This episode is the Ink Primer.
The Pen Addict
R2 Ink Primer Re-issue
John: [00:00:00] Welcome to episode two of stationary orbit. I'm your host John West and today's episode is the ink prime. Ink is a liquid or paste that contains pigments or dies and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text or design ink is used for drawing or writing with a pen brush or quill direct evidence for the earliest Chinese inks.
Similar to modern ink sticks is around 2 56 BC in the end of the waring states period and produced from soot and animal glue. The best inks for drawing or painting on paper or silk are produced from the resins of pine trees. The pine trees must be between 50 and a hundred years old. The Chinese ink stick is produced with a fish glue.
Whereas Japanese glue, otherwise known as nakawa is produced from cow or stag bone India. Ink was first invented in China. The necessary materials were bought from India. Hence the name. The [00:01:00] traditional Chinese method of making the ink was to grind a mixture of hide glue carbon, black lamp, black and bone black pigment with a pestle and mortar, then pouring it into a ceramic dish to dry, to use the dry mixture.
A wet brush would be applied until it re-liquified about 1600 years ago. A popular ink recipe was created. The recipe has been used for centuries and is still in use iron salts, such as Ferris sulfate made by treating iron with sulfuric acid were mixed with tannin from gall nuts, which grow on trees and a thickener.
When first put to paper, this ink is bluish black over time. It fades to a dull brown and is known as iron gall ink. In the 15th century, a new type of ink had to be developed in Europe for the printing press by Johanas Gutenberg it was indelible oil based and made from lamp black mixed with varnish and egg white.
Dr. James Stark [00:02:00] was a chemist during the 19th century, who experimented with ink recipes for 23 years, he tested 229 recipes for their durability on various kinds of paper to find the most stable iron goal ink recipe. He submitted his findings in 1855 to the society of arts in Edinburough Scotland. The recipe for iron gall Inc was called stark ink.
And it was a good example of homemade in recipes commonly used before ink became more inexpensive through commercial makers in the United Kingdom. The use of special blue, black archival quality registrars, ink containing ferro-gallic compounds is required in register offices for official documents, such as.
Birth, Marriage and death certificates and on clergy roles and in ships logbooks, the German regulation for Urkundentinte inks, otherwise known as document inks was promulgated in 1933. The regulation goes as [00:03:00] follows in a liter of ink. There must be at least 27 grams of tannic acid and Gallic acid, and at least four grams of iron content.
The maximum iron content is six grams per liter after 14 days storage in a glass container the ink must not have stained glass or show deterioration. After 14 days storage in a glass bottle, the ink must not have stained the glass or show sedimentation eight day old ridings after washing with water and alcohol must remain very dark and the ink must flow easily from the pen and must not be sticky even immediately after dry.
Dye based inks can be used for anti counterfeit purposes and can be found in some gel inks fountain, pan inks, and inks used for paper currency. These inks react with cellulose to bring about a permanent color change. Such inks are not affected by a water, alcohol and other solvents, and their uses recommended to prevent a form of fraud [00:04:00] called check washing.
Fountain pen inks are almost exclusively dye based because fountain pens operate on the principle of capillary action, pigment based inks, which contain solid pigment particles in a liquid suspension, tend to clog the narrow passages of the pen. Some pigmented inks. Do exist for fountain pens, but they are in uncommon. India ink, a carbon pigment based ink also contains a binder gum Arabic, which can quickly clog such pens.
The ideal fountain pen in is free flowing free of sediment, and non-corrosive these qualities may be compromised in the interests of permanence manufacturability. And in order to use some widely available dyes. Iron gall ink was used in fountain pens when they were first invented, but has the disadvantage of causing corrosion of metal parts, modern formulations of iron gall in are somewhat less corrosive and are still used in applications that require [00:05:00] permanence. Red inks usually contain the dye, Eosin. Blue inks often contain triarylmethane dye and black inks are mixtures. The non-dye components collectively referred to as the vehicle. In addition to water might include polymeric resins humectants to retard premature drying, pH modifiers, anti foaming agents, biocides to prevent fungal and bacterial growth and wetting agents. Surfactants reduce the surface tension of the ink.
Distilled water has a surface tension of 72 dyne centimeter, but the desirable value for ink is between 38 and 45 dyne per centimeter. If the Ink's surface tension were too high, then it wouldn't flow through the pen. And if it were too low, then the ink would run out of the pen with less control. Some users mix inks to create their own colors.
Some combinations of inks may cause unexpected color changes. Even if the inks are from the same [00:06:00] manufacturer. This is a result of chemical reactions between the different components. The color of many dyes depends on pH and some lose their color entirely outside of a certain pH range. Mixing inks may also alter the solubility of some dye components.
For example, an alcohol based ink may contain components that are insoluble in water, and these will precipitate or coagulate. If the alcohol based ink is mixed with a water based ink. Some of the qualities that are found in fountain pen inks include archival inks, which are usually pigmented or iron gall inks, water resistant, fast drying, fluorescent, freeze resistant, and lubricated.
Some of the qualities that are looked for in fountain penings include shimmer, shading, and sheening. I have referred to the pen addict blog before. And I'm going to include a link in the show notes [00:07:00] back to his top five pens list, which also includes several categories for inks. I'm also going to include a link for the Anderson pens, ink tool and a link to Richard binder's blog, where he talks about inks.
I have categorized the ink brands into three. Categories Eastern, Australian, and Western, the Eastern brands include three oysters Bungu box Coloverse Kobe Krishna KWZ Kyoto tag, Namiki PenBBS Penlux Pent Penhouse, pilot, platinum, sailor TWSBI, Taccia and Vinta ink. The Australian brands include Robert Oster standard bindery and Van Dieman's Ink .
The Western inks include Ackerman Blackstone, Aurora, [00:08:00] Callifolio Caran d'Ache, Cross, DeAtramentis Delta, Diamine Ferris wheel press Graf von Faber Castell, J. Herbin Kaweco Lamy Leonardo Officina italiana, Mont Blanc, Montegrappa, Monteverde, Noodlers, organic studio Papier plume Parker, Pelikan, private reserve Rohrer & Klingner Shafer stipula Visconti Waldman and Waterman
as you can see many of the fountain pen manufacturers also manufacture inks, and I'm going to go through a few of my favorites in the list. First being color verse, which came on the scene about three or four years ago. And they started with a larger 60 ML bottle and a smaller [00:09:00] 30 ML bottle, which was usually a shimmering ink that was included with it.
They've grown over the years, they've taken up various space missions and spacecraft, and they're now starting to get into more office friendly inks. Pilot has Iroshuzuku ink which used to be a luxury line. And they've recently reduced the price due to the influx of other inks, the reduction of Iroshuzku to more of a mainline brand.
Platinum has their pigmented inks, including the carbon black and pigmented blue inks. Carbon black is very, very popular amongst watercolor artists because of its permanence and its ability to withstand washing. Sailor is a mainline Japanese ink brand that has worked with various pen houses in Japan.
And last year came out with their studio series, which [00:10:00] blew up the internet. I still don't completely understand how the, the number routines go, but there are plenty of blog articles out there that explain how the sailor studio series went. And they're now producing the Manyo series, which takes some of those studio series and turns them into a more permanent ink line for them.
Out of Australia the Robert Oster brand took the world by storm. He has pretty much produced every color you can think of. And then some, his inks are always of a very high level of quality. I've never had a problem with a Robert Oster ink in one of my pen. Within the Western inks, there are the Ackerman inks, which are notable for their stylized bottles.
There's the Callifolio brand of inks, which includes Callifolia Andrinople, which was the pink sweetheart of the fountain pen world. When I got into fountain pens back in 2017 [00:11:00] De Atramentis inks, which include some of their metallic shimmering inks.
John (2): And then there is J. Herbin which started the whole shimmering ink craze with their Emerald de Chivor and then following along with the 1798 inks, including Amethyste de l'Oural Cornaline d'Egypte and Kyanite du Nepal. And since we're talking about glittering inks, we also needed to talk about the sheen monster of inks, which is organic studio
they have other. Colors, including their writer series with Ernest Hemingway. The big thing to keep in mind with organic studio is that that sheen comes with a price. They have a very, very slow drying time. And for somebody who drags their hand across the page, that turns into a nightmare for me. And that does it for our inks episode.
Be proud of your snail mail.