Ink Review: Faber-Castell Garnet Red

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Graf von Faber-Castell Garnet Red
Pen: Lamy Safari (M)
Paper: Rhodia 80gsm Dotpad
Shading: high
Saturation: low-moderate
Flow: good flow
Dry Time: 15 seconds

Faber-Castell is a company that has been around since 1761, and is one of the oldest manufacturers of writing utensils and supplies in the world.  If you've been around your local hobby store recently, you've probably noticed their name on non-fountain pen tools such as colored pencils, erasers, india inks, etc.  Fountain pens and inks are just a small portion of their business, but if this ink is any indication, they're definitely doing something right.

Faber-Castell Garnet is the second ink in their line that I've used.  So far they've yet to disappoint me.  A nice mid-burgundy color, Garnet is an amazing shading ink.  Even with the folded nib, the ink displays an amazing variation in saturation and color, which really appealed to me.  On typical fountain-pen-friendly papers, it failed to feather or bleedthrough at all, and the dry time was respectable for a medium nib at 15 seconds.

One of the best things about this color, is how unique the shade is.  Though I haven't used a ton of burgundy inks, I really couldn't find anything close to this color.  De Atramentis William Shakespeare and Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses were closest in my collection. 

Chromatography was typical of most pinks & reds, with mostly a magenta color.  There is a yellow spot where the swab started, with a tiny bit of purplish color at the bottom.

Although I don't typically gravitate towards inks of this color, I really enjoyed using this one.  The shading really makes it pop on the page, especially when used with the folded nib.  I really think I'll have to try out some more Faber-Castell inks in the future.  If you're planning on giving them a try, you may want to pick up a sample first, as the bottles sell for $30 for 75mL.  For the size, it's not too bad at all, but it is a big investment and a lot of ink if you decide you aren't a fan of the color.  Let me know in the comments what your favorite Faber-Castell ink is!

Thanks for reading!
- Lori

Ink Review: Noodler's Saguaro Wine

Noodler's Saguaro Wine - June 2015 Ink Drop
Pen: Lamy Al-Star Silvergreen (F)
Paper: Rhodia Dotpad 80gsm
Shading: low to moderate
Saturation: medium
Flow: wet
Dry Time: 17 seconds

The third ink in this month's Goulet Ink Drop is Noodler's Saguaro Wine.  The ink gets its name from a red fruit from the Saguaro - a cactus that grows tall over many years and is native to the western united states.  The fruit is prized by the locals, and is often made into wine - hence 'Saguaro Wine.'

The ink is nicely saturated and wet flowing.  On my Rhodia pad, it behaves quite well with no feathering, bleed or ghosting.  The ink doesn't spread either, which is a plus.  Shading is minimal because of the high saturation, but you can get some.  Noodler's doesn't list the ink as waterproof, but after a decently long soak, a faded pink line still remained on my test.

Chromatography shows a light pink which makes up most of the color, and then bit of magenta.

The closest swab in comparison that I have is Noodler's Socrates - though it differers quite a bit on paper than it does in swab form.

If you're a fan of purply-pinks, then you'll definitely like Saguaro Wine.  If you're interested in a bottle for yourself, you can get 3oz for $12.50.

Thanks for reading!
Lori

Ink Review: Noodler's Socrates

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Noodler's Socrates
Pen: Lamy AL-Star 1.1 stub
Paper: Rhodia Dotpad 80gsm
Shading: none
Saturation: high
Flow: wet
Dry Time: 17 seconds

Noodler's Socrates is part of the UK Series of inks from Nathan Tardif.  It's a dusty, pinkish-purple that claims the bulletproof, eternal, forge-resistant and water-resistant associations from the Noodler's ink property list.

Named assumedly for the ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates didn't speak to me much as far as the color.  It was surprised by how the ink behaved on the paper when writing with it.  It seems to almost instantly seep into the paper and loose almost all of its vibrancy as it dries.  In looking at the ink itself in bottle form you'd think it would be a nice vibrant purple, but that's oddly not the case.  Despite that, it's still a very unique dusty purple.

Socrates behaves quite well on good paper.  It does have quite a bit of spread, which can be bothersome for some - I'm not a big fan of that myself.  It doesn't feather, though, and I didn't notice any bleedthrough or ghosting even with my 1.1 stub.

No ink that I've seen so far compares to the color of Socrates.  In swab form, it looks more vibrant than it does on paper.

I can't say I'd ever buy a full bottle of Socrates, but that doesn't mean it's a bad ink.  If you're interested in one yourself you'll get 3oz for $12.50.

Thanks for reading!
Lori

Ink Review: Platinum Pigmented Rose Red

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Platinum Pigmented Rose Red - May 2015 Ink Drop 
Pen: Pilot Metropolitan M
Paper: Rhodia Dotpad 80gsm
Shading: low to moderate
Saturation: low
Flow: medium
Dry Time: 15 seconds

The next ink in the Goulet Ink Drop this month unfortunately didn't appeal to me much in terms of color.  If you know me personally you know that I'm not a fan of pink, and despite it being called "Rose Red," the ink is definitely pink rather than red.  Platinum's Pigmented series of inks were created to be a fountain-pen friendly ink that is water-resistant.  Vintage pigmented inks were not meant for use in fountain pens as they typically cause clogging.  As I understand it, they contain "particles" which would cause clogging issues in the feed system.  According to their website, Platinum's pigmented inks have "ultra-fine" particles, so that isn't an issue.

Pigmented inks are highly favored by the artist community for ink washing since they are waterproof.  So if you are an artist, you should definitely check out this line.  Platinum markets their pigmented inks as "quick-drying" but I just didn't find that to be the case.  With my medium nib, it took 15 seconds to try, so if you're ink washing that might be a pain for you if you're trying to do things quickly.

Shading was fairly low with my medium nib.  The ink isn't highly saturated from my experience, but it does flow nicely, though not extremely wet.  As I mentioned the dry time is fairly high at 15 seconds, so it may not be well suited to left-handed writers.  I did test the waterproofness and it performed quite well; so if you're looking to do some ink washing, this should do quite nicely for you.

Considering I don't care for pink inks, this one just didn't do it for me - but that doesn't mean it's not for you.  Performance-wise it's a nicely behaved ink, and is as advertised.  If you'd like to pick up a bottle, you can get 60mL for $20 at Goulet or a similar retailer.