Some things in life we rightly tend to avoid because of bad previous experiences, other though we may be wary of merely by force of reputation… The Great White shark, the Portuguese Man o’ War, the Sydney funnel-web spider and of course Marmite to name but four. Well in the world of pen and ink there is another dark stranger in town with a whopping reputation that dissuades many from encountering it first hand, it’s the big… , the bad…, it’s Noodler’s Baystate Blue ink.
So today I thought I’d defy this particular ink’s ‘maverick’ reputation and give it a whirl and see what happens. In truth though I’ve been using it for a number of weeks having had a sample sent to me for review. Thanks again Ross. What has been the result? Read on my friend, read on…
Presentation: This ink came to me in a sample pot but if you’re new to Noodlers inks you should be aware that the packaging is never really the point, it’s the ink that counts. The standard Noodler’s 3oz (90ml) bottle is big, functional and full. Always be careful when opening a bottle of Noodlers ink, especially if it is a permanent or a ‘bullet proof’ ink, the last thing you would want is an inktastrophe. You might just live to regret it.
On Test: I’ve put this ink in a couple of my cartridge converter pens. Received wisdom told me to avoid pens with latex sacs or piston fillers that can be difficult to clean. On the whole I’ve had very little trouble with it; as long as you treat it carefully it doesn’t seem to bite.
In fact it behaves really well when treated with due respect. The blue itself is big and bold, almost bombastic in nature (too many b’s ?). Highly saturated, it almost beats your brains in, shouting off the page for attention. As a piercing cobalt sort of blue it certainly makes an impact, it is in no way subtle. It is highly water-resistant, and exhibits no shading that I can see. It simply lays down a near permanent, solid bright blue line. I’m told that in terms of its formulation this ink is slightly basic (that’s alkaline for the uninitiated) so it needs treating with care. Noodler’s themselves state that Baystate Blue should not be mixed with other inks except for those in the Baystate line, so you’d better listen. I’ve found too that this ink can stain, it certainly clings to the walls of the sample bottle I got it in more than any other ink I’ve seen. Get it on your hands and it’ll stay there for a while.
Summary: Respect is the order of the day when using this ink. A friend of mine called it a ‘cruel mistress’ if not treated well and I would agree. However having said that you can’t beat it for sheer punching power. I’m buying some, respectfully of course…