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Pens, Inks And Samples Pass-Around In Australia



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If no one else is waiting on it I would be happy to have the box again. I have accumulated quite a lot of inks since I last had it and would be more than happy to add some samples, as well as trying some of the inks that have been added since I last had the box.

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If no one else is waiting on it I would be happy to have the box again. I have accumulated quite a lot of inks since I last had it and would be more than happy to add some samples, as well as trying some of the inks that have been added since I last had the box.

Great. If you PM me your address I will send it off to you on Monday.

 

I would like to keep one ink and one pen from the box, if no one objects (namely, the Sailor 55° clipless and Noodler's Polar Brown).

 

I will be adding a Sailor Profit pen with a fude nib and three full bottles of Blackstone ink (Uluru Red, Australian Bush and Brown Boronia). I will also fill the gaps in the inner box of mini samples. And update the contents list, of course. If time, and space in the box permits, I'm hoping to add a couple of handmade pen wraps, but if I can't get them finished I'll send them on later.

It's all about the greys...

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A Smug Dill

@AmandaW Those two items you mentioned (and which I contributed to the box in the first place) are yours to keep. Take what you want, if you have a use for the 'surplus' items being passed around.

@loganrah @AmandaW Now that, against all odds, I actually received my order of multiple bottles of Hero 232 iron-gall blue-black ink and Hero 234 carbon ink (never mind that I was sent three fewer bottles of the latter than what I ordered), and I have (at least!) a dozen bottles of Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz ink coming, I'd be happy to contribute some more samples of those if either of you — or any other fellow Aussie FPN members — want them for passing around. All three of the aforementioned inks are very water-resistant, including PE SQ that is neither iron-gall nor pigmented (as far as I'm aware).

I'm not sure if I'm keen to have the box 'returned' to me, though, since my wife pushed hard for me to send away the bottles of Noodler's Inks that we'll never use, etc. and the only bottles I/we would be interested in are the Robert Oster Flaming Blue (for the bronze, instead of gold or silver, shimmer) and Diamine Firestorm Red, if they're still there and nobody else want to take possession. If the box comes back here I'd throw in a bottle of each of the Hero inks and pass them on, but otherwise it just isn't economical to send inks except in 1.8ml sample vials (that can fit inside a 'large letter' mailer no thicker than 20mm including the cardboard and labelling).

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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PM'd, thanks Amanda.

 

Dill: I would be interested in a sample of Smoky Quartz (especially if it is water resistant). If I've still got the box when that arrives I'd be happy for you to send some to me and I can add them to the box before I send it on?

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A Smug Dill

@loganrah I can send some samples of Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz ink, no worries.

 

@AmandaW Do you want any samples of the Hero inks? (I think you already have Smoky Quartz, or at least are contemplating buying some bottles from the same retailer from whom I'm ordering my next dozen bottles.) If so, let me know, and I'll send all the sample vials (of Hero 232, Hero 234 and PE SQ ink) to you, and you can pass on the rest to @loganrah by way of the box? Let me know. You'll have to hold off sending the box to him for a week, though.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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If I hold off sending the box that would also give me some time to finish making those pen wraps. Nothing like a deadline to make things happen!

 

I do have a bottle of Smoky Quartz (beautiful ink!), and was interested in acquiring another or two before they disappeared, but the shipping and exchange rate from your source would wipe out any savings since I would be a long long way from qualifying for free shipping. It has reminded me that I should look for a bottle or two closer to home, so thankyou for that. I will add some samples to the box for loganrah and anyone else to try. It really is lovely. I have kicked myself a couple of times for not ordering more (and the matching pen) when they were available. I had thought Pelikan would add it to their regular line up. Lesson learned.

It's all about the greys...

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... the only bottles I/we would be interested in are the Robert Oster Flaming Blue (for the bronze, instead of gold or silver, shimmer) and Diamine Firestorm Red, if they're still there...

They are indeed both still in the box. Perhaps the box should come back to you before continuing it's journey?

It's all about the greys...

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If I hold off sending the box that would also give me some time to finish making those pen wraps. Nothing like a deadline to make things happen!

 

That sounds great, I'm always looking out for new pen carry options so I'd love a chance to try one and give you some feedback (if needed).

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A Smug Dill

@AmandaW Alright, please send the box to me, and I'll send it to loganrah afterwards. I'd love to have one of your pen wraps, too! If it's going to take a week or three to finish, please don't feel rushed to send the box on.

I'll provide the samples of Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz, if you only have a bottle of the ink (and love it and don't have enough) while I'll be all 'panic buying' stocked up on it shortly. I may or may not have received my bottle of Noodler's Kung Te Chung ordered from Amazon US by the time I'm ready to send the box on; it's supposedly in transit and should be here within a fortnight.

All the same, let me know any time if you want samples of any ink I've mentioned. I can't send any pens or inks by international letter post elsewhere right now (sorry, @silverlifter!), but within Australia I can still send quite a bit of ink (in right-sized plastic sample vials) by letter post for $2.20+packaging without having to pay for Parcel Post.

I actually bought a second Pelikan M200 Smoky Quartz pen last year (also from the same retailer I'm using now) to add to my "eventually given away to family and friends" pile — or as a replacement if mine breaks — when the price was right. I don't favour demonstrators in any way, and in fact tend to think of them as somewhat inferior to opaque plastics with chatoyance, but my first one served me well, has been inked with Platinum Classic Ink Khaki Black from Day One, and the steel F nib it came with is extraordinary; so much so that eventually I swapped that nib over to a Pelikan M400 White-Tortoiseshell, not to protect the steel nib from corrosion by iron-gall ink, but because I thought the prettier (and more "premium") pen deserved the better nib.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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A Smug Dill

I've now filled two 2ml samples of Noodler's Kung Te-Cheng from the bottle that arrived this morning in the post. (Don't worry, I have plenty of that ink left, and I seriously doubt I'll be using it all that much in everyday applications, other than to compare its performance with Sailor seiboku and souboku.) It's everything-proof, and it smells funny when wet (or laid down on the page wetly) as many other users have noted. It'll almost certainly leave residue on the walls of whatever container that takes physical scrubbing to remove; I flushed my plastic eyedropper immediately after using it to fill the sample vials, and then dumped it into my ultrasonic cleaning tank — filled with dilute ammonia solution with a few drops of Fairy detergent — for a three-minute cleaning cycle, but neither of those steps removed all the colour from the inner wall.

I'll also add those to the box before sending it on, for whoever is intrigued by or in awe of Noodler's KTC ink's reputation and game to try it in a pen. I've filled the most-disliked out of my Daiso fountain pens with it. In spite of the rather broad M nib, the ink causes hard starts if the pen stays uncapped for a minute between pen strokes.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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  • 2 weeks later...
A Smug Dill

I received the pass-around box in the post yesterday. Thank you, @AmandaW!

 

I'm sad to report that the bottle of Noodler's North African Violet was broken in transit; one corner has entirely collapsed, the plastic bag around it was punctured, and the contents of the glass bottle has been emptied into one side of the box. Luckily, most of the other items in the box were protected from staining by their individual bags; all the mess stayed on the outside.

 

The bottle of Ancient Song Southern Village was largely emptied into the ziploc bag in which it sat, and that luckily contained the spill. Upon investigation, there were not just one but two circular foam seals inside the bottle cap, and both were sitting askew (in the same way), such that the cap arrived perched at an angle without (a chance of) sealing the bottle properly. That's a shame; from what I can see in the bag, it looked like a pretty shimmer ink

 

There was some spillage from one or two of the Blackstone Ink's "leak-proof" bottles, but fortunately the leakage/spillage was also contained by the plastic bottles around them.

 

I've cleaned up the contents as best I could, and moved them to a new box. I'll catalogue what's there, in the next week or so, and decide what to add to it.

 

If anyone in Australia is interested in being the next stop after @loganrah, and would like me to include samples of some particular inks, please let me know before I repack everything and sent the box on.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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A Smug Dill

Here's a question to past and prospective participants of this sharing initiative.

Should I take it that, after 20+ months on the road and eight stops around the country in the meantime, that whichever among the ink samples I seeded at the start of the pass-around box's journey, and have since returned to me last week, aren't of much interest?

For the avoidance of doubt, I certainly don't take it personally, and I'm only asking the question in a inquisitive and not accusatory tone. However, given that the primary objective I had in mind for the initiative is to facilitate redistribution of unwanted and/or surplus pens and inks to someone who might like it better, and the passing along of ink samples is just a bit on the side to add some more value to participants, I'm mindful that we need to contain the size and weight of the contents of the box and consequently the postage costs. I don't think this can be an ever-growing library of inks (and pens?) for fellow hobbyists to sample, because 1.'there is limited physical capacity, and 2.'ink being consumables, if I take a particular ink from the box because I want to try it, then obviously I don't already have it and am unlikely to be in a position to replenish it in the travelling 'library' for the next stop(s) of its journey.

So, for example, if nobody is really all that interested in the Rubinato black, blue-black and blue inks, or Noodler's Green Marine, or (now no longer available?) Sailor Kujukuri Coast hamanasu, then I could be withdrawing them and putting something else in their place within the limited capacity of the box.

...

On the matter of substitution, do you think it's better to share samples of 'unobtainium' and/or discontinued limited edition inks (e.g. Sailor Kujukuri Coast range, Rohrer & Klingner 2018 LE Aubergine, Lamy 2019 LE Vibrant Pink), limited editions that can still be ordered (e.g. R&K 2019 LE Kastanienbraun, Pelikan Edelstein IOTY 2017 Smoky Quartz) primarily from overseas but can be a pain in the butt to source, or 'standard catalogue' inks that are significantly cheaper to order from overseas (e.g. Herbin Cornaline d'Égypte, Sailor souboku and Hero 234 carbon black inks) but expensive to buy locally, to help someone better decide whether go to the trouble and/or expense of ordering after testing out samples?

Obviously, in my view there is little point in 'sharing' what can be ordered from Australian retailers cheaply, if it's already easy enough for someone just to place an order with them for a whole bottle and test it out at a 'risk' of, say, A$15 or less if the online reviews already generate enough intrigue.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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I for one sometimes change which inks I'm interested in, so I dont think you should assume that people won't appreciate things that have been in the box a while.

 

Personally I'm only interested in samples of inks I might buy, so probably not in LE that are super rare or no longer available inks. But I can see some people having the opposite preference to get to try things they couldn't otherwise

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A Smug Dill

@loganrah I'm not sure if you ended up trying out Sailor STORiA Lion Light Brown, which you specifically mentioned being intrigued by, last year. Since the samples of STORiA ink I added are apparently all taken (which is a good thing, that they attract sufficient interest), I've added one more into the box for you.

Since you said you're on an iron-gall and other permanent ink kick recently, but I don't imagine Hero inks would be easy to physically acquire, notwithstanding how cheaply they're priced per bottle (excluding shipping and tax) on channels such as AliExpress, I've put in an unopened 56ml bottle of Hero 234 carbon black ink, for you to try to your heart's content and see if it comes out crisp or woolly from your flex pens' nibs. It isn't quite as waterproof as Platinum Carbon Black, but it is noticeably blacker, and it will still take destruction of the paper itself for the writing to become sufficiently illegible. I've also added 15ml of Hero 232 iron-gall blue-black ink, more than mere samples but probably not quite enough for anyone to seriously damage their pens from corrosion. ;) Originally I was going to put in a full bottle of that as well, but there just isn't enough space in the box.

Then there are couple of samples of Noodler's X-Feather, since you also specifically mentioned you want a water-resistant ink with limited spread; the trade-off is long drying time. Also of Noodler's Kung Te-Cheng, in case the colour appeals, and/or you want to test it against Sailor souboku and seiboku; and of Lamy Benitoite, which is the only one in the T53 Crystal Ink range marketed by the manufacturer as being 'document-proof', too for good measure. Noodler's AirCorp Blue Black, too. I trust you've already tested Platinum Carbon Black, given you commented on how it's too wet and just gushes onto the page?

I've swapped in a new bottle of Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz for the new bottle of Pelikan Edelstein Star Ruby that @AmandaW generously contributed. It's a limited edition ink, but you can still buy bottles of it from retailers right now even though local availability is quickly dwindling as she has discovered. :crybaby: I hope you do enough testing with the ink to make an informed decision whether you want to stock up while you still can; and others fellow Aussie hobbyists who are interested in the box, too.

Another alternative for brown would be Rohrer & Klingner 2019 LE Kastanienbraun, which is still available for ordering (relatively cheaply), at least from overseas retailers. I'm not sure whether you want me to include a sample of that; once again it's one of those inks that you have to decide to either buy now or keep it off your list forever (at least until the manufacturer changes its mind!). I've added a couple of samples anyway.

I've added three new (bogus!) "Wing Sung 3008" demonstrators, which I think are perfect if you want to test whether the level of staining or clogging, if any, is acceptable to 'risk' the pens you'd want to use a particular ink. I haven't used any of them, but I did try disassembling them completely just like I would a genuine WS3008. You can remove the feed to clean it with a brush, or even scrub the inside of the ink reservoir if an imperfect layer of micro particles discolouring the clear walls of the barrel bothers you visually.

I think some people are always looking for JoWo #6 "nib holder" pens, and sometimes the Jinhao X750 comes up. There are fans of the Nemosine Fission, which has a screw cap instead of the Jinhao's snap cap, which can serve the same purpose. Given that I dislike my Nemosine Fission pens for the hard glossy barrel, smooth metal section and noticeable step-down (although the one on the Pilot MR seems slightly worse), I've swapped one of the two Jinhao X750 in the box's inventory for a Nemosine Fission, and transplanted the #6 Jinhao nib onto the latter.

About the box: Given that the shoebox in which the contents arrived was wrecked by the spilt ink, and noting that the whole package ventured into the 3–5kg weight class for "use your own packaging" and cost Amanda more to send, I found (and reinforced) a box that only just slips inside a Large "If It Packs, It Posts" satchel (which allows up to 5kg in total weight, at the expense of physical volume), such that the postage — for me, and everyone else afterwards — to anywhere in Australia can be contained at $15.70, instead of paying for a 'consumed' Large box for $3 on top of the Parcel Post postage component ($15.35). Right now the box is absolutely chock full (including — I hope — just enough protective wrapping and void fill, and weighs 2.985kg all up not including the final pieces of sealing tape and shipping label. All the same, I'll send the box inside a Large satchel to aid reusability of the box itself for future stops.

fpn_1595485706__aussie_fpn_pass-around_b

(Hmmm, I went just now to my local post office to physically inspect the "If It Packs, It Posts" packaging it sells. The satchels are marked Single Use Only, but the boxes aren't.)

Some of the items, such as the Sheaffer calligraphy set and rainbow-coloured selection of cartridges, which don't seem to attract that much interest, had to be pulled out to accommodate. The Pilot Penmanship pen I added at the start of the box's journey in 2018, too; I thought the pen is an exemplar of a Japanese EF nib, and that someone would be interested in picking it up, but apparently not so. The A$2.80 Daiso-Hauser fountain pen (of which someone else added a unit of the smoky grey demonstrator variant to the box), as a product, gives one of the best writing experiences in that price class in my opinion, but that doesn't seem to get much love either. Given how difficult it is to get a grey one — instead of the darker, less translucent blue one — these days, I've taken that as well.

Some, but not all, of the samples of Sailor souboku and Rubinato writing inks I put in initially have been withdrawn to make space. If Sailor souboku didn't get generate all that much interest when it was new and wasn't easy to get in Australia twenty-one months ago, then I'd imagine it has even less appeal now. Peter's of Kensington seems to have sold out most of its Rubinato inks in the meantime, and I don't know if it intends to restock at all.

Accordingly, I've updated the shared spreadsheet you kindly prepared for everyone.

If I find no use for the Sheaffer calligraphy set for ink testing as dip pens, and/or the Pilot Penmanship (of which I have quite a few new in my desk drawer), I'll organise a giveaway (or 'PIF') for them later. Those items can be sent by letter post, but not so bottled inks or 5ml sample vials.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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I think many of the items were left in the box not from lack of interest but not wanting others to miss out on trying them. I used a glass dip pen to make tiny swatches from many of the samples, for example, instead of keeping the sample.

 

The Pilot Penmanship is a terrific pen, I didn't keep it because I really really wanted the green Sailor fude and was having difficulty finding one to purchase (I have ordered one and am still waiting, now two months). I did change it's details on the online list because the packaging didn't say Penmanship in English, I recognised it and hoped the alteration would help it find a home. The Daiso I was curious about, but ditto re the fude. I tried most of the other pens and appreciated doing so, cleaned with an ultrasonic and returned them to the box (I added some of them to my wish lists, along with inks - having the box turned out to be costly in many ways - not just the return shipping).

 

Fearing to be overstepping was a big problem. I took seriously wanting to add more than I took. I know that wasn't the intention, but still I felt that strongly and I'm sure others did as well. With everything: wanting to play fair came first. It saddens me that might be read as lack of interest.

 

When I packed the box to send I added many individual plastic bags. The box was crammed full - partly my fault because I added four ink bottles - I still had to leave out most of the empty sample vials to make it all fit. I used the pen wraps (which are soft and padded) as cushioning on top instead of bubble wrap (there was some but not all that it arrived with). Still there was damage in travel which I feel deeply embarrassed about. Some of the leaking came from bottles I didn't try (shimmer, for example, was of no interest) so I have no explanation yet I'm still left feeling bad about it.

It's all about the greys...

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Wow, thanks Dill. There is a lot of stuff there I'm very interested in trying.

I've also got lots of new stuff to add in to the box since it last came my way. I will be mostly replacing samples with other samples.

One thing I wonder about is if there is any way to advertise the box a little more widely (to members here)? I'm not sure if everyone who might like it, especially people new to the hobby who would benefit most from sampling a lot of things, would be checking this forum.

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A Smug Dill

The Pilot Penmanship is a terrific pen, I didn't keep it because I really really wanted the green Sailor fude and was having difficulty finding one to purchase (I have ordered one and am still waiting, now two months). I did change it's details on the online list because the packaging didn't say Penmanship in English, I recognised it and hoped the alteration would help it find a home.

 

I'll gladly send one to you — either the one I just withdrew from the box, or one from my stash — any time you ask. A Daiso-Hauser pen, too. It'll be my pleasure.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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The box arrived safely today. I don't need to hang on to it for a long time if anyone wants to put their hand up to have it next.

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The box arrived safely today. I don't need to hang on to it for a long time if anyone wants to put their hand up to have it next.

Did you find the Polar Brown sample? It was in it's own bag and tucked into the corner next to the bigger Noodler's bottles.

It's all about the greys...

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A Smug Dill

I think this is where I put the 4ml sample of Noodler's Polar Brown I found in the box; the white-lidded vials 'above' it in the same bag being 5ml samples of Noodler's Lexington Gray:
fpn_1596039972__location_of_noodlers_pol

(I only recognise it because the labels I used on the sample vials are much smaller.)

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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    • A Smug Dill
      Even so, you'd end up with a fragmented list, and it becomes an O(N²) process for each prospective requestor to check what is available: effectively recreate the list of currently active servers (without any reliable up-to-date info upfront about the inks and number of samples on offer in the thread) from the sequential list of posts, which may be spread over two or even more pages, and then query each server independently to check what is currently on offer.   It comes down to not hav
    • LizEF
      If one wanted to do this, one could just use the "About Me" field which appears to be unlimited in size.  And if a bunch of people wanted to cooperate, the Member Title field (or signature) could be used to this end - "Ink Giver" (or some such) could be used by those with inks to give...  No software edits required.
    • Arkanabar
      I suppose the update issue could be mitigated.  One would post a link in signature, to the particular part of your profile where you list the inks that you're willing to post samples to others, gratis.  But looking at profiles, I suspect that would require an edit to the board's software, potentially a nontrivial task.
    • A Smug Dill
      I read your idea as getting willing givers to publicly register as members of a set of heterogenous servers, in a system in which a client would explicitly select an available server from a list, to which he/she will then send a request privately and asynchronously. Request handling in the system is unmanaged, and individual requests are handled by the targeted servers completely independently on each other. I think the model is fine, although there are some operational concerns you may want to
    • Daneaxe
      First thought on the method/system of ink sharing: Think the best way, to begin with, is to follow the way of the US thread: offer up a (small) list of inks you are willing to PIF, to whoever expresses interest. Write clearly in the "mission statement" how it works, with a tiny "quid pro quo" that even a struggling student can comply with, i.e. post your opinion and a writing sample, with option of a full review if desired.   So yours truly might say: "I'm offering up samples of D
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