Posts Tagged ‘fountain pen ink’


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.


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?


Some Inks Have All The Fun


Sailor Peach Pink ink has a ring around it. Isn’t that unexpected?


Summer Inks For A Limited Rotation


It’s starting to feel a lot like summer and a good time to put together a new rotation. Matching nibs that don’t dry out quickly with inks that suit the season takes some planning. Orange, turquoise and pink will get added to the black and gray already at hand. In hot weather, ink can evaporate and leave a clogged nib, so the number of pens on my desk gets reduced to half its usual size. Five or so will be plenty.

Some likely prospects:

  • J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie
  • Diamine Coral
  • Diamine Vermilion
  • Iroshizuku yu-yake
  • Iroshizuku kosumosu
  • J. Herbin Rose Tendresse
  • J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen
  • J. Herbin Larmes de Cassis
  • J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche
  • Diamine Aqua Blue
  • Waterman South Sea Blue
  • Diamine Mediterranean Blue
  • Iroshizuku ku-jaku
  • Noodler’s Turquoise
  • Iroshizuku chiku-rin

Chiku-rin and Blue Pervenche are beautiful together but I have too little of the latter so I would have to order that one. Kosumosu and chiku-rin are small samples, but good for a fill or two. Time for a few swatches.

That was useful in settling on a short list.

  • Diamine Coral
  • Iroshizuku kosumosu
  • Iroshizuku chiku-rin
  • J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche (preferred) or Diamine Aqua Blue (on hand)

How do you put together your seasonal rotation?


Additional Note On Vanishing Inks


Even amongst retailers there is different information about the future of the Sailor Jentle line of inks. Read the comments to yesterday’s post for the latest. It does appear that Sailor has discontinued Sky Blue, Ultramarine Purple, Grenade Red, and Epinard Green though supplies might take some time to vanish from shelves. There is no indication that black, blue or blue-black will be discontinued. Whether or not there will be some new colors or a reissue of old colors is only fodder for rumor at this point.

My experience with discontinued ink is that it disappears fairly quickly. Folks stockpile favorites and that’s easy to understand. Some retailers will run out sooner than others. So if you want to purchase from a favorite retailer, don’t wait too long, but you might not want to get too crazy about it. While there is no guarantee ink will continue to be viable years from now, Sailor’s formula seems to be one of the better contenders for longish shelf life. For that reason alone, I am disappointed they seem to be reducing their offering.

Much as I love a number of inks, there are only a couple of discontinued ones I will miss when my stash is gone. Sailor Brown which met its demise a few years ago is the perfect mate for my Namiki Falcon, but when the bottle is empty, he will find a new companion or have a heck of a good time testing a slew of suitors. There are so many choices today and the list expands every year. Surely if there is an empty space on your ink shelf, something will come along to fill it. And you might even like the new ink better.


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