Ink Review: Diamine Ancient Copper

Ancient Copper

I’m going through my list of prepared photos alphabetically which means that though there was a decent gap between De Atramentis Ochre Yellow and Diamine Ancient Copper, Ancient Copper is still what comes up next.  It ends up working out well because this is one ink I was definitely happy to play with.

Ancient CopperI received a sample of Diamine Ancient Copper from my partner’s parents this past Christmas.  (There were a ton of other ink samples as well, I’m not likely to get through all of them until this Christmas.)  I wasn’t expecting to like it, but honestly it’s become one of my favourite inks.  Enough that I’m picking up a bottle once it gets closer to autumn.

I rarely find an ink that I can use on a Rhodia pad and a 50 cent composition book with similar results.  Ancient Copper is one of those inks.  It has some minor feathering once you get into super cheap paper, but that’s to be expected.  It still behaves well enough that I wouldn’t worry about jotting down a note on a scrap of whatever paper a friend hands me.  Newspaper might be a problem.  I’ll have to try next time I have a bit laying around.

The only down side to this ink is that I like to use colours seasonally and it’s very much an autumn colour.  The burnt red tone is perfect to use when the leaves are turning, but for me feels a little out of place in bright summer sun.  So while I do love it, it’s been put away until closer to late August.

Ink Review: De Atramentis Ochre Yellow

Ochre Yellow

This is the last of the De Atramentis reviews for a while.  I’ve gone through all the De Atramentis review pictures I have ready to post, finally.  After this we move on to Diamine and don’t come back to De Atramentis until I’ve put up Sheaffer Turquoise (at the earliest, I’m not sure what’s next on my SD card).

Ochre YellowIn any event, De Atramentis Ochre Yellow seems to be a fiddly colour to photograph.  In sunlight it resembles Noodler’s Apache Sunset, but I couldn’t get that to show true on the screen.  What’s interesting is that everyone else seems to consider it more of a dusky orange.  I don’t know if I ended up with a diluted sample by mistake, but I’ll be ordering another to double check.

As I’ve come to expect from De Atramentis inks, Ochre Yellow feathers some on low to mid quality papers.  In this case it may be an issue of the sample, but I doubt it.  I’ve simply not had much luck with De Atramentis inks.

That said, it is lovely to write with.  The shading is wonderful, it glides nicely, and there isn’t a horrible dry time even on coated papers.  I like it enough that I’m not even bothered by having to pick up a second sample to double check the colour.

Ink Review: De Atramentis Mint Turquoise

Mint Turquoise

Mint Turquoise is the second to last of the De Atramentis inks that I have edited and ready to post.  It’s also the one I’ve most changed my opinion about since first writing up the notebook entry.  I don’t have another sample though so I don’t know how much that’s to do with time softening my initial impression.  I’ll probably be ordering a second sample when I get this year’s Lamy Al-Star because they look like they’d go well together so I’ll post an update to this then.

Mint Turquoise02(That top writing sample was in a Lamy 1.5 nib, I just wrote it down wrong.)

Like all of the De Atramentis inks I’ve used, Mint Turquoise is a bit questionable on non-coated papers.  However, the colour has grown on me enough since cataloguing it that I’m willing to give it a second go.

Mint Turquoise is not a remotely water resistant ink, as can be seen above.  The dry time is quick enough on non-coated papers, a touch long on coated papers if you’re looking for something to use with a pocket notebook.  There was feathering on most copy papers and recycled papers, but it was still usable in my Ecosystem.  Not ideal, but enough that I don’t completely hate it.

Now that I’m using Leuchtturm and Apica notebooks more than Ecosystem and Moleskine I’m hoping that I’ll be able to put up with the fussiness of De Atramentis inks at least enough that I can pick up a bottle of Mint Turquoise.  There are a few similar colours (Diamine Soft Mint comes to mind), but it’d be nice to go from having issues with an ink to enjoying it.

Ink Review: De Atramentis Green Apple

Green Apple

De Atramentis Green Apple is another I picked up from Goulet Pens back last year sometime when they were have a sale.  There are several others from that shipment that I haven’t done yet, plus a few from Ink Drop.  Other than that I no longer buy De Atramentis inks.  They’ve simply been too fussy for my use.

Green AppleGreen Apple is the same in this regard.  As of the time of writing the entry I still hadn’t been able to figure out what it was that was turning me off the ink.  By the end of the sample it had become fairly obvious though: it just doesn’t work on a wide enough variety of papers.

In a fine nib Green Apple is passable on most papers.  It still has a touch of feathering on the majority of recycled or standard copy papers, but not so much that it’s unusable.  With that colour though I’m more inclined to use it as a “fun” ink which means predominantly using a stub/italic or bold nib.  That’s where it all falls apart.  De Atramentis inks in my experience aren’t designed for non-coated papers.  They bleed, they feather, they generally get all over the place.

I’ve come to expect a certain amount of this in fountain pen inks in general, but De Atramentis seems to be worse than usual.  It’s unfortunate because I find their inks to be fun and I can’t help but love anything that includes a line of thinly veiled Harry Potter colours.  I have no use for inks that have to be used on specific types of paper though.  To me pens and inks are tools, they should be as accessible and low maintenance as possible.  Green Apple (and De Atramentis in general) doesn’t make the cut.

Ink Review: De Atramentis Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom

I need to remember to queue up a bunch of these the next time I’m bored.  Otherwise I forget to post at all.  In any event, the next ink up is De Atramentis Cherry Blossom, which I originally bought because the sample was on sale at Goulet Pens.  This was back near last year’s Cherry Blossom Festival, so that tells you how long it takes me to test an ink, photograph it, then remember to post it.

Cherry BlossomI couldn’t seem to get a good shot of the pink-ness of this particular colour. Even with tweaking most of the pictures come out a little more purple than the ink actually is, at least on my screen.  To give a bit of perspective, it is a very good match for the pink Lamy Safari that was re-released last summer.

This is a scented ink, though the scent disappears upon drying so it’s more for the writer than the reader.  In this case that’s probably a good thing as I found the odour to be somewhat unpleasant.  It certainly doesn’t smell like cherry blossoms.  Having lived in DC for several years now, I’d say it smells more like the cherry blossom tourists than the blossoms themselves.  That said, it’s light enough that you don’t really notice unless you’re sniffing the ink bottle/vial.  Occasionally while writing outdoors a breeze may carry a bit toward your nose, but for most purposes it’s not a problem.

I did find it to be a somewhat “high maintenance” ink.  That is, it doesn’t perform well on lower quality papers.  I’ve found that while Moleskine does have its problems, most inks are fairly acceptable in an extra-fine nib.  This is not one of them.  Even in the EF there were problems with feathering on anything lower quality than Leuchtturm.  As I prefer my inks to work on as wide a variety of papers as possible, this was unacceptable for me.

It does show some water resistance, at least in this test.  I’ll likely do another and update as this was when I was still deciding how I was going to do my water tests.  I wouldn’t worry about accidentally splashing a bit of tea on it though.