Sunday, 19 June 2016

Ink Review - Diamine Night Sky


I like fountain pens…

This is, perhaps, an understatement…

I’ve always been on the hunt for the perfect pen, all the way back to the days of school, when most kids were using the closest Bic Biro and I was saving up for Berol Handwriting pens, but as the years went on, I realised that there was no such thing as the perfect pen.

This, of course, did not stop me from continuing to search for it…

As with all things, I enjoy variety, but most of the time I write with the modified Pilot MR I made a short while back, it satisfies the need for precise writing, and with the Heart of Darkness Ink I normally use, never jams and a small amount of ink goes a long way. The drawback with that particular pen is that it can’t use thicker inks, and any ink that doesn’t have a good lubrication to it will quickly have me cursing while I’m resting the nibs in cleaning fluids.

That said, a while ago I saw an ink that inspired me in a way that most had not, this ink was deep black, but with tiny silver particles all the way through it, so that when you made a line, it sparkled when it dried.

This is Diamine Night Sky…

The thing with inks that contain particles of any sort is that they’ll gum up most fine nibs in no time at all, requiring that you clean through the nib or force ink past it to get it flowing again, and having to unscrew a pen five times a paragraph is a massive chore. 

That’s where the TWSBI 580 comes into its own, by having a twist mechanism that vacuum fills the pen in one direction, it can also be used to reprime the pen and clear the mechanism when it starts to gum up, without having to dismantle it completely. 

That said…

I did a few lines after just loading the pen, and as will be evident even from low-res images, the flow of the ink quickly becomes erratic and needs repriming, and while it never completely stops, you do have to go over a lot of your lines more than once in order to maintain the structure of the letters. 

After a paragraph or two, the nib looked like this…



And so I put the ink back in the bottle, reloaded with deep dark blue and flushed it through a few times to make sure I’d got most of the residue out, but found that even when the ink had been flushed, traces of the particles remained.

And actually provided the quality that the original ink had promised…

The thing with this ink is that the particles within sink at a very rapid rate of knots, so that when you put the pen down even for a half minute, you get a buildup of silver occurring, and as a result, when you’re writing with it, the silver all builds up in the nib, which quickly clogs the nib and requires that you wipe it off before trying again.

A minute after shaking vigorously...

 I think some experimenting with a combination of inks might be the way forwards, something along the line of the eel inks from noodlers with a small amount of night sky would lower the particular count whilst providing much required lubrication, the trick would be in getting the two to mix properly and not separate while left overnight (as shaking a fountain pen is not best advised at any time), which could make for an interesting test, and more on that when I succeed.


With regards to Night Sky though, it’s beautiful, it truly is, when you have to clean the stuff out of your nib, the tissue you use comes away streaked with the black and silver of an Ocean of Stars, but until it finds a way to flow, it’ll be staying in the bottle… 

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