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Deatramentis Ink - Contamination Warning



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Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the community. Unfortunately, I have run into schmutz in some DeA. 2 mm long bits in two of five recently purchased bottles is enough to put me off. The other three colors are too dark to see what, if anything, make lurk inside. Even if the pieces I saw are inert, at that size those things can still clog a feed. Such a waste as the colors are excellent.

 

Yeah, there is something going on. Do you mind my asking which colors you were able to see it in, and where/when you purchased yours? This may be helpful to pass on to Art Brown's, who said mine was the first complaint.

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

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Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the community. Unfortunately, I have run into schmutz in some DeA. 2 mm long bits in two of five recently purchased bottles is enough to put me off. The other three colors are too dark to see what, if anything, make lurk inside. Even if the pieces I saw are inert, at that size those things can still clog a feed. Such a waste as the colors are excellent.

 

Yeah, there is something going on. Do you mind my asking which colors you were able to see it in, and where/when you purchased yours? This may be helpful to pass on to Art Brown's, who said mine was the first complaint.

 

That was an interesting exercise. The two round bottles from Art Brown, Olive Green and Cement Grey, have bits in them as does a bottle of Sepiabraun purchased from another source last year. The bottle of Giacomo Puccini (Aubergine) from Pear Tree seems to be okay but is nearly impossible to see into given the color and generous fill. I have a sample of Stihlblau that has the same bits as the bottles from Art Brown.

 

The ink from Art Brown was purchased in September though only used once. That was so long ago that I didn't consider contacting them about the problem. I can do it now if you think it would help.

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Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the community. Unfortunately, I have run into schmutz in some DeA. 2 mm long bits in two of five recently purchased bottles is enough to put me off. The other three colors are too dark to see what, if anything, make lurk inside. Even if the pieces I saw are inert, at that size those things can still clog a feed. Such a waste as the colors are excellent.

 

Yeah, there is something going on. Do you mind my asking which colors you were able to see it in, and where/when you purchased yours? This may be helpful to pass on to Art Brown's, who said mine was the first complaint.

 

That was an interesting exercise. The two round bottles from Art Brown, Olive Green and Cement Grey, have bits in them as does a bottle of Sepiabraun purchased from another source last year. The bottle of Giacomo Puccini (Aubergine) from Pear Tree seems to be okay but is nearly impossible to see into given the color and generous fill. I have a sample of Stihlblau that has the same bits as the bottles from Art Brown.

 

The ink from Art Brown was purchased in September though only used once. That was so long ago that I didn't consider contacting them about the problem. I can do it now if you think it would help.

 

Thanks for checking. I think in part the dark colors are making it hard for people that might have a problem to see it. I think it would be useful to contact Art Browns so they have more data points, as I know my recent order being the only complaint was leading them to a new problem that only started in March, 2010, and easier for them and Jansen to minimize the extent. I don't know when they ordered the round lighter colored bottles that they independently saw it in. I think it is still being sold, so I think the more people and points in time they hear from, the more informed and objective they can be. In some ways, it is also good for them to hear there are problems from other retail suppliers which likely represents multiple batches. I spoke to Adrienne & Warren.

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

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I sent an email to Art Brown so we shall see how they respond.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was disappointed that this was how this ended up, but I just talked to Art Browns today about the 56 bottles, and although they also see the strands and pieces in lighter colored round ink bottles (yellow/orange) they have, there has been no significant acknowledgement type of response from Dr. Jansen other than he has been selling inks for 25+ years, and never had any problems or complaints from anyone until now, so their (Art Brown's) choice is to either stop selling his line, or quit pestering him.

 

The heart of the problem is that I only saw the contaminants in light colored inks (yellow/orange), and because I got them in the unique wedge pie shaped bottles which allow much greater visibility in the narrow wedge angle to see through the ink. Once I found the problem, notified Art Browns, who notified Jansen, who replaced all 56 bottles, it was considered settled. That is, until I saw the same solid particles and fiber-like strands in the replacement bottles as well.

 

After that, Art Browns looked much more carefully and with a bright backlight at their specific lighter colored round bottles, and saw the same exact thing in those on their shelf. The issue now is just sitting there like a turd in the punchbowl, because with all the bottles that Art Brown has sold, noone is reporting back to them that they are having a problem with the ink clogging their pens. So while they basically agree with my findings, they are choosing the path of continuing sales. I believe that unless people buy the select light colored bottles, and know enough to look for contaminants, everyone will just rely on the long standing reputation of DA inks, and not know any different. Because these contaminants tend to settle on the bottom, it is also possible that most people have not completely gotten to the end of their bottle to draw up the solids into their pen.

 

One person in this thread (Margana) said they sent an email to Art Browns, which my contact was unaware of, but at this point, it would likely take a number of phone calls to register enough of an issue for them to take a different course. I don't see much point in updating this thread further, except after I have let the filtered, biocided bottles sit for 3+ months, I can give an update if that apparently worked.

Edited by SamCapote

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

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I was able to connect with someone at Art Brown yesterday but there really isn't anything to report. Yes, I have seen strands in some bottles but they could be filaments from a filter or something else inorganic. There are other circular collections of color and in one bottle a place where several have collected. But as has been pointed out, there are no reports so far of clogged feeds or other pen issues. Hopefully, there never will be.

 

Still I'm looking forward to your future findings. Thanks, Sam, for pursuing the experiment and posting your results on FPN.

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" . . .and they confirmed the SITB."

 

SITB = "Stuff" In The Bottle?

[color=#444444][size=2][left]In this age of text, twitter, skype and email, receiving a good old-fashioned hand-written letter feels just like a warm hug.[/left][/size][/color][img]http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/5642/postcardde9.png[/img]

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" . . .and they confirmed the SITB."

 

SITB = "Stuff" In The Bottle?

 

Yes.

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Glad I stumbled on to this thread. As a newbie, I hadn't thought of looking at my ink with a bright backlight. First bottle I grab, a bottle of Noodler's Dragon Napalm given to me to start my collection, has a serious case of SITB. Both dark dark blobs and long stringy fibres. I'm glad I cleared that out of my pen a while ago to fill up with another ink.

 

Pity. I liked the colour.

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Glad I stumbled on to this thread. As a newbie, I hadn't thought of looking at my ink with a bright backlight. First bottle I grab, a bottle of Noodler's Dragon Napalm given to me to start my collection, has a serious case of SITB. Both dark dark blobs and long stringy fibres. I'm glad I cleared that out of my pen a while ago to fill up with another ink.

 

Pity. I liked the colour.

 

Yes, these things can happen to any ink for many reasons. It is unfortunate that it is hard to visualize in most colors of inks other than yellow/orange & some reds. LOL! I just looked at my two bottles of of Dragon Napalm which I got when it first came out, and they have been sitting mostly unused since then. It was like one of those Christmas Snow Globes that you shake and the white flakes simulate snow....except these appear to be silver/metallic flakes, some of which are 2-3mm in size. I would not consider using this in a fountain pen, but since I got into the habit of filtering the DA bottles, I may try that with this and see what happens with it over another 3 months.

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

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Are you sure that the SITB is organic? Or did perhaps a chemical reaction take place in the ink? After the long threads about sediments, pigments, dyes, clogging of pens, colloids, etc., I think that is an interesting question.

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Are you sure that the SITB is organic? Or did perhaps a chemical reaction take place in the ink? After the long threads about sediments, pigments, dyes, clogging of pens, colloids, etc., I think that is an interesting question.

 

Do you mean the Dragon's Napalm? That looks to be a metallic inorganic aggregation. I remember when I first got that ink that it had a metallic sheen and some very very tiny particles suspended. This now doesn't look anything like it did when new.

 

The DA problem in part has a suggestion of synthetic fibers because they were so hard to tear as I wanted to spread them out on the microscope slide, but there were also budding single & multiple cell yeast when I centrifuged samples and took the sample from the bottom of the spun tube. Their cell walls blew apart after a biocide was applied to the slide.

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

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Just to re-iterate, the SEM offer is still there if needed. I've just had the Phillips serviced and I can get hold of a very good variable pressure Hitachi too, if needed. The elemental analysis kit will be up and running again later this week.

 

Marc

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Bo Bo Olson

Will a coffee filter do for filtering. In I live in an unscientific house hold.

I'll filter into a inkwell.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

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Too bad you didn't retain a couple unopened bottles for control purposes, Sam. You could have shipped one off to Marc for an independent eval and maybe even a determination of what you're actually seeing. At this point, it appears no one in the supply chain is convinced it poses a long-term problem to users' fountain pens.

Edited by Felix1

I always get a kick out of these "no affiliation" notations when it's blatantly obvious the poster has absolutely nothing to do with the brand, company, etc. beyond being a customer. It must be a feel-good/feel-important thing. So I'll note up front that nothing I write here on this forum is influenced by any financial-gain motivation.

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Just to re-iterate, the SEM offer is still there if needed. I've just had the Phillips serviced and I can get hold of a very good variable pressure Hitachi too, if needed. The elemental analysis kit will be up and running again later this week.

 

Marc

 

Thank you again for your generous offer. I will keep looking for distinct fibers as I continue to filter. I am only half-way through the bottles.

 

Will a coffee filter do for filtering. In I live in an unscientific house hold.

I'll filter into a inkwell.

 

Some have recommended that. I wanted a higher grade of purity and filtering pore size that would fit into the cheap disposable funnels, so I wouldn't transfer any ink contaminants to other colors. If I were to use coffee filters, I would open a new box of them, and treat the ink with Steril-Ink afterwards, then let sit and observe 3 months later. I used Advantec 125mm grade 232 filter paper and SKS F490-3 disposable funnels. You can google for other sources if desired.

 

 

Too bad you didn't retain a couple unopened bottles for control purposes, Sam. You could have shipped one off to Marc for an independent eval and maybe even a determination of what you're actually seeing. At this point, it appears no one in the supply chain is convinced it poses a long-term problem to users' fountain pens.

 

Oh they are concerned. When Art Brown's saw the obvious contaminants and their size in their light colored round bottle inks, they were very upset and have had many interactions with Dr. Jansen. I don't know if that is all resolved between them. What apparently is offsetting their inaction is the paucity of other complaints. I have no control over what steps a manufacturer or retailer choose to take. I still have half of my bottles I have not gotten to, but I have opened every bottle to inspect the surface liquid, so it's not an actual control. The bottles left to filter are the darker inks which are nearly impossible to see through the glass and locate specific pieces which I previously picked up with tweezers and/or pipettes from lighter colored inks. I would suspect that anyone could still order the lighter colors and independently verify what I and Art Brown's have seen, or call them to confirm what I have said. I think the important thing is for ordinary users to be aware and take the steps they feel are appropriate, as they do have some outstanding colors otherwise.

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

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Bo Bo Olson

Coffee filter, like that is used in German coffee? Is that good enough or not?

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Well now this just plain sucks.

 

The end of May/early June I finished meticulously filtering about 40% of the DeAtramentis bottles as shown on page one, after treating it with 3 drops of Tryphon's Sterilink, I transferred it back to the original bottles that I had washed out and put in about 30% bleach and let sit for about an hour, rinsed several times again with tap, and then my reverse osmosis filtered drinking water. The lighter yellow/orange/red colors were then perfectly clear, so I put them in my storage drawers for the the last 2 months, and took out four lighter color bottles yesterday, hoping this nightmare was ended.

 

To my shock, the #@%$#^%$ strings, strands, slimy contamination is back again, as if I had never filtered and treated it. This now meant that the Sterilink did nothing. I looked at new samples of the obvious contaminant I pipetted from the bottom, while backlighting with bright LED light under the microscope with oil immersion lens, and it again shows the typical budding hyphae of yeast infection.

 

I called at spoke with Giovani who runs the Tryphon company in Florida. He said this would be the first ever case that his product has not taken care of a growing contaminant like this, and was very interested and concerned. I am sending one of my two bottles of the Yellow-Orange for him to examine. He said there are two main suppliers in Europe that he knows of in Turin, and Austria. He seemed to remember Omas having prioblems when they bought from Austria, and he is also wondering if there is something about the ink causing this, since he cannot imagine his Sterilink not working.

 

I REALLY hoped my time consuming filtering & treating would have ended this, and just be able to enjoy using this ink finally, but I still cannot trust any of it. It is too hard to see contamination in the darker shades with a backlight, but I can't feel comfortable putting any of the 56 shades of Deatramentis in my pens yet. I think I may call Art Browns tomorrow and just try to return all of it back to them. It's too much hassle.

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

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Sam,

 

I'm so sorry to hear that!

 

Please update us re Sterilink. I've been using it for a year now, but now I'm concerned that I may not be sufficiently protected against contamination. :(

Equal Opportunity Ink and Fountain Pen User.

 

My blog: The Dizzy Pen

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Thanks for the update, Sam. I wonder whether the mold growth was too far along and overwhelmed the properties of SterilInk. I also use this additive in every new bottle of ink I get. Recently, after several posts by various people (including you, Sam, and you, Dizzypen) about brand new bottles of ink containing mold, I changed my procedure for adding SterilInk. I used to add it when I began using a bottle of ink for the first time. But I have a stash of my favorite inks waiting in reserve, so I opened each of these and added SterilInk, even though I won't be using the ink for a while. I wrote the date on the inside flap of each box so I wouldn't forget I'd done this already.

 

I guess I would always throw out moldy ink rather than trying to salvage it. I think of mold spores as microscopic, and pervasive once they take hold, so I use SterilInk as a a preventative tactic rather than a cure. Keep us posted with any more news.

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