd like to know what kind (or brand) of ink do you raccomand for this refill!

Thank you!


luigisinbigotes said...

Hi! I've beenr ecently dive into calligraphy's world and its amazing, I cant stop writing letters everiwhere and Pilot Parallel Pen seems to be the perfect pen for this king of work.

Searching on the web I found this page where you explain how to refill a cartdrige but you mention no inks wich makes the article a little incomplete. If you could please tell some preferred inks for this pens I'd really appreciate. I'm sure you've seen this is not the only coment asking for that concern :)

Great work so far, thanks for your great blog!

Alice Young said...

Hi Cristian - I appreciate your comment. The topic of inks is more complex than you might expect - it requires its own blog post. I will write one about inks this month!

Thanks, Alice

Bilyana said...

It's not a good idea, unless you are using a very quality ink!

Alice Young said...

Hey Bilyana - It's true, you need to be using a good quality ink. I now have a online classes (taken through Skillshare) where I show you how to work with the pen. The second class ( focusses on which inks are okay to use and which are not. You might find that helpful.
Best, Alice

Leonard said...

Hi Alice,
Just started yesterday and I'm planning to join your class via skill share. But before I proceed any further - Can I change the ink im using to avoid bleeding / feathering so I'm not forced to buy a special kind of paper. I'm used to doodling while on the go and I want to continue using my small notebook while communiting to practice caaligrpahy.

Alice Young said...

Hi Leonard - I'm not sure what kind of paper is in your notebook, but most all ink does bleed on "regular" paper. The options you can try are FW Acrylic Black ink (not the Pearlescent black). It bleeds much less than most inks, but still bleeds on a few papers. If that doesn't work, you can consider gouache, which is a pigmented watercolour. It doesn't bleed at all, but you do have to mix it up yourself - and I go over how to do that in my class. Hope that is helpful.
~ Alice