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New Drawing Fountainpen For Indian Ink

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#1 Inigo71

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 19:24

Dear comrades.

 

Two years ago in 2017 I remember posting a question about indian inks and their use for fountain pens. For years I have been interested in drawing with fountain-pens.  Although I love them, I have constantly been disappointed that there is no way to use them with Indian ink and thus a drawing cannot tolerate watercolor afterwards (I know that there are Inks like Carbon etc that are similar to indian ink but not as black or water proof). I remember a pen made by Osmiroid in the ´80s that used Indian Ink but always dried out and was basically a nightmare to use.  With this as motivation, I decided to work on this problem for a while. My approach was to try to keep the nib humid to avoid the ink from drying out in the first place, which ruins the pen. After lots of trials with small sponges and gels on the tip I came up with the idea of having a water reservoir in the cap separated with a special membrane so water vapor surrounds the pen nib. After six months of trial and error I was able to produce an impressive working prototype. 

 

I've been working on the design and all the details of the fountain pen and finally I am ready to manufacture the IndiGraph pen.

 

The pen's characteristics are:

- Multiple ink capabilities: Indian, Calligraphy and of course regular inks

- Interchangeable German quality nibs (EF, F, M 1.1, 1.4)

- Ergonomic handle made from high quality aluminium

- Removable clip

- Large water capability that lasts for months

 

I have enclosed a PDF and images for your further information.  

 

I would like to receive some feedback as I am planning to launch a quick starter to be able to manufacture it and I need some support (the idea, design, brand etc). Its been a huge effort, and I spent more than two years until  I was satisfied with the final design.

 

 

I hope you find this project interesting, and would love to hear your thoughts.  

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#2 bitterwonder

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 01:21

I draw with fountain pens all the time. An important feature is a pen that can keep up with my rapid hand without skipping. I look for a pen that gives me no trouble. The pens I use have a variety of nibs, but they have to be responsive to my hand.
I gave up on using india ink and am too lazy to use the carbon inks. I have derived a system of drawing tools that work.

Your pen invention is very interesting. If i were to buy one in the future i would consider price, weight of pen and girth. I have small hands and prefer small pens.

Good luck with your invention!

#3 inkstainedruth

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 01:34

It's an interesting concept.  But the main issue with India ink in fountain pens has been the gum arabic.  Does your "humidity chamber" deal with that at all?  Not an engineer or an industrial designer here, just someone who has used India inks in the past (but always with dip pens).  

Although a guy I used to know back when I was in college kept insisting that I should be putting India ink into my Rapidographs so I'd get a "blacker" black line that I got with the Koh-i-noor ink, my attitude, OTOH, was that I used mine mostly for drawing, not as ruling pens -- and I liked the look of the Koh-i-noor ink JUST FINE....  Also, MY pens -- not his.  

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."

#4 Inigo71

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 07:45

I draw with fountain pens all the time. An important feature is a pen that can keep up with my rapid hand without skipping. I look for a pen that gives me no trouble. The pens I use have a variety of nibs, but they have to be responsive to my hand.
I gave up on using india ink and am too lazy to use the carbon inks. I have derived a system of drawing tools that work.

Your pen invention is very interesting. If i were to buy one in the future i would consider price, weight of pen and girth. I have small hands and prefer small pens.

Good luck with your invention!

 

Thanks Bitterwonder.

Regarding the flow of the pen, the indian inks we recommend have good flow capabilities like Pelican or Pebeo, and the nibs are tuned for them, on the other side carbon inks work wonderful and the maintenance is not a problem, as when the pen is unused the vapor chamber keeps the ink fresh for months without problem. I tried a pen filled with Pelican Indian Ink 17 closed for three months, open it and start working without even cleaning the nib with water.

Regarding the dimensions I also prefer thin pens as I think they are more versatile to use, the Indigraph is 11 mm in diameter and has a balanced weight with a thinner end (like nib holders). The price tag we are aiming to is 75€ as we have the humidity chamber, high quality german nibs that can be swapped and is made out of high quality aluminium.

Thanks for your interest Bitterwonder



#5 fountainpagan

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:32

Very interesting concept.

I would consider getting one when you are ready to sell them.

 

Will you be doing it in other materials than metal?


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#6 SoulSamurai

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:59

I thought I read that the Noodlers Boston safety pen could be used with India Ink?

How do you prevent the growth of mold and bacteria?

It's an interesting idea, but I have some issues with the form factor. First, you have the nib pointing downwards when clipped in a pocket: aren't you worried about ink leaking? Second, it does seem to have a rather significant step. I'm not fond of steps personally, but also I feel that drawing tools can be gripped at different positions depending on the technique being used, so a step is possibly more likely to be objectionable than in a normal writing pen.

Edited by SoulSamurai, 14 March 2019 - 10:00.


#7 Inigo71

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 15:21

It's an interesting concept.  But the main issue with India ink in fountain pens has been the gum arabic.  Does your "humidity chamber" deal with that at all?  Not an engineer or an industrial designer here, just someone who has used India inks in the past (but always with dip pens).  

Although a guy I used to know back when I was in college kept insisting that I should be putting India ink into my Rapidographs so I'd get a "blacker" black line that I got with the Koh-i-noor ink, my attitude, OTOH, was that I used mine mostly for drawing, not as ruling pens -- and I liked the look of the Koh-i-noor ink JUST FINE....  Also, MY pens -- not his.  

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

Yes, the idea is that the wet chamber does not allow the ink to dry, as it is in the bottle. I had a pen unused for 3 moths and worked staight away loaded with indian ink pelikan17.

Not all the indian inks have the same density and some are very thick, Pelikan, Talens, Pebeo, Speedball, work OK.  We even tried color ones like Schmincke aero color, Pelikan color Liquitex and Ko i Noor shellac that are not suites for fountain pens.

Thanks for your interest.



#8 Inigo71

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 15:25

Very interesting concept.

I would consider getting one when you are ready to sell them.

 

Will you be doing it in other materials than metal?

Hi Fountainpagan

First we are going with the aluminium versión as the weight and feel is very nice, if there is interest in the project we may go to acrilyc or ebonite in the future.

Good to know you are interested. Looks we are neightbours as we are based in the Basque Country



#9 Inigo71

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 21:21

I thought I read that the Noodlers Boston safety pen could be used with India Ink?

How do you prevent the growth of mold and bacteria?

It's an interesting idea, but I have some issues with the form factor. First, you have the nib pointing downwards when clipped in a pocket: aren't you worried about ink leaking? Second, it does seem to have a rather significant step. I'm not fond of steps personally, but also I feel that drawing tools can be gripped at different positions depending on the technique being used, so a step is possibly more likely to be objectionable than in a normal writing pen.

 

Hi Soulsamurai.

The noodlers pen is a safety pen, it can handle any ink but it is not a standard fountain pen it is quite complicated to use and causes a lot of inconveniente.

Regarding the mold and bacteria we haven't had any issue with that, the water we use is tap water and has chlorine.

The form factor and weight has been designed to improve drawing and helps with the narrow body in the back part as nib holders and as the complete body is round is very comfortable.

The position of the clip helps to maintain the nib as wet as posible and the cap has a rubber seal near the thread to avoid any leak.

Thanks a lot for all your inputs it looks you know a lot about pen design.



#10 Inigo71

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 11:18

By the way, the pen can work perfectly as a normal fountain pen with regular inks, and if you use it sporadically the vapor chamber will keep the nib fresh or if you use inks that tend to dry the pen will maintain them fresh.



#11 joly1

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 16:01

do you intend to add "flex " nibs to your span of nibs, very usefull for drawing purposes, and if so will your feed cope with the flow demand ?



#12 Intensity

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 20:55

Very intrigued! Since this is a custom product, have you considered offering an XXF/needlepoint type nib for sketching?

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 


#13 Inigo71

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 08:03

do you intend to add "flex " nibs to your span of nibs, very usefull for drawing purposes, and if so will your feed cope with the flow demand ?

 

At the first stages we are going to focus on standard nibs (EF,F,N,1.1, 1.4 steel and gold) but we will be able to provide special nibs like architect cursive and flex.

I tried the gold ones and are quite flexible specially the ones with classical shape.



#14 Inigo71

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 18:12

Very intrigued! Since this is a custom product, have you considered offering an XXF/needlepoint type nib for sketching?

 

Right now the finest is going to be EF, some of the indian inks we recommend are not as fluid as regular inks but in the near future we will have XXF custom to be used for example with carbon ink.

Other custom nibs will be architect, fudge or italic.

Thanks for your question



#15 inkstainedruth

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 02:08

As an interesting aside to throw in, yesterday I found an Osmiroid "India ink" pen at an estate sale, in the original box.  According to the paperwork, the pen was designed to use with "waterproof ink", and has a gadget which one apparently uses to pull the feed out for really thorough cleaning, then the tool helps you reinstall (wiggle) the feed in place.  Pen has a hoop style filler, similar to that on a Pilot Metropolitan.  I have no idea of what the model is actually called; but the claim in the paperwork is that it takes all Osmiroid nibs (and so I presume it may also take vintage Esterbrook and Venus nibs as well).  

Admittedly, I'm a bit skeptical of putting India ink into this pen, once I get it cleaned out and (hopefully) find out more information about the pen, but we'll see.  It will be interesting to see how it compares with  your design, Inigo71.  Other than a couple of nib units which someone tossed in when I bought an Estie 9xxx nib unit last year, I'm not familiar with the brand (other than the name -- and that my first roommate in college, who was a sophomore, was using one for her calligraphy class).

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."

#16 joly1

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 08:56

As an interesting aside to throw in, yesterday I found an Osmiroid "India ink" pen at an estate sale, in the original box.  According to the paperwork, the pen was designed to use with "waterproof ink", and has a gadget which one apparently uses to pull the feed out for really thorough cleaning, then the tool helps you reinstall (wiggle) the feed in place.  Pen has a hoop style filler, similar to that on a Pilot Metropolitan.  I have no idea of what the model is actually called; but the claim in the paperwork is that it takes all Osmiroid nibs (and so I presume it may also take vintage Esterbrook and Venus nibs as well).  

Admittedly, I'm a bit skeptical of putting India ink into this pen, once I get it cleaned out and (hopefully) find out more information about the pen, but we'll see.  It will be interesting to see how it compares with  your design, Inigo71.  Other than a couple of nib units which someone tossed in when I bought an Estie 9xxx nib unit last year, I'm not familiar with the brand (other than the name -- and that my first roommate in college, who was a sophomore, was using one for her calligraphy class).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

 

hi Ruth

I use osmiroid pens with indian ink, after a while, if unused ,it cloggs and stiffens ,but you can dismount the two parts feed and clean it ,the main problem is that with any nib ,the ink dries very quickly with the cap on,after less than one hour,you experience hard starts,there is certainly a design flaw for those pens, I own more than 15 of them and whatever ink I use it is the the same outcome, but the sketch nib with overfeed is a marvel for drawing.



#17 inkstainedruth

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 20:31

Thanks for the info, joly1.  The estate was of a woman who apparently had been an artist, and while the photos in the listing for the sale didn't show it per se, I was hoping that there would be something worth buying.  I was tempted by some of the printmaking supplies (inks and rollers) but decided that I already have too many hobbies already.  Most of the pens were ballpoints or markers, but in digging a little found the Osmiroid.  I still need to get photos taken of it and posted -- the nib in particular is a little odd.  I haven't had a chance to flush the pen out -- I was running hither and yon a good part of the rest of the day (several other estate sales, and then some antiques stores).  Yesterday I had laundry and a meeting to go to; and this morning I was waiting for an appliance repair guy (who had already rescheduled the time window by calling my husband -- who then had to call me) and then the guy was another half hour late on top of that, and was here till after 3 PM....  And now it's late in the afternoon, and looking a little overcast, so I don't know how well photos would come out....  :(  Hoping the weather will be better tomorrow....  (And of course, as I typed that last sentence or two the cloud moved....  :headsmack: 

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."

#18 Honeybadgers

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 22:13

for 75 euro, as long as the fit and finish are appropriate, I'd buy one.

 

There definitely needs to be a feed/nib combo for a dip nib though, ideally with an overfeed.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 18 March 2019 - 22:13.

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#19 Inigo71

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 00:29

As an interesting aside to throw in, yesterday I found an Osmiroid "India ink" pen at an estate sale, in the original box.  According to the paperwork, the pen was designed to use with "waterproof ink", and has a gadget which one apparently uses to pull the feed out for really thorough cleaning, then the tool helps you reinstall (wiggle) the feed in place.  Pen has a hoop style filler, similar to that on a Pilot Metropolitan.  I have no idea of what the model is actually called; but the claim in the paperwork is that it takes all Osmiroid nibs (and so I presume it may also take vintage Esterbrook and Venus nibs as well).  

Admittedly, I'm a bit skeptical of putting India ink into this pen, once I get it cleaned out and (hopefully) find out more information about the pen, but we'll see.  It will be interesting to see how it compares with  your design, Inigo71.  Other than a couple of nib units which someone tossed in when I bought an Estie 9xxx nib unit last year, I'm not familiar with the brand (other than the name -- and that my first roommate in college, who was a sophomore, was using one for her calligraphy class).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

Hi, as stated in my first post the Osmiroid pen is the origin of all this project, I loved it but was always dried when tried to use it, that's precisely the origin, to try to keep the ink fresh. Once the ink dried out was a nightmare to clean the pen. I also agree with Joly, the osmiroid nib was a pleasure to use for drawing.



#20 Inigo71

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 10:49

for 75 euro, as long as the fit and finish are appropriate, I'd buy one.

 

There definitely needs to be a feed/nib combo for a dip nib though, ideally with an overfeed.

 

Hi Honeybadgers.

Yes that's our aim, to sell the pen for 75€ is made out of high quality aluminium machined with very tight tolerances, that way all the parts fit perfectly.

When you mean "dip nib though, ideally with an overfeed" you refer to be able to use it as a dip pen?

Thanks for your support







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: indian, watercolor, drawing, sketching, urbansketching, urban, safari, lamy, waterproof, design



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