We got a couple of dip pens for the store – when we find a place in Toronto’s crazy real estate market – so people can come in and just dip in to test out the inks, rather than inking up and having to clean a pen. We’re learning a lot about how to make dip pens work their best with fountain pen inks. Dip pens are perfect for calligraphy inks (like Rohrer & Klingner’s Traditional Ink), india inks, or pigmented inks: inks that don’t belong in your fountain pen, but they can also write well with fountain pen ink.
With a little bit of love and some internet research, we tried a couple of things to prep our dip pens. One was holding the brand new nib under a flame to burn off some of the oil that’s on it to prevent rusting before use. We also tried just rinsing it off with some lukewarm soapy water. Be careful not to touch your nib with your fingertips or skin, as you’ll just be replacing the oil on the nib, which will repel your water-based ink.
We thought we would test out our dip pens with Noodler’s Lexington Gray, as it’s an ink that can shade really well. I really like gray inks as an alternative to your standard black inks for your daily writing, as there’s something a little gentler or unusual about grays – and when you find a good one, they can be just as sharp, with maybe a little more shading. The writing can almost seem like a high-quality pencil, but with a little more depth. It’s also a great ink for work or the office, when those magentas and Rose Rages just won’t do.
As you can see from our writing sample, we got a bit of feathering, even on normally ink-resistant Rhodia paper, but that’s mostly because we haven’t quite got the hang of using a dip pen yet. Some of the letters and curves ending up getting extra blobby and thick, and others were definitely dry. However, for those precious few moments when we were in the sweet spot, the nib wrote beautifully.
With the right pen, you can get beautiful shading! My writing sample with the dip pen was not great, so we thought we’d include one where you can actually get a sense of the shading. This was with a FPR Dilli flex nib.
Comes in a beautiful 90mL glass bottle.
“Bulletproof” ink: more resistant to water, chemicals, etc.
Washes off plastic with tap water.
UV Light Proof (according to the bottle).