Month: April 2016
Flea market, early morning
Purple Heart: An Ink Review
Another selection from Noodler’s, Purple Heart is one of Nathan’s less imaginatively named colours (I mean the man has an ink called “Black Swan in Australian Roses” in this colour range, so “Purple Heart” is a bit on the dull side).
A dusky, reddish purple that shades nicely, this ink closely resembles the much better named Tyrian Purple from Diamine. Except it is about $2 cheaper. And shades less. And is harder to clean out of your pen. And is more difficult to obtain.
This is the kind of ink that you buy when you are trying to show your rebel side at work, after you have had your fill of the excitement that blue-blacks have to offer. Dark enough to not call too much attention to yourself, but unique enough to make your heart flutter, this would be a decent ink to pick up after you have a good selection of black, blue, blue-black, brown, dark green, grey and that cool-ink- with-the-sparkly-bits-in-it.
Properties-wise Purple Heart got the very short end of the stick — it had nothing going for it except its tantalizing colour. It is not waterproof or water-resistant. It takes a long while to dry — meaning that it is not going to be a lefties favourite. It is not particularly Field Notes and Moleskine friendly (a lot of bleed through and show through, which makes the other side of the paper practically useless), nor does it have any earth shatteringly interesting properties. It is lubricated, which means that it flows well, and plays particularly well with piston fillers (until you have to clean them out, at least).
So why did I pick this ink over its Tyrian counterpart? Because I am stupid. This ink is a Goulet Pens exclusive, and at the time that was all it took to get me to bring out the space credits. I know — I am that silly. It is a nice enough ink for me to not feel too bad for having it (after all there is nothing more sustaining than using an offbeat ink during the most boring meeting in the world), but faced with a similar choice today, Diamine’s Tyrian Purple would get my vote. After all, that ink that was so good looking on the page that you could stare at it for hours, loses a lot of its lustre after you are forced to stare at it for hours going down the drain.
Bad Belted Kingfisher: an ink review
This is Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher.
Right off the bat it scores points for having a badass name. But if you were expecting it to be a kingfisher blue, you might be disappointed. Like its namesake, a bird that only American pen addicts are likely to be familiar with, this ink has less turquoise and teal tendencies, and more royal blue, even slightly blue-black ones.
Its depth of colour means that if you are looking a “shader”, then you will find better options around, although it does show some variation between deep, deep blue, and deep blue. On Tomoe River Paper. In bright light. With certain nibs. But the variation does exist.
The kingfisher, bad boy as he is, is not too picky when it comes to paper. Field notes, Moleskine — he’ll handle the lot of them, without feathering or too much bleed-through. So this ink is crappy paper certified, providing you forgo your gushing double broad italic fountain pen and stick to something more conservative, like a European fine nib, or a Japanese medium. There are limits, after all, to even the best of inks.
When it comes to the cool and oftentimes wacky Noodler’s properties, BBK did not get much love. It is not quick drying (but dries in a few seconds even on Rhodia paper, so not much to complain about there), freeze resistant, lubricated, fluorescent, sparkly, ghosty or scented. What it is water resistant, and part of the Warden series.
Now when it comes to water resistance and fountain pen inks it is important to remember:
- No water resistance until the ink is not completely dry. That can take hours on certain types of paper.
- Water resistant is NOT waterproof. Rinsing it out with water will create a mess. Putting it in the washing machine will create a mess. Rubbing a wet finger to test if it is really waterproof (it isn’t) will create a mess.
Water resistant means that if you drop a few drops of water on it after the ink has dried, then you will still be able to read what you wrote after the water dried. That is the only thing promised on the tin (er… bottle).
So, about the Warden aspects of this ink… If you are interested, you are welcome to read about it here.
The ink was developed in the good old days of 2011, when the possibility of someone forging bank documents with ink was still a thing (?). These days, I’d just focus on BBK’s colour rather than its Warden superpowers.
So we are left with a middle of the road ink in terms of properties, with Noodler’s signature cheap price and good-looking bottle, with a colour that is nice, but is no Bungo Box 4B. There is no fun in it — no sheen, no hidden hue, no interesting shading, no cool property. In a field so crowded with great blue and blue-black inks, the kingfisher just doesn’t stand out.
Which is a shame, considering its name. Such a brightly-coloured bird deserves better treatment in ink, does it not?