Welcome to my celebration of snail mail! This letter-writing blog features photos and thoughts on letters and postcards written and received, favorite stationery, fountain pens, mail art -- all the accoutrements of the old-fashioned letter in your mailbox. So read about letters for a bit, contact me with questions or comments (and/or follow me on Twitter), and then GO WRITE A LETTER!
"Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company." -Lord Byron
Here we have a very unscientific comparison of 5 fountain pen inks by Diamine: Majestic Purple, Imperial Purple, Delamere Green, Marine, and Steel Blue. They are done with toothpicks in the ink, except that the bottom example of Steel Blue also has a writing sample with the ink in a pen.
These samples are in my Clairefontaine ink journal, and they were taken with no flash in natural sunlight. I turned the journal three different directions on the table, so you'll see a slightly different angle for the lighting. Some people don't care, but I do - I like to see the subtleties, especially when I'm trying to make judgments on a computer screen.
Diamine is an English maker of fine fountain pen inks, and I recently purchased a whole passel of smaller 30ml bottles directly from them. Shipping from the UK wasn't all that bad, all things considered, and I like trying out the colors in the smaller bottles. I knew that I'd be getting some similar colors, and I am pretty fascinated by the results of how similar Imperial and Majestic Purple are, as well as Steel Blue and Marine.
The Delamere Green is sort of the odd duck - it's not similar to any inks on the page, but it is a gorgeous dark green with a deep hint of blue.
Warning: I'm about to get geeky about ink, so if you're a general letter-writer reader, you might not dig into this next bit. (Maybe I've lost you already.)
I am really in love with Diamine inks these days. The color variety is beautiful, the saturation is excellent, the shading is almost always pronounced and fabulous, and the behavior is near-perfect: good flow and VERY fast dry time. I've bemoaned the fact before that I am right-handed, but I write like a lefty: I'm an "overwriter" which means that I curl my hand around, and my hand sits on top of the lines I've written above. For a slow-drying ink, this means almost certain smudging unless I place a very careful blotter on top of the paper. With Diamine inks, this is almost never necessary.
In a separate post I will show off Diamine Violet, which I only got as a sample - that is the one bottle I am certain I will buy in a larger size. As for the purples, I have a slight preference for Imperial because it is more blue, and Majestic is more on the pink/magenta end.
I shall almost certainly acquire a larger bottle of Delamere Green.
Marine or Steel Blue? They are just too similar to buy both, but I'm undecided. They behave differently in pens, of course, and I'm just going to have to try them both out in different pens. So far I tend to lean towards Marine, because Steel Blue is so similar to another color I love: Private Reserve Blue Suede.