Good Question of the Week: Is Waterproof Ink Safe for Pens?
A student recently inquired: “Hi Marc. I went to a store in Los Angeles today to buy a recommended fountain pen with waterproof refill. The owner did everything possible to dissuade me. She said that the waterproof ink ruins a fountain pen very quickly because the ink dries in such a way that it clogs the pen. Only a dip pen, she said, should use waterproof ink. I didn’t buy it. What gives?”
What does Marc say?: “They don’t know about Platinum Carbon Black I guess :)”
Platinum Carbon Black is the ink I use for waterproof drawing. It’s fully pen safe > in my experience < I’ve used it in their name-brand Platinum Carbon Pen, a number of Noodler’s pens, and a number of Lamy pens. (Link to my drawing gear page). There are other nano-particle inks, but it’s the only one I’ve tried personally.
And then, maybe just don’t stop drawing? Don’t leave your pen in a drawer for weeks. Pen collectors might only take out their Aurora Diamante to sign checks for charity donations and real estate deals. Just draw every few days and the ink keeps flowing :)
The thing is, ask an antique car guy about taking care of a car and they’ll say; don’t drive it in the bright sun, don’t let kids in the car, for goodness sake don’t live in a place with winter!
In other words, pen collectors treasure the pens as objects. Artists want to use them into the ground, and treasure the drawings they make.
If Platinum Carbon does shorten the lifetime of then pen – I really don’t care, and I’ll never even know – I buy Lamys for around $40, and hope to lose them in an alley in Macau or a taxi cab in Havana!