Meet up with India ink

Mar 04, 2014, 09:26 IST | Kanika Sharma

Head to Ink Bar, a pop-up exhibition in Mumbai that will introduce you to various colours of ink, in all shapes and sizes

Dear reader, now that the world has gone digital, do you remember the smell of ink? Or did you know that each colour of ink was used for a specific purpose? For instance, a letter written in black meant death in a family or the colour red has always been used to rectify errors. No wonder, teachers always clung on to it.

Nib talk
One such teacher, a professor of architecture at the Sir JJ School of Architecture, found inks in all shapes, sizes and colours fascinating. Yashwant Pitkar, an architect and a photographer, will be displaying his collection of 10 years, which will include a host of inks, inkpots, inkwells and accessories. “I have a bank of 50 ink colours that are stored in all sorts of bottles and inkpots, be it brass or glass,” he shares, continuing, “There are ink colours that have hardly been seen by the public such as turquoise, pink, yellow and silver.” He admits that he has been fascinated with fountain pens and has even lectured on its history and design. Ink, according to Pitkar, can be found in octagonal, hexagonal and even triangular bottles.

Pens around the world
Tipping the aspiring collector, he shares, “Japan is a fantastic maker of pens and inks due to its history of calligraphy. It manufactures nibs that can have hairline-breadth in fineness. Germany has as many as 180 types of fountain pens.”

Pitkar informs about CMYK inks that let you create your own colours or Winson & Newton inks that come in smallest bottles imaginable. On for a week only, if you’re at the pop-up exhibition, request the exhibitor to show Pitkar’s Chinese ink stone that requires grinding and drops of water, giving you the ancient feel of an alchemist.

Till March 8, 2 pm to 8 pm
At Manoj Pen Mart, 5/7, Homi Mody Street, ahead of Bombay House, Fort. call 66373992

Did You Know?

In the old times, beneath the writer's high-top desk was a coal stove, which was used to dry the ink as fast as possible.

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