The Platinum music nib remains my favorite pen after more than two years of use. This sample of ten colorful inks shows how well the nib works with whatever I toss in it even on cheap paper.
Posts Tagged ‘fountain pen ink’
Beth Treadway decided to share a little ink with me. 27 bottles plus a few cartridges! Three journals, too. Guess what I’m doing over the summer…
Is there a ten-step program for people who ink too many pens at one time? My current rotation is ridiculously out of control. Or maybe not…
- Mink Levenger True Writer
- Amber Conklin Duragraph
- Clementine Retro 51
- Raspberry Lamy AL-Star
- Green Lamy AL-Star
- Green Levenger True Writer
- Cracked Ice Conklin Duragraph
- Noodler’s Creaper Demo
- Platinum Century Nice Pur
- Platinum Century Nice
- Platinum Century Chartres Blue
- Platinum #3776 music nib
- Namiki Falcon SF
- Sailor Sapporo
- Pelikan M-215 Rings
While doing ink research spurred by a shipment of samples from Goulet Pens, it became evident that turquoise is produced in a very narrow range.
From left to right, Noodler’s Navajo Turquoise, Waterman Inspired Blue, Diamine Havasu Turquoise, De Atramentis Adular Blue, J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche, Lamy Turquoise, Sheaffer Turquoise, Rohrer & Klingner Blu Mare, Platinum Aqua Blue.
After that revelation, I was curious to see how many other inks in my collection were similar enough to be mistaken one for another. There were more than a few colors that turned out to be virtual twins. To make things more interesting, swatches might look identical, but written words quite different. Four examples of similar colors though the photo does not show just how well they match.
Which does make me wonder why we collect so many inks. Not that I’m complaining, but when is enough enough or can one never have too much?
Recently a Tweet about ink caught my attention. In 140 characters, a pen blogger announced he was ending his use of a well-known brand of ink. Apparently a bad experience with one ink means all inks in the line are bad. He may have had other bad experiences, but only referenced one in the Tweet. Certainly, no one wants to damage a pen over the use of an ink. Unless mold-contaminated, nearly every ink has its place and pen mate. That should make it pretty darned hard to condemn an entire company over one ink.
Not to condemn any brand, but I’ve had problems of one sort or another with Diamine, J. Herbin, Private Reserve, DeAtramentis, Rohrer & Klingner, Parker Penman, Iroshizuku and Noodler’s. (Note that Diamine, J. Herbin, and Noodler’s are on my short list of favorite brands.) In most cases, the issue was with a particular color. A few inks degraded over time while others stained vintage pens. Some grew mold though that could have been contamination not attributable to the manufacturer.
R&K is a special case since the ink isn’t a problem, but the caps on my bottles don’t seal well. That has produced evaporation and messy leaks. I haven’t purchased a bottle in two years, so that issue may have been resolved.
Sure, some of my pens have been damaged by ink. Two Esterbrooks with green barrels sport stains acquired on my watch. Since that happened to two different models with the same type of plastic body and with two different brands of ink, the material might be the cause rather than the ink.
So here’s the deal. Highly saturated inks can cause pen staining and other forms of pen damage. Some inks have bad reputations for good reason. But if you use one of them, you “takes your chances.” Is it worth it? If you love an ink’s color or properties, then go for it, but in the right pen, please.
Reviews and opinions will vary, but it’s the lack of context and balance to those Twitter remarks with which I would take issue. If I have been remiss in this regard in the past, I apologize. There are rarely no positives. People who are sincerely trying to make pen, ink, and paper products that expand our choices deserve our support and sometimes a measure of constructive criticism – not condemnation or company death wishes.
Despite it all, I use every brand though not every color. If it makes me happy, the ink gets a mate and goes to work. And that is what enjoying fountain pens is all about.
Inkophile’s Guidelines for Ink Use
- Pricey pens get low saturated inks.
- Inks with dicey reputations go in cheap pens or a dip pen with a feed.
- Saturated inks go in converter pens.
- Vintage pens get low saturated inks especially Waterman and some J. Herbin colors.
- Pens with sacs get low saturated inks and/or very frequent cleaning.
In this case, it’s a family of red inks. The colors are quite similar and I readily admit to preferring the softer, warmer side of red. Thus there is a bias in my collection that adding J. Herbin Rouge Caroubier to my color swatches made only more obvious.
Top row: Noodler’s Park Red, Rohrer & Klingner Morinda, Diamine Maroon, Noodler’s Tiananmen
Bottom row: J. Herbin Caroubier, Rohrer & Klingner Fernambuk, Diamine Vermilion, Diamine Wild Strawberry, Noodler’s Cayenne