Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Private Reserve Ultra Black

10/30/12 Private Reserve Ultra Black, Stillman & Birn
Last month when I ordered a selection of brown ink samples from the Goulet Pen Company, I threw a few black ink samples into my shopping cart, too. The basic black Lamy cartridges I’d been using were, well, basic enough, but nothing to write home about. I had also been using some black Montblanc bottled ink that I happened to have, which washes to a strange purplish-tan hue, so I decided it was time to replace those inks with a better black.
My lime green Lamy Safari is now filled with a sample of Private Reserve Ultra Black (fast dry), which I’m finding to be a rich, neutral black with a slightly cool, mostly neutral wash (the scan of my sketch, left, makes the wash look a little cooler than it is) – which is exactly what I wanted, so this might be my black ink of choice. (As a lefty, I thought the “fast dry” aspect would be helpful, but so far, I haven’t noticed that it dries must faster than other inks.) I have two more black samples to try – Diamine Jet Black (which washes cool) and Private Reserve Velvet Black (which washes with a reddish-tan undertone similar to the Montblanc). My dip pen tests indicate that I won’t like them more than the Ultra Black, but I might still fill a Lamy with them eventually.
Speaking of inks, Stefano has been experimenting with brown and black inks that he has combined into a custom mix. I have several brown ink samples that I already know I’m not fond of just from dip pen tests, so they will probably never fill my pens. I’m thinking I might mix a few together and see what happens. Heck, maybe I’ll throw in some black, too.


  1. Tina, I still don't get your blogs sent to me even though it says I am already subscribed! I happened to look and say today's blog post. Very beautiful! You have captured the beauty of this season. Thank you! It certainly has been a colorful beautiful autumn. Fran

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Fran -- I still can't figure out why you aren't getting subscription notices! :-( The trees are still lovely, despite the rain and wind!


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