We manufacture all fountain pen inks by hand at our workshop in Pennsylvania. Each formula is compounded with diluent, thickener, humectant, lubricant, surfactant, preservative, and colorant. Ingredients are meticulously combined and refined over roughly two dozen steps with a minimum of three thorough mixing steps per color to ensure quality and consistency within every small batch.
We've compartmentalized our ink recipes into four principal categories characterized by differentiating elements of the colorant component in the formula. A colorant is a dye or pigment that exhibits color. An ink vehicle is a series of chemicals used to transport colorant from storage reservoir to substrate (paper in our case).
Keystone Formula inks are engineered using water-soluble dyes to produce a broad spectrum of colors with a variety of unique and desirable writing properties. Fitting the bill for a traditional fountain pen ink, this series by far the most popular.
Wishy-Washy Formula inks are constructed with dyes selected for both performance and washability. Colors in this series will clean easily from most fabrics and surfaces with soap and water.
Everlasting Formula inks are compounded with pigmented colorants to produce highly water resistant and archival properties on paper.
Twinkle Formula inks are formulated using hybrid dye and pigment combinations to create a unique twinkling luster.
What was previously our Swift, Crisp, and Rich formulas are now categorized under the umbrella of Keystone Formula fountain pen inks. Within prior subcategories, we found that a number of inks would exhibit various properties on spectra that regularly overlapped. Keystone Formula envelopes subjectivity that inherently lies within these fountain pen ink characteristics into a single class.