ink review: sailor jentle ultramarine

Sailor Jentle Ultramarine is one of Sailor’s six new ink colors (the others being Apricot, Epinard, Grenade, Peche, and Sky High). I purchased samples of each, and Ultramarine is the first one I tested. Ultramarine is a unique color that sits on the spectrum between blue and indigo. One could call it blue-purple, but that wouldn’t quite do it justice. Historically, ultramarine was an expensive pigment that was made by grinding up the gemstone lapis lazuli.

ink review: rohrer and klingner morinda

Thanks to the generosity of the Fountain Pen Network member, Jared, I received set of ink samples. Among them were several vials of Rohrer and Klingner ink, which is a German brand that has recently become available in the US. I was immediately attracted to the vial of Morinda, which is a pretty, vibrant candy-red ink. It is similar in color to J. Herbin Rouge Caroubier, but significantly more saturated and somewhat less prone to shading.

ink review: sailor jentle blue black

Sailor Jentle Blue Black is a very pleasant, easy to use, blue-black ink. It is a dark blue with tinges of black - exactly what I would expect from a blue-black ink, and exactly unlike the Parker Quink Blue Black I reviewed previously. It is a moderately wet ink, compared to the Parker Quink, and therefore writes with a bolder line. It is highly saturated and exhibits a medium level of shading in a fine-nibbed pen.

ink review: noodler's dragon's napalm

If you want to get someone’s attention, send them a letter written in Noodler’s Dragon’s Napalm ink. It’s the perfect ink for the task, as it is very close to the color of safety orange – that attention-getting hue that adorns traffic cones, the tips of toy guns, hunting caps, inmate jumpsuits, and the official state fungus of Ohio – the orange barrel. It’s a vibrant, highly saturated, ink that produces a bright, solid line in a fine-nibbed pen.

ink review: noodler's black swan in english roses

Noodler’s has released the second in its line of inks that have been designed for flex nib pens. The high-shading Black Swan in English Roses continues the high level of quality set by its predecessor. In my review of Black Swan in Australian Roses, I praised the ink’s poetic nature, and English Roses delivers a similarly lyrical experience. Where Australian Roses was violet-black with pink undertones, English Roses is an earthy red-brown with bright, poppy red undertones that peek out from time to time.

ink review: parker quink blue black

Parker Quink Permanent Blue Black is a workhorse of an ink that I’m sorry I waited this long to try out. First developed in the late 1920’s, it was regarded as a revolutionary ink that eliminated the need for blotting. It remains, to this day, one of the most popular fountain pen inks in production. Parker’s version of blue-black is moderately saturated and allows for a modicum of shading in a fine nib.

reference inks

Over the past year, my ink collection has grown by leaps and bounds. I’ve written over thirty ink reviews, which averages out to slightly more than one every two weeks. At this point, I own a LOT of ink – enough to start singling out specific inks as those to which I compare all others. I have also noticed that one of the most time consuming aspects of doing ink reviews is washing out the three or four pens that I ink up just to write out the comparison colors.

ink review: platinum carbon black

Rating: 4.5 March 8, 2011 Traditional carbon inks were made with soot or lampblack mixed with gum arabic or another binder. The carbon particles would not fade over time, even when exposed to sunlight, and the ink was not harmful to paper. However, it was not waterproof, could smudge in humid environments, and was not at all fountain-pen friendly. Platinum has re-engineered the carbon ink, though, to solve all of those problems.

inky goodness

For your snowy Friday afternoon reading pleasure: Leigh Reyes once again puts us all to shame with her artistic abilities and demonstrates a wet-on-wet technique with water and fountain pens. Over at Ink Nouveau, Brian Goulet lets us know about two new “fast dry” inks from Noodler’s.

ink review: noodler's baystate blue

Rating: 3.0 February 22, 2011 My first thought, upon opening the bottle of Noodler’s Baystate Blue, was “Holy cats, that’s blue.” It is not a subtle ink. Rather, it is an electric cobalt blue that positively jumps off the page. It’s highly saturated, as many Noodler’s inks tend to be, and it exhibits no shading. It simply lays down a solid, bright, blue line. Baystate Blue has generated a bit of controversy lately.