Sailor Souboku is the newest carbon ink from Sailor – joining Kiwa-Guro (one of our most popular permanent blacks) and Sei-Boku (a blue black). Kiwa-Guro and Sei-Boku are extremely water resistant, and two of the most popular Sailor inks in the shop. Souboku comes in the new 50mL square bottles, not in the squat, round bottles that Sailor normally uses.
I’m not naturally a black ink person (I figure if I’m going to use fountain pens, I might as well choose something I really like), although there are a few blacks out there that work really well in a few of my pens, so it’s not completely unusual for me to have a black inked up. Sei Boku, though, has long been a favourite, for its permanence, but especially for its shading – it was one of my first permanent inks, and I remember a period of time where it was my go-to permanent ink.
Souboku is meant to be a true blue black, as compared with Sei Boku which has a hint of teal in there. Typically I like my blue blacks truly blue black, or maybe blue black grey, so this has quite possibly replaced Sei Boku in my rotation.
Sei Boku below.
The shading is beautiful, of course, and I love the blue black with tones of grey and slate blue and all that character. As with (most? all?) Sailor inks, this is great in the pen: nice and wet but not too crazy, little to no feathering on reasonable paper, great flow out of the pen. My current bottle is almost a quarter empty, which is pretty substantial for me – although this is mostly to do with the move and only having a few bottles out.
Carbon inks derive their darkness and blackness/colour from micro pigments rather than dyes, which makes them permanent, but which also makes them slightly more finicky in pens. In our shop we’re sometimes asked how long we can leave a pigmented or carbon or even permanent ink in a pen for, and it’s tough to give a number. If you back me up against a wall, I might say anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month or two, depending on your pen and use. The more you use your pens, the less you need to worry about them – a good rule of them for any fountain pen use.
You know your pens best, so if you’ve got a pen with a cap that doesn’t seal as well and you aren’t using that pen too often, you may want to choose a more forgiving ink. If you’ve got a Japanese extra-fine nib where you notice even any minor impediment to flow very quickly, you may consider giving a good flush between fills, but if you’re going through the ink and it’s flowing through your nib regularly, you may not need to be as vigilant about thorough cleans between fills. If you’ve let the ink dry up in a pen, and it’s been months and months, a good clean, fill it up with water and let it sit overnight, and clean it again, or try a drop of dish soap with water or pen flush to flush it out.
That being said, these truly are inks that are meant to be used in fountain pens, so if you’re putting it in a pen, write with it, and use some common sense. If it helps, I’ve inked this up in Pelikans, Sailors and Safaris, along with Kiwa-Guro and Sei-Boku, and have never had a problem – and I’m not someone who is particularly fastidious about pen hygiene.
True to form, we’ve had these inks for a while now, and I’m glad to finally be sharing them. On the plus side, while we were in between and moving and shuffling around, this was one of the few ink bottles I had out, so I filled up several pens with it over the course of the summer.
These pictures were taken towards the end of the summer, when I apparently had time to get organized enough to take photos for blog posts, as evidenced by cherries and bright light, as compared to the rainy weather we’ve been having recently. Looking at the photos now, summer seems a long time ago – back when we left the house in shorts and t-shirts, on our way to a park splash pad or to pick up an iced coffee.
It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada, and this year, we’ve had a lot to be thankful for. Two healthy babies, two shops, a team of people who carry all that we cannot, customers who send us funny messages on Instagram and don’t mind when I take a while to get back to them because Instagram is sort of a crazy place. It’s sort of the lull between the beginning of fall and back to school chaos, and the real lead up to the holidays.
In Toronto, the last little while has been chilly, rainy, windy, and grey, on and off. Maybe it’s the weather, but I feel a bit like a squirrel – both frenetically trying to bury nuts for the long winter ahead, and also slightly unhinged. Scriptus! Holiday ordering! Winter clothes for the babies! Hallowe’en costumes! The dog’s voluminous ear wax!
It seems early for fall to already be over, but in the last warm stretch, I bribed Caleb outside for one final outdoor haircut. Caleb (surprisingly? unsurprisingly?) is always extremely reluctant to get his hair cut, and – this, I think he learned from his father, whose hair I also cut – constantly cowers and shrieks, before contact is even made: aghh! you’re hurting me! my hair! Having literally never cut anyone, I’m trying not to take it personally.*
So winter is coming, and who knows if we’re prepared. We got this box of mini doughnuts for a journaling workshop last week, and the leftovers have been sitting here on my desk. I’ve accused Jon of putting them there, and he’s accused me of putting them there, and thus neither of us have moved it and I have been forced to demonstrate how aggrieved I am by slowly consuming them one at time. As the weather already wends its way into uncomfortable chill, I’m looking forward to all my favourite indoor activities (letter writing, reading, hot tea, hot chocolate), while building up the mental fortitude for the busyness of the rush ahead.
Currently reading: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Currently drinking: bubble tea
Current analogue project: thinking about what notebooks I’m going to use in 2019
Current struggle: plants dying of neglect (yikes) (also laundry hung in the rain) (also eating too many mini doughnuts)
Latest heard from the mouths of babes:
Caleb: Can I eat some of these?
Mama: Yes, but you have to wash them.
Caleb: They’re not washed?
Mama: No, they’re not.
Caleb: The grapes are not washed?
Mama: These are blueberries, and they’re not washed.
Caleb: Oh. They’re washed?
Mama: No, the blueberries are not washed.
Caleb: You washed them?
Mama: No, I did not. They’re not washed, Caleb.
*I admit I once clipped Jon’s ear with the scissors during a particularly dramatic scene in Six Feet Under, but no blood was drawn, so it doesn’t count.