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Powdered Ink Anyone?

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#1 PowderedGoodness

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 22:00

Hello All!

 

I figured the fountain pen network was a good place to ask this question. So, here goes.

 

I'm a writer who still likes to draft my works by hand. Naturally, a fountain pen is a good tool for someone who writes so much. However, I found that I don't need to have a bunch of bottles of ink lying around, since I'm really only partial to black or blue. To that end, I decided to try my hand at making my own ink. I felt that it would be more economical and leave me with fewer bottles (as i could reuse the same one).

 

I am in the process of perfecting my formula for ink that can be stored in powder form and then mixed with water as it's needed. I only intended to make this for myself, but then I wondered if I'm not the only one who'd like the convenience.

 

So my question (finally) is this: Is it worth trying to market a powdered ink, in your opinion? In other words, do you ink experts think there's a market for it?

 

All responses are welcome. I just really want the input.

 

Thanks!!



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#2 Cyber6

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 22:12

Powdered inks have been on the market for a very long time.  There are several vintage brands and you can find them from time to time on eBay.

 

More recently JustWrite.com.au started testing his new line of powder ink.  The were made public at the Toronto Pen Show on November 2014.  

 

http://www.fountainp...k-sample-table/

 

You can find several reviews of SuSeMaI (code name.. Super Secret Maker of Ink).. the official name is BLACKSTONE.   My favorite is Red Cashmere.  There are not for sale at the moment.

 

 

I do believe there is a market for it, but for now is a very niche market.   No everyone enjoys the mixing, testing, adjusting... etc.. and all the fun things that you have to do with powder ink to fit you.   I find the benefits (totally customizable) totally outweighs any problems you can encounter with powder inks.  But that is me.

 

I have tested several Powder inks and there is a group of testers (lead by Amberlea) that are quite adept to ink powder testing (P.INKS).  Maybe you should contact her if you need some beta testing on your ink powders.

 

 

 

C.


Edited by Cyber6, 01 April 2015 - 22:13.

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#3 lionheartlee

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 22:13

ive never heard of "add water ink",but then again im not an ink expert. I'd be more than happy to test out the final concoction though. 

 

one instance where i see it coming in handy would be flying. i know that some people have problems with the pressure change, but if their ink was powder until needed than problem fixed.



#4 dan in montreal

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 00:22

I'd certainly be interested in trying the stuff.  Then again, if it isn't available in a variety of packets, say to make  20 ml / 30 ml / 60 ml, the end user would need an accurate scale to measure the powder before mixing x grams to x ml of water. That would probably be a turn-off and a deal breaker for a lot of people.  If I'm not mistaken, the powdered inks of old were intended to be dissolved in a rather substantial quantity of water. This topic a while back on the subject:

http://www.fountainp...arative-review/

That would defeat your purposes, though. The powder would need to contain some form of biocide as well, I suppose.



#5 pajaro

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 16:07

Powdered ink should keep indefinitely, so you could mix up what you need and not have to worry about contamination.  Keep it dry and no mold.


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#6 dan in montreal

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 01:25

Pajaro, yes, if unmixed. The link in my comment leads to dcwaites' post regarding a few old powdered inks; at least two of them have mixing instructions to make a quart of liquid ink. Unless it is used up quickly, it may pose a problem. To make less, you'd have to calculate the proper powder to ink ratio and to do that, I guess you'd have to be precise. Or tolerate inconsistencies between batches, which is alright also.



#7 pajaro

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 18:35

In further research, I have found mention often about these powders being pigments, like powdered artist's paints.  The liquid inks we use are dyes.  Pigments seem likely to work in a dip pen, but will this powdered stuff work in a fountain pen without hurting the mechanism or feed?


"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#8 graystranger

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 16:53

Nathan Tardiff has said that his ink (at least Black, not sure of the other inks) can dry up completely in the bottle then be reconstituted it its original consistency by adding distilled water to the original ink concentration.

 

This ink has no pigments in it, only water soluble dyes.

 

If you do this in a new bottle, you will have to add water to the very brim of the bottle as Nathan believes in giving the customer every drop of ink the bottle will hold, i.e. giving the customers all the ink they paid for.


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#9 dcwaites

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 07:00

In further research, I have found mention often about these powders being pigments, like powdered artist's paints.  The liquid inks we use are dyes.  Pigments seem likely to work in a dip pen, but will this powdered stuff work in a fountain pen without hurting the mechanism or feed?

 

It depends on how finely the ink is powdered. Sailor and Platinum both pigment blacks that are safe for fountain pens and Sailor also has a pigmented blue-black. Pelikan also has a pigmented carbon black called Fount India, but it isn't an India Ink, and is safe for fountain pens.


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#10 Mags

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 13:29

Is there an interest?

....

Yes the key is a water soluble ink that looks by BayState Blue...you will sell out.... everyone loves that colour.... and how does Noodler's perfect it?

 

Yes if you sell a little travelling ink well and the powders as a kit there will be a line up of orders.  Initially for the ink but over time collectors collect so just change up the ink well periodically likely annually and keep the price at $20 or so and people will order their annual ink well to mix the ink in and of course 3 or 4 packets of ink colours all at $5.99 each.  You will be able to ship for lower cost by envelope and there will be no risk of freezing inks in cold climates when you niche market the northern US, Canada and parts of northern Europe that all have had that frozen ink delivery issue! 


Rob Maguire (Plse call me "M or Mags" like my friends do...)I use a Tablet, Apple Pencil and a fountain pen. Targas, Sailor, MB, Visconti all wonderful.

#11 graystranger

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 15:44

 

It depends on how finely the ink is powdered. Sailor and Platinum both pigment blacks that are safe for fountain pens and Sailor also has a pigmented blue-black. Pelikan also has a pigmented carbon black called Fount India, but it isn't an India Ink, and is safe for fountain pens.

Platinum has a pigmented blue ink called Platinum Pigment Blue. I love it. I have both it and Platinum Carbon Black and use them in several fountain pens from a Platinum EF to F to JoWo F to Lamy 1.5 mm. They work great and do not require much more maintenance than regular dye inks in fountain pens that you use regularly and that have a good sealing cap. Excellent flowing inks, do not skip or dry out quickly. Does very well on most any paper.

 

And, unlike dye based fountain pen inks, these inks will write on glass, plastic, and metal. You have to be careful, make sure the ink is wetting the surface (it will wet polyethylene which is hydrophobic!!), move carefully. It may take 10 minutes or more to dry, but when dry has to be rubbed quite firmly to be removed, or you can scratch it off with a fingernail. The black looks like dried liquid graphite under an eye loupe.


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