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caroline miniscule commentary

Jun. 22nd, 2010 | 10:45 pm

I'm quite glad I took up a relatively inexpensive hobby recently; there is VAT on fountain pens and ink, but they're both relatively inexpensive, or at least the ink is. You can do without quite a lot of this; dip pens are cheaper, Quink works perfectly well and paper can be bought cheaper than that.

* Book on calligraphy from library - £0.00 (while libraries survive)
* Black & Red A4 hardbacked wirebound book for practice - £4.49
* Calligraphy nib 1.9mm - £4.00
* Lamy Safari fountain pen - £9.95
* Diamine Amaranth ink, 80ml - £5.95

the tories are bastards

I'm only just learning you know. I hope to be able to produce some really extravagantly pretty statements on similar lines, shortly.

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Regarding shaking inks and Noodler's Black

Jun. 14th, 2010 | 09:03 pm

I recently bought a bottle of Noodler's Bulletproof Black ink, having seen numerous reviews saying what a generally reliable black it was, working even with Moleskines and being basically impervious to wind sleet and snow.

I loaded assorted pens with it and was disappointed. Yes, it was waterproof, sort of... while you could dunk it in water and it would remain, it smeared at a touch in a way that my Diamine inks didn't, even after days to dry. (Diamine ink generally dries very quickly in my experience and won't smear if you touch it, though they are absolutely the opposite of waterproof. Do not drop a journal written with Diamine ink in the bath. Even if you fish it out quickly, your journal will disappear into faint smears and you will also turn an interesting colour.)

Anyway. I was trying the Noodler's Black again with my new Sailor ProColour, in the hope that perhaps it was something about the Lamy Safaris I'd tried it with before writing quite wetly (the Sailor does not do this - in fact it needs quite a wet ink, but that's something for another post maybe). It wasn't. But then I read this post here on the subject of shaking inks and thought "well, might as well". Gave the bottle a shake, refilled the Sailor from it and - no more smearing, performs perfectly.

So, the lesson there is shake your ink because even Royal Mail may not have sufficiently agitated it.


While I am writing about it, Noodler's Black is not a very exciting black. I have some J Herbin "Perle Noire" that is a much deeper, more saturated black - the Noodler's is noticeably greyer when you compare them. (The Perle Noire would make good sketching ink come to think of it; I might fill my Rotring Art Pen with it, if I ever end up doing more ink sketches.)

It isn't a bad black though, and its bulletproof qualities and reliable flow mean that for general purpose journalling it's ideal. I don't find black inks very exciting generally, but they are ideal for this purpose - I can write, draw diagrams and mindmaps, doodle, sketch if I want to.


The Rouge Caroubier that I posted about recently is growing on me by the way. I am a sucker for inks with good shading and this definitely does. It's also bright but not overly transparent; you can always read it. I am using it to go over my old journal entries and tick, amend and make notes on them.

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Diamine Imperial Purple

May. 21st, 2010 | 11:47 am

Diamine Imperial Purple, originally uploaded by redspotted.

More ink; in this case, Diamine Imperial Purple ink, in the same Lamy Safari pen, with both 1.1mm italic and EF nibs. This one is also quite distinguished I think. I'm not sure whether it's a good day-to-day ink - it dries reasonably quickly, and isn't so bright it will definitely annoy me should I use it in my journal for page after page, but it *might*. I will give it a shot anyway.

This is pretty much what I do these days, buy ink. And write with it. And post about it on the internet.

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Diamine Dark Brown with Lamy Safari 1.1mm Italic

May. 19th, 2010 | 03:59 pm

New calligraphy nib and new ink. I'm generally quite fond of this ink, though it's obviously not dark as such. It has nice shading as well as a good colour, particularly on decent paper, which I think would make it a good ink for calligraphy, which is something that I'm thinking of learning. If you're not opposed to a relatively light ink I think it would also make a fair day-to-day one; it's quite distinguished.

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Jan. 18th, 2010 | 01:41 pm

I posted previously that I'd not noticed any problems with the OHTO Tasche pen and ink flow, but I'm afraid to say that I have, now, too many to just be isolated incidents. I've changed the cartridge and fiddled with the nib many times, but the only time it works is after I've flushed it through with water, and then not indefinitely. I can't be doing that every couple of days. So for the moment I'm back with the bullet pen though if I find a solution, I'll post it here.

Edit: I've had some success - I think - with widening the ink channel with the tip of a sharp pen-knife. This is quite an intimidating thing to try, admittedly, but it's recommended in some cases by proper sources (e.g. here) and flushing, adjusting the feed etc hadn't helped. Well, fingers crossed eh.

Edit 2: (2010-06-18) Anyone finding this through Google and looking to see any issues with the Tasche should look at the whole "ohto tasche" tagged series of posts - or look here.

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