How do you do your ink review chromatography?

To do my ink chromatography,

  • I start by filling my Pilot Parallels 3.8mm pen with the ink I’ll be testing.
  • Using some chromatography paper I bought from Amazon, I draw a link of ink across one end of the strip, leaving 2-3mm of space at the end.
  • I then suspend the paper on a tablestop microphone stand using a bit of scotch tape
  • I lower the stand so just the uninked tip of the chromatography paper is in contact with a ramekin of filtered water.
  • I let the paper stay in the water for 30-45 minutes.
  • For the video, I set up my camera perpendicular to the ground/table, and let it run for the entire time. Then I speed up the video to 30-60 seconds in Adobe Premiere.

Normally, I probably wouldn’t let the chromatography go as long as 30-45 minutes, but the main reason I do this is for the video visual element that I use in my review videos. The down side is (and you can see it in the video above) that the longer I leave the chromatography running, the more the various colors tend to “bunch up” at the leading edge of the water. If I were doing the chromatography just to separate out the colors, I’d probably stop it quite a bit earlier, while there was still better separation between the colors.