Pigment and Inks

Pigments and Inks


I had a lot of fun with last week’s workshop. I mentioned this during class, but I use a fountain pen for all of my writing needs and the ink is an essential component of the pen. When I got the blue algae and was told we were making a pigmented liquid I was excited to see the limitations of it as an artistic/practical agent for writing and drawing. 


I was intrigued by the consistency that I was able to get the mixture to as well as the saturation of the color. I used water and maple syrup to make my mixture and it laid down on paper quite well. To compare, the closest thing to it would be water color. 

I also noticed some shortcomings of the solution as well. Smell, stickiness, and drying time were major issues. In comparison to regular ink that I would use in my pen, I found this to be way less practical. It is important to note that this leads way for potential sustainable alternatives to graphite pencils and ink which can be harmful to the earth in production. However, the opportunity is there and I would love to see sustainable alternative options come to mainstream. 


“Standard rollerball ink is made from particles of carbon black, a pigment substance. These particles are segregated from each other by a polymer that is adsorbed onto the surface of the carbon black particles. Finally, a solvent is applied so that the ink will flow.” This is how standard pens are made and the pigment comes from coal and oil. I don’t need to explain how this is harmful to the earth. 


All in all, I look forward experimenting more with the remaining pigment I have to create a solution that is a suitable substitute to ink. Perhaps I’ll even try loading it into a pen!