How to Mix Fountain Pen Inks for Best Results

How to Mix Fountain Pen Inks for Best Results
Jul 12

Mixing Fountain Pen Inks

If you like to dabble in all of the latest fountain pen inks, styles, and varieties, then you have no doubt been tempted to try your hand at custom fountain pen ink creation. Many inks are crafted to allow mixing with other colors to provide the most personalized artistic experience when using your favorite fountain pen. Before you get started mixing and matching however, consider these tips to successfully mix fountain pen inks for best results.


Tip # 1 Don’t Just Mix Colors, Mix Brands

Don’t feel that your artistic experiment must be limited to only those colors available from a single ink manufacturer. If two of your favorite brands are produced by different manufacturers, feel free to finally introduce them to one another.

One important note on mixing brands, however: If you are a classic fountain pen aficionado, and prefer to use vintage pens, then make sure the inks you choose are compatible with the inner workings of your pen to prevent the risk of any damage or clogging. After all, no matter how brilliant your ink, it’s no good if it’s not compatible with your fountain pen.


Tip # 2 Start Small

There are a wide variety of factors that may impact the overall success of your mixed ink, from ink viscosity, to your understanding and approach to color theory. Rather than attempting to concoct enough of your signature color to fill a full four-ounce bottle, start small, and mix just a single ounce at a time. That way, if you don’t end up with your desired effect, you still have plenty of your original ingredients remaining to mix again.


Tip # 3 Consider Investing in an Ink Mixing Kit.

While you can certainly purchase your own individual supplies from a stationery supply store or craft store, ink mixing kits conveniently offer all of the accoutrements needed for ideal preparation and mixing, such as small clear vials, syringes, cups, and bottles.


Tip # 4 Rinse and Repeat

Especially if you are unsure how quickly your ink may dry out and risk clogging your fountain pen, after each new experiment be sure to wash your fountain pen out thoroughly. The need to keep your fountain pen clean offers all the more reason to create small batches of mixed inks to start with – that way you’re not losing too much excess ink during the cleaning process. You can also consider using dip pens to test your ink if you fear damage to the inner workings of your favorite fountain pen.


Tip # 5 Read Package Labels and Proceed with Caution

Take the advice of the manufacturer. J. Herbin’s inks, for example, advise on each bottle not to mix their inks. If you are simply too tempted to heed their warning, proceed with caution.


Tip #6 Be Technical

Understand that mixing fountain pen inks is not like mixing Easter egg dyes. Each ink has its own chemical properties, and mixing two divergent products could result in an undesirable chemical reaction. For example, if you mix two inks that are extremely far apart on the pH scale, you could end up with an unusable mixture.

 Have any favorite fountain pen ink mixtures that you want to share? Tell us in the comments below.

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