This week we’re going to take a look at Papier Plume Bayou Nightfall. I picked up this ink at Papier Plume in New Orleans. If you ever have the opportunity to stop by, I highly recommend it. Not only is it a fantastically fun and well-stocked shop in the French Quarter, but the owners are a pleasure to chat with. They have their own line of fountain pen inks, which this is one of.
Papier Plume – Bayou Nightfall
To start, let’s take a look at the ink itself. From their own description, Bayou Nightfall “takes is color cues from the the dimly lit corners of the bayou, covered in Spanish Moss and a bit of fog, as the sun gives way to the night.” It is a dusty, greenish-grey with no sheen and lots of shading.
When exposed to water, this ink does separate out into a few different colors. It is not the most exciting chromatography around, but you’ll see some blues and brown/grey colors come out. It could be used to make some moody ink art. The ink itself is not waterproof, but is still legible if it gets wet. Notably, the dyes that come off with water don’t seem to stain the paper, making it much easier to read.
This is a wet ink with slightly longer dry times than I would have expected, but not so much as to be inconvenient. Once dry, it does a great job of staying put. Lack of sheen and saturation means there’s not much dye on the surface of the paper, so there’s no smearing while you write.
The Pens I Used
Each week I choose five different pens to fill with the ink I’m testing. My goal is to get a variety of nib sizes and styles, as well as a mix of modern and vintage pens. Here are the pens I chose this week and some writing samples from each:
Pelikan M205 – F nib
I liked this combo. The fine Pelikan nib is fairly wet, and when combined with this wet ink writing looked great.
Leonardo Officina – M nib
This Leonardo nib is definitely one of the drier nibs that I have. While it made the ink look lighter than any other pen this week, it also gave some great shading. It’s not the worst combo, but definitely not one I’d ink up again.
Waterman 92 (vintage) – M flex nib
This nib is quite wet, even when not flexed, so it makes this ink look quite dark. When it gets this dark, it seems to be more green than grey. I really like the way it looks, but if you want more shading and lighter color, definitely stick with a nib that’s not so wet.
Lamy 2000 – custom grind architect nib
Talk about some extreme shading! This Lamy nib is really wet, but the architect grind helps give it fantastic shading as well. I’m sure that not everyone likes shading this extreme. I don’t with lighter-colored inks, but with a darker ink like this I definitely enjoy it.
Namiki Vanishing Point – B nib
For me, this Vanishing Point nib is almost too wet to use with this ink. With the finer Waterman nib, I enjoyed writing with this wet ink. With this nib, it just didn’t feel as nice to use for writing. I did enjoy the broad, wet lines I got while doodling with it.
On cheap paper this ink bled through with every pen I used. The wet nibs of the Waterman and Vanishing Point also feathered. On fountain-pen-friendly paper, things mostly fared better. The Leuchtturm still showed some feathering with the Waterman and Vanishing Point, as well as bleedthrough with most pens, but not so extreme as to make writing on both sides of the paper impossible. The Life Noble and G. Lalo didn’t show any feathering or bleeding. As with most wet inks, stick to good paper and you won’t have any issues with this ink.
Cleaning The Ink Out Of Pens
I didn’t expect this ink to be very difficult to clean out of pens and, sure enough, it wasn’t. While it isn’t a super-saturated ink, it’s not low saturation either. Still, this color doesn’t stick around like a blue or red does. I would use this in any pen that I own.
I picked up my bottle of Papier Plume Bayou Nightfall during my moody, interesting-ink phase. I don’t think I’ve left that phase yet, but have slowly started to drift back into more diverse colors of ink. When I purchased and started using it, I remember being less than enthusiastic about the color. It wasn’t quite grey enough to satisfy my obsession with grey inks, but wasn’t quite interesting enough to fully capture my attention. Now that I’ve given it a more thorough try, I have to say that I am enjoying it! It is a wet ink, but when paired with a wet nib that can give it a bit of shading, all of the subtle colors are revealed and it really shines. If you’re ever in New Orleans and want to visit a great stationery shop, don’t miss the chance to stop by Papier Plume and pick up a bottle of this, or any of their other custom inks.