Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Washing Day

So I have a page with an example of all my inks on, right?

Does this, or does this not, appear to be an unrivalled opportunity to find out which ones are water resistant and which are not? I believe it does.

Behold! The Catastrophic Beverage Spillage Reenactment Experiment:

And in the Water? What Water? Category, the winner is...

Well, a totally unsurprising four-way split between:
Noodler's Prime of Commons. Well, duh - it's advertised as waterproof, and will also change colour if you try to tamper with it using bleach. (Oh, bleach test. Might have to try that too...) Mind you, it's also claimed as a blue-black, when it's clearly green-black, so take nothing on trust.
Rohrer & Klingner Salix and Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa. Both iron gall-based inks, like wot woz used in Days Of Yore, only less acidic these days. (i.e. We suffer less from the troublesome results of the ink surviving but eating the paper around it. And possibly the pen. Iron gall is why gold nibs were the desired thing; a bias that survives to this day, even though in actual writing terms the basic metal of the nib is irrelevant.)
Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black. The One That Might Be Iron Gall. If it looks like a pelican duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck... But Pelikan are not helpful; people ask them "Does it have iron gall in it?" and sometimes Pelikan say "Ja, it has a little" and sometimes Pelikan say "Nein, it does not". Possibly it depends on the day of the week or phase of the moon. Or whether you speak to Gerta or to Heinrich. I feel compelled to note that both Lamy and Montblanc have altered their blue-black inks so they no longer contain IG, and they're still, as far as I'm aware, available in the USA. Pelikan have not altered their recipe, and it's not available in the USA any more. You may, perhaps, draw conclusions from this; I really don't know.

In the You Can Read Me Easily, But I'm Feeling Off-Colour Category we find:

Diamine Sapphire Blue An intensely annoying ink, because it goes down as a gorgeous rich purply blue, and then dries to just...blue. And then it gets wet and goes to... another blue. Which does explain why it's a bane to clean; it will not die. I love it not, however legible under water.
J Herbin Violette PenseĆ© How an ink with such a pale presence and low saturation still survives so legibly, if more bluely, I do not know. Remarkable. I only have cartridges of this and didn't like it at first, but I'm warming to it. Maybe not enough for a bottle though.
Diamine Syrah Bath night brings out its purple side, it seems. Now it looks more like Violette PenseĆ© looks pre-bath, which is oddly disturbing. A Liverpudlian Franco-phile?

The others are much of a squint-and-you-can-just-make-it-out muchness, although I'm surprised how much Waterman Serenity Blue still remains, but then we get to the real losers. The scan is generous, so you can at least make out a haze where Rohrer & Klingner Helianthus and Diamine Blaze Orange once were (Oh, they may be aqua-phobes, but such lovely colours). Diamine Denim is virtually a no-show and the idea of actually trying to read Rohrer & Klingner Fernambuk, Diamine Bilberry or Waterman Absolute Brown (which is apparently only absolute if laid on with a trowel, it seems) is laughable, however the

Dr Richard Kimble Prize for Most Fugitive Ink goes to: Diamine Kelly Green

Unfortunately it couldn't be here to receive its award... Truly, a lovely spring-like green with super shading, but it comes as no surprise it vanishes at the sight of a rain cloud on the horizon because it's the easiest ink to clean out of a pen ever. People caution you against the staining properties of purples and greens in clear demonstrators and white pens. but I would but DKG in any of them without a moments qualm. Just don't commit your life's work to paper in Kelly Green if you like to write in a coffee shop. pub, tea room, during meal times, in the shower, anywhere outside the Atacama Desert, etc...

Conclusion? This is right up there in scientific analysis terms with, oh, a Fine Woodworking Tool Test. But I had fun. Now where's that bottle of bleach....

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