Category: Ink Review

Ink Drop for January 2013 (Aurora Borealis)

collage for January Ink Drop 2013

I’m a little late to the party with the reveal of the January Ink Drop from Goulet Pens but you’ll forgive me, won’t you? The more I think about this set, the more I like it. The theme for January was the Aurora Borealis which I think is a great idea for January — to think of the bright color-shifting skies on those long dark nights. But the more I delve into these colors, the more I am just pleased with the mix of colors and how unusual they are.

As you all know, I am always looking for the perfect shade of green and the DeAtramentis Moss Green has an awful lot to recommend it. Its in the yellow-green side of the spectrum which I prefer and its not so light that it would be unreadable. Its a perky springy green.

The Diamine Majestic Purple is quite a royal purple — more purple than violet. I’m not inclined to choose a vivid purple ink but this is one I might use.

The Noodler’s Rome Burning is the most unusual ink color I’ve seen. Its not brown, sepia or yellow. It has a sort of mustard hue which I keep looking at, trying to discern its hue. The closest ink comparison I could make is the DeAtramentis Gold in the July 2012 Ink Drop: Olympics Edition. According to Noodler’s, Rome Burning is a bulletproof ink that turns purple when submerged in water. Check out the video on the Noodler’s site to see how it works and amuse yourself with the Indiana Jones-style epic soundtrack. Talk about a crazy ink!

Noodler’s Borealis Black is a very deep black, the blackest of black. According to Noodler’s site, this is a 1950s-formulation and it is water-resistant but not bulletproof. It is a wet ink so I put it into my Pilot Prera which is very fine nib and worked fine.

Now, can I wax rhapsodic about the Diamine Eau de Nil? The name translates to Water of the Nile and its a teal blue with a little black in it. This is a color in my wheelhouse. The closest comparison I can make is to DeAtramentis Pigeon Blue but its more turquoise while Eau de Nil is leaning more towards a blue black.

Needless to say that Eau de Nil was my favorite color in this collection though I am amused with the wild color-changing properties of Noodler’s Rome Burning.

See larger photos of each ink test in my Flickr Set.

Ink Drop Reveal for October 2012

Inks and pens

I’m so tickled with this month’s Goulet Pens Ink Drop ink sample subscription that I couldn’t wait to share. The colors this month are from one ink manufacturer called Scribal Work Shop and the series is called Cryptid. All the colors are inspired by mythical creatures. What could be more perfect for October?

I filled each one of my budget fountain pens with a color using my cartridge syringe filling method and tested them out. My Kaweco Student got the Kraken, my white Kaweco Sport got the Zhulong, the Ohto Tasche got the Nessie, my Muji was filled with Leviathan and my Kaweco Sport Guilloch was filled with the Siren color.

October 2012 Ink Drop

First I have to say that Leviathan, the green ink is one of my favorite greens thus far. Its not a kelly green but more of a greyish green. I love it! Siren ends up being a slightly midnight blue with a little greenish undertone. I’m not normally a fan of plain blue ink but I sort of like this one. Nessie is a muted purple which is also a great color. Zhulong is a red ink with a little orange undertone — it will not go pink on you. Kraken is a black but not a super dark black, at least not to my eyes — its more on the grey side.

Since doing the ink sample test, I’ve written several pages with each color and they all seem to be performing fairly well in each pen with an assortment of colors. I am using fine nib pens overall and my comment is that the inks seem a little dry. The dryness has worked to my advantage on my Leuchtturm 1917 pocket notebook which has fairly thin paper and I had no feathering or bleeding.

Goulet Pens posted an in-depth video about the Scribal colors on their blog, Ink Nouveau.

Each bottle of this ink is available for a mere $8 a bottle from Goulet Pens and I might buy them all.

Ink Drop Double-Up

Sorry to have dragged my feet sharing the most recent Ink Drop colors from Goulet Pens but sometimes priorities get a little shuffled. Alternately, you get a two-fer this month of both the August color offerings, described as the “best shading colors” and the September offerings “staff favorites”.

Ink Drop September 2012

September “staff favorites” featured: Diamine Apple Glory, De Atramentis Sandalwood and Dianthus and Noodler’s El Lawrence and  Liberty Elysium. I used each of my Esterbrook vintage fountain pens (each with a different nib) to test these colors. The Liberty Elysium seemed to be the wettest inks I’ve ever used. I would recommend trying it out in a pen that feels particularly dry or very fine. All these colors were fun. I even liked the El Lawrence black though I have not bought a whole bottle of black ink because I so enjoy writing with colored inks. I’m hard-pressed to choose a shade of black to warrant a whole bottle. Do you use a lot of black ink? What’s your favorite color and why?

August Ink Drop 2012

The August Ink Drop featured ink colors noted for its ability to shade and vary in color. Some people love this especially if you want to use flexible or stub nib pens. My doodles don’t show the quality but click through to the larger images on Flickr to see more details. I tested these with my flexible nib Parker vintage pen. The colors are Diamine Ancient Copper which is quite legendary on The Fountain Pen Network, DeAtramentis Steel Blue and R.L. Stevenson, Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan and Habanero. I loved the Steel Blue and Ancient Copper right out of the vials and loaded them up into my two favorite Kawecos and have been using them regularly. After testing all the colors, I love the Kiowa Pecan color and the quality of the R.L. Stevenson as well. This is one of my favorite sets yet.

The mess

I also thought you might enjoy seeing a bird’s eye view of what it looks like when I test inks and pens. I make a big mess.

Messy fingers and stained rags

My darling husband brings me rags from his print shop to use to clean up my pen mess and then the rag service takes them back, washes them and brings back fresh ones. Environmental and kind of pretty.

As for the inks, all these colors are available as samples from Goulet Pens or you can join Ink Drop yourself and get monthly surprise packages of ink. Each vial contains enough ink for one or two fills, depending on the size of your pen (I syringe fill Kawecos and can fill at least three small cartridges).

I use a Miquelrius medium flexible 300 grid paper book purchased from B+N for my ink tests.

Ink Drop Reveal for July 2012

July Ink Drop 2012

In preparation for the Olympics, Goulet Pens put together an Ink Drop sampler featuring the colors of the Olympic rings. Bright vivid colors from Pilot Iroshizuku, Noodler’s, Diamine, J. Herbin and de Atramentis are a nice festive flair for the Olympics. I particularly like the de Atramentis Gold which is not metallic but a good yellow ochre color.

I tested these colors with my vintage fountain pens on my Miquelrius medium flexible 300 grid paper book purchased from B+N.

July Ink Drop close-up

Ink Drop for June: Summer Picnic

Spoiler peek at the Goulet Pens Ink Drop sample colors for June arrived and they are themed “Summer Picnic”. Its all fruit and vegetable themed. None of the colors were particularly keen to my flex nib dip pen but I think that actually bodes well for the fountain pens. I am particularly fond of the warm orange of the Sailor Jentle Apricot and the de Atramentis Plum which is a lovely deep teal blue.

I’m looking for a different method for sampling inks in the future. Does anyone have a suggestion?

(Sorry about the cruddy photo!)

Ink Drop Reveal for May 2012

May 2012 Ink Drop

Goulet Pens brought out all the “May Flowers” to contrast last month’s “April Showers” with an array of brightly colored and scented inks for this month’s Ink Drop. My favorite is Elderberries from De Atramentis which smells lightly floral-y but makes me want to say “and your mother’s smells of elderberries” every time I see the ink. The color is a deep burgundy red.

This month I used a stiff metal dip nib as well as swabs for a different look and hopefully a lot less feathering and bleeding. I don’t think most fountain pen inks were designed to withstand the abuses of a super-flexible dip nib.

The other colors this month were: