30 April 2020

Against Inks

I had never done this before, but hanging out with some other pen aficionados –or should I say ink hoarders— made me create an inventory of my inks.

According to it I have 86 ink bottles of 71 different inks totaling 4.1 liters. Well, a bit less as some of them are open and I have inked some pens with their ink.

Some of my inks.

Anyway, what do 4 liters of ink mean? If I were to use 100 ml of ink per year –a generous amount—it would take me 40 years to use them up. 40 years!

So, why bother? Why spending so much money in a consumable product that is also perishable? Why bother with the inks of today when tomorrow there will be new and more attractive colors?

And more inks.

Behind this unreasonable accumulation of many of us (and I am just an apprentice on this field) lies the trend of smaller and smaller inkwells (::1::, ::2::). People, or ink aficionados at least, buy ink colors and ink labels –similar colors with different names and manufacturers— rather than milliliters of usable ink.

But, how much ink can we consume in the rest of our lives?

Ôhashidô, music nib – Sailor Blue

Bruno Taut
Nakano, April 30th, 2020
etiquetas: tinta, mercado


R. Vieira said...

I have been harbouring the same thoughts about ink. Most fountain pen aficionados I know tend to use a few regulars, but hoard a lot more for the sheer look of the inkwells or just because they fancy some colour experimentation... I tend to write a lot and take notes with fountain pens; in fact, I am mostly a fountain pen user: I only use a ballpoint when I don't have a fountain pen at hand, i.e. in 5% of the occasions or less. Most of the pens I use on a weekly basis are vintage models, with a few modern types here and there. After a few years I noticed that I use mostly blue or green ink for my handwriting purposes. Never used any black, btw. The other inks I have can be described as "shelf queens" in the sense they are seldom used. Or not at all.

So, I came to the conclusion that for my regular use, both at home and in my job, at least some 70% (perhaps even more) of the inks I fed my pens with are greens and blues (or tones in-between). 5% or maybe less, red or orange for text revision work. I have a lot of ink around though - some 30 and something bottles from some dozen manufacturers, a hoard of a size well beyond my "regular" needs. One third of such bottles contains ink I seldom use...

R. Vieira

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks for your comments.

So, what should we do with all those shelf queens?



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