The Wet Pen Inks!

About a year and a half ago, I started experimenting with making my own inks. I started looking at books and journal articles, and I contacted other small ink makers around the country to pick up any tips and tricks that they were willing to offer, and I made some good progress.

At the same time, my YouTube channel has been growing and I’ve been enjoying spending more and more time on it, coming up with grandiose plans for more elaborate and more beautiful videos. To meet the needs of my vision for the channel (and also simply the amount of time that I spend on it) I started thinking about ways to raise some funds for it. Patreon was the obvious place to start, but to me, the frequent requests for support on Patreon always remind me of the telethon fund-raising drives that I saw on public TV when I was a kid… I know how important they are… and I loved “Mystery” and lots of public TV offerings… but they’re still not much fun to watch, so I wanted to avoid them if possible1Many people today watch more YouTube than actual TV, but to expect people to individually support every content creator out there doesn’t seem practical; at best, we can choose our favorite dozen or so, and I’m subscribed to hundreds of channels., and I also prefer not to lock any of my content behind a paywall.

So, I decided to combine my interest in ink-making with the idea of raising funds for the channel, and this is the result: my first three inks!

Anyone who follows my YouTube channel will already be aware of my fondness for blue inks, so of course, the first ink that I developed is a medium, vibrant blue that I’m calling Rainier Blue. It’s a simple, smooth-writing, reliable blue ink that produces just a touch of magenta sheen on some papers.

The second ink that I came up with is called Elliott Bay, named after the body of water on which Seattle is situated. This one is an unusual, chroma-shading ink that starts out as a medium-dark blue when wet, but dries with splashes of bright green on some papers.

And finally, Deception Pass is a sister ink to Elliott Bay, named after the State Park and the rocky strait that separates the northern end of Whidbey Island with Fidalgo Island and the mainland. Deception Pass goes down on paper as a greenish blue-grey, but dries as a green with blue shading. I find that Midori Paper gives me the best shading with Elliott Bay and Deception pass.

About the Inks

As I’m still a novice ink-maker, these inks are fairly standard in composition. They’re not iron-gall inks or waterproof, and there are no pigments; these are simple, dye-based inks. I’ve chosen dyes that work well at a neutral pH, and these inks are very close to neutral. Like virtually all dye-based inks, they will fade with prolonged exposure to sunlight, and they can be removed from paper with bleach, so use them accordingly.

The dyes in these inks are not food-coloring, but they are also not classified as “hazardous”. For all of the non-dye components, I’ve chosen to use non-hazardous materials as well. They are all either food-grade (in the case of the humectants and surfactants) or in the case of the biocides, food-grade and cosmetics-grade. They are safe to handle and safe for your pens, but they should not be eaten or otherwise consumed.

Thank You for Supporting my Channel!

Thank you for your support of my videos and website! I suspect that sometime in the next few months, I’ll be announcing a couple more colors. I’m always interested to hear what colors you’d like to see come up next.

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