Review: Blackstone Barrister Ink

Barrister Ink Underwater

Blackstone Barrister Ink is our very first waterproof ink. Why use waterproof ink you may ask?

Most fountain pen inks are non-permanent and will wash away fairly easily which is something the ballpoint pen has always an advantage over (pffft!). However, these Blackstone Barrister inks look to provide an answer for us fountain pen lovers. It's our very first foray into this space so I am super keen to push them to their limits :)

As you probably know I prefer using fountain pens everywhere I can, so this ink makes life easier. It is a must for addressing envelopes (incowrimo here we go!), signing contracts as the ink must survive weather and time. Although archival value is important for business purposes, it's also the same case for anyone who journals.

Barrister black bottle

Inks come in 30ml plastic bottles which have a wide opening suitable for all pens. I love them! They are different, just the right size and perfect for travelling.

Blackstone describes Barrister ink as:

"Nano carbon ink made with sub-micron sized carbon particles instead of the usual soluble dyes. These nano carbon particles are so small that they can easily pass through fountain pen feeds and are treated with a special soluble polymer to overcome their natural attraction to each other."

Here are couple of ink properties - I scored them from 1 to 10 (best):

Shading (1/10)
There isn’t any shading going on. They are supposed to look 'mature' and 'business like', so very well done.

Feathering (8/10)
Extra Fine nibs with Barrister ink perform well on paper which is not exactly fountain pen friendly. Minor feathering may appear, but it still looks decent.

Saturation (9/10)
Barrister Black is a solid black. Barrister Blue is blue-black well saturated colour, it gets darker when it dries and looks almost 3-dimensional.

Waterproof (9/10)
Oh yeah! We have sprinkled, soaked, drenched them with water and all sorts of liquids :) Some ink will get washed away, text stays legible. Score!

Flow (10/10)
Unlike other document inks I have tried Blackstone inks are very wet writing inks. I will keep using these two (boring) colours just because they flow so well. Very pleasant to use :)

There are couple of things which need to be said - I usually call them elephants in the room :)

This ink needs to dry and bond with paper before you expose it to water. Bear in mind that Barrister ink may not be great for water brush because some of the colour can get smudged away. It works great for writing of course - the base colour will stay and writing will remain perfectly legible.

Just like any other ink - it does require maintenance. Do not let it dry in your pens. Flush them every 2-3 weeks and every time you ink up. I have been using this extensively for a week and have not experienced any clogging or hard starts yet.

If you are scared to use them in expensive pens, then don't ;)

Blackstone issued a warning about possible stains. I would not recommend using Barrister inks in clear pens.

And for the record, these two inks smell just a little funky too...

OK, so that's all I have for this review - very nice ink. Blackstone Barrister Black will be in permanent rotation with my pen collection from now on - I just love how wet and juicy it is.

We will re-visit this topic in few weeks with results of our fade test :)

You can find the Blackstone Barrister Ink here for sale: https://www.bureaudirect.co.uk/blackstone-barrister-ink

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