Posts Tagged ‘fountain pen ink review’

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Blackstone Barrier Reef Blue Ink

06/05/2017

Blackstone delivers beautiful, saturated color with its Barrier Reef Blue ink. My 30 ml bottle came from Anderson Pens and at $8.50 it was a steal.

Blackstone ink hails from Australia and is available in nalgene bottles that are incredibly sturdy. I’ve the same bottles to decant vintage inks preserving them for years. I’m interested in ink, not the packaging, so this is just right for me.

Don’t expect any water resistance. Do expect rich blue that swings from a near purple to a deep, medium blue depending on the paper. The red component can fade as the ink dries which makes it a chameleon of sorts. No feathering on good paper. There were some rough outlines on cheap copy paper, but that was only noticeable under magnification.

The Conklin Duragraph 1.1 mm nib has a juicy flow, but Barrier Reef handled it well. Lubrication is average and should suit most pens. The wide swath of ink took a few seconds to dry, but not unreasonably long. This ink might be a good match for a dry writer, but none of my pens qualify for that test.

After a month of use, I am happy with the results especially in my Quo Vadis Plan & Note. The color even received some nice compliments from family members, something rare for a blue ink and high praise indeed. That glint of red makes Blackstone Barrier Reef Blue intriguing and at the price point, a decidedly cheap thrill.

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Pen World And An Inkophile

08/21/2015

Recently, Pen World invited me to write an article for the August, 2015 issue. The topic of overlooked inks was proposed by the editor, Laura Chandler, and it proved to be a very good choice for an inkophile.

It didn’t take long to come up with the initial five, but that expanded to ten with no effort. Frankly, it could have been a lot more. Despite new colors, revamped lines and even the occasional new ink maker, all  news worthy of note, there are hundreds of inks already available that are amazing and delightful to use.

The next time boredom sets in or your rotation seems stale, go to the back of your shelf and look for an ink that hasn’t seen a pen in ages. You might be surprised by one that fell out of favor or worse, never got its due. Usually, my ink didn’t find a good mate though a more recent pen might suit it perfectly. Perhaps a new brand of paper brings out shading or makes the pen glide across the surface in a most satisfying way. I’ve resurrected some inks with little thought other than the color suited my fancy at the moment. Isn’t that simple?

Whatever the reason, giving an ink a second chance to make you love it is worth the effort. Aren’t “cheap” thrills the best?

Thank you, Laura, for asking me to write for Pen World. It was fun to collaborate on a project and I hope we can do it again.

A final thank you to Tessa Maurer who shot the photos. It certainly helps to have a talented photographer in the family.

Here is a PDF of the article for those who didn’t see it in Pen World. If you didn’t, consider a subscription. There is nothing quite like ogling gorgeous fountain pens depicted in four-color glory. If you are a pen nut, Pen World could be just the place for you.

Pen World Article 8-2015

 

 

 

 

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Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher Ink Review

12/07/2013

Last week Gentian sent a sample of Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher along with a chocolate bar, a pad of pen-friendly paper, a sample of Platinum Carbon Black, and some other bits and pieces. Wanna guess what got sampled first? The chocolate bar of course!

Now that the bar has been reduced to a wrapper, it is time to play with the ink. BBK is a bulletproof ink. An application of water smears enough color to prove the ink was assaulted, but the writing remains legible. That is useful for noting when your signature has received an unwanted attempt at tampering. It can also be used to create a wash of color when the water is applied with a brush. It is not a waterproof ink, but it will get you through a casual coffee spill.

Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher

The color is dark blue, very dark blue. Flow and lubrication are excellent. BBK  could make a stingy nib perform better, but it might be too enthusiastic for a wet nib. It was a little stubborn rinsing from the nib and suffers from mild nib creep though in line with comparable Noodler’s inks. The small degree of shading might be more attributable to how I use a pen rather than being a characteristic of the ink. Drying time is around ten seconds on Rhodia.

The writing samples show varying degrees of feathering. The dip pen on Rhodia shows the most, but the flow is more copious than a fountain pen. Performance on Moleskine is quite impressive considering there is no feathering along paper fibers, something common on Moleskine paper. The third sample is from an old notebook that is fountain pen-friendly. The feathering is only noticeable with a loupe, but there are very clean outlines with Waterman Florida Blue in adjacent writing. Some bulletproof inks do exhibit a degree of feathering. BBK gets good marks in comparison.

Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher is well-suited to Japanese pens with very fine nibs. Right now there are two Pilots and a Platinum clamoring for a fill. The nibs are so fine that this free-flowing ink might be just the one to make them happy. Me, too, for that matter.

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