Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Inka Dinka Doo. I Like Ink. Do You?

Has anyone ever been unhappy shopping for art supplies?  I went to an art supply store the other day.  It's in an old enough building, the floors creak while you walk the aisles.  My goal was to find a new color of ink to use with a fountain pen that hadn't been active in a while.  So many art supplies shops that were present in my youth up until now are gone.  I truly mourn the loss of Pearl Art (still in New York) that we had for a while.  I could spend hours in there looking at paint and colored pencils and all of the beautiful handmade papers.
I studied the inks and decided I wanted to focus on the line made by Winsor & Newton, a company based in London, England, but the ink is made in France.  I also like using Pelikan ink which is made in Germany.  I've never settled on just one color of ink when I'm using a fountain pen.  My mother always used a navy that was then universally called "blue-black."   Even though I was writing thank you notes and letters as soon as I could write, I didn't begin with a fountain pen until I was about 11, and my first color choice was a turquoise then called "Peacock Blue."  I probably remained loyal to that color for two years, then played around a bit more, even using ink colors seasonally (red for Christmas, etc.) which I still do.

Sometime in my early 20's it was all about a mahogany brown that I used with a cream stationery, the envelopes lined with a reproduction of an antique browned map of the world.  My first time in London I went to Smythson's and fell in love with color bordered papers (they even made mourning paper--something I had first read about in "Brideshead Revisited," by Evelyn Waugh.  Sebastian Flyte writes to his friend Charles on his parent's Victorian mourning paper, because he's bored and wants company after breaking his foot in an alcohol fueled fall--and I've always been loyal to Crane paper, started by Stephen Crane in Boston in 1770.
I chose a sanguine red, called "Deep Red" that looks rather like dried blood, and I'm using it for my Moore fountain pen, Moore being a defunct pen company out of Boston.  I bought the pen several years ago from a fountain pen specialist in Somerville, just a short distance from Harvard.  It's nothing fancy, a real workhorse of a pen and it has sentimental value.  I tend to use one color of ink with each pen so that hues don't muddied and not reflect their true shade.  I photographed a recent pen I bought that has a silver and checkerboard effect that I use for emerald ink, and probably for the longest period of my fountain pen existence, I've been writing with green inks. 
You have to slow down and think when writing with ink.

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