Please take a moment to adjust your gear to accurately depict the Grey Scale below.
As the patches are neutral grey, that is what you should see.
～ ☼ ～
Samples were scanned about four months after preparation.
Swabs & Swatch
Paper: HPJ1124 24 lb.
Ink Blot on paper towel.
Shows separation of iron-gall from Blue dye components.
Depicts nibs' line-width and pens' relative wetness.
Pens: L → R: Prera, 440+XF, M400, PPP, Parker Insignia?, Carene, Waterman 52V1/2.
WRITTEN SAMPLES - Moby Dick
Relative Humidity: 60 - 70%
Paper: G Lalo, Verge de France, white.
Paper: Royal - 25% rag.
Paper: Staples 20 lb. multi use.
Paper: G Lalo Velin de France.
Paper: Clairefontaine Triomphe.
Includes the Waterman 52V1/2 + flexi nib.
Paper: Pulp. One-a-Day calendar page.
Wet Tests. ☂
- FP ink containing iron-gall.
- Soft plastic 'tanker' bottle.
- Kindly consider decanting into non-permeable [glass] bottles for dispensing and storage.
- Available when Topic posted.
- Soul source: LINK
- Of course.
- When a high performance classic Blue-Black iron-gall ink is desired.
(From the office of Ms Blue-Black.)
- With little doubt.
- A surfeit of gravitas appropriate for certificates of birth and death, and marriage licences.
- Those working in less formal operations than a Registry may prefer to have an alternate ink of a more convivial nature to hand. (I would not, but Visconti Blue has its charms.)
- ESSRI presents no issues for personal work product; and is not likely to be mimicked.
- Easily read, yet those who write extensively may prefer an ink that is a bit more fleet of foot. (I would not, but Damson has its charms.)
- Physical resistance to common hazards makes it a contender for those working in an untidy environment.
- Exceptional line quality and low potential for bleed- show though make this a likely work-around for the shortcomings of 'lowest bidder' copy papers and other FP-hostile papers; and a good pick for marginalia - especially if using hairline nibs.
- Editing, mark-up, error correction or grading of assignments would best be done using other more colourful ink/s. (NBsBl has its charms.)
- I would run this from metal nib pens, avoiding brushes, etc.
- The ink's highly malleable colour and density call for a fair bit of sampling and experimentation.
- From a pen, the line quality is exceptional, though it will not hide a nib's flaws; and if shading can be suppressed it can be called upon anywhere a taut narrow line is required.
- ESSRI has a very readable appearance, so is well suited to general notes.
- Study notes may well require a more animated energetic ink to keep the [under-caffeinated] reader alert.
- Water resistance is impressive, so should withstand most rigours of student life at less than 451℉.
- Performance on 20 lb. bond was outstanding, so two-sided use of 'lowest bidder' papers seems a very realistic expectation.
- A good pick for hand-written assignments. Although when/if a noteworthy paper may be generated, consider an ink with higher velocity.
- For all its formality and gravitas, I would use ESSRI for personal writing to the extent that I use other inks considered rather formal. e.g. Montblanc Midnight Blue, Pelikan Blue-Black, PR Midnight Blues, Visconti Blue. I am quite sure that others have their own notions, so please chime-in.
- How would you respond upon receiving a letter written in this ink?
- That said, if ESSRI did not have the charisma of an i-g ink and the supple shading, I may well decline to use it for 'personal' personal writing.
- A shoo-in for pro forma personal business writing, enduring documents, signatures, etc.
- I have spent a bit of time fiddling about with this ink. My direction is to run it at somewhat modest density, and accentuate its interesting line - whether by shading or line width from flex / shaped nibs, or a combination of all. ESSRI appears to be an ink well suited to nibs that have an Italic-Stub shape and some flex, but the flexi nib used, (52V1/2), ran a bit dark for my taste.
- Historical role players and writers of olde style romantic verse may come to embrace this ink. (A good match for those using wax seals?)
- Billets doux? Impossible for yours truly.
PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE & CHARACTERISTICS
- Very controlled and even.
- About the same as the Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue, which is quite a pleasant surprise for an i-g ink.
- As with some other i-g inks, the nib tips became dry sooner than dye-based inks, but the ink in the feed was ready to go.
- No virga was encountered preparing the Written Samples.
- There is a temptation to 'nudge' the nib prior to the first stroke, but I'd rather just cap the pen when not in active use.
- If it becomes a nuisance, a pen with a slip-on cap, a very good collector in combination with a hooded nib may be just the thing. e.g. Parker 51.
- From all capped pens, the start-up was immediate and with confidence.
- Not inviting, but not a fingernails-on-a-blackboard sort of thing either.
- I found the lubrication was spot on when doing some tiny detail using an Asian XF nib - no slipping at all.
- Not seen.
- Not seen after three days contact.
- Not seen.*
- Not seen.
- Not seen.
- Not seen.
- Thorough and rapid with plain water.*
- No stated prohibition.
- I would place this and other i-g inks on the list of 'increased diligence' for mixing.
- Definitely do not mix with Sailor nano inks! ☣
- Claimed, "... the special Blue-Black archival quality ink. ... required for official documents ..."
- As depicted in Figure 12 above.
☛ That, dear reader, is a divine performance profile.
* Typical of iron-gall inks, pens used with ESSRI require higher maintenance than simple dye-based inks. Consequently, one should bring their 'A' game to the clean up regimen, including internals of caps & barrels.
Opinions on the time between cleanings when using i-g inks vary a great deal, and are dependent on pen usage during that time. I am not one to let any ink linger unused in a pen.
From a fresh bottle, and used from pens very recently inked-up, there is a pronounced and rapid shift from a Medium Blue to a quite dense Blue-Black. (May impress ink aficionadi, small children and fish.)
As time passes, the ink continues to gain density, and seems to top-out within ten days.
(The oxidisation effect is most obvious from i-g inks without dyes. e.g. Deatramentis 'Irongall' dip pen ink. That ink goes down nearly clear as water, then goes grey-black; its final density depending on amount of ink deposited.)
The linked photos below were taken about one minute apart. The first photo shows wet ink. Photos courtesy of Cathy-Next-Door ♡
- In full regalia.
- Highly stable.
- Charismatic subtlety.
- Absolutely wonderful.
- Evident from even the narrowest nib on even the most absorbent paper.
- Pen+nib combos used:
- A bit more than expected.
- Papers used:
- More than expected. (Hence the extended sampling.)
- Contrary to typical practice, the wily practitioner would choose the paper first to set the basic Look, including exact ink hue (!), then select the writer to establish density and line shape.
- Getting the exact Look may be frustrating to some, but it is highly unlikely that ESSRI will misbehave or deliver a flawed result. That task is exacerbated by the need to wait for the ink to 'cure' while it reacts with the paper (sizing) and oxidises. I was disinclined to run samples using paper treated with gum sandarac or talc - that being more of a dip pen calligrapher's process.
Originals are 60x30mm
As I do not wish to be known as 'Queen of the Bandwidth Bandits', these are Links only.
Prera on HPJ1124
Pelikan on Rhodia
PPP on G Lalo
Carene on Royal
PPP on G Lalo Velin de France.
52V1/2 on Clairefontaine Triomphe.
The odd size sample area was cherry-picked to show the tonal variation within the line where the nib flexed. Go for it Bo Bo!
Is the name appropriate?
- None available - a matter of faith really.
For the Blue-Black inks that I have recently reviewed, an effort was made to use several of the same papers, one or more of the same pen/s, and Written Sample format to support side-by-side comparison through manipulation of web browser windows. I hope this is sufficient to meet most ad hoc comparison requirements; if not, I welcome your request via PM.
N.B. This is quite a bit more flakey than usual for i-g inks.
- Rows 1, 3 & 5 show ESSRI from 3, 2 & 1 passes respectively.
- Rows 2, 4 & 6; Columns Left ➠ Right show Montblanc Midnight Blue c/w i-g, Lamy Blue-Black c/w i-g and Pilot Blue-Black from 3, 2 & 1 passes respectively.
- The wee ⟙ shapes are included to provide simultaneous contrast to a Black [sumi-e] ink.
- An exceptional range of density is possible.
- None seen.
- It seems that if it is writing paper, ESSRI will do the necessary.
- Due to the ink changing colour and density over time, it would seem wise to run samples well in advance of committing to a specific pen+paper combo.
- Forms, etc.
- Born to it, but I would choose a dry narrow Stub or CI to ensure differentiation between the printed form and what's written. (Then again, with my handwriting, that's moot.)
- For charts & graphs:
- May be used as an alternative to Black, so should not be used in conjunction with Black.
- As mentioned above, suppression of shading seems required for narrow lines.
- Very much the preference of the author.
- Smooth hard-surfaced papers may be called upon to generate more shading, and to show-off the high line quality with shading - especially for those using narrow nibs.
- So very likely - certainly more than the usual routine marvels.
- Carene on the G Lalo Velin de France.
- The base-tint of the paper is just into the grey, which establishes a very subtle contrast to the Blue aspect of the ink. The paper also has a very slight texture which sets off the ink's high line quality.
- The nib generates a quite high density, but I would cast about for a pen that is a bit less wet to accentuate the shading every so slightly, and maybe a nib an iota more narrow - more like the Sheaffer Prelude Stub. (Fussy enough?)
- Zombies beware!
- When the big show comes to town, Papa Legba will have an all areas pass waiting for you.
- Ah kushbaby, so we do not have the snazzy blotter paper roll, nor the adorable dimpled-bottom bottle. Can you manage without such trifles?
NUTS & BOLTS
- Pilot Prera + steel M nib.
- Sheaffer 440 + steel XF nib.
- Pelikan M400 + 14C M nib.
- Platinum President Purist + 22K B nib.
- Parker - unknown; perhaps a UK 51 Insignia. Please chime-in if you recognise this wee rascal.
- Waterman Carene + 18K factory Stub nib.
- Cameo appearance from the Waterman 52V1/2.
- Lines & labels: Waterman Havana from a Pilot Penmanship + EF nib.
- HPJ1124 24 lb. laser copy.
- G Lalo, Verge de France, white.
- Royal, 25% cotton rag.
- Staples 20 lb. multi use.
- G Lalo, Velin de France.
- Clairefontaine Triomphe.
- Pulp. One-a-Day Calendar page.
- Scans were made on an Epson V600 scanner; factory defaults were accepted.
- Figures shown were scanned at 200 dpi & 24 bit colour.
- HiRes Images linked were scanned at 300 dpi & 24 bit colour.
- Scans were not adjusted post-capture, other than dumb-down by Photobucket and IP.Board s/w.
Densitometer Readings (FWIW)
- Red 109
- Grn 120
- Blu 147
- Lum 123
The accuracy and relevance of this Review depends in great part upon consistency and reliability of matériel used.
Ink does not require labelling/notice to indicate (changes in) formulation, non-hazardous ingredients, batch ID, date of manufacture, etc.
As always, YMMV, not only from materials, methods, environment, etc., but also due to differences between the stuff I used, and that you may have.
Also, I entrust readers to separate opinion from fact; to evaluate inferences and conclusions as to their merit; and to be amused by whatever tickles your fancy.
Tags: Fountain Pen Ink Review Ecclesiastical Stationery Supplies ESS Registrars Blue Black Blue-Black iron-gall Sandy1
Edited by Sandy1, 07 October 2011 - 16:08.