My Ink Collection, part 1

One of my regular stationery shops (well, me and every other stationery nerd in PJ and adjacent neighbourhoods) made plans to relocate this year and finally opened at their new address over the weekend. Naturally, that was an excuse to get some stationery (which I did), and with that, maybe get over this blogging block (i have an ever-growing post of textile stuff, for example). 

I got a bottle of Ottoman Azure, and I’d get right to it, but then I’m like, well, what about the other inks I have, and eventually this will need to be a two-parter, because even with my attempt to maintain discipline and buy inks that’s at least water-resistant, the thing about fountain pen inks is that they’re pretty. In one case, they’re pretty and limited edition. So I have somehow amassed quite a stash. 

So here it is a showcase, with some links (the search for the local version of affiliate shopping links took up some more minutes, but I can’t seem to  figure it out and I’ve decided I don’t care. It’s not my karma to profit from my nonsense)

I’ll be organising this by the shops I got them from, so I guess this will also be a small review of select stationeries in PJ (and its nearest KL neighbourhoods).

[All inks with the exception of two are written on Fine Lamy nib on cream Life Stationery Company paper.]

[[If it matters, Loft – a Japanese department store – has presence in Bangkok, and they stock that brand there as well.]]

freebie

Gotta start with this one because this is actually a gift from a friend, who had no more use for the ink. It’s gorgeous and was originally their 2016 Ink of the Year special edition (though now in the main lineup). It feels more peacock blue to me than an aquamarine, but that’s probably because I would expect more green with a shade of that name. As it is, it’s a grey-toned stormy blue, with a pretty consistent tone across the ink density (as you can see in the shading as the ink lightens up in the nib feed).

inks from Stickerrific

Website (also on Shopee)

At this point  I consider Stickerrific a loyal tenant of Jaya One, that initially upmarket-but-now-hanging-on-to-that-aesthetic-by grim-determination-rather-than-cashflow mall, since they’ve been relegated to various lots around the complex until finally being allowed on an actually prime real estate on the ground floor facing the main road as well adjacent to the side closest to Gasket Alley. The new space is definitely a dream, roomy with lots of browsing space. There’s even a designated workshop room as well, for their regular crafting classes (usually watercolours and journaling). Habit makes me want to miss the old location if only for the eccentricities in even getting to it (some weeks you can use a lift, some weeks you have to go behind the theatre, some other weeks you better be someone who’s not a wheelchair user…), but the new location is a serious upgrade – often the small-time stationery shops here don’t have the opportunity to fully embody the vibes of their wares – you get something either jammed to the rafters with inventory, or a minimalist chic place that’s more like an exhibition than actually selling you anything. Stickerrific is definitely the spot for Japanese stationery, though they stock interesting Taiwanese brands for the stickers and washi tapes. But they definitely fit into that IG demographic, which helped to popularise brands like Midori, Life, Hobonichi and other ‘lifestyle’ brands. I attribute a lot to them in making those brands more available, when we used to have more  of the office/school-centric brands like Campus and Kokuyo. They don’t carry any American paper brands to my recollection (I’m not including the watercolour stuff, because I’m firmly in the pen & journalling side of things), but the main European brands of note (if you’re a pen nerd), Leuchtturm and Rhodia/Clairefontaine, are there. Yes, this means you will not be finding any Moleskines (to be fair, it’s gotten much better in quality, but also stop crying, their stuff bersepah elsewhere). There’s a specific subset of journalling nerds online, and if you know where to find them, the brands this shop stocks will be familiar. If you’ve been on Jetpens, you know what I mean. (Look, I’m just happy I finally could get my Noodler’s Inks directly at a local store).

This and Ilham Gallery in KLCC area are also my go-to places for Malaysian stationery brands and limited print travel and art books, including zines. Though I commend Stickerrific for its more organic and quiet community-building, because you’ll find things you won’t find elsewhere simply because they’re open to stocking your stuff, as long as it’s within their shop ethos and you have it to sell.  A lot of small-time makers got their feet wet through this shop. If you’re looking for souvenirs for a stationery nerd, I would recommend paying a visit. 

pure sepia, if you're into it

Walnut Ink

They sell it in two forms: dried crystals if you purchase it online, or already mixed with water at the store. As I wrote above, it’s definitely intended for calligraphy work rather than daily fountain pen writing, though it works beautifully enough as such. It’s not water-resistant but once the ink properly dries and settles on paper, after a while cystallised walnut that acts as the pigment does affix itself tolerably well, should there be an accident. It’s a gorgeous brown ink, true sepia that doesn’t shade to a different constituent colour, if that’s not what you want.

tiny bottles if you're on a budget or on a personal spending diet

Pilot Iroshizuku in Momiji || in Tsukushi

This is from one of Pilot’s more upmarket lines, and the shade range is gorgeous. Thankfully I can tell myself I don’t need them so badly since I like to eat at my desk, and they’re not waterproof. The Tsukushi is a brown ink with a plum base colour, if that’s the sort of cool brown that you’re looking for. The Momiji is meant to evoke the red leaves of autumn, but I find it more of a velvety rose than vermillion. I wish I have reason to use it more. (See, thinking like this is how I get to a rabbithole of browsing through art fixatives)

a gorgeous cloudy purple

Kyo-no-Oto in Keshimurasaki

I don’t think any other shop in the Klang Valley stocks this line, which is a collab between another popular hobbyist stationery shop in Japan, TAG, and a Kyoto-based chemlab specialising in colour dyes. As you see in my note, this particular line is produced using the dyemaking technique dating back to the Heian era, which should mean it’s the same sort of dyes that go into the making of Japanese textiles, especially kimono cloth. 

I’m obsessed with this colour, and my practical side won’t let me use it much, for reasons stated above. Anyway, don’t mind the blue and the other ink. That’ll come in the next part. I’m tired now.

(if you want to stay updated though…)

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Lainie
1 month ago

All so purrrdyyyyy…I have to go check out their new location, just to make sure I pay respect to the kitties in their new home

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