Ink Notes: Scribal Work Shop Kraken Black

Scribal Work Shop Kraken Black ink was part of the October Ink Drop from Goulet Pens. I ran the sample ink through two pens. These notes are based on that sample. I really wanted to like the ink, but it was too finicky.

The ink performed better in my Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black pen with a fine nib than it did in my stub nib Franklin-Christoph Model 25.

Some notes, in no particular order:

  • I wrote on pages that already had Aurora Black writing on it, the Kraken Black was indistinguishable to my eye.
  • I tend to pause when writing. Usually this isn’t a problem, but the Kraken Black did evaporate off the nib rather quickly, causing some false starts after a pause.
  • Because the F-C Model 25 has a partially inlaid nib I fill the convertor before putting it in the pen. Typically the ink gets to the nib within moments but with the Kraken Black I had to twist the convertor to get ink through the feed to the nib. This was after over 30 minutes of having the pen nib down in my pocket (the natural orientation for this pen when capped)
  • The ink does a good job of putting down a line that’s the same size as the nib. The fine nib puts down a thin line.
  • The ink clings to the sides of both convertors which isn’t something other inks have done in these pens. This required the occasional convertor twist to get more ink to the feed.
  • The ink has a higher viscosity than the inks I typically use resulting in a very dry flow, although the ink still takes 15 – 20 seconds to dry enough to avoid smudging.
  • The ink was easy to clean out of the pen.

I really wanted to like this ink and I do like the color. But I had too many problems to consider getting a bottle. My experience seems to be worse then others so check out the additional reading.

Additional Reading

FPN Review

October Ink Drop

I finally got around to opening this month’s ink drop from Goulet Pens. This  month all five inks where from a new boutique brand called Scribal Work Shop. It’s their Cryptid line of Fountain pen inks

The ink names have a mythical theme. A Cryptid is a creature who’s existence is suggested but unproven. The inks are named after such creatures. The five inks are:

  • Kraken Black
  • Zhulong Red
  • Siren Blue
  • Leviathan Green
  • Nessie Purple

I’ve used two of the inks so far. I’m using Kraken Black in a stub nib to write the draft of this article. I also inked up a fine nib with the ink. The second ink is Leviathan Green. I used that in a Lamy Safari and used an extra fine, fine and medium nib.

The colors are pretty basic but very pleasing. I’ve liked the online samples I’ve seen along with the swabs I’ve done. Although the ink can be considerably different than swabs and digital reproductions.

The two inks I’ve tried are true to the nib width. This means the Leviathan Green was too light on Rhodia Dotpad 80g white paper using my normal, light writing pressure with an extra fine nib. The fine nib was also light but at least it was readable with normal writing pressure.

Goulet Pens reported some mold in their Zhulong Red ink after the ink drop had been sent out. My own sample seems fine.

I like the concept of these boutique inks and I especially like the black ink. At $8 for a 60ml bottle its hard to beat. Still, these are basic colors and I already have too many unopened bottle and samples waiting to be used. I’d like to show my support by adding some Cryptid ink but I’m undecided as to whether or not to buy any. The black is certainly an ink I’d use. The green hasn’t really appealed to be so far, maybe with more use.