A good day for the blues
I’m often somewhat blue and so have an affinity for blue inks. I also like blue gems, clothes, blue skys and just plain blueness. Oh, you were wanting me to get to the ink review.
I have loads of blue inks and many of them are my go to inks during my work day. Hey, do you really want to explain why you’re using Catus Fruit Eel during a meetng at work? No, it’s better just to day in the blue zone, is much easier to stay in the shadows.
My first example on this page is Waterman Blue in the Waterman Cartridge. Now don’t turn your nose up at fountain pen cartridges. Some ink versions only show up in the cartridges. This one is a fine true blue that is middle of the road but an excellent reliable performer. When I want a pen that will work on the first try with no skipping, I choose my Waterman Carene with a fine point 18 kit nib . With the Waterman blue cartridge, there is nothing more reliable and well, sedate.
I have a really nice vintage 1960 or so, Parker 21 loaded with Private Reserve DC Electric Blue. This ink has a secret, it shines with a ruddy sheen on the page expecially on a non-asorbent paper like this Rhodia La Gamme, 80 gram, High Grade Vellum Paper. The ink color is a dark saturated blue. Very nice performer in pens, is a little on the wet side.
Eclat de Saphir has long been one of my favorite blue inks. I thought I love another J. Herbin ink better, Blue Myosotis. No this ink is darker, a hint more purple and is way more saturated.. As it is a J. Herbin ink it’s nicer in my pens, rinses out well and is such a good all-round dark blue ink that I use it in many pens at a time. Here I have it in my Platinum Sterling Silver pen with an 18 kit nib that is slightly flexy.
The next ink is the Isoshizuku Ku-jaku (Peacock). I fell in love with this greenish blue as soon as I tried a sample. I’ve loaded it into several pens and in the Montblanc 224, 14 kt nib, the color is not showing any shading. However with my Pilot Elite it shades, and shades as you can see on the page.
Next up is my Namiki Vanishing Point (blue and silver) with J. Herbin Bleu Pervence. It’s a bright light blue that transports you to field of periwinkle blue flowers. J. Herbin inks are easy to rinse out of pens, are neither wet nor too dry. What’s not to love?
Caran d’Ache Carribean is the prettiest blue green that brings to mind the beautiful blue greens of tropical seas. I was able to witness the astonishing color of the tropical ocean in Hawaii last summer and this ink is of that color family. Why aren’t I in Hawaii right now? I have no real answer to that question. I am yearning for a warm sunny day on the islands. Oh, back to the review, the pen, I found a vintage Pilot that has the most flexible 14 ktnib for a tiny little pen and nib, in silver and tourquoise blue.
At a local office supply store, not the big box kind, a local Olympia store that’s been in business for over twenty years, I found a cache of great inks and pens. They stock Parker Quink ink and so to support them and to enrich my ink supply I bought blue and black inks. I loaded my Montblanc white Noblesse with the blue ink. It performed well in the pen, a middle of the road blue ink with no green tones. I’d like it if this nib had a little more flex and so might take it to a nib meister for some tuning. A nice medium blue ink with a very good fountain pen.
I was watching Steven Brown of Fountain Pen Geeks review a blue ink. He moaned, or said, though I think it was a little moany, isn’t there a blue ink that shades? Steven, I found an ink that shades beautifully. It’s the one of our oldest brands of inks, Sheaffer, and a surprising modest color, blue black. It shades in the most amazing way in my Pelikan Souveran M800 with a 1.1 mm Greg Minuskin nib. I was so happy to discover that this ink shades. Honestly, I somehow ended up with two bottle of this ink and was not impressed with the color. It’s a little subdued, I like bright inks, but now it has this special property and has wormed its way into my heart. The Pelikan Souveran is amazing too.
Private Reserve Black Magic Blue caught my attention as I like a bright blue and wanted one with a really dark tone. This ink manages to do both with lots of style. I have it here in my new to me Waterman Carenes Meridian stub 1.1 18 kt nib. It doesn’t shade at all because it’s too dark and saturated. However, it just jumps off the page with it’s blueness and richness. I love the 1.1 stub pens because that thick and thin line is so pretty. If you have an ink that shades, the stub will bring it out. I also think a pen with a high performing nib and pretty ink will make your penmanship more beautiful, look what they’ve done for mine.
On to one of the most controversial inks in my collection, Noodler’s Baystate Blue. If you want an ink that will knock your socks off with blueness, this is the one for you. Be careful though, it’s a bit on the acidic side. I advise not putting it in vintage pens. I have it in my Pilot M90, a modern pen with a modern ink sac and it’s made of stainless steel, one tough pen. Even so, I’ll likely rinse it out after a few days. Better safe than sorry. Look at the samples of this color on this page an other users. It’s an amazing vibrant blue ink. Here’s Nathan Tardiff talking about his ink Baystate Blue http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOws7QsdQMM