Let's get straight to it. If you purchase ink in small containers that are ready for use at the get-go, you spend more money. If you purchase a larger quantity of ink you save money. The thing is, you'll have to transfer your ink to a ready-for-use container. Below, on the left is a large quantity of Yasutomo Sumi ink for $13 (6oz), on the right Speedball ink for $3 (.4oz). You can fit 15 of them in the 6oz bottle. $3 X 15 = $45.
Let me say that Sumi Ink is a different animal then Speedball Calligraphy Ink. So 15 small Sumi bottles would be EVEN MORE! But I've never seen Yasutomo Sumi Ink in less than 2oz anyway. You get the point though. Enough math. Let's move on.
"Hands down, glass is best to work from
and for long term storage."
So, what and where do you get small glass containers? I started by looking around what I already had. As a re-purposer, I prefer this. If you have it, use it! I had quite a time searching round my house. Come along with me and avoid the pit-falls...
The jar I had been using (far right), I knew full well I would never advise it to anyone. It holds ink beautifully because it holds a lot of ink, the mouth has plenty of room to dip my oblique holder into, and the lid has a rubber washer for a spill proof seal. But I’ve used jars quite a lot for all sorts of things and knew that the lid, when opened is very weighty AND ATTACHED. Thus if you don’t have a full jar of ink to balance out the weight distribution it can flip on you.
Same holds true for the type of clasp-closer it has. If you don’t have the proper grip on the jar when you’re closing it, you have a disaster on your hands— it will flip over under your hands. So if I knew all of this up-front, why would I do it? Because I was in a hurry! And it was a dollar. I needed something in the interim while I searched for the actual jars I wanted. And like everyone else, I thought I'd be the exception to the rule. Thankfully, I've been so conscience about it that I haven't had any nightmares.. of course that may cancel out now that I've mentioned it! Good 'ol Murphy... meh.
First I thought I could get some small jam-jars from holiday baskets. I asked a few friends after the holidays but it turns out those little “perfect” jars aren’t in many gift baskets anymore. They weigh more then the cellophane wrappers used to contain all the confectionery items offered now. I also wanted to mix my own watercolour for calligraphy and came across these odd looking jars at Target (above on the left). Again, about a dollar each (3 pack). I settled for these while I hunted for my perfect solution. I really wanted something re-purposed. Something smaller!
"I wanted a TWIST-ON lid that had a good BUILT-IN rubber gasket too."
After waiting too long for a re-purposing opportunity (proves I DO have SOME patience), I settled for new and online. If I couldn’t find proof of the rubber gasket I moved on. I also decided I wanted a good grip on the jar itself for safety, so I bypassed round jars. After careful consideration and research I got my hands on the PERFECT jar for my use. It holds a good amount of ink, has a twist lid with built-in rubber gasket, and an adorable OVAL HEXAGON shape. I found them on Amazon. I purchased a set of 6 jars.
They are from the company Nakpunar. I paid $2 per jar. Now before you get your nibs all knotted up, let's do the math here. The problematic ones were too big and too top heavy @ $1. And just the other day I was at Target and saw those perfect little jam jars I had originally wanted… and yes, they were a whopping $2.50 ea! Found one on Ebay for $4.76! What the?! Craziness.
Walking through Peir One Imports I came across a pack of 4 Hexagon jars for $1.12ea. Clearance. But again, too top heavy because the lids stay attached to the jar. The clasp-closers are also an accident waiting to happen.
When all is said and done, $2 for the perfect glass jar to store my ink well and allows for safe use while I create is worth it to me. Here is a look at that lovely lid. Perfect built-in rubber gasket.
Which brings me to a BIG TIP. The reviews on jars such as these seem to all have the same complaint..."the lid doesn't tighten all the way".
NOT TRUE. I thought the same at first, but while looking closely at the lid, I thought.... "hmmm... this thing looks like it's engineered for more twist then I'm getting out of it. What if it needs to be broken in?"
Here's what you have to do. You have to get a real tight grip on the jar and the lid and close it ALL THE WAY. Do this BEFORE putting anything in them. Do not do this while there is liquid in your jar!
Use two rubber grippers if you have to. One on the jar and one on the lid. Use good force and you'll feel it give into a longer twist than it did when you twisted it normally. (I will confess I'm one of those stupid people who closes things so tight that not even I can get it open again. So I actually did not use rubber grippers. But you may need to if you're smarter than me.)
These jars aren't too deep or too shallow. They're 2" high in total. The body of the jar is 1 3/8" deep. They hold approximately 1.5oz of ink. Recently I was moving things around in my studio and my black ink jar fell over. I wasn't working with ink that day. The lid was closed. It fell about 2 inches. The lid stayed on.
I really love the look and functionality of the OVAL HEXAGON shape. It allows for a better grip during everyday use. Perfect, perfect, perfect. At least for me, maybe they will be for you too.
I would love to hear what you have used successfully. Certainly one person's perfection isn't for everyone. If we all share our experiences it just makes it better for all.
Nakpunar 6 pcs, 1.5 oz Mini Oval Hexagon Glass Jars. Buy them here.
$11.99 plus tax for six on Amazon. I ordered mine with some other things I needed, so I paid no shipping.
Hello, I’m Nina, the maven behind the
IQS blog. I’m all about creativity (ya think?).
I work in several disciplines. So it's no surprise that the Art of Letter Writing would come knocking on my door. Smitten!
However, I did not want to simply add MailArt as a discipline to my website. Thus it became the IQS Blog within my site. And that is why there are TWO navigation menus. *Here’s a Tip: stick with the BLOG Menu in this Column. The main site menu will lead you astray into dark places where you will be screaming for help and no one will hear you.
• More Love Letters
• Letter Writers
• A Month of Letters
• Post Card Exchange
• Snail Mail Ideas
Remember paper planes?
Why Subscribe to a Feed?
You don’t have to reveal your email address. If you want to stop receiving content, you don’t have to request to be “taken off the list.”
One click, and poof… the subscription is gone. Longer explanation here.
Or better yet, just click the feed & subscribe =)