Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I spoke too soon...

The pens quit working again, except for the one with the green ink that I'd bought for the dragon pen.  Since that one works as well as it does, and the others all had a different brand/type of ink, I got suspicious.

It wasn't the pens.  It was the ink.  I found Dr. Ph Martin's Bombay Ink in 1 oz bottles at our local Hobby Lobby for $5/bottle, so I bought three. 

It clogs.  It dries into clots in the nibs. The nibs have since been thoroughly cleaned in Windex and hot water.  One of the nibs had the entire feeder channel filled with a clot, which came out looking like a blue worm.  Another had so much clotted into it that it took soaking in five different cups of clean water--after the Windex--to get the rinse water to come out clear.

I've since tested them with the Waterman ink...and they work fine.  So I've ordered three more colors: a standard blue, one described by reviewers as turquoise, and a red. 

(And, as a side note, a Chinese medium nib is about the same as an American fine nib.  Which happens to be my personal preference.)

So, the Hobby Lobby ink will be reserved for when I have the time (and lack of chaos elements under my elbows) and inclination to use my dip pen to create calligraphy.  Because the ink colors?  Yeah, they're really, really pretty, and work perfect with that dip pen (which hadn't worked at all for me with a different type of ink). 


  1. Sometimes it IS better to go with a known quality (like Waterman)... :-)

    1. Yes. Yes it is. I also know Parker's Quink works, at least in my Parker fountain pens. I've heard good things about Noodler's, but am hesitant to try another new ink.

      Waterman's is good, though. Love the green I've been using. Can't wait to try the turquoise.

  2. My son likes to do sketches, and I think he uses inks like that. I myself know nothing of it, but it sounds frustrating to me.

    1. I've got a dip pen (a stick with a calligraphy nib) that will work with those inks, so it's not a total waste. If I had the talent, I'd look into learning the Japanese ink painting techniques--the artwork that results is beyond beautiful.

      The only frustration is that the cheaper ink doesn't work for the actual put-a-cartridge-in-'em fountain pens. I'll be sticking with the Waterman ink for those, now that I have them cleaned up. I got the turquoise and blue inks today, and have tested them pretty extensively--they work perfectly, now.

      I will, however, need something else to write checks with: the inks I have aren't waterproof, and the inks that are, aren't necessarily good for fountain pens.