Let’s take a look at De Atramentis Pisces, an ink with a very unique color!
De Atramentis has a huge catalog, and apparently it’s all made by one guy. Some of the inks are repackaged, and I think the best way to tell is by checking the De Atramentis site: for example, the ever-popular Alexander Hamilton ink is just the Aubergine ink that has been rebottled with a new label. I do have to give kudos to De Atramentis for playing around with the inks they have; some seem pretty cool, like brown ink that smells like coffee. There’s another brown ink called Horses. It smells like horses.
De Atramentis ink comes in this adorable, silly bottle. Silly because it has these two little bulges at the top and bottom of it. Why is that? I don’t know! I just imagined the frustration when you get down to last couple of milliliters and it’s stuck in the bottom rim. So it’s not entirely practical, but it certainly makes it easy to pick out of a lineup.
Pisces comes in the Astrology line, which includes—as you might imagine—eleven inks, all named after astrological signs. The bottle says this is a dark brown, but it isn’t really: it’s sort of this brownish purple-red, maybe a burgundy with a slight brown tone. I’m not sure why this color was chosen for this ink! Pisces is a water sign, so I was expecting a blue. But it’s very interesting, and not something that I’ve seen before.
Taking a look: the scan
I wrote out this test on Midori MD paper, which is excellent with fountain pen ink. It has a slightly yellowed tone, a bit of a creamy beige, so if you use this ink on bright white paper it will look slightly different. I used a Jinhao X450 with a medium nib and a Nemosine broad nib that were dipped into the ink.
Pisces has some good water resistance. You’ll lose a little bit of the surface ink, but the majority of your writing will be easy to read. It takes quite a while to dry, however: on Midori paper, it took more than 60 seconds. On Tomoe River, it dried slightly faster, but it’s still a smudger of an ink.
The top five lines in the paragraph are written with a medium nib, while the bottom five are written with a broad. The ink didn’t perform too well in this dip pen situation, but I have a picture later with the ink in a pen, which is much better. However, I think you can see that this ink can shade a little! There is no sheen, however.
Taking a look: on paper
I compare the ink to two other colors, Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Bordeaux and Diamine Tyrian Purple. Theyre really the only two that I had which looked similar, but as you can see, they’re definitely not the same. In comparison, Pisces is more dusty and cool, closer to a mauve than anything else.
I use this pen here in my Taccia Staccato with a Nemosine broad nib. This combination is quite wet! The pen has a touch of feedback to it, which I find myself liking and being more apathetic about from time to time. However, Pisces works well in this pen. This ink only shades a little, but quite prettily.
The ink color is a bit strange. Like I mentioned before, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a color quite like this. I’d be surprised if there was anything on the market even a little similar! I actually enjoy this ink, but I’m a person who’s a fan of weird colors that other people might skim over. What do you think? Is this an ink you would use?
Conrad is a Californian fountain pen lover.