Saturday, December 12, 2009

New Design for the Pear Tree Pen Co. Ink Sampler Bottle

Recently, the Pear Tree Pen Company decided to re-think the ink sampler bottles we've used for the past few years. Although they were very attractive and we receive many compliments for their style, they had some critical limitations. The most notable of those was the inability to fit all but the skinniest pens into the bottle to withdraw the ink. Many of you wrote to us about this issue, and we worked to try to come up with a variety of creative solutions, like filling the converter rather than through the nib and introducing the eye-dropper cap. But still, it wasn't quite right. And you let us know.

After a lengthy search for a suitable replacement, we finally found something that seems to work well. These new bottles are taller than their predecessor, with a slightly wider mouth. While not every pen's section will fit inside the bottle, I've been able to fill a Sailor Naginata and other pens of similar girth with absolutely no problem. These bottles are considerably more expensive than the ones they replace, but we've made a decision not to raise prices on the ink sampler at this time. Let's face it - fountain pen ink samples are not a huge profit center for us at the Pear Tree Pen Company (in fact, the opposite tends to be true). But we offer the service because we think it's a valuable service to the community of fountain pen and ink enthusiasts of which we are a part.

Before I started the Pear Tree Pen Company, I was a huge ink-hound. I bought bottle after bottle of ink, hoping for the right color, the right shading, the right drying time. But all I had to work with were color swatches or photographs on a computer screen. As I'm sure most of you know by now, neither method is even close to adequate.

A color swatch, even if you're staring at an actual sample of ink on a page, can only tell you so much. But important information is missing - how long did it take to dry? Did the ink flow well? Will it appear the same coming out of my pen, on my paper?

A computer-based image is even worse. Computer monitors need to be calibrated to display color correctly, and not every monitor displays color the same way.

After being frustrated by these problems in my own search for the perfect ink (which I still haven't found, by the way), I devised the ink sampler to help others avoid the same pitfalls I encountered along the road. From the overwhelming response we've gotten since I introduced the ink sampler, I can only surmise you've all found it as valuable as I do.

Anyway - back to the new bottles. Above is a photo I took with my iPhone to give you all an idea of what they look like. What do you think of them? We're always looking for feedback, positive or negative.

FYI, one of the bottles is filled with De Atramentis Steel blue (stihlblau) by Jansen. The other contains Noodler's invisible ink (;-))

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

Michael Miro said...

Hello, James!
Just got a 12-pack of your sample inks and asyringe filler kit today! Everything arrived well-packed, safe and fast! Can't wait to try them. (And to sample more brnads!)

Like you, I'm also looking or "the perfect ink". I've got a mix of Mont Blancs, Parkers (Sonnets,Duo Fold and an old 75), Omas Emotica,
and a Namiki Pilot "Vanishing Point". Some of them are a little dry in the flow department, so, I'm hoping to find an ink that improves their flow properties.

Many thanks!