Friday, September 11, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 73

Some thoughts on fountain pen inks (and a new acquisition related to them) from VPC member Kevin W...

In Kevin's own words...

"So if you’re anything like me, you find the whole fountain pen/paper/ink interaction a relatively harmless (if occasionally expensive) outlet for one’s obsessive tendencies.

Personally I’m not one who feels the need to “get them all” when it comes to special edition pen colours, but I can empathise with those that feel such calls upon their wallet. For myself, I pretend I’m in search of the perfect combination of nib, paper and ink… where “perfect” of course changes as the mood takes me at any given moment. It’s essentially just an excuse to write about that energetic Reynard and his indolent canine friend in as many different colours and nib widths on as many different paper stocks as I can lay my inky mitts upon. I even delude myself that I’m in search of the ultimate grey ink to justify buying several essentially identical offerings from different (and sometimes the same) manufacturers. Same with “British Racing Green”-like inks. I’m a simple soul, and it keeps me out of other mischief.

At some point I smartened up enough to realise that I simply didn’t live an interesting enough life to document, or indeed know enough people who could read my handwriting to use as much ink as I was interested in trying out. Noodler’s make it particularly challenging by providing their coloured water in giant 3 fl. oz bottles, which while appearing to be good value for money is actually a serious challenge to one's writing stamina.

And then I discovered companies eager to take my money for an almost empty 5ml plastic sample tube with a few drips of ink in the bottom. being an exception, where one can get a pretty healthy tube-full.

$30 or more for a bottle of Pilot Iroshizuku is a big leap of faith if you’re not sure you’ll actually like the colour as much as all those online reviewers, or ever be able to use it all. A couple of millilitres in a tube can give you three of four fills of a cartridge or converter (via a syringe easily acquired from your local Save-On pharmacy for 50¢), and you’re off to the fox races. I’ve pondered how to use the meagre offering in a more vintage-style filler such as my piston-filling Moonman T1, but that’s a challenge for another day.

The problem with this ready supply of inexpensive small quantities of entire colour palettes, such as the Pure Pens’ Celtic inks (9 British Isles-inspired shades all on their own), is that they need putting somewhere. After perusing the learned opinions offered via the Internet, it seemed that the “official” sample racks sold at Goulet were just test tube racks available for a pittance from AliExpress. Granted they’d likely arrive somewhat sooner from Goulet, but at many times their actual cost.

 And then I discovered a posting that suggested a far more wholesome use for shotgun cartridge storage boxes."

"Sure enough, a 12 bore shotgun cartridge is a similar size to a 5ml ink sample tube, and a US company called MTM make a model called “Case-Gard S-25-12D” which is available via for around $7.


The addition of a paper hole-reinforcing ring on the lid to allow a quick colour identification, and a sense of order is at least simulated."

(photos courtesy of Kevin ~ please click on images to enlarge)

"I’m sure others out there have found unintended pen uses for many things beyond the ubiquitous ear syringe. Let’s hear about them…"

Inspired repurposing! Thanks for sharing this clever ink storage idea with all of us, Kevin :)

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