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Indian Ink, Fountain Pens, It Is Possible.

indian ink watercolor

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14 replies to this topic

#1 Inigo71

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 20:25

I really like to draw with my fountain pens, it is a pleasure, the flow, line variation etc is very nice and gives a lot of possibilities.

The problem is that after the drawing is done I like to use watercolors, at that point the chosen ink is of great importance.

I tried everything, noodles, carbon, indian ink for fountain pens etc.

All those inks are waterproof, but not as good as indian ink. Indian ink is the best waterproof ink you will find, extremely black and with an special sheen.

 

Everyone in the forum discourages to use indian ink in fountain pens, but I couldn't resist trying it.

I bought a carbon pen, that is intended to use with carbon ink and filled it with indian ink.

 

Here are my findings.

 

Used with indian ink the flow is ok and does not clog

The cap is very airtight and the pen can be used without cleaning for at least two weeks

If the ink is not extremely dry, it can be cleaned with a mix of ammonia and water with no problem

 

I find it is a very good solution to use indian ink, at least with the carbon fountain pen.

 

I wouldn't recommend to use indian ink on fountain pens, but if you need it for your art work and you don't mind to do some maintenance and clean the pen often, it is a good option in my experience.

 

Any one has any other experiences or any other options????



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#2 ac12

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 21:09

The sheen is from the shellac, and that is the problem.

You may have cleaned it out in time, but the shellac will gradually build up to the point that it will clog the pen.  Then you will need a technical pen cleaner to clean it out.

 

If you still use it, I would recommend you clean the pen more frequently than 2 weeks, more like every week.

 

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#3 Inigo71

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 21:29

I am currently cleaning it with an ammonia water solution.

No problems so far i´ve been using it for 6 months.



#4 JefferyS

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 23:08

My research partner in the 1970s used black India Ink exclusively in his Osmiroid fountain pen. He wrote profusely with it, and didn't have any issues with clogging problems. That said, we all used Rapidograph pens that did tend to clog, so we had a sonicator bath that we used to keep them clean.


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#5 inkstainedruth

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 00:48

@ Inigo71 -- have you looked specifically into non-shellac formula India inks?  I haven't tried it even though I have a bottle,  but I know that Pelikan makes one (it's called "Fount India").

I probably would not have hesitated to put regular India ink in one of my Rapid-o-graphs (although I had an argument with a guy because he thought I should be using that instead of Koh-i-Noor, which wasn't black enough for him -- I said I LIKED the not-black of the Koh-i-Noor for drawing).  But in a fountain pen?  Uh, uh.  If I were you I'd be hitting an art store for the largest container of Rapidoeze you can get....

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#6 eharriett

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 03:53

While I have yet to try it, I understand that India inks and other shellac inks work fine in Inkograph pens and other rapidograph pens, as JeffreyS and Ruth suggested. I only have one working Rapidograph pen (don't seem to have much luck with them, I finally got an Inkograph that can be restored and is out right now getting just that), and I use it when I want to fill a pen with shimmering inks. Once the Inkograph comes back, I'll probably turn the generic into my iron gall Diamine Registrar's signing pen. But these pens were designed for inks that fountain pens can't handle (I believe they're a few decades older than fountain pens, actually).

#7 Inigo71

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 06:46

I tried the pelican fountain india, but it s not water proof at all.

Yes radiograph pens are designed to work with indian ink, but you don't get variable thickness as with fountain pens, they are good for details, but can´t get the expressiveness of a flex nib.



#8 inkstainedruth

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 17:53

I tried the pelican fountain india, but it s not water proof at all.

Yes radiograph pens are designed to work with indian ink, but you don't get variable thickness as with fountain pens, they are good for details, but can´t get the expressiveness of a flex nib.

 

If it's a flex nib you're looking for, a lot of the people here who do Spencerian and Copperplate calligraphy tend to use dip pens (especially ones that are oblique holders).  

I never got good enough to do stuff like that -- I'm better at stuff like Uncial, which of course takes a standard italic nib.  

With a dip pen, using India ink is not an issue the way it is with a fountain pen nib and feed.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#9 sciumbasci

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 18:42

There are fountain pens designed to be used with India inks.

Ackerman pump pens.

Edited by sciumbasci, 09 May 2017 - 18:43.


#10 Inigo71

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 23:20

Those ackerman pens can use indian ink?

Is it posible to use them for long periods without cleaning??



#11 eharriett

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 04:30

There are fountain pens designed to be used with India inks.
Ackerman pump pens.


Where, exactly, can one find those pens of which you speak?

#12 sciumbasci

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 05:00

Those ackerman pens can use indian ink?
Is it posible to use them for long periods without cleaning??


Eh I believe no, they need regular cleaning

Where, exactly, can one find those pens of which you speak?


Their site has a shop

#13 Noihvo

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 18:42



I tried the pelican fountain india, but it s not water proof at all.

Yes radiograph pens are designed to work with indian ink, but you don't get variable thickness as with fountain pens, they are good for details, but can´t get the expressiveness of a flex nib.

 

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Edited by Noihvo, 11 May 2017 - 18:42.

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#14 Inigo71

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 20:08

I tried pelican ink, but is useless for arts, the water gets a black tint, it will ruin the watercolor, the best ink after indian for watercolor is the carbon ink.

Very black and completely waterproof.



#15 Inigo71

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 22:34

I am trying to find the best Indian ink for this purpose, any info on densities, which indian inks are thinest?







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