Issue#14 How do you swatch your inks?

Ink swatching, Opus 88 Koloro

Issue 14 | 13 August 2023

Hello and welcome to Issue#14.

Today we go into a small exploration of how I swatch my inks, we have FP Doodles from Nandini and a quick account of my Opus 88 Koloro.

This past week, I got a chance to revisit some of my notebooks where I did my version of ink sampling. I have way too much ink for any one person. That’s about par for the course of most fountain pen enthusiasts. Whenever I acquire a new ink, I go on a spree of doing different things with it, which include making it go splat and seeing all the wonderful ways in which it dries and forms patterns. However, once that is over, the ink goes in the ink rack. It only reappears whenever it takes my fancy to ink up a pen. When it is in the pen, all I do is write with it, and occasionally draw patterns or doodles.

I do not make splatters with the ink, I do not put it on a swab and make thick swatches with it, I do not make paintings with it. I just write with it mostly. Whenever I come across a new ink I might want to buy, I look up reviews to see how it looks when written with a fine or medium or broad nib on TR or Rhodia paper. That’s the most important part to me. Though the flashier parts of reviews with the swatches and chromatography and everything else are more entertaining and enthralling, to me what matters is how it looks when used for writing. Because that is the only thing I will do with them, mostly.

Over the years, I realised that whenever I wanted to sample inks to refer to in the future, all I had to do was just write with the ink and maybe doodle with it a bit, and make sure I write down the name of the ink. All the other stuff didn’t really matter to me. And that is how my ink samples came into being. I have two notebooks - one is with Cosmo Air Lite paper, and another with Tomoe River 68 paper, and it is in these notebooks that I make my writing samples. It is a bit of a scrawl, and doesn’t look too aesthetic, but it gives me a good idea of how the ink works for me.

How do you swatch your inks?

FP Doodles

Nandini Ramchandran | Instagram

Style and Shoot

This week’s shot is of the Opus 88 Koloro that’s coming into circulation. This is one of my favourite pens, and the one that made me realize that the nib size I find most comfortable is #5. It’s made of ebonite and acrylic, and is one of the most comfortable pens I have ever used.

A fun fact about this pen is that I bought it from Dr Fountain Pens, who was selling it because he found the nib too small for his liking. It’s the same one that appears in this review video, and it made its way to me soon afterwards!

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That’s all from me this week.

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