We have two new exclusive inks, made by Diamine, with lots of sheen. If you just want to buy them, you can go and get them here. If you want to know more about how this happened, and perhaps the bigger question, how they ended up being called Robert and Maureen, read on…
It's not the first time we've worked with Diamine, and this isn't our first range of exclusive inks from them. Our Deep Dark range has proved to be very popular. For that range, we explained what we were looking for to Diamine at each stage, and they tried making inks to suit. They sent multiple samples each time, and we'd go back to them, either picking one that was just what we wanted, or trying to explain how we wanted something, say, even deeper and darker than that. The process worked well, and we got a range of inks we love, practical for daily use, understated, but interesting.
For these Iridescink inks, the process wasn't so involved. They told us they had two inks we could use as exclusive Cult Pens editions, and sent us samples. We just shouted 'yes' loudly and repeatedly until they started production.
There are a couple of reasons the process was so different this time. One was that we didn't start with a set idea of what we wanted - we just wanted to see some serious sheen. The other is that making inks that sheen is a more delicate process. Only certain inks can do it, and if you start fiddling with the formula too much, the sheen is going to go away. Also, the samples were just beautiful.
So why did we name them Robert and Maureen? Well, to be honest, it was just a joke that got out of hand. We wanted to ask our customers to name them, so we thought we'd ask on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, gather together some ideas, and pick the ones we liked most. We said we needed other people to come up with names because the best we could think of was 'Robert' and 'Maureen'.
It was a joke.
The problem was, people liked the idea of inks called Robert and Maureen. And, we have to admit, we were kind of relieved they didn't end up both being called Inky McInkface. Plus, close friends like us can get away with calling them Bob and Mo.
The big question is: how to you get to see the sheen? The most important part seems to be that it sits on the paper, rather than being absorbed. There has to be a layer of ink when it dries, for the light to bounce within. A wet-writing pen or dip nib will help, but the paper is the critical part. Some paper absorbs the ink, and you won't get any sheen. If the ink takes a long time to dry on your paper, it's likely you're going to get good results, because the ink that's sitting there drying slowly is forming those layers you need for super sheen.
It's often said that you need good, expensive paper, but we haven't found this to hold true for all. Some of our favourite Rhodia paper won't sheen much, while some cheap pads we had lying around the office worked really well.