It’s been a while since I’ve talked about a new ink on the blog!
It’s not for lack of trying new inks, I think I’ve just been a bit distracted by all the other things going on in the shop. We’re trying to keep on a bit more of an organized schedule for the blog, but since it’s mostly my responsibility, the blogging gets a bit haphazard every now and then.
Here’s the latest ink that’s been in my trusty Parker Sonnet: Noodler’s Black Swan in English Roses. It’s right up my alley in the warm and brownish red family.
Black Swan in English Roses is less well known than Black Swan in Australian Roses, but I think I prefer the English. Australian Roses has a bit more of a reddish-purple-burgundy colour to it, whereas English roses is a bit more reddish-brown-burgundy.
It’s a gorgeous, warm, deep, rich, fall kind of ink. It’s a good ink for notes or editing on the side without being too glaring or aggressive, but it’s also dark and rich enough to write a thank you note or a letter.
It writes well, and it’s smooth and wet, especially in my Sonnet which is on the wet side to begin with. But, like with most inks that I love, it’s the shading that really gets me.
The ‘Black Swan’ part of the name comes from the idea that the ink should have a black or darker outline, especially when using it with very wet or broad or flex or dip pens. In my writing samples, I have it in my Parker Sonnet with a fine nib. The shading is super with just my fine nib, so I can only imagine how it would do with a flex nib.
When it’s wet enough, you can see a hint of green gold sheen, which surprised me! You can just barely see it above, in the middle, where the ink has pooled the heaviest. It’s not something I would necessarily count on seeing in regular writing, like with Sailor inks but it’s a nice little surprise if you’re using a very broad and wet nib.
The only caveat I would have to say about this ink is that it takes a long time to dry. On coated papers or if you have a really wet pen, it can take a minute or longer for the wettest parts to not smear when touched. I think it’s the nature of more saturated inks. The ink itself is a wet ink, which is great for writing, but sometimes not so great for dry time.
On another note, the paper I’m using is my Leuchtturm1917 Pocket notebook, which I use as my everyday to-do lists, random thoughts, phone messages, things to write about later, shopping lists and doodling notebook. I know the Leuchtturm hardcovers in the A5 size are very popular, especially the dot ruling, but I love the softcover as my pocket notebook because I can slide it into the pocket of my coat or apron, and it bends completely open.
I use everything in it, fountain pens, gel pens, pencils, markers, and the paper is top-notch. You wouldn’t be able to put a flex nib with a super wet ink on here without some bleeding or feathering, but here’s a picture of the back of the page of the writing sample.
I had been meaning to write this post for some time, mainly because Australian Roses is so popular that English Roses sometimes gets overlooked, which is a shame for such a beautiful ink. Someone from our monthly Letter Writing Club happened to mention that she also favours English Roses over the Australian, and I felt like I had met a kindred spirit in the wild, although that may also have to do with just being kindred spirits in general. The few but mighty.
Interesting things going on behind the scenes here:
Pretty sure the furnaces are broken again, just in time for our winter storm, so we set up some heat fans. However, our lights just went out in the apartment, possibly related to the heat fans being plugged in, so I’m writing this in the dark and by the light of my screen, while my manly-man Jon tries to turn the lights back on.
I would suggest it could be more romantic to break out some candles, but it might induce a crisis of confidence in the efficacy of the manliness. I just overheard the words “this is a disaster,” though, so I’m not sure if the crisis has already taken place.
The lights in the packing area are still on, so I guess it’s currently a choice between going into the frigid packing area with no heat, or staying in the dark apartment, with the dark dog who’s sniffing food like a thief in the night. At the very least, the dark thief has an abundance of fur and radiates warmth.