Fountain Pen Ink
Aurora Australis is a spectacularly vibrant ink that replicates the dancing green and purple ominous glows that swirl in the sky when the southern hemisphere is lit up by the highly charged particles fired at us from the sun during a Coronal Mass Ejection. The combination of pink-purple, dark magenta-black, and bright green are a result of the high saturation of two dyes that combine to create these effects in the ink. The true colour of the ink is the light pinky tone, but this is accompanied by the darker tone in heavy writing, and the bright green sheen on good quality fountain pen friendly paper.
Surface Tension: 47.3mN/m
What is this?Surface Tension affects the flow of an ink through a pen, and how quickly it is absorbed into paper. Ink with a high surface tension generally flows and dries slowly, while a low surface tension causes faster flow and dry time, but can cause ink to gush, and also feather or bleed. Water has a surface tenstion of 72mN/m. Most inks are in the range of 40-60mN/m
pH: Data Coming Soon
What is this?The pH of an ink defines it's alkalinity or acidity. The pH is important for the dye in the ink to achieve the correct colour. Inks with a pH between 6.5 and 8.5 are generally neutral and safe to use in all pens.
Saturation: Very High
What is this?The saturation of an ink is the percentage of pure dye content in the mix. Generally but not always, higher saturation increases sheening and decreases shading, while also improving flow wetness but causing slower drying time. Very light inks can have as little as 2% dye content, while extremely saturated inks have upwards of 20%.
Sheen: Very High
What is this?The sheen of an ink is the secondary, often shiny colour that appears when the ink is swatched heavily or pools in script. The sheen colour depends on the specific dyes in the ink, while the intensity depends on the saturation of dye. Some inks will never sheen, while some will sheen on almost any paper in any amount.
Shading: Very Low
What is this?Shading is an ink's ability to create a range of different tones, from light to dark, depending on how heavily it wets the page. Generally but not always, inks with a lower saturation of dye are more effective at producing shading effects, but the kind of dye used also impacts this.
What is this?Shimmer is a pigment added to inks to create a sparkly effect. There are a wide variety of shimmer forms and colours, each with its own qualities. Most inks contain no shimmer, and those that do can contain shimmer in differing quantities. Highly shimmered inks do carry the potential of clogging pens, especially ones with finer nibs. Van Dieman's only uses extremely high quality shimmer pigments that lower (but do not completely remove) the risk of this.
Flow Wetness: Wet
What is this?This, quite simply put, is how well an ink flows through a pen, but also dictates how quickly an ink will seep into a page. Flow is affected by both the surface tension and saturation of an ink, but also by other additives such as humectants and surfactants. Inks with a high flow wetness can sometimes, but not always, feather and bleed more than other.
Aurora Australis performs very well in all nib sizes, but has a great amount of variation in hue and tone depending on the pen and paper combination. Finer, drier pens will produce the lighter, pinky tone more effectively, especially on paper types that allow ink to dry faster, while wetter writing pens and those with broader nibs will bring out more of the darker tones, as well as more of the bright green sheen, especially when combined with higher quality, less absorbent paper such as Tomoe River or Midori. We found a combination of a Medium nib pen on Bloc Rhodia or a fine nib pen on Tomoe River produced writing that brought out both tones, and some noticeable sheening.