Ink Review: Noodler’s Suffragist Carmine

Hello again!

Happy weekend, even for those of you, like me, who work tirelessly all weekend.
Hopefully, this review of a whimsical, happy pink ink will make your day just a little better.

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So, as the title suggests, this one’s about a specific ink which seems to have been a limited edition. It also happens to be my perfect plain pink ink — at least for now. I purchased it at Goulet Pens, who happens to have an awesome selection of Noodler’s inks. This one was an exclusive, apparently. But reading different sources and blog posts also said that Nathan Tardiff had crafted this ink for the Commonwealth Pen show. So, whatever the case, maybe it’s a little bit of yesterday’s news, but I love it anyway. And without further ado, here’s a few reasons why:

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Plain, unedited scan on Tomoe River Paper.

I picked up this ink before Goulet Pens could even post it on instagram — that was around mid-October last year, and I didn’t even know it was limited edition when I purchased it on a whim. I just knew I had to have the ink. I don’t really know what’s up with pink ink for me — my favorite color is teal anyway — but this one really stuck with me instantaneously. It’s still one of my favorites, and — if I do say so myself — it looks pretty darn classy in that TWSBI Eco of mine.

People who know me from Instagram know I am rather ink obsessed. Needlessly to say, I had acquired and used pink inks prior to this, like Pilot Iroshizuku Tsutsuji and J. Herbin Rouge Opera. Both of those are favorites, but they are different both and tone and behavior. This one is a warm pink, very saturated and doesn’t really have that shade or sheen in a fine nibbed pen. Now, if you have seen even a row in my instagram, I search for the sheeniest of the sheeny inks. But hey. Maybe you weren’t aware that I write my novel by hand (in many a color with many a pen in a Clairfontaine clothbound notebook) and an ink that is saturated and somewhat flat has better readback than some others. Sure it’s a bright pink, but because the color is so saturated, it’s pleasant for me to write whole pages with, and in fact I have. I’d post pictures of my precious draft but then I’d have to cut that segment or have you all spoiled for when the best seller hits bookstore shelves somewhere in the extremely and totally probable foreseeable future. (:

Anyway.

I’ve never had a poor experience with how a Noodler’s ink performs. I find them to be mostly very saturated and well behaved in most pens. I don’t use a ton of permanent inks, but of the ones I have used, Noodler’s inks are the best and easiest to clean out of pens. So even though Suffragist Carmine isn’t a permanent ink (like, at all, as you can see above) it still is excellent and dependable in all the ways this brand of ink is known to be.

I think it compares most to Sailor Storia Dancer Pink, but the benefit lies in this one not being a pigmented ink. I keep my TWSBI eco filled with this one and it hasn’t stained the cap or body, and cleans really easily…that’s just not the case with any pigmented inks if you leave them too long — take my word for it.

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I came from a world of pointed pen calligraphy and watercolor artwork, so when an ink paints as well as this one does, that’s a real treat, too. The color on Maruman Mnemosyne paper does feather a little and there is a bit of show through, but it layers well and writes smoothly. Tomoe River, of course, handles it like it’s no big deal, even with the the amount used with my watercolor brushes. It’s a fun shade for me to work with, especially in these kinda eh, kinda gray rainy April days. It brightens up my work notes, dries in an alright time while I’m working on a tech support call, and flows really well from any pen I’ve used it in so far. My handwriting, as you can see, is big and loopy and a little lopsided, but the ink keeps up with me and looking at it…at least from my perspective…hides a few imperfections just because the ink is such a happy shade. Who cares if I’m not writing in perfect Spencerian? Check out how perfect that pink shade is! Heh.

In the TWSBI, the ink is really wet, making the fine nib put down ink as easily as a broad nib would. I almost always write with a fine nib, and inks that feel dry tend to be pushed to the back of the ink shelf — Suffragist Carmine has the honored place of first on the left of the top of my shelf, right in the easiest to see place. It’s got a permanent place in my rotation. While it may not be completely business appropriate, I use it in my notes at work because most of my notes and tasks are for personal use. I do upgrade to a black pen and a blue-black ink for meetings with managers…don’t worry, my job isn’t that whimsical…(:

I think if you’re looking for a happy shade of pink that’s saturated, is no fuss and no bells and whistles, cleans out well and is bright without being obnoxious, this one’s a winner. I know it’s not widely available these days, but hey. Maybe you can find some on the FPN or, if you do ink swaps with some other pen friends like I do, maybe you can get a sample somehow. I might be inclined to send a sample or two to a pen friend, who knows?

Either way, I hope you enjoyed the review, and that the pictures and colors helped bring a little light to your Sunday morning routine!

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Literary Inks // Vol 1: Gandalf

Hello again!

This is exciting — a brand new blog series to try out. I was planning something that would require a little digging in to other communities in order to tie things back to our world. In browsing some art, I found I couldn’t stop looking up fan art for some of my favorite stories, and thus this series was born.

Literary Inks is going to be my reasoning behind a book character and a fountain pen matchup — probably an ink matchup too, if I’m feeling extra creative or find something perfect. I may not have these pens in real life, and so I’ll be looking for creative photographs of said pens. Please feel free to use my contact form on the “Contact” page to submit any ideas!

That said, this week’s character spotlight is held by the great Gandalf the Grey from many of Tolkien’s books about Middle Earth.

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Credit: [x]

Gandalf the Grey is obviously the wizard of the group if we are talking about The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. He’s part of the Maiar in the Silmarillion, and was a student of Vala Nienna. (Oh gosh, please just look it up or I might go on for ages!) Anyway, he spent a lot of time with someone who was essentially the goddess of grief and sorrow — but courage too. This guy traveled around Middle Earth for ages beyond comprehension. Even though he did hang around Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Eagles an awful lot, and tended to be shown walking more often than not, he did some incredible things.

My favorite of which was that he fought the Balrog…which was, essentially, a firey demon, and came out alright on the other side of it.

So I picked the Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age with an extra fine nib as the pen dear Gandalf would use, were fountain pens a thing in Middle Earth.

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Credit to Anderson Pens! [x]

Grail pen though it might be for me, Gandalf would have one because it has that old world charm to it. It’s made of gold and volcano which might signify to himself that he defeated said balrog fire beastie. (…sorry, channeled Jack Sparrow there for a second.) I could see him carrying a fauxdori that was made out of unassuming but beautiful, high quality leather — like maybe one ShopJot would make — filled with tons of notes in several languages about magic and the world…ya know, same sort of stuff you and I would write about.

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Credit: [x]

The book would be tied with a fabric ribbon made by elf tailors that keeps it from getting lost. He wouldn’t always have time for sheening inks to dry, so I think he’d keep a bottle of Diamine Silver Fox or Rohrer & Kligner Alt-Bordeaux wrapped up and tucked away. Or since he was such a practical wizard, I’d say he might have even invested in a Traveling Ink Well if such things had existed in his time.

Maybe his notebook would hold a few sketches. Maybe future Middle Earth anthropologists would find the journal and he would walk out of nowhere and snatch it right on back, stating something akin to not angering wizards. Maybe he would share his notes, or write secretly how rude the modern world had become and how awful all these machines were. (Wait, that might sound like Gandalf becomes Tolkien at the end…)

Either way, each time he picked up the Visconti Homo Sapiens, he’d think back to a more nostalgic time, ya know, at the top of the snowiest mountain what with all the fire vanquished from Moria. So so much better a memory than anything modern, eh?

So what do you think? Good match, or flight of fancy? (Probably both.) What would your match for Gandalf be?

Write me your suggestions in the comments below!

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