The Problem with Old Ink and Bottles

There are many ink bottles in my drawer. Many I've reviewed many years ago and don't use often.

Recently, I opened the bottle of Daler Rowney Kandahar that I have and found out the ink pigment had settled and solidified into a huge block at the bottom.

I would usually put two stainless steel ball bearings into the bottle to help mix the ink. But this time the ball bearings are effective because the ink pigment block is too hard, and impossible to dissolve except with grinding it back down.

These are the smaller broken up ink pigment blocks from the larger block.

It's not surprising that the Kandahar ink is now diluted because it's mostly just binder left. The Daler Rowney Calli that I have still works fine. I can't remember when I bought that but the ink doesn't seem to have solidified despite not being used for a long time too.

Thankfully these inks are cheap so I'll probably throw away the one with the problem.

Let me know in the comments section if you have similar or different problems with your old inks and bottles, and what you did to make your ink work again.



Hi teoh,

Hi teoh,

I have made a similar experience with the indian ink from sennilier. The problem is that these inks contains shellac. Because of the shellac the ink will turn into a rock over the years. Inks like platinum carbon or sketchINK wont have this problem i think.

The ink contains shellac if i

The ink contains shellac if i remember correctly. And thats the reason why the ink turns into a rock. I had the same issue with an india ink from sennilier. Inks like sketchINK oder carbon black should be fine after many years.

I've got a question: I've

I've got a question: I've seen that most of peope while doing urban sketching etc use fountain pens. Isn't that ink water soluble?
How long do these sketches last (it's not archival ink, right)?

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