The beauty of Ziller ink.

I recently just completed a commission piece which in preparation I automatically assumed I would using Iron Gall ink. Commission work and iron gall ink go together hand in hand, or so I thought. The commission piece was on handmade paper and I have worked a lot with handmade paper and know exactly how to handle it. However, the paper was proving to be nightmare I had done all the preparation with guidelines, and a light tracing of the design. All that was left to do was ink the piece - simple. I started to ink with the iron gall and it was an utter disaster. The ink was too watery, almost translucent there was almost an ombré gradient forming with each word being inked. With commission work there is an added pressure to get things perfect and this wasn’t anywhere near perfect. I moved onto the ever reliable Moon Palace sumi ink; another disaster. I was starting to panic now and decided to take a punt on Ziller ink.

And what a punt it was! I had seen my peers wax lyrical about Ziller ink and its properties. I ordered the Soot Black (£6.50 from Blots and Pens) and I honestly can’t praise it enough. Once dried, it’s completely waterproof which will come in handy when working with envelopes especially as we head into winter and the inevitable rain that will hit Blighty. No mixing is required just a shake of the bottle and it’s ready to go. It took to the troublesome handmade paper beautifully (Thank God) and I even used it with a mapping pen to ink in sunflower illustrations and again no problems. I have since used it on paper vellum and dare I say it, it was even better! No issues with disappearing hairlines producing strong deep black shades against the translucent vellum.

My only issue with Ziller ink is that because it is a bit on the watery side paper low on gsm – the ink will feather a bit. I suppose this isn’t a major issue just remember to use good quality paper or envelopes; it can however, (if you can be bothered) mix it with Ziller thickener which I’m assuming is a bit like gum arabic and will control the ink spreading. All in all, I think I have become a convert to Ziller ink and I’m a bit vexed that it has taken me so long to find it. The trouble is, Ziller ink has recently just added to their colour spectrum with some stunning pastel shades like ‘Peach Blush’, ‘French Lavender’ and ‘Wild Rose Pink’ all of which I’m greedily eyeing up. God help my bank balance!