I’m sure you’re thinking: “George, really? W.T.F.? Have you lost your mind?”

While I may or may not have lost my mind, this isn’t the indication. “This isn’t the mind lossage you’re looking for.”

No. This is an adventure in chromatography.

Tomorrow (I’m running out of time today, this took the better part of two hours to get this far as is), I’ll go into the hows and whys of this. Today, I’ll show off some pretty pictures!

I have a bunch of inks. A significant subset is in the blue or blueish range. But this isn’t a review of the inks.

The inks in question today are:

  1. Noodler’s Black (a bulletproof ink) – Control #1
  2. Pelikan 4001 Blue
  3. Noodler’s Ottoman Azure
  4. Noodler’s Bad Blue Herron (Bulletproof)
  5. Noodler’s Turquoise
  6. Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher (Bulletproof)
  7. Lamy Blue-Black
  8. Uniball 207 Blue – Control #2
  9. Iroshizuku Asa-Gao
  10. Iroshizuku Kon-Peki
  11. Iroshizuku Tsuyu-Kusa
  12. Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo
  13. Mont Blanc Midnight Blue
  14. Mont Blanc Royal Blue
  15. Mont Blanc Lavender Purple

The process was to mark my chromatography paper (well, I’m low-budget, I used cut up coffee filters), the write the ink name on my key. To save ink and greatly speed things up I used a simple dip pen.

Here’s the before an after of the first set:

And now the second set:

The thing I love is no two of the inks are at all the same!

Now, again, I have to stress that this isn’t an ink review. The dip pen lays down a much thinner and heavier line of ink than a typical fountain pen — the key with the inks listed is not representative of how the inks generally look. They are almost uniformly lighter! Certainly coffee filter paper isn’t anything like writing paper either.

What we’re looking at is some of the components of the ink. This is one way to start to understand the composition of the inks.

Tomorrow I’ll get into some more what you’re looking at. If you have kids at home you can easily and cheaply set up a rig to try some of this out yourself! It’s science… but at the same time it’s almost art… and it’s fun to boot!

BTW: In this case I used water as the solvent. Tomorrow I’ll try a few others as well to see how thing change. At the time of this writing I’ve not done it and I really don’t know how it will react… but that’s the cool thing about science some time! :-P