Archive for the ‘Ink’ Category


There Is A Storm On The Way From J. Herbin


Email announcement:

Sunny Huang from Exaclair, Inc. will be attending the D.C. Fountain Pen Supershow this year showing off new products including an exclusive look at the new “1670” fountain pen ink, “Stormy Grey”.

The show is August 8th – 10th at the Sheraton Premiere in Tysons Corner for you lucky folks who live in the D.C area. That’s on the other side of the country, so I will wait impatiently for what could be a tasteful match for my Rhodia Ice pad.
How about you? Are you ready for a new “1670” ink?

A Few More Remarks On Noodler’s Australian Roses


There is one characteristic of Noodler’s Black Swan In Australian Roses (new version) that bears mentioning. Though it is very pleasant to use on Clairefontaine paper, it takes FOREVER to dry. Writing with a 1.1 mm calligraphy nib brought new meaning to the concept of patience – on the order of “you could go gray in the interim” kind of patience. On a cheap envelope, drying time was fast. On Staples 5 x 8″ writing pad with paper from Egypt, it took 15 – 20 seconds to dry with a few faint dots of color taking longer. Paper really matters with this ink.

A fine or extra-fine nib or a pen with less than average flow might be more manageable. As a chunky nib user, BSAR will get limited time in my italic nibs even if it does look amazing in a thick, luscious line.

Adding a small amount of water to the BSAR might improve drying time. Experiment by adding a drop or two of distilled water to the filler and then sucking up ink from the bottle or top-off a fill with a little water. Gently agitate the bottle to insure there is adequate pigment in the fill. The color should remain true with a 10% – 20% dilution. Shading might be more evident, but performance should not be noticeably affected. Noodler’s Inks are particularly good with such treatment. Limiting experiments to just one fill at a time will be a good test of the results without risking much ink. It isn’t very different from leaving water in the feed between changes of ink.

All things considered, strongly saturated inks are at risk for being slow to dry whether from Noodler’s or any other maker. But when you are smitten by the color, it’s worth the effort to match ink, pen, and paper for best results.


More Sailor Ink Sources


More Sailor ink sources from @LokYouTan on Twitter:



Noodler’s Australian Roses Samples


Interested in more images of the new version of Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses? Online swatches are iffy prospects at best, so take these as approximations – not absolute color representations. The dot is more accurate than the written page, but that’s only on my monitor.



For The Adventurous – Sailor Ink In The Wild


If you are willing to make an ink purchase through a source other than your favorite stockist, there are a few options for those lamenting the loss of the retired Sailor colors.

  • Bungbox sells Sailor in tall bottles that I’ve seen used for limited edition releases in the past. The descriptions are not necessarily descriptive of the ink color, but in some instances, at least entertaining. Contact to place your order.
  • A few Bungbox inks are available through Amazon, but the shipping cost is significant.
  • Cool-Japan has the Sailor Kobe line, but rumor has it he can be sweet-talked into offering Bungbox ink as well. His shipping cost is lower than Bungbox though his per bottle price is higher. The net effect can be a significant savings. Cool-Japan has a good reputation if you have any concerns about ordering via eBay.

If you’ve got to have an exotic Sailor ink rather than the standard fare from U.S. retailers, grab a bottle or two while you can. It’s not like you have too many inks already, is it?


J. Herbin In A 10 ml Bottle


J. Herbin ink is a longtime favorite and the first brand I explored when blue and black became old. Poussière de Lune and Lie de Thé hooked me and I’ve never looked back. Much to my delight, JH have released 10ml bottles that make it inexpensive and easy to sample more of their colors. Jet Pens is offering the cute little dears at $4.75 a pop. With free shipping for orders over $25, you can steal a half dozen for a mere $28.50. For six bottles of color, I’m on board. Are you?


Sailor Jentle Ink – Four Seasons Nioi-sumire (Sweet Violet)


Sailor has revised its line of inks to a very narrow selection. The staples of black, blue and blue-black remain along with the collection called The Four Seasons. The quality hasn’t changed – just the color variety.

Elaine at Jet Pens sent a bottle of Nioi-sumire or Sweet Violet for review. It is a dark blue that only hints at purple. Perhaps the intention is to provide a dark color for the workplace. Tilt the paper just so and the color shifts from blue to a vaguely dark purple. This may be just the right thing for the Japanese marketplace, but rather unimpressive compared to other lines of ink.

Sailor continues to have that odor associated with a good measure of biocide so it should remain fresh for a long time. The carton has the date of manufacture, an advantage when estimating shelf life. My bottle of Peach Pink is dated January 20, 2011 and is absolutely perfect after 3 1/2 years. My bottle of the long discontinued Sailor Brown does not have a date, but remains viable after ten years on my shelf. That’s no guarantee for the latest batch, but it is encouraging.

If you would like an ink that isn’t quite dark blue and offers quality and performance, Nioi-sumire should fit. There are seven other colors including a couple of promising greens and a plum, so grab one of those if you are a Sailor fan seeking something a little different. No pink, red or orange so look elsewhere for those colors.

The paper is Clairefontaine from my summer notebook and it is right fond of Sailor ink. Now that’s a combination I can highly recommend.


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