Watch this liquid calligraphy dissolve into trippy patterms

Watching the interplay of liquids used to make these beautiful calligraphic letters looks like geothermal vents opening and releasing gases and lava into the air. Read the rest

How ink is made

It turns out that ink is made largely by mixing pigments with liquids! Various emulsifiers and such also factor in. How about that! The bright sheets of colorful slime are very satisfying and relaxing, and the Printing Ink Company's trade videos seem, somehow, to understand the appeal of this. I want to eat the ink. Read the rest

Popular tattoos 5,000 years ago were sheep

The art of tattoing is really, really old, according to a new study of some Egyptian mummified bodies that date back to around 3,000 B.C.E.

The mummies -- accidental ones, people whose bodies were buried in sand that nicely prevented rot -- have been in the British Museum for a long time, but only recently have their tattoos come under scholarly examination.

It turns out that the hot tattoo for women back then was a curious "S" shape, while for men it was ... a sheep.

Sheep? As Atlas Obscura explains:

While a sheep might not seem particularly fierce, bagging a barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) with just a bow and arrow—or more likely trapping one, considering the speed and precipice climbing abilities of the animals—was the ultimate in ancient Egyptian big game hunting. The bull is a more obvious symbol of power, and one that would later serve as an important icon of royal authority in Egypt. The woman has two tattoos on her upper right arm and shoulder: a vertical line with angled top (possibly a short staff or throwstick) and a series of S-shapes. Taken alone, this new evidence for tattooing arts in early Egypt is interesting, but within the larger context of Egyptian art from between 3500 and 3100 B.C., it is remarkable. [snip]

No group had to hunt a barbary sheep or a hippopotamus to survive—but a successful capture or kill of such an animal revealed exceptional hunting skills. Perhaps it is these skills that the man in the British Museum sought to immortalize through the combination of an animal of power—the bull—and an animal whose capture symbolized hunting prowess—the barbary sheep.

Read the rest

Sailor Jentle Yama-dori is my teal ink of choice

I wanted a teal ink. Sailor Jentle Yama-dori is my new teal ink.

I had some limited edition Mont Blanc teal ink that I liked, it ran out. I decided to try this Sailor Jentle ink. I like it better! The Sailor Jentle ink is a dark blue-green with a very nice sheen to it. The ink looks much better after 2-3 minutes of drying.

Image from Jetpens.

On Doane Paper with my father's old medium nibbed Duofold the Yama-dori is just beautiful.The sheen after this ink dries is beautiful and includes greens and purples. Dad's Parker flows like the god damn Nile and the Sailor ink only gently feathers around the heaviest deposits. I am going to try this in my Levenger L-Tech, which has become my standard blue ink pen. The Levenger doesn't flow nearly as well as a Duofold, but the Sailor Jentle is water-based and seems pretty slick. I have been using Noodler's Luxury Blue but far prefer the muted tone of teal.

The Sailor Jentle ink bottle is a trip. Follow the instructions on the side or be frustrated. Don't ask me how I know!

Sailor Ink Bottle Yama-dori via Amazon Read the rest

Glass pens and glowing ink make for mesmerizing drawing videos

Spend an hour relaxing as Peter Deligdisch aka Peter Draws experiments with cool glass inkwell pens and glowing ink. Read the rest

7-pack of erasable, multi-colored gel ink pens

Somehow having a 10-year-old around makes pens evaporate! These erasable gel ink pens are favorites.

We seem to lose a lot of pens. These fine point Pilot gel pens have become the ones to order for replacement. The ink really does erase, even after a trip through the washing machine. Very cool for anyone who folks who make mistakes.

Trust me, mistakes are made.

Pilot FriXion Clicker Retractable Erasable Gel Pens, Fine Point, Assorted Color Inks, 7-Pack (31472) via Amazon Read the rest

Some more flavors of Noodler's Ink

I prefer Noodler's ink, and they have so many varieties I never seem to run out of new ones to try. Depending on what I'm writing, or who I am writing to, I like to change my ink and pen kinda frequently. Read the rest

Doane Paper: Grids + Lines for note taking with a fountain pen

Doane Paper makes wonderful pocket-sized notebooks with paper that is fantastically compatible with fountain pens.

I absolutely love my Maruman Mnemosyne notebooks, but they are big and rigid. These 5"x7" Doane Paper pads have similarly awesome paper, and fit in casual clothes pockets, if you need small they also make 3"x5".

The paper is slightly off-white and is quadruled with a light blue. My Levenger, Pilot and Parker's all glide over the paper very smoothly, tho the Pilot Vanishing point definetly shows its "travel-ness" when compared to the Duo-fold. Ink gets absorbed quickly and only slightly bleeds through unless I write with a heavy hand. I tried various Noodlers and Parker Quink black. Noodler's Blue Nose Bear is almost the same color as the grid lines.

Doane Paper Large Utility Edition, 3-Pack Grid + Lines Memo Notebooks via Amazon Read the rest

Lovely quad ruled paper in a notebook

If you like to write with fountain pens, sketch with colored pencils or otherwise enjoy the physical art of writing, Maruman's Mnemosyne is my notebook favorite paper to write on. Quad ruling on paper just makes me feel good, a throw back to college I guess. This fantastic, top-bound and slightly smaller than B5 size notebook has both!

Fountain pen inks dry fast, don't bleed through, and all of my pens glide over this paper. The slightly warm, off-white of this paper is also super pleasing to the eye, and is wonderful to work on.

Maruman Mnemosyne Inspiration 5 mm Grid 6.3 x 8.3" via Amazon Read the rest

Fabriano EcoQua notebooks

For taking notes, sketches and generally just having paper with me that works well with my fountain pens, I've been using Fabriano's EcoQua notebooks.

The dot-ruled, staple bound sheets of 85gsm off-white paper work fantastically with my my favorite pens and inks. There is nearly zero bleed through or feathering, and ink dries fast. My favorite Noodler's bulletproof black and red-black are both bold and bright, though the red-black becomes distinctively more red.

I really the dot-ruled paper. It is a more subtle version of quad-ruled graphing paper, but helps me sketch and draw out ideas.

There is a lot of marketing hullabaloo over the environmentally friendly nature of these notebooks. I find this ironic, as we start with killing a tree, but appreciate it regardless.

Ecoqua Dot Notebook 5.8X8.25 Navy via Amazon Read the rest

Report: Xerox is now region-coding some DRMed ink cartridges

German tech pub c't magazin reports that Xerox is now requiring customers not only to use their toner cartridges, but they even have to be from a specific region to work.

Reporter Georg Schnurer tells the story of Mattias, who bought a Xerox WorkCentre 6505DN for his small business only to learn that the device would not accept Xerox toner cartridges that could be bought cheaper in other countries. The device locked in on whatever region it detected on the first cartridge installed. Trying any kind of workaround or installing the "wrong" region-encoded cartridge will brick the device. (via Techdirt)

Image: CC by Isaac Bowen In B4 pedants... That's right, that image is not a Xerox toner cartridge, but it's a lovely CC-BY-SA image that is not DRMed by region. Read the rest

Noodler's Heart of Darkness, super-black ink

I've become a fan of Noodler's Heart of Darkness. This ink is blacker than black. Read the rest