Arnold's Writing Fluid Reviews
Below are reviews from prominent members of the penmanship community on this 2nd batch of ink which is Arnold's Chemical Writing Fluid.
David Grimes - http://masgrimes.com/
I found your batch to be incredibly delightful to work with for a number of reasons. And yet, there are some consequences that should not be casually overlooked.
The things I loved:
The color: The off black/blue color once the ink matures is very reminiscent of Moon Palace for me (one of my favorite colors) I love the temperature of the ink as it changes from it's light blue green to black. It is very satisfying to watch.
The tactile experience: The smoothness of this ink is also something that stood out to me. I worked with it on a number of papers, but Rhodia was quite fond of it. Some inks (like vermilion sumi) seem more lubricated than others and allow the pen point to glide along the paper more easily. I felt like this ink was in the same category.
The smell: I can recognize that many people may find the smell of gasoline or vehicle exhaust to be off-putting, but they've always struck some chord of nostalgia with me. This ink had a similar affect, triggering some industrial-based memory from the metal shop when I was a kid.
The things that concern me:
The acidity: Working with this ink on a new (freshly prepped) 404 stripped the nib of it's outermost metal within 20 minutes. Upon washing the nib after the completion of the attached video, I could see that the color of the coating on the nib had been changed. I also worked with several old, rusty nibs, only to see the rust eaten away and shiny metal revealed again over the course of 30 minutes or so. It seems to react differently to rust than to virgin steel, but either way, the corrosive attributes should not be overlooked. I would not use this on expensive vintage points.
The opacity: It was difficult to work with this ink in some instances because the initial color is so transparent that combining it with delicate hairlines such as those in my Engrosser's was nearly impossible. Occasionally, I would replace my pen point to the paper thinking that I was on a hairline only to see that I had missed it by several pen widths. Possibly because I have the eyesight and coordination of a blind three-legged mole.
Summary: Overall, I would highly recommend that your customers purchase a bottle, if only to have the experience of writing with something so true to the lineage of our art. I think that for demonstrations and one-off pieces, this ink could add a unique element that would be hard to come by elsewhere.
It's an excellent ink and I am delighted to use it. I am confident that many others will like it as well. The ink is more "gray" even after it was on the paper for a day, however, I believe that is something that can be worked around. The ink goes on "very light" as you have indicated; however, the color black shows up very well and I am pleased with that. I didn't see a deterioration of the pen nib, but then again, I used it for only five or so minutes and wiped it with a clean cotton cloth.
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My thoughts on the ink is that it is very much in line with the guidelines expressed in my vintage instruction books on gall inks. Blots and Walkers were made from two different formulations. Those were the only two gall inks made today that were historic in origin. Now yours is available. The viscosity is ideal and the finest hairlines are still obtained by diluting the ink on the nib. However, the hairlines are very acceptable right out of the bottle. As you stated, the ink is very acidic and it did not take long to see the wear on the vintage Perry 28 spear nib. I suggest the user clean off the nib frequently during use. Many folks use the Nikko nibs which are heavily plated so they may last longer. The ink goes on quite lightly, but quickly turns to a dense black. I used Clairefontaine paper for the writing.
I found it very different from your Japan ink, which was thicker in flow, closer to Old World Ink. Of all your ink formulations, I think you should make this in large quantities for sale to the public. It's unique enough that it would fill a large void in what is available. I know you are very much occupied, but you have a real winner here.