Ever since I was in third grade, the standard color I used for homework and whatnots was always blue. I never quite understood why the blue was so gray, so I subconsciously built this barrier for blue. Once my mom purchased a different shade of blue by accident, that was when my eyes opened. Wow, blue can be attractive. I asked my mom what was the name of the color, she shrugged because she just paid for it without knowing. From that point, I was on a secret quest of searching for the perfect blue.
This quest did not start to take place until last year (talk about being a procrastinator!), when I began to look for places to purchase fountain pen ink. One reason for my hiatus is that fountain pen ink, whether bottled or in cartridge, are hard to find in American stationary stores (if you count Staples as one). It does not help when I am heavy handed when it comes to writing, so ink cartridges usually do not last me long at all. Thanks to the Internet, I finally located some online retailers who provided fantastic selections (almost too many!) of fountain pen ink. At first, I was amazed by J.Herbin’s ink because of its rich history. Though J. Herbin’s Bleu Mysotis has a good flow, the color is a bit too gray for my ideal blue. I also sampled Pelikan Edelstein in Sapphire, the color is brighter than Bleu Mysotis in comparison and has a purple undertone, but the saturation is a bit on the watery side. At first I thought I should probably settle on Edelstein. The ink bottle itself is exquisite, so is the price.
While meandering on one of retailers’ websites, I came across an American fountain pen ink manufacturer called Noodler. While follow up on this brand, I came across this saturated, brilliant blue with a prominent purple undertone called Baystate Blue. The color is dark but vibrant. When the ink is dry, I can see a faint sheen on surface. What is mesmerizing about this ink is that it is formulated after colonial ink but without the acidity, so the ink does not fade with time. One downside of this ink is that it is finicky in the respect of paper. It does not have much problem with Clairfontaine or Rhodia, but when it comes to regular paper it is almost like playing Russian roulette. It will take some paper but not the other. So far, I have not figured out a pattern, so I usually go strait to Rhodia when I am using this ink
Overall, I like this ink. It might not be the easiest ink I have used, but for the color and the quality, it is worth the trouble. When I first started using the ink, I did not do too much research on it, so I walked around with blue finger tips for several days. Because of the anti-fading property, ink blotch will stay on quite some time as well. Now refill time is almost like a lab day, that I wear an apron while filling the converter.
So yes, I have found my blue. Now where is the dusky purple?