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?

Noodler's Ink Starter Kit
Noodler’s Ink Starter Kit

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

Noodler's Ink Starter Kit
Noodler’s Ink Starter Kit

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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Reflections of a Left Handed Writer

Platinum Preppy Fountain Pens
Platinum Preppy Fountain Pens

The 10 year anniversary of Writer’s Bloc has got me reminiscing about my first fountain pen purchase way back in 2008. It was an inexpensive blue-black Platinum Preppy with a fine nib. At that time, as a left-handed writer who was constantly having issues with messy smeared ink, I was a little hesitant to try a fountain pen. Several years later my collection of fountain pens has grown to include a quirky variety and I’m still using that same Preppy fountain pen! Needless to say, my experiments with fountain pens were a resounding success and now I rarely ever pick up a ball point pen. I’ve come to appreciate the beauty of the classic fountain pen as a writing tool.

If you’re a lefty that’s considering whether or not to try a fountain pen, possibly you can relate to my past experiences recorded on this blog:

Lime Green LAMY Safari Fountain Pen
Lime Green LAMY Safari Fountain Pen

In 2008, the same year I purchased my first LAMY Safari fountain pen, we were helping writers learn how to swap the steel nibs on their own LAMY fountain pens. This is such a great thing to know if you like to experiment or end up damaging a nib or have a nib that you just don’t care for. It’s a lot cheaper to just replace the nib on a LAMY pen that you already own than to buy a whole new pen (although buying new pens is fun too). Here are the instructions from our first lesson:

Noodler's Nikita Fountain Pen Ink & Eye Dropper Pen
Noodler’s Nikita Fountain Pen Ink & Eye Dropper Pen

Other experiments we were busy with in 2008 included converting cartridge fill fountain pens into eye dropper fill fountain pens. If you’re not familiar with eye dropper fill pens, their advantage is that the entire barrel of the pen becomes an ink reservoir! Kaweco Sport Classic or Ice fountain pens are ideal for this purpose. Check out our Pen Mods eye dropper fill edition and a tip from Noodler’s Ink:

Were you writing with fountain pens a decade ago? If so, what were you writing with? Over the years a good fountain pen often becomes like a good friend to those of us who love to write.

Kaweco Sport Classic Fountain Pens
Kaweco Sport Classic Fountain Pens
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2016 Pantone Color of the Year & Your Favorite Office Supplies

Rose Quartz & Serenity - Pantone Colors of the Year 2016
Rose Quartz & Serenity – Pantone Colors of the Year 2016

The Pantone color of the year for 2016 is actually a pairing of two colors: Rose Quartz and Serenity. The Pantone website explains the thought behind their selection for this year:

Joined together Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.

Would you like to add these calm, relaxing colors to your stationery arsenal? Below are a few of our favorite choices of pens, ink and paper related items that are part of this color family.

Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen - Frosty Blue, Medium Nib
Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen – Frosty Blue, Medium Nib

The first pens that come to my mind when I think of Serenity and Rose Quartz are the Platinum Plaisir fountain pens in a pearlized soft pink and frosty blue. Also worth mentioning is the popular Aurora Style Aquamarine pale blue fountain pen.

Aurora Style Gemstone Collection Fountain Pen Aquamarine
Aurora Style Gemstone Collection Fountain Pen Aquamarine

It’s not common to find pastel shades of fountain pen ink, however there are a few inks out there that remind me of the 2016 Pantone colors. Noodler’s Periwinkle Eternal Ink is inspired by the color of the blue curve of a periwinkle snail’s shell and Noodler’s Ink Polar Blue makes me think of washed denim. J. Herbin’s Bouquet d’Antan is a soft, muted shade of light pink. If the thought of a tropical sea makes you feel relaxed, then try J. Herbin Bleu Azur fountain pen ink.

Noodler's Ink - Polar Blue
Noodler’s Ink – Polar Blue
Noodler's Periwinkle Fountain Pen Ink
Noodler’s Periwinkle Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Bleu Azur Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Bleu Azur Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Bouquet d'Antan Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Bouquet d’Antan Fountain Pen Ink

The PlePle Candy Wrap Pen and Pencil Case is a calming shade of blue.

PlePle Candy Wrap Pen Case Blue
PlePle Candy Wrap Pen Case Blue

Personalize your letters or other items by using a brass stamp and J. Herbin Rose colored Supple Sealing Wax.

J. Herbin Supple Sealing Wax in Rose
J. Herbin Supple Sealing Wax in Rose

Shades of blue and pink pastel paper can be found in Clairefontaine’s Multiple Subject Notebooks (small, medium or large) and Clairefontaine Loose Sheets of paper with Graph or French Rules. Exacompta also has pastel colored index cards that are super smooth and their grid lines make it so that any side of the card can be the top.

What are your favorite Rose Quartz and Serenity blue colored pens, paper and ink?

Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebook
Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebook
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Your Fall Stationery Style Guide

Do you like to change your stationery supplies with the change of the season? I do! Now that autumn is here the ink in my fountain pens changes to warm, rich fall colors such as orange, gold, maroon and brown. Of course, it is necessary to select a harmonizing pen and notebook to complete the ensemble. Here are some of our fall stationery favorites:

Yellow Leaf

Yellow & Gold: One of my favorite everyday writing tools is the LAMY Safari fountain pen which is available in a cheery bright yellow that reminds me of the autumn color of some maple or birch tree leaves. Yellow ink is not practical for regular handwriting writing, so I like to use a golden amber shade such as J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie fountain pen ink. If you’re new to fountain pens, and you’re going to use bottled ink in your LAMY Safari or Al-Star pen, you’ll need to get a LAMY Z24 ink converter.

LAMY Safari Fountain Pen in Yellow
LAMY Safari Fountain Pen in Yellow
J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie Fountain Pen Ink

Orange Pumpkin

Orange: I love seeing all of the colorful autumn squash in the supermarket this time of year. The star of this fall’s orange fountain pens is the limited edition copper-orange LAMY Al-Star pen. This relative of the LAMY Safari fountain pen is made from light-weight aluminum with a metallic finish. LAMY created special copper-orange ink cartridges just to match this fountain pen. A couple of my favorite orange bottled inks with nice shading are Noodler’s Apache Sunset and Noodler’s Habanero ink. Want a paper notebook with an orange cover? Go no further than Rhodia‘s famous orange notepads available in all sorts of styles and sizes with fountain pen friendly paper.

LAMY Al-Star Copper-Orange Fountain Pen
LAMY Al-Star Copper-Orange Fountain Pen
R by Rhodia Notepad, Medium Size, Orange Cover and a Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen
R by Rhodia Notepad with an orange cover and a Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen
Noodler's Ink Apache Sunset
Noodler’s Ink Apache Sunset

Red Maple Leaves

Red & Maroon: Doesn’t this orange Rhodia notepad look stylish next to these red Japanese maple leaves? The color of these leaves makes me think of the deep burgundy red color of the clear resin Bourgogne Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen. Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink in Momiji or Autumn Leaves is a red shade emulating the bright red leaves that are iconic of a Japanese autumn landscape. The ivory paper inside the red Quo Vadis Habana Journal complements the warm, autumn shades of ink that I use this time of year.

Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink Momiji - Autumn Leaves
Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink Momiji – Autumn Leaves
Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen - Bourgogne
Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen – Bourgogne
Quo Vadis Habana Journal with a Red Cover & Ivory Paper
Quo Vadis Habana Journal with a Red Cover & Ivory Paper

Brown Turkey Tail Fungus

Brown: I absolutely adore anything in tortoiseshell, and the Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen in Brown Tortoiseshell is no exception! It’s a pity that this manly pen is too large for my small hands. This pen pairs well with J. Herbin Lie de The Ink Cartridges or Pilot Iroshizuku Wild Chestnut ink which is a brown color similar to the shade of a ripe, fallen chestnut shell during autumn. Aston Leather’s pen cases in golden caramel Tan or dark Brown are going to look great with and provide protection for any of your fall writing instruments.

Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen - Brown Tortoiseshell
Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen – Brown Tortoiseshell
Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink Yama-guri - Wild Chestnut
Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink Yama-guri – Wild Chestnut
Aston Leather Double Pen Hard Case in Brown
Aston Leather Double Pen Hard Case in Brown

What are your favorite stationery items for fall?

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Noodler’s Ink: Same Great Fountain Pen Ink, Different Bottle

Noodler's Ink 3 oz Glass Bottles
Noodler’s Ink 3 oz Glass Bottles

January 2016 Update: Noodler’s Ink glass bottles will be back soon. Once the plastic bottles are all used up the glass bottles will return. Great news!

Noodler’s Ink has just started to use a new container for some of their fountain pen inks. Instead of a square clear 3 oz glass bottle, new batches of ink will be contained in a round white plastic bottle that holds slightly more ink. Why the change?

For now, glass bottle manufacturers have discontinued producing the traditional 3 oz glass bottle. Noodler’s Ink was given the choice to switch to a smaller size of glass bottle and to raise their prices, but instead they have chosen to use a plastic bottle. It is unknown as to how long the plastic bottle will be used. They are hoping to switch back to the 3 oz glass bottles in the future. The glass bottles used for the 4.5 oz and 1 oz sizes of ink will remain unchanged.

We agree with Noodler’s Ink that what is contained in the bottles is more important than the bottle itself, and we trust that they will continue to provide us with a wide variety of fantastic fountain pen inks! If you’d like to hear the story in more detail, you can watch Nathan’s 10 minute video below about the new bottles.

If you’re a fan of the glass bottles and you find that your new Noodler’s Ink is now inside a plastic bottle, remember the pros of their decision:

  • There is no price increase
  • Reduced risk of breaking a plastic bottle
  • Slightly more ink is inside the new bottle
  • Reduced weight
  • UV light resistant bottle

https://youtu.be/D6L0lL-VzSE

 

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