Uh-boy. I’m not going to be anything but honest in these ink assessments. Brace yourself.
I’m continuing my pursuit of an antiquey-, oldey-feeling fountain pen ink, which started here, working my way through an order of the Browns, Chocolate ink sample package from Goulet Pens. This time around I’m reviewing the awkwardly named De Atramentis Black Edition Black-Brown.
This ink is a dark, purplish brown. Or a dark, brownish purple. That’s exactly the problem. This ink can’t decide whether it is purple or brown. The result is a lifeless mud. It is precisely the color I remember getting when mixing too many watercolor pigments together as a kid. Once you got to that brownish purple, you gave up. It’s a useless color, being no color at all, stuck in a dichotomy. It’s the same with this ink.
The 2016 Baltimore-Washington International Pen Show was held from March 4 to 6 at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Linthicum, Maryland. This was the first pen show I’ve attended. I haven’t been tempted before into desiring anything much beyond a Lamy AL-Star; I didn’t really see the point. The effect of the show is that this has now changed.
My wallet remained closed, but my head has been turned. Photos on the internet don’t convey how beautiful these pens are. Nice pens need to be seen in person. That’s when the craving starts.
My first stop was the table for Ryan Krusac Studios. These handmade pens were incredible. The ones above in particular caught my eye, a limited-edition series called Dangers of the Deep, with scrimshaw work on naturally shed moose antler. Blackbeard, krakens, ships at sea, and mermaids are all here. The metal has an old-world patina with spots of verdigris. I don’t know if it’s on purpose, but the pens are subtly shaped like spyglasses. The whole aesthetic and coloration is perfect. I still can’t get over these. If I ever decide to treat myself, I’m going back to these pens.