Ink – the lifeblood of a pen. When vintage pens were modern, it was “the black liquor with which men write”, then blue and blue-black. Today, it’s a completely different ballgame altogether – you can get virtually any colour of the rainbow and with different characteristics – fast-drying, eternal, scented, and so on. At the current rate of innovation, I predict it won’t very long before we are able to order our own “custom” ink.
Ink was the theme of yesterday’s pen club meeting. We have had terrific attendance and participation with the themes and yesterday was no exception. I for one enjoyed seeing such a large quantity and variety of ink (modern and vintage). Plenty of discussion about the characteristics and quality of different colours and brands. I am also sure the other customers in Williams raised their eyebrows and shook their heads as they watched us sniffing ink like it was a fine wine – was this ink still good, smell this Solv-X, doesn’t this FPN Brown smell like paint, etc. And let’s not forget the assortment of ink bottles – Parker Penman, Levenger, etc. All in all, another terrific meeting.
As the member of our club who is believed to have the largest collection of ink (especially if it is blue), I was asked a number of different questions about the inks that I prefer, etc… and I suggested the best way to describe my addiction to ink is that it is a cheap thrill – very inexpensive relative to most new pens but the possibilities are endless – you can write with it, sketch with it, mix it and even trade it for another kind. To me, it is analogous to those who collect Lamy Safaris – very nice pens, wide range of colours and nibs – what more could you ask for?
Finally, I wanted to mention a number of terrific blogs that feature ink. I really enjoy reading their comments and marvel at their creativity in presenting the many colours of ink that they are using/demonstrating. Here is a list of ink- related blogs that have caught my eye – if I have missed one, please let me know.
Ink Quest – brilliant narrative!
Inkophile – amazing imagination and presentation!
Spiritual Evolution of the Bean – The name seems to capture it perfectly!
The Harmless Dilettante – has a digital ink sampler with over 160 reviews!
The Laurel Tree – the latest on Japanese ink and pens!
I posed a question to the author of Inkophile about how they were able to ink so many pens and keep them all clean – http://inkophile.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/how-do-you-keep-up-with-all-those-pens/ . The author will be happy to know that I ordered my ultra sonic cleaner after I read their response – I have been on the fence about one for some time, the author just pushed me over.
Until next week or sooner!