Thursday, June 30, 2011

Noodler's Apache Sunset

Ooh, color swatches!

Ink Samples!

Ink is expensive. You would think it would be cheap because, for all intents and purposes, it's colored water. But I digress.

There's a lot of ink in the world. From the refreshingly cheap Noodler's to the jaw-dropping Iroshizuku, you probably won't run out of ink choices - unless you're looking for some sort of vomit-inducing sparklemess of pain and destruction. In that case, I wish you the best of luck.

Luckily, we have a magical creature known only as Brian Goulet of the Goulet Pen Company. We have a unicorn on our hands, folks.

I'll stop lavishing praise on him. It'll all be for the better, I think. We'll turn to the real star of this post (sorry, Brian).

Ink samples. They are the best thing since sliced bread. And no, I'm not just saying this because it's three in the morning. Ink samples will save your life - metaphorically. I'm not saying they'll jump up and become your Life Alert. I'm saying they're like little 2 ml. vials of water when you're in the desert.

We accept you, one of us.

Brian packaged the ink bottles like he expected them to be flung from the orbit of Jupiter. They came in these little sandwich baggies with bubble wrap, plus this big ol' honking FRAGILE, HANDLE WITH CARE stickers. This could not have been delivered better if they had been brought down from the heavens by angels.

The sample bottles have conic bottoms, which sounds silly at first until you pull out a fountain pen and stare at it. Triangular nib plus conic bottom equals every last drop of ink is sucked into your pen like it's a greedy monster. And when you get 2 ml. to work with, that's a good thing.

So what did I get? Hold onto your eye sockets, my friends, this is a big one.

Diamine Indigo, Marine, Sherwood Green; Noodler's Air Corp Blue-Black, Apache Sunset, Kung Te-Cheng, Purple Wampum, Squeteague; Private Reserve Avacado (I shudder every time I need to type it like this), Black Cherry, Ebony Blue; and Sailor Jentle Grenade.

It was a very exciting experience, let me tell you that.

I currently have Ebony Blue in my Haolilai 850, and Apache Sunset in my Baoer 100. They've been excellent so far. I can't stop doodling.

But this brings me to my doodle...

It's a big issue.

(Sorry about the subpar photography. It's very late. And because it's late, there's no sun. Also, my desk is not a very good lightbox. This will be fixed soon... with an actual lightbox.)

On the Pen Triangle

The problem with liking stationery is that a lot of things can hit you while you're still reeling.

See, most enthusiasts know that fountain pen usage is kind of like the fire triangle. You need three things that coexist perfectly before a flame can start. For us, though, what we do not need are equal amounts of oxygen, fuel, and heat (I mean, generally).

We like our fire triangle to consist of a lot less fire and a lot more pen, paper, and ink.

Which brings me back to my first point.

When you start falling into the addiction of pens, you're gazing so intently on them that you don't see Ink coming at you with a baseball bat named Love Me, Please. And before you know it you're looking at pens and ink. Don't get me started on paper. Paper is a damsel in distress that waves at you from her high tower while you grit your teeth.

What I'm trying to say is, one minute you're looking at pens, the next you're looking at ink, and before long you're sobbing into your keyboard while you put one more notebook into your shopping cart.

It's disconcerting. It's terrible. And I am okay with that.

(I don't do the sobbing part. Usually.)

But there we go. This is the conundrum that plagues us enthusiasts.

Funnily enough, we've all pretty much accepted it.