• A Fleeting Ripple

surprise: diamine blue black

The first rays of sun start to shine behind the mountain, where the sun has been rising already for a couple of hours. Slowly the shade creeps back and the warmth of the sun creeps towards. It’s that time between early morning and late, when everyone is already up and eating their breakfast. The clanks of cutlery and a faint smell of toast fills up the street. Two bickering birds are all that remains of the cacophony of the early morning, it is becoming too hot even for them. The skies are a harsh blue, not a single cloud in sight. But perhaps the worst of all is the melting, smelling asphalt and the poor stray dog running over it with all the speed his little legs can muster.


About three years ago, I went on a crusade against Diamine’s 30 ml plastic ink bottles. All of that ink was dumped into pretty glass bottles, like empty Iroshizuku bottles, that I had ordered. I don’t know how I didn’t make a whole mess out of it, but not even a single drop was misplaced. In my frenzied search of glass bottles, I had ordered a 20 ml Sailor Shikiori bottle. None of my inks were used that far, except -as it turned out- Diamine Blue Black. I ended up dumping all of the leftover ink in the small Shikiori bottle and it fit. That was the death of the small plastic bottle in my household. For about a few months. Then I ordered more Diamine inks and realized resistance against plastic bottles were futile.


Nowadays my crusade has calmed down and most of my inks are from Diamine in a healthy assortment of both large 80 ml glass bottles and small 30 ml plastic bottles. I even got one in a 30 ml glass bottle, similar to the Registar’s inks that come in. The Diamine Blue Black is still stuck in its Shikiori bottle with a tape saying “Diamine Blue Black” though. It is among my most used ink, if not the most. I use about 200 ml of ink (minimum) in a year; when you distribute it over 200 bottles of ink and a handful of samples, it’s a miracle that one of them gets used that much. Yes, I have a lot of ink. Yes, I fill up everyone’s pens when they come over. And yes, I send my penpals some too.


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A part of the success story of Diamine Blue Black is because I simply had it for so long. It was among the first bottles of ink I bought. During the lockdowns, all my schoolwork was online and most of my classes were lecture-based back then. That meant that I could use all of my pens on my desk. Probably that saved my sanity anyway, as you tend to lose it after 12 hours of lectures & homework day after day. This ink was the star of my littles show as it writes almost a solid line out of a wet extra fine TWSBI nib, with very little shading. None of the papers I wrote on showed sheen as well and the Oxford paper that I regularly use shows a lot of sheen. The best thing about it was that it shows up as black while scanning documents or exams to send to teachers. Party on the paper, business on the screen.


Diamine Blue Black is the ultimate get-stuff-done ink. Sometimes pretty inks and pens are a bit too distracting as I cannot stop scribbling to see how the ink shades or stop turning the pen in my hand to watch the light catch on the resin. This ink in a basic TWSBI just gets stuff done. I had mentioned before in my article about the TWSBI Diamond 580 AL-R that the pen was so good -not great, not perfect, but so good- that it left me speechless. Same goes for this ink. It writes. It writes such a good line that it’s the ink that I fill up “problematic” pens. If the nib is acting up and writing too dry etc., I’ll ink it up with Diamine Blue Black to see whether it's the previous ink’s fault or actually the nib itself. It’s a free-flowing, lovely ink. Maybe that’s why I rambled on so much about stories about this ink instead of the ink itself, because the ink just works every single time.



After I wrote this post, I accidentally spilled the ink to my notebook and decided to take advantage of the accident by smearing it around. It took a couple of hours to dry. In the end I got a whole A5 page’s worth of ink though. The shading is there, but it’s still not very apparent. The most surprising part was that I got some sheen! It turns out the ink has a rust coloured sheen that only appears in areas where the ink really pools. The downside of the sheen is that it transferred to the facing page, perhaps it’s better without it while writing. The page buckled some and the ink bled through too. I think both of those outcomes are expected at this point.


The ink spill when wet:


The mighty ink spill when dry and sheeny:


Thank you for reading! I was too far away to the alt music scene when Twenty One Pilots were just rising, but a friend introduced me to this song recently and I’ve been listening to it non-stop after that.