Posts Tagged ‘Noodler’s Black Ink’

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A Short List Of Easy Inks

04/01/2019

Want to keep things really simple? Fill only a few pens and use inks that make cleaning easy. Enjoyable pen use is sure to follow.

With hundreds of inks on the market, where should you start? Sheaffer, Waterman and Parker Quink inks are quite safe and easy to find. My favorites are Waterman’s Inspired Blue, Serenity Blue, and Mysterious Blue. They are comfortable colors that suit personal correspondence as well as business use, rinse easily from a nib, and work well in any pen. In addition, they are very reasonably priced so there is that to recommend them as well.

Another well-behaved ink is Pilot Blue-Black. The color is subdued but the other characteristics more than compensate for the understated color. Several years ago it became my alternate to Waterman Mysterious Blue for testing pens. That is high praise from an inkophile.

Initially, my ink purchases were from companies that also sold pens. This was based on the assumption that a pen manufacturer would be unlikely to offer ink that would cause damage. Eventually, Waterman and Quink colors seemed too limited so I sought advice from Sam and Frank at Pendemonium. It wasn’t long before well-behaved inks from Diamine and J. Herbin joined my collection including

  • Diamine Emerald
  • Diamine Sepia
  • Diamine Violet
  • Diamine Mediterranean Blue
  • Diamine Dark Brown
  • Diamine Wild Strawberry
  • Herbin Lie de The
  • Herbin Orange Indien
  • Herbin Poussiere de Lune
  • Herbin Perle Noir

This group of colors cleaned easily and was perfect for a novice. For water-resistant ink, I turned to Noodler’s Black or Lexington Gray. They are slightly higher maintenance but only marginally so.

My list of inks is always changing since new brands and colors arrive every year. Among those new releases are certain to be at least a few that will be low maintenance. In my experience, blacks, blues and greens rinse out more easily than other colors. And if it’s easy to clean, you are more likely to do it frequently, right?

If you want to try Pilot Blue-Black but your preferred retailer doesn’t offer the brand, it can be found at Amazon in three sizes, 30ml, 70ml, and a humongous 350ml bottle for around $22. The latter comes in a tall, thin container that is unsuitable for pen filling. However, a thoroughly cleaned, empty ink bottle would make a nice home for a more practical amount of ink. A benefit to decanting is that the ink remaining in the larger bottle is less likely to become contaminated. Store the bottle in a dark place where moldy little beasties won’t thrive and color won’t degrade, and that Pilot BBk should last a very long time.

All of these inks continue to rotate through my pens and that is the best recommendation. However, my list is not definitive. Is there an ink you would add?

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Sunday Reads: Searchable Handwritten Notes And Pen Links

09/30/2018

Absolutely any fountain pen user can make use of the first article. Evernote has been in my arsenal for years, but archiving handwritten notes elevates it to a whole new level of usefulness.

From the archives:

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Sunday Reads: Cussin’, Ice Cream and Vivid Color

08/06/2017

Stillman & Birn and Traveler’s Notebooks are always on my desk and I was delighted to find new ways to use them.

This week’s color inspiration came from a slideshow of birds. Matching fountain pen inks to them could be an entertaining endeavor though the colors seem brighter than what inkdom currently offers. What do you think?

Oh, and remember to leave a comment at the Herbin “1798” Jacques Herbin Amethyste de l’Oural Fountain Pen Ink giveaway. One entry per person. Drawing will be on August 10th. U.S. residents only.

https://www.facebook.com/TheBirdsGallery/videos/283197182068303/

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My Gear For The New Year

01/06/2017

Ink, pen and paper:

Sketching Kit:

Watercolor Supplies:

Accessories:

Want to purchase any of these items? Here ya go!

Ink, pen and paper: Pilot BBk,  Noodler’s Black, Diamine Mediterranean Blue, J. Herbin Cafe des Iles, Sailor Tokiwa-matsu, Stipula Calamo Sapphron, Stillman & Birn  Zeta Sketchbook, Tomoe River Paper from Paper for Fountainpens, Quo Vadis Plan & Note journal, Pilot Metropolitan, Platinum #3776 Century M, TWSBI Diamond 580 1.1, Staples ArcTraveler’s Notebook 013

Sketching Kit: Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils, Pentel Hi-Polymer Eraser, Prismacolor Kneaded Eraser, Lowe-Cornell tortillions, Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook, Faber-Castell Sharpener

Watercolor Kit: Martin Mijello Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Blue Palette, travel box, Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook, Arches 300 gsm watercolor paper, Schut Aquarelbloc 300gsm watercolor paper, Monaco Travel Case, Traveler’s Notebook 012

Brushes: Silver Brush Black Velvet Script #4, Round #8, 3/4″ Flat, Escoda Versatil Rigger #10, Isabey Petit Gris #0, SAA Gold Round #10

Tube paints for a watercolor mixing triad: Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue, Winsor & Newton Aureolin, Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose.

Watercolor Metal Travel Box with colors especially good for mixing: American Journey Aureolin, American Journey Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Winsor & Newton Winsor Red, Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose, Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue, American Journey Phthalo Blue, Daniel Smith Phthalo Green (BS)

Accessories: Coccoina glue stick, American Crafts washi tape, Bigelow Earl Grey Green Tea, Numi Chocolate Pu-erh Tea, Sadaf Special Blend Tea with Earl Grey.

 

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Moleskine Surprise

08/05/2016

When it comes to journals, Moleskine has set the standard for form. Sturdy, but lays flat. Natural white paper. Ribbon marker. Elastic band and rear pocket. The size is just right in the hand. But in recent times, the paper has left much to be desired when it comes to fountain pen ink.

When I started using Moleskine some twelve years ago, my pens were quite happy with it and the few inks I owned would cozy up to the paper and leave marks with clean outlines. Extra-fine and fine nibs were perfect, especially a vintage Parker 51 fine-medium that was the pen I carried everywhere.

Skip forward a few years and the paper quality suffered. Spidery feathers bloomed from every letter and blobs of ink showed through on the backs of pages making them worthless. One-sided writing cut the value of the pricey journals by half. Moleskine betrayed my trust and I swore off for good.

To be fair, paper sources can change over time and being ever hopeful that the company had come to its senses, I tucked a squared notebook into a recent Amazon order. The wrapper says “Mix. Paper from responsible sources.” What does that mean? It also says the notebook was manufactured in China. Lots of paper comes from China, but most of it isn’t fountain pen friendly. Hoping to be surprised, I put the Moleskine to the test.

Every instrument except the fountain pens worked well enough that both sides of the paper were useful. Clean outlines and almost no feathering with only very faint ghosting from the Sharpie Pen and the Pentel Touch make the Moleskine an excellent choice.

The scan shows a new Moleskine at the upper left with a Rhodia notebook to the right. The bottom two are Moleskine journals purchased several years ago. The recent Moleskine has paper that is more white than in the past which is another indication that the paper is from a different batch.

Fountain pen ink produced mixed results. To the good, feathering has been reduced. Not gone entirely, but spidery offshoots did not happen. That is a significant improvement over the Moleskine journals I last purchased. Outlines are less jagged though under magnification still imperfect with some inks. It isn’t Rhodia quality, but it will do.

Bleed-through on the reverse proved frustrating, but ink and nib width made a difference. Noodler’s Black in a fine nib was perfect. Sailor Peach Pink did not bleed even from a Platinum #3776 Music Nib. J. Herbin Bleu Azure from a Platinum Century B Nib left only a couple of dots. Other inks in wide nibs left so many spots that the reverse was unusable at least by my standards. However, a dry nib or an extra-fine to fine nib should have less trouble. The narrow nib for many users will be more suitable for the size of the journal and the 5 mm grid spacing anyway.

The bottom line is Moleskine has improved the quality of its paper at least in the grid notebook I tested. Some pen and ink duos will work beautifully on both sides of the paper. If you only write on one side, use any pen and ink. With the feathering reduced, Moleskine is no longer off my list. Is it time to put it on yours?

 

 

 

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A Good Deal On Washi Tape And A Pentel Touch Pen

07/13/2016

Washi tape is a quick and easy way to add a decorative element to a journal, but much of it is wide and can overpower small pages. When I found three rolls of narrow tape from MT for under $5, resistance was futile. Then I was offered a Pentel Touch felt tip pen (SES15N) that flexes from extra fine to very broad and is ideal for whimsical or calligraphic lettering. For about $10, hours of entertainment was assured.

A Midori Traveler’s Notebook #013 with Tomoe River paper offered to provide a playground. Now washi, pen and paper are fast friends. Sometimes the pen sits out a round which allows a vintage Pilot Elite ‘Isaac Newton’ pocket pen loaded with Noodler’s Black to take a turn. The black and silver theme is rather deco-looking and I am smitten.

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Platinum Nibs, Diamine And Leuchtturm1917

02/07/2016

Last night two Platinum Century pens shouted for attention following weeks of being on the back bench. How could I refuse?

The good news is that the nibs wrote beautifully from the first stroke despite a lack of recent exercise. The Century certainly can go a long time without attention. Both are smooth, but there is a slight difference between the medium and the soft medium. The latter has a cushioned feel to it which reduces feedback. The line width of the soft medium might be a tad more narrow, but that could be attributed to the ink. Both nibs are in the workhorse category. Use them for anything.

Next to Noodler’s and J. Herbin, Diamine is the brand of ink that got the most time in my pens last year. Wild Strawberry and Merlot were gifts from Beth Treadway and have proven good additions to my regular rotation. Merlot dries more slowly, but for the saturated color, I can be patient.

The Leuchtturm1917 remains one of my favorite journals though it could be better. If you look closely, the inks found threads to follow and produced more bleed-through than I would like. The previous night I used a Platinum #3776 music nib with J. Herbin Cafe des Iles that produced neither feathering nor bleeding. Pelikan Violet, Waterman Florida Blue, and Noodler’s Apache Sunset performed better on the paper than any ink except Noodler’s Black.

Does this mean Diamine inks have a problem or is the Leuchtturm paper inconsistent? Either way it’s a reminder that testing ink is valuable. The last page in a notebook is a convenient place to write the names of pens and inks for future reference. My sample page produced mixed results, but I now know which duos would be best to grab for a long day of note taking.

The Platinum Century M and SM are delightful to use and I love the soft Leuchtturm paper even with its imperfections so I want to pair the paper with inks that will not feather or bleed. Noodler’s Black and Lexington Gray might just do the trick. Not colorful, but oh so reliable. Sometimes that’s all you need.

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