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The ‘Right’ Way To Do Ink Reviews To Serve One's Curiosity And Interests?



A Smug Dill

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A Smug Dill, perhaps you can try another trick for sending samples (which I believed originated from @Cyber6): instead of using screw-top vials, use pipettes. You just need to suck the ink with the pipette, then seal off the opening by heating it slightly and let it melt. They are easy to transport (lighter, slimmer in size and totally leak-proof).

 

 

Thank you for the suggestion! That was originally how I was going to send ink samples — precisely because I read those posts on FPN — but after I finally got my order of a hundred 3ml plastic pipettes delivered from China (long after I thought they were just lost in the ether), I just couldn't find a way to seal them properly with heat. I've tried heating up a pair of snub-nosed pliers on the gas stove, but neither the flat surfaces nor the crinkled surfaces worked to properly melt and fuse/crimp the ends of the pipettes. I now use those 3ml pipettes only for filling ink sample vials.

 

For international short cartridge equivalents, I half-fill 1.5ml centrifuge tubes. I can put up to ten, or maybe twelve if I really tried, of those in a corrugated cardboard mailer and still send the package as a sub-50g "letter". For "special" samples of larger volumes, I use 1.8ml screw-top vials (which actually holds up to 2ml of liquid each) that just fit inside the 16mm-thick cardboard mailer.

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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Thank you for the suggestion! That was originally how I was going to send ink samples — precisely because I read those posts on FPN — but after I finally got my order of a hundred 3ml plastic pipettes delivered from China (long after I thought they were just lost in the ether), I just couldn't find a way to seal them properly with heat. I've tried heating up a pair of snub-nosed pliers on the gas stove, but neither the flat surfaces nor the crinkled surfaces worked to properly melt and fuse/crimp the ends of the pipettes. I now use those 3ml pipettes only for filling ink sample vials.

 

For international short cartridge equivalents, I half-fill 1.5ml centrifuge tubes. I can put up to ten, or maybe twelve if I really tried, of those in a corrugated cardboard mailer and still send the package as a sub-50g "letter". For "special" samples of larger volumes, I use 1.8ml screw-top vials (which actually holds up to 2ml of liquid each) that just fit inside the 16mm-thick cardboard mailer.

 

 

When I make samples with pipettes I usually work at the sink with a lighter (because in the case of anything catching fire I can quickly put it out! - luckily so far nothing has happened). I find out the trick is to heat the pipette (relatively) long enough so that there's enough melted plastic. Then I just push down the melted plastic against the sink to seal it off. Personally I think there's a lot of fun doing that!

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Why is this topic not in the "Inky Thoughts" subforum ?

 

That question was answered more than 15 months ago, right here in this thread.

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 have mailed samples to reviewers whose work I admire, to support the creation of beauty and enhance the experience of other admirers of that person's work.

 

I also contribute samples to the testing stations at pen shows. In this scenario, a single sample potentially benefits hundreds of attendees.

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I also contribute samples to the testing stations at pen shows. In this scenario, a single sample potentially benefits hundreds of attendees.

 

~ ENewton:

 

Having never attended a pen show, I had no idea that there were ink testing stations.

Thank you for mentioning that.

Tom K.

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~ ENewton:

 

Having never attended a pen show, I had no idea that there were ink testing stations.

Thank you for mentioning that.

Tom K.

 

 

At the San Francisco International Pen Show, there are hundreds of inks available for testing. They are all loaded into Dollar 717i pens, so a user of extra fine or broad nibs has to undertake additional investigation to determine whether a given ink is ideal for this or that pen, but the testing stations are a fabulous starting point.

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Having never attended a pen show, I had no idea that there were ink testing stations.

Me neither. The Sydney Pen Show 2019's organisers seemed far keener to secure advance sales of tickets — at about the price of a movie ticket, so neither terribly expensive nor trivially cheap — than to commit to and publish at the same time who and what will be at the event, so that prospective visitors can make a reasonable assessment of whether it's worth going. Nevertheless, I think Robert Oster did have a table/stall there with its inks for testing. I'm not sure whether any other ink testing stations were set up at the event, much less if any of them were "powered by" volunteer, random donors of commercial inks they don't themselves sell.

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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~ ENewton:

 

Having never attended a pen show, I had no idea that there were ink testing stations.

Thank you for mentioning that.

Tom K.

 

 

Tom,

 

I understand how you feel. I have only been to one show, and we got there at 2:00 on the last day of the show. Many of the exhibitors were packing up and so didn't want to show any more. But some were very helpful. I remember Brian Anderson opening a bottle of Yami Dori so that I could try it. I did buy the bottle, but it was very kind of him.

 

Honestly, even though some were packing up, there was so much to see - almost too much to try and take in for the couple of hours that we were there. Interestingly that is how I felt when I went into TyLee's in Taipei. What an incredible store! I understand that many of the Japanese stores are also this way.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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At the San Francisco International Pen Show, there are hundreds of inks available for testing. They are all loaded into Dollar 717i pens, so a user of extra fine or broad nibs has to undertake additional investigation to determine whether a given ink is ideal for this or that pen, but the testing stations are a fabulous starting point.

 

 

~ ENewton:

 

That sounds like great fun!

I appreciate your explanation of how the testing stations work.

If ever I'm able to attend an international pen show, I'll seek out an ink testing station, if available.

Tom K.

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Me neither. The Sydney Pen Show 2019's organisers seemed far keener to secure advance sales of tickets — at about the price of a movie ticket, so neither terribly expensive nor trivially cheap — than to commit to and publish at the same time who and what will be at the event, so that prospective visitors can make a reasonable assessment of whether it's worth going. Nevertheless, I think Robert Oster did have a table/stall there with its inks for testing. I'm not sure whether any other ink testing stations were set up at the event, much less if any of them were "powered by" volunteer, random donors of commercial inks they don't themselves sell.

 

~ A Smug Dill:

 

There's more information previously unknown to me — pen shows require ticket purchase.

In my childhood, over half a century ago, specialty shows (not fountain pens but other collectibles) were to a certain degree family events.

There weren't tickets as such, as free-flowing entry was apparently intended to attract larger crowds.

Not having worked for decades in any area where such shows are held, I wasn't aware that they now sell tickets.

Thank you for this information.

Tom K.

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I understand how you feel. I have only been to one show, and we got there at 2:00 on the last day of the show. Many of the exhibitors were packing up and so didn't want to show any more. But some were very helpful. I remember Brian Anderson opening a bottle of Yami Dori so that I could try it. I did buy the bottle, but it was very kind of him.

 

Honestly, even though some were packing up, there was so much to see - almost too much to try and take in for the couple of hours that we were there. Interestingly that is how I felt when I went into TyLee's in Taipei. What an incredible store! I understand that many of the Japanese stores are also this way.

 

~ DrDebG:

 

Your pen show experience is highly interesting. Without any experience to serve as a frame of reference, it intrigues me.

The large pen store you mention must have been a highly satisfying experience.

Where I work and live there aren't such stores. What's on offer in the largest stationers tends to be adequate but not in any sense comprehensive.

Nevertheless, I'm somehow able to draw out what might otherwise be a ten minute visit into an hour of pleasurable browsing.

Seeing inks in such settings does cause me to speculate how an ink review might be done which would be helpful to potential buyers.

Tom K.

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~ A Smug Dill:

 

There's more information previously unknown to me — pen shows require ticket purchase.

In my childhood, over half a century ago, specialty shows (not fountain pens but other collectibles) were to a certain degree family events.

There weren't tickets as such, as free-flowing entry was apparently intended to attract larger crowds.

Not having worked for decades in any area where such shows are held, I wasn't aware that they now sell tickets.

Thank you for this information.

Tom K.

 

I don't know about other shows, but the Commonwealth Pen Show in Boston charges a fairly small entrance fee ($8-10 per person). You get a small "gift" bottle of special edition Noodler's ink with that, and I think the funds go in part to cover the cost of the rented venue. For instance this show is held in a large conference room at a hotel, which surely costs a fair amount to rent for a day. Some proceeds are probably passed on to the organizing committee. Since it's a larger event than a bunch of visitors from the same local area (some visitors and vendors/artisans come from more distant states) meeting in an informal space, it seems reasonable to have an entrance fee.

Edited by Intensity

“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.” 

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Honestly, even though some were packing up, there was so much to see - almost too much to try and take in for the couple of hours that we were there. Interestingly that is how I felt when I went into TyLee's in Taipei. What an incredible store! I understand that many of the Japanese stores are also this way.

 

Larger Japanese stationery stores were truly incredible in the amount of things to see. It was not uncommon to find inks available for sampling in dedicated stands with pre-filled fountain pens and high quality paper to try them on. My local pen shops do have folders with ink samples on paper, but I find that much less helpful as their paper is not the same as my paper (and generally they seem to use some type of thick art paper which doesn't show any shading nor sheen). This was also true for Japanese stores--most had folders with premade ink swatches, but to me they were of limited utility for that same reason--flat rectangles of uniform color and maybe a couple of words of writing on art paper. Sailor and Pilot have put the most effort into providing ink sampling stations to a lot of stores, so it was sometimes possible to write with all of Pilot Iroshizuku inks as well as all of 100 Sailor Ink Studio inks on the spot. That was incredibly useful and was good advertising for their products. It made me fall in love with the whole of the Iroshizuku line after I was able to actually write with most of the inks.

 

Sailor, Pilot, and Platinum have also put in effort in providing nib testing sets to stores where one can try [almost] every nib width available. I think that's the deciding factor: the manufacturers need to make the effort of providing such testing stations to stores. It's much easier for the Japanese companies to do this for their home country of Japan, so I don't expect to see the same in USA. But now that I've seen the Japanese stores, everywhere else has seemed woefully inadequate (at least where I've visited in USA, Italy, and UK since I became interested in fountain pens). That's also because of other wonderful products available in larger stores there, such as huge arrays of high quality paper, mechanical pencils, gel pens, washi tape, general stationery, etc., etc. I dream of having a Tokyu Hands or Office Vender stationery department near me, and it prompted me to sign up for Amazon.co.jp to order Japanese stationery directly (alas, can't try it in person now).

Edited by Intensity

“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.” 

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I don't know about other shows, but the Commonwealth Pen Show in Boston charges a fairly small entrance fee ($8-10 per person). You get a small "gift" bottle of special edition Noodler's ink with that, and I think the funds go in part to cover the cost of the rented venue. For instance this show is held in a large conference room at a hotel, which surely costs a fair amount to rent for a day. Some proceeds are probably passed on to the organizing committee. Since it's a larger event than a bunch of visitors from the same local area (some visitors and vendors/artisans come from more distant states) meeting in an informal space, it seems reasonable to have an entrance fee.

 

~ Intensity:

 

Thank you for the follow-up explanation.

I'd never considered the logistics and funding of pen shows.

What you so kindly explained makes very good sense.

I hope that in 2020 you'll be able to attend another pen show, or two.

Tom K.

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Larger Japanese stationery stores were truly incredible in the amount of things to see. It was not uncommon to find inks available for sampling in dedicated stands with pre-filled fountain pens and high quality paper to try them on. My local pen shops do have folders with ink samples on paper, but I find that much less helpful as their paper is not the same as my paper (and generally they seem to use some type of thick art paper which doesn't show any shading nor sheen). This was also true for Japanese stores--most had folders with premade ink swatches, but to me they were of limited utility for that same reason--flat rectangles of uniform color and maybe a couple of words of writing on art paper. Sailor and Pilot have put the most effort into providing ink sampling stations to a lot of stores, so it was sometimes possible to write with all of Pilot Iroshizuku inks as well as all of 100 Sailor Ink Studio inks on the spot. That was incredibly useful and was good advertising for their products. It made me fall in love with the whole of the Iroshizuku line after I was able to actually write with most of the inks.

 

~ Here in the southern Chinese city where I work there is an Eslite Spectrum store.

Based in Taiwan, Eslite Spectrum is a moderately comprehensive purveyor of higher quality stationery.

Their ‘Writers Boutique’ offers a wide choice of inks and fountain pens, primarily from Japan or Germany.

Having such a resource in the community promotes fountain pen, ink, and high quality paper use.

Tom K.

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~ Here in the southern Chinese city where I work there is an Eslite Spectrum store.

Based in Taiwan, Eslite Spectrum is a moderately comprehensive purveyor of higher quality stationery.

Their ‘Writers Boutique’ offers a wide choice of inks and fountain pens, primarily from Japan or Germany.

Having such a resource in the community promotes fountain pen, ink, and high quality paper use.

Tom K.

 

 

Hi Tom -

 

That is wonderful that you have such a store. Where I live, in a very small city (compared to the cities where you live), all we have are very basic office supply stores. These are even closing since so many people buy office supplies on the internet. But, with that said, I do have the privilege of purchasing things on the internet and getting them fairly quickly. I purchased two bottles of Sailor ink from a US website which will be here in today.

 

Even though I would love to savor the experience of a large stationery store which also caters to fountain pen users, I can still savor the experience of perusing many websites and purchasing from them.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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That is wonderful that you have such a store. Where I live, in a very small city (compared to the cities where you live), all we have are very basic office supply stores. These are even closing since so many people buy office supplies on the internet. But, with that said, I do have the privilege of purchasing things on the internet and getting them fairly quickly. I purchased two bottles of Sailor ink from a US website which will be here in today.

 

Even though I would love to savor the experience of a large stationery store which also caters to fountain pen users, I can still savor the experience of perusing many websites and purchasing from them.

 

~ DrDebG:

 

Browsing the ‘Writers Boutique’ at the local Eslite Spectrum one daydreams.

Colors...nib sizes...paper grades...it's all there to see and feel.

My Internet buying has been limited to Fritz Schimpf, which turned out to be a positive experience in all respects.

Tom K.

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~ DrDebG:

 

Browsing the ‘Writers Boutique’ at the local Eslite Spectrum one daydreams.

Colors...nib sizes...paper grades...it's all there to see and feel.

My Internet buying has been limited to Fritz Schimpf, which turned out to be a positive experience in all respects.

Tom K.

 

 

Speaking of inks and ink reviews, I hope to do a "semi-review" of Sailor Manyo HaHa and Sailor Manyo Nekoyonogi. They were the two new inks that arrived the other day. I want them to "age" a bit, then I will do the "inklings".

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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Speaking of inks and ink reviews, I hope to do a "semi-review" of Sailor Manyo HaHa and Sailor Manyo Nekoyonogi. They were the two new inks that arrived the other day. I want them to "age" a bit, then I will do the "inklings".

 

~ 5Cavaliers:

 

Now there's a way to approach ink reviewing — aging the ink before assessment.

I like the concept.

Tom K.

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