Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Prussian Blue - Diamine Ink Review

Long time no ink review (well, the sun hasn't been out that often this year). Diamine Prussian Blue is a medium slate blue with a mildly watery consistency. I picked the color because it looks just like the color of the German music publisher G. Henle Verlag (One would always gets some glance of approval from professors/TAs if you carry the blue book around the practice room ). Even without the connection with that prestigious publisher, it still seems like an interesting subdued shade for everyday uses. 
Prussian blue - as with may gray-toned color, is watery, smooth on the paper (Daolin/writes-like-Rhodia refills that fits the bigger Midori traveller's, which btw mine is not...) and shades very well with a Lamy medium steel nib. There is very minimal feathering (on the start of writing which tend to be wetter) and no bleed-through but I guess it would be different on more porous paper. The dry time was ok, maybe within 15 second and the ink withstand like spill of water, just not smear/soak.
Writing sample was Edith Piaf's Under the Parisian Sky (if you Google Parisian sky, most pictures are in this kind of slate blue...and that MAC eyeshadow of the same shade). 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sky High - Sailor Jentle Ink Review

Stationery wise, my year of 2014 is off to a lousy start (I bought a Midori traveler's notebook, so I can act all hipster and stuff, then lost it near school before having written/drawn anything on it = =...Oy, FML, FML...). To ease my pain and sorrow, I ordered some Clairefontaine notebooks to use as my art/doodle journals as well as some ink samples. Sailor Jentle in Sky High is one of the five vials I purchased, since nothing lights up my day like a bright blue sky (a whole bucket of ice cream all to myself also helps, so does some cheesy boy band songs from Johnny's).

Sky High is exactly what the name suggested : a gorgeous cerulean with some see-through quality that reminds me of the perfect sky on a perfect day. It's noticeably more subdued and dimmer than my go-to blue (Lamy Turquoise) and makes an interesting yet formal everyday writer.

 On a Lamy Safari Extra Fine nib (I use the one with 2011 Aquamarine body) the flow is excellent (you know how finicky Lamy EF can get) and the shading is apparent. There must bit a tad bit of lubrication, more so than what Diamine ink provides, because the writing didn't seem all that toothy to me. Water resistance is partial as it stay put with a few second of wet rubbing...
There is already a little red-fuchsia sheen to it, imagine it with a dip nib...Anyway, You can get it at Isellpens, Jetpens and some third party Amazon sellers (price around the same once you factor in shipping cost). I might get a bottle as my everyday blue (and use Lamy Turquoise as a summer refreshment) once my sample vial run out.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Moleskine Cahier Pocket Notebook

Since I am predominately a fountain pen user, Moleskine isn't exactly my first choice when it comes to daily-use paper. Over the break, a dear friend sent me one of these Moleskine Cahier pocket notebooks as holiday gift so I decided to make it as my new daily memo book (since the Rhodia pad I have is running low).
That's immersion oil (for high power lens on microcope) by the spine...

  The cahiers come in blank design with beige/black cover and matching stitch binding, it's supposed to be simple and no-frill that you can take it anywhere with you (apparently not near water, since I dropped it in a lake later when I tried to do an elaborated glamour shot, oy). 
There is a back pocket for note cards, receipt and things like that. The corner are rounded so the cover handles wear better. There are 30 sheets of off-white, textured and seemly fibrous paper with medium (as in non-faint) gray rule.

These artwork of Russian cityscape (drawn by Zhenya Vassiliev...) is transferred onto the notebook by my friend (don't know how) since she knows I am mildly obsessed with all thing Russian (mainly pianists, ballerinas and poets). Hmmm, I wonder if she would get in some copyright issue since it's a one off item and not for profit...
The first 15 pages are normal pages while the second half are all micro-perforated. 
I have heard plenty of stories about Moleskine's encounter with water-based ink so I am not surprised to see how the ink (De Atramentis J. S. Bach, a watery ink that bleeds more than others) feathers and bleeds through (do I even need to include the picture?) like a mofo. Anyway, since the paper texture is quite different from the other Moleskine I own (the green lego notebook), I suppose the quality isn't uniform across the whole brand. 

Overall: Meh...I guess I can still use it to jot down the location of metaphases (the number in the above pictures)?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Private Reserve Ink in Orange Crush

Private Reserve Orange Crush (I sneaked in Drumgoole's during lunch and bought it for around 9 bucks there) is my most recent bottle-ink purchase. There is 50ml of ink in the awkward cylindrical bottle with the big opening, which is convenient for refilling pen but hard(-er than other ink bottles) to open and can cause spill easily if I am not careful. It got allover the label sticker so I had to peel it off...
Orange Crush is a medium burnt orange that reminds me of sun-dried & spiced orange peel (a healthy Chinese snacks that is bitter, sweet, sour all at once), blood orange, and  the color of UT Austin / Texas longhorn (The Co-op should totally start stocking it and charge 20 bucks for it, as I am under the impression ripping people off is their full-time job, selling books is just their side hobby).
 
While it doesn't seem like a humanly color, the stain it left is strangely blood-like. The intensity of the ink is deep and the shading is so remarkable that with a fine Lamy steel nib, I can still see the gradation from dusty orange, burnt orange to red.
Final procrastination note  (I had no clue what was going in that class...and my course grade shows) done on some Italian notepad that I got from a workshop. The paper was strangely fountain-pen friendly that I plan to keep it for future writing sample. On a side note, I need to restock some Clairefontaine notebook (they actually made studying somewhat fun!).

When used on a wetter nib with broad nib like Hero 616, the shading becomes almost non-existent (appears more uniformly orange-red) and the bleed-through gets pretty bad. I suppose that how all watery, well-shaded ink are.Overall: While it isn't necessarily well-behaved (then again, a good paper would solve many of the problems it presents) and the color is a little strange for daily use (burnt orange is an acquired taste that's easier for Texans to absorb), I do find it interesting enough to have inked it.used it up several times.
Matching Marigold.