Ink Sampler and Review for Dr. Ph Martin’s Ocean Edge Blue fountain pen ink:
Dr. Ph. Martin's artist products are manufactured by Salis International, founded in 1934. Ben Salis, the founder's son, began to work for his family's business in 1936, at the age of 16. That year, in the height of the Great Depression, he was paid just $1 per week.
Ben Salis was given the honorific title of "Dr. Martin" after he invented many graphics and color products, and obtained several design patents. Although he was not a real doctor, products with the trade name of "Doctor" earned instant respectability in the patent medicine era, so the name was applied to his inventions. Dr. Ph. Martin's products are among a handful of "doctor" products that remain on the market today.
Ben Salis passed away in 1996, but his business and his legacy remain, and today his children continue to manufacture Dr. Ph. Martin's inks and color products. They are the third generation in a family tradition. (excerpt from http://www.dickblick...s/dr-ph-martins).
Dr. Ph. Martin’s new series of brilliant Fountain Pen Inks are pigment base inks. Originally designed for TWSBI #580 & #700 fountain pens, they can be used in similar fountain pens. Dr. Ph. Martin’s claims that these are the only pigment base fountain pen ink that is lightfast and archival. These highly saturated inks are intense in color. The colors currently available are:
Ocean Edge Blue
Garnet Red Rose
Dark Matter Black
They are AP approved Non-toxic.
docmar9 kindly provided samples to test these inks, which is greatly appreciated.
Xerox 24lb Multi-Purpose paper purchased from Costco
Tomoe River-like paper in Traveler’s Notebook refill 013
Staples Notepad paper
Jinhao 250x with medium nib
Jinhao 450x with Goulet 1.1 stub nib
1. Drop on paper towel.
2. Writing sample on Xerox 24lb Multi-Purpose paper using Jinhao 250x: The ink flowed nicely through the medium Jinhao nib onto the page, with little to no featherly, no bleedthrough or showthrough. The color is very saturated. It dried quickly (under 10 seconds) and did not smear, as would be expected on a relatively absorbent paper. My only complaint was that the ink also dried very quickly in the nib. It did not appear to leave any precipitate, however.
3. Writing sample on Tomoe River-like paper in Traveler’s Notebook refill 013 with Jinhao 450x: In this Jinhao 450x with Goulet 1.1 stub nib, the ink flowed very well with a nice lubricated feel. On this paper, the ink nicely accented the wider lines with nice shading and some red sheening. As expected, the ink took a great deal longer to dry - over 20 seconds to thoroughly dry without smearing. Overall, I was impressed with the color and the behavior of the ink.
4. Test for water resistance: I prepared a brief writing sample on Staples Notepad paper (an unfavorable paper for fountain pens). The ink wrote very smoothly on the paper, with very little feathering and surprisingly no bleedthrough and little showthrough. I then placed this small sheet of paper into a bowl of water and left it there for 2 hours. The ink remained on the page. There was little if any fading of the writing. After 2 hours, I removed the paper from the bowl of water, blotted it and let it air dry. I expected some of the ink to remain on the blotting towel. It did not. I then compared the dried sheet to similar writing on another sheet not subjected to water. The intensity of color was the same for both. This suggests that the ink is very close to water proof.
In addition, I also poured alcohol on a writing sample and ammonia on another writing sample and let them sit for several minutes. In both cases, there was some smearing of the ink when wiped with a tissue. But, the majority of the ink remained. While I would not call this completely “bulletproof”, I would consider it clearly archival. I did not test for lightfastness, however.
5. Cleaning: Following my tests, I cleaned my pens using typical cleaning methods – cool, flowing water with a tiny amount of dishwashing soap. The nibs and converters were very difficult to clean. In spite of thorough cleaning, the converters are stained. In order to clean the nibs, I had to disassemble the nibs from the feeds to remove traces of the ink. This is far beyond my normal routine of simple rinsing nibs and converters, and thus is a disappointment (although not totally unexpected).
Bottle: The ink comes in very nicely weighted, stable, round glass bottle with an accompanying eyedropper. While the eyedropper would be convenient for many, it does not serve a useful purpose for me. I fill most of my converter type fountain pens using a separate syringe, but if I were filling a piston filler fountain pen or directly through the nib, the eyedropper might be a bit of a nuisance.
Color: Edge Blue is a highly saturated medium blue with a slight lean towards turquoise. It is a pleasant color, shades nicely with a wet nib, and has a slight red sheen to it on my Tomoe River-like paper. I also used the ink on Clairfontaine writing paper, and the shading and sheen are clearly evident even with a medium nib. It is, however, an average color that is eclipsed by other similar colors such as DeAtramentis Steel Blue. The advantage of Edge Blue, however, is in its archival properties.
Formulation: The ink is fairly dry in flow and needs a wet nib to show its true beauty. When I used the ink with a medium nib, once started, it flowed nicely. But the ink dried quickly in the nib despite being capped. Thus, the flow was difficult to get started at the beginning of each writing session. This was not the case in my wet stub nib.
Overall: Let me preface my final comments with the fact that I generally do not use pigment inks. I have never really cared for the formulation, and by and large prefer less water resistant inks. In addition, I generally prefer inks that are less saturated in color.
When I received the samples kindly provided by docmar9, I was initially not impressed. They appeared to be so saturated that they were opaque. But after testing the ink on towels and using a dip pen, I began to appreciate the color more. Then, after writing with the ink, I found it to be smooth and flowed nicely. I also appreciated that it does not feather or bleed through except with my stub nib on cheap paper. But I was most impressed with the resistance of this ink to water and other substances. Clearly, this ink has archival qualities. Perhaps the only criticism I have is that it is very difficult to clean from the nib and converters using normal methods. Otherwise, I find Edge Blue to be a very nice ink indeed.
In conclusion, this is a highly saturated, archival quality ink that would be an excellent choice for someone who needs a “bulletproof” ink that shows limited feathering and bleed through even on cheap papers, but still maintains nice shading and sheen qualities on qualities papers.
Edited by DrPenfection, 06 May 2016 - 22:15.