In seeking out archival inks... and scouring various web sites and reading about all sorts of things I'm still left feeling a bit befuddled - as googling can often do to a person.
I think the three main issues are:
Waterproofness, light fastness (UV resistant), and ph neutrality.
What I've realized is that a lot of fountain pen people seem really worried about these things as they relate to their pens. As in ruining their pens with the pigments in waterproof inks, worried about a highly basic or acidic ink ruining their pens. I'm not so concerned about that. I like my pens but more importantly I am concerned about the paper and how long the image will last on the paper.
As an artist, I have always been taught to try and make everything archival, and I like the idea that generations from now our creations as a society are still around for others to learn about us etc. Also I think it would be cool if my family had drawings or art work that my great great great grandfather did or something, I would want to check them out. And so I would want my great great great grand kids to be able to see things that I did if they wanted to (which they may not lol).
I was originally determined to only buy inks that fit this bill to make sure they were around as long as possible and so that I could paint and use mixed media / ink washes etc.. if I wanted to. So I have some waterproof inks that I'm happy with and can use for this but really I was thinking about it. They don't all need to be waterproof if I'm just drawing. What are the chances my sketchbooks and papers etc.. are going to be submerged in water? I guess my basement could flood - that's a slight concern. The UV resistance is definitely an issue as an image hung on the wall in a house is exposed to light. If in a shop window trying to sell your work, it is exposed to a serious amount of light.
So that leaves the 'ph'. It seems that it is pretty important to know the ph of the ink because ink that is say below a ph of 6 and higher than 8, is going to be problematic long term (not for the pen - I don't care so much about the pen). But for the integrity of the image/ drawing/ words/ text etc... on the paper.
Is this true ? Also regarding ph. Noodlers and J. Herbin advertise their inks as ph neutral (with some exceptions) but looking at individual ph testing done on this site by members, and on various other websites... It seems the results are inconsistent with the advertising and even with each other sometimes. Sometimes radically different from each other. Ex. Herbin's Bleu Myosotis is reported as ph neutral on their website. But other (well respected in the fountain pen world) independent testers report it at 2.31. There's lots of other differences between other independent testing as well.
So, almost done, I figured I could be a bit lengthy in my question on a site dedicated to people who like to write - I assume they don't mind reading a bit either...
So what's the deal! What's someone to do ? Who do you believe ? How important is the ph of an ink if you're writing, drawing etc.. on an 'acid free' paper already ?
Any thoughts on the ph issue specifically, but feel free to respond to anything else I've mentioned I guess.