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17 ink questions

This is a list of questions from Olive Octopus:

17 ink questions

1. What was your first memorable ink?

I bought Diamine Evergreen with my first fountain pen purchase, a limited edition Platinum Preppy. I wanted a nice green ink, and Evergreen exceeded my expectations because I wasn't expecting sheen. (I didn't even know inks could do that, really!)

2. What is your favorite ink bottle design, and which bottle (or cartridge) is your favorite to use?

I love the Diamine 150th Anniversary bottles. The triangular shape is so fun to look at and hold, and I love the ink splatter label design. As far as practicality is concerned, I like using the Montblanc ink bottles. They're easy to fill from.

3. What's an ink you love or find useful, but would not use for everyday writing?

Most of them. I like interesting colors but prioritize practicality, so there are a lot of inks that I think are nice but would never use. Diamine Garland is a big one - that ink is gorgeous, but shimmer is a hard no.

4. How do you discover new inks?

I just window shop until I see something that I want to try. Lately I've been trying to branch out since I'm a chronic green user. I don't keep up with new releases too intensively.

5. Do you use inks for anything other than writing?

I haven't done any art with fountain pen ink specifically, but in general, I enjoy drawing and painting with ink.

6. What's an ink that's worth hoarding (whether you actually do or not)?

I don't hoard any inks. I don't go through ink fast enough for that, and once I finish a bottle, I'd rather fill the space with a new color than keep buying the same old ones. I also just haven't run into a color that I like enough to consider hoarding it.

7. How do you choose which ink goes into a pen? Do they have to match? Do you always use the same ink in a particular pen?

Most of my pens are green. I actually don't want to use green ink constantly, so I don't go out of my way to match my pens. I don't have an especially large ink collection, so I'll keep filling a pen with the same ink until I get tired of it. I'm a little pickier about my TWSBI Ecos because the ink ends up being part of the pen's design; I really like how my transparent yellow one looks with darker green or blue ink in it.

8. Do you use ink samples? If so, is your goal find an ink to buy a bottle, or just get a smaller amount of ink to use?

Both! It's a low-commitment way to experiment with colors I wouldn't normally go for, but I also buy them when I want to try inks before getting a bottle. I generally prefer to have smaller quantities of things unless I know I'm going to use up a bigger size.

9. Is there a popular ink that's just not for you? What underhyped ink would you like to see more people try?

Most of the popular inks aren't my thing because the colors are way too light for my preferences (Noodler's Southwest Sunset immediately comes to mind). Popular shimmer inks are also out of the question. I think Waterman inks are pretty underhyped nowadays, which is a shame because they're great. They're more interesting than you'd expect from stuffy pen company ink.

10. What do you do with any unused ink when you clean a pen?

I won't clean a pen before it's out of ink, so it's pretty hard to salvage anything when I'm cleaning. I don't mind dumping a bit of ink out if I need to.

11. What is the most unique ink you've used or seen?

Diamine Pick Me Up! Brown with green sheen is a combination that I've never seen anywhere else. It's a shame it's scented, but I can live with it.

12. How do you catalog, swatch, track, and store your inks?

I use a Col-o-ring to make swatch cards with, but I don't leave the cards on the ring once I've swatched on them. I have a half-sized binder with sample writing pages in sheet protectors, and I put the corresponding swatch card in each sheet protector. It's easier to find and rearrange colors that way. I don't like relying entirely on swatch cards because most colors look different in writing than they do in swatches.

As far as storage goes... I have a box that all my ink is in. That's it. There are sample vials everywhere. It's fine.

13. What is your favorite ink color/color family?

Green!!! But also darker earth tones more generally. I need a lot of contrast between the ink and the page.

14. What ink-related tool or accessory can you not live without?

A syringe, because it does so many things.

15. Have you ever mixed inks or used shimmer additives?

My distaste for shimmer inks is well-documented at this point. I haven't mixed inks, but I've had my eye on the Birmingham inks for a while. I think it would be fun to at least have a CMYK-type palette to experiment with. Eventually!

16. What is your favorite ink delivery system (cartridges, type of filling system for bottled ink, etc.)?

I really like using a syringe to fill cartridges. They hold more ink than converters, and C/C pens are just easier to clean. I still like piston fillers, but cleaning them out is a chore. I'm hesitant to try a vac filler because I've heard it's near-impossible to clean them out completely and that bothers me.

17. What ink(s) are you excited about right now?

I've been bananas for the new LAMY Dark Lilac ever since I got my hands on it. It's such an interesting color, and I love looking at it on the page.


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