Experiments With Fountain Pen Ink

Back in 2009 we were like mad scientists with our fountain pen ink – instead of buying a bottle of ink in each color we were mixing ink colors to create our own custom color shades. It was creative and a lot of fun, with some so-so results and some fantastic inky discoveries! Have you ever given ink mixing a try?

The four very basic ink colors you need to create a rainbow of other colors are cyan, magenta, yellow and black (or CMYK) which are also the basic ink colors used in printing. To get the equivalent of CMYK in fountain pen ink you need:

J. Herbin Ink
Cyan = J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche
Magenta = J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen
Yellow = J. Herbin Bouton D’or
Black = J. Herbin Perle Noire

Noodler’s Ink
Cyan = Noodler’s Navajo Turquoise
Magenta = Noodler’s Shah’s Rose
Yellow = Noodler’s Yellow
Black = Noodler’s Black

Platinum Mixable Ink
Cyan = Platinum Aqua Blue
Magenta = Platinum Cyclamen Pink
Yellow = Platinum Sunny Yellow
Black = Platinum Smoke Black

This was the inspiration behind creating our own Noodler’s Ink Starter Kit in 2009, which is still available at Writer’s Bloc. This kit contains about 1/2 oz each of the 4 basic Noodler’s Ink mixing colors in glass eyedropper bottles that are useful for measuring ink drops in your experiments. If you need somewhere to store your ink color creations, we’ve got several solutions for you: capped test tubes, eyedropper bottles, small plastic bottles and a blunt tip needle bottle (for filling empty ink cartridges).

Ink Mixing Color Chart

Ink Mixing Color Chart

Read more about ink mixing and check out some of our favorite custom ink colors:

Ocean Jade Ink

Ocean Jade Ink

Other reasons we were experimenting with fountain pen ink back in 2009 were to see if this would improve ink flow in some dry-writing pens and also to find the most saturated, blackest black fountain pen inks.

Green LAMY Safari with a Calligraphy Nib

Green LAMY Safari with a Calligraphy Nib

Another experiment that proved to be popular in 2009 was swapping the regular nibs on LAMY Safari fountain pens with LAMY calligraphy nibs. It’s a great way to try out some calligraphy without having to buy a whole new fountain pen. Have you tried this yourself? We used to swap the nibs for you in our shop. Now, you can buy an extra LAMY calligraphy nib at a discounted price at the same time as you purchase a LAMY Safari fountain pen. Or, if you’ve already got a LAMY Safari, you can buy the nibs separately. We’ve got easy instructions so that you can change the nib yourself.

Changing the Nib on a LAMY Safari Fountain Pen

Changing the Nib on a LAMY Safari Fountain Pen

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10 Graduation Gifts Under $30

Years of hard work have finally paid off for many students this time of year – graduation has arrived! What will you get as a gift for your favorite graduate? We’ve complied a list of 10 gift ideas that are all $30 and less.

1) The 5 Book. This is an excellent interactive playbook that inspires your grad to think about where they will be 5 years from today. The 5 Book asks thoughtful questions about plans, dreams, and priorities and to help them map out the best years of their life– the next 5.

2) Academic Planner. Keeping on top of a hectic college schedule can be quite a challenge! An academic planner comes to the rescue with a calendar that begins with the start of the school year. For a detailed weekly plan, we’d recommend the Quo Vadis Minister. For something pocket-size try the Quo Vadis University Planner. You can find these and other planners in our Academic Planners section (back in stock soon!).

3) LAMY Safari Fountain Pen. The Safari fountain pen is popular in countries all over the world. It’s easy to use, durable and fun! This pen is a great way to introduce your student to the world of fountain pens, or if your grad is already a fan of writing instruments, the Safari will become a treasured part of their collection. It comes in several colors and nib sizes to suit just about any writer.

4) Meeting Book. Whether or not your grad is headed to college or the office, the Cornell notes format of a meeting book makes it a valuable tool. The layout is designed for organized and efficient note taking during meetings or school classes. Both Rhodia and Moleskine make excellent meeting notebooks.

5) Pen Case. Whether it’s just one precious writing instrument that needs a little protection or a plethora of writing instruments that need to be corralled, there’s a pen case out there that’s just right for your graduate. The Aston Leather Single Pen Slip Case is an economical option for an individual pen, their rugged Pencil Pouch holds about a dozen pens and pencils.

Aston Leather Pen & Pencil Pouches

Aston Leather Pen & Pencil Pouches

6) Book Darts. These paper-thin metal line-markers are the perfect tool to mark things worth rereading, to note key points as you read them and to help you go back to ideas worth studying. Book Darts can be reused over and over again for a lifetime!

7) Leuchtturm 1917 Ex Libris Private Reading Journal. Is your grad a book worm? This bound Private Reading Journal is a classy way to create written memories of novels and other books they’ve read.

8) Platinum Preppy Highlighters – Set of 5. Studying at college can mean some of your new best friends are highlighters. Preppy Highlighters are refillable with Platinum highlighting ink cartridges so these pens can outlast many other kinds of highlighters.

9) STAEDTLER triplus fineliners – Set of 20 in a Wrap Case. This fun roll-up case is filled with a bunch of colorful superfine felt tip pens. The case is available in either Black or Pink. A great gift for creative students!

10) Coloring Book for Grown-Ups. College and work life both have their daily stresses. Doodling in a coloring book for grown-ups is a great way to unwind at the end of a hectic day. Clairefontaine has bird, flower or nature themed coloring books, or try the Secret Garden Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book that’s inspired by the plants and wildlife found in rural Scotland.

What will you buy for your new graduate this year?

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