Saturday, July 25, 2015

How I Dealt With My Densely Black Ink (Winsor & Newton Calligraphy Ink Matt Black)

Warning: Please be extra careful with mixing inks from different makers as there might be reactions that could damage the nibs or discolor paper. -Thanks to +Michael J. Coffey for the warning!

One of the challenges I face when doing calligraphy in black ink is when it doesn't flow out of the nib. I thought that something must be wrong with my nib, but it was the ink - W&N Matt Black Calligraphy Ink.

I love using this ink because it has a very dense black color to it. Since I used Higgins at the time I got this from the mail, I left the W&N ink for more than a year without using or even move the bottle from where I placed it. 

I opened the bottle a few months ago and used it occasionally on practices. I took a look inside and saw something gathering at the bottom. I realized that a part of the ink sank into the bottom and I needed to shake it first before using, which I did not. I shook the bottle a lot so that it would mix well (I read from one book that I should avoid shaking the bottle too much, but I needed to do it). The ink went to a very sticky consistency, so I had difficulty trying to let it flow out of the nib. The ink can be diluted with water as needed, but I did not like the result. Or I could have added too much water.

Ink was too sticky; uneven distribution of the ink; color was too light

My solution: After a couple of months thinking how I can use W&N matt black again so that it won't go to waste, I thought of mixing it with my fountain pen ink. I really love the result, which was the same dense black I saw when I first used W&N on my broad edge.

Finally! Even distribution of ink :)

I am not sure whether it is okay to mix different inks. I haven't come across any warning from other renowned calligraphers about mixing inks. I did, however, read a lot of product descriptions that suggests mixing inks with other mediums.Read warning above.

Winsor & Newton Calligraphy Ink dries up fast in the nib, but it can be reactivated by dipping it back into the ink since it is non-waterproof. In my case though, I avoid dipping the nib directly into the ink, as it has the tendency to appear 'thick' when I write on paper. What I do is use a cheap paint brush to load the ink into the reservoir (I am using Brause). When the tip of the nib dries up, I use the wet brush to reactivate it. 

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