I hate to get ink on my hands. It’s not ladylike and I sometimes pretend to be a lady rather than just a pen restorer! I wear gloves to repair pens and even to fill them because ink is a pernicious fluid and loves to get where it shouldn’t.
Yesterday I selected a German piston filler that I haven’t used for a while. It has a lovely Merz & Krell nib, fine and with a touch of flexibility and I was looking forward to using it. I filled it with Diamine Grape and wrote a few practice lines. It was every bit as pleasing as I remembered. I capped it and set it aside for a while. I came back later and opened it to take some notes. The nib was completely covered in ink. I wondered what was going on and wiped the ink off. The pen continued to write well. Again I set it aside until I needed to take notes again. The nib was covered in ink once more. I held the cap in my left hand while I examined the nib. I felt something wet! The cap was full of ink and it was escaping onto my hand. My palm and fingers were purple.
That Diamine Grape is pretty resistant to soap and water. Indeed they seem to make no difference to the purple staining my hand. I tried a nail brush. That didn’t help much either. Was I to have to go around with a purple hand forever? Would I have to wear one glove (like Michael Jackson) to conceal it, or keep my hand in my pocket?
Thankfully, between dishwashing and showering, the purple has paled somewhat. It might not be entirely permanent and perhaps I will be rid of it by July or August! By the way, the pen is not deficient. I had forgotten the most basic role of inking a piston filler. Fill it, then pour out a drop or two. That’s all I had needed to do to save myself from the shame of the ink-stained hand.