Baystate Blue

I've been collecting fountain pens and inks for about seven years now. As a relative latecomer to the hobby, the obsession intensified during quarantine and my collection of both fountain pens and inks grew in both size and stature.

I somehow managed to avoid the siren song of Noodler's Baystate Blue (BSB) until this past week, when I decided to buy a sacrificial pen and 3 ounce bottle of BSB. My vessel for the BSB experiment was a TWSBI ECO Clear Fountain Pen with Medium Nib - a demonstrator so I could see just how badly BSB would stain the pen.

Initial impressions

The blue can best be described as absolute. I have yet to see a more vibrant, beautiful shade of blue anywhere, but it does come with some lookouts:

  • BSB is a notorious ink that stains everything it touches. When filling the TWSBI, I took a number of precautions: 1) I wore latex gloves; 2) I used a bulb syringe and filled a 5 ml plastic vial; 3) I put the vial on a paper plate in the sink; 4) I prayed to multiple gods; 5) I filled the pen and cleaned the excess ink with a paper towel.
  • BSB feathers like a motherfucker and doesn't care what paper you use, it's just going to find a way to spread.
  • BSB lays down wet, so in addition to feathering, it also bleeds through.

All that aside, I think with some tinkering, I can overcome the feathering and bleed issues with some water dilution, as Reddit's /r/fountainpens suggests.

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