Friday, December 23, 2011

Rohrer & Klingner Salix Blue Iron Gall Ink

Goulet Pens recently added the Rohrer & Klingner ink line to their product lineup, and one in particular caught my attention: the Salix Blue iron gall ink. There is something about using an ink formula dating back to the 12th century that really makes me feel a bond with my fountain pen--the sheer amount of time it took to create ink, never mind how little might be made from a particular batch, indicates (to me) the strong desire of humans to communicate through the written word (as well as show off one's elite status as someone who can read and write).

Traditional Iron gall inks are corrosive, and will eventually destroy the paper as well as the fountain pen. The modern iron galls are gentler on the inside of a fountain pen, but can still be corrosive if left in the pen for a long period. So when using an iron gall ink, like Diamine's Registrars ink or Chesterfield's Archival Vault, I don't leave the ink in for more than a week or two at a time, and give my pen a more-thorough-than-usual cleaning as the iron gall ink can be difficult to remove.

Rohrer & Klingner's Salix Blue is a blue-black formula, like Diamine and Chesterfield, but unlike those two it doesn't oxidize into black but remains blue. This is really one of the more stunning blues I've used, very deep color with good saturation of the paper (which is 80gsm Rhodia-quality). Drying time is average, and there was no bleed through so double-sided writing is fine.

Definitely a great ink if you want something that's permanent and waterproof (I didn't test it, but iron gall inks seem to be waterproof so I'll take Wikipedia's word for it) then you should give this a try. Especially as the color remains blue on the paper, rather than turning black.


  1. Beautiful blue, but iron gall makes me a little nervous. Can't say I'm not tempted.

  2. I like the current Ecclesiastical Stationery Store Registrar's Ink I recently picked up from England thanks to a thread in the FPN, and it is also an iron gall ink. Its properties vary widely for different pens and papers, however. This might be a more stable solution. Thanks.

  3. I'm okay with Private Reserve, but does anyone else see Wilhelmine-era Germany in the Rohrer & Klingner label? Jack/Youngstown

  4. To be honest I would never try an iron gall ink in one of my fountain pens, cheap as they are. Is there any big difference between this ink and an normal one?

  5. Fascinating. +1 on Jack's comment.

    Wishing you a great New Year, Diane! You rock!

  6. Hope everyone had a happy New Year as well.

    Peninkcillin, iron gall inks are fairly long lasting, although I don't think they are waterproof. That's why they are still the choice for certain registrations, such as ecclesiastical, as Jim notes (and I'd really like to see that ink!).

    Per Jack, I agree with peacablewriter'+1. Somewhere in all that there is an Imperial eagle, I'm sure. :)

  7. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u.

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