McCaffery's Penman's Ink

Item Code: I37


I37. McCaffery's Penman's Ink
1 oz. jar.

Formulated for the pointed pen, which is used for Spencerian, Copperplate, etc, not for the broad-edged pen used for Italic, Blackletter (Gothic), etc.

The black ink is an oak gall ink which was developed with the help of leading penmen of today to provide an ink similar to that used during America's golden age of Ornamental Penmanship in the 19th and 20th centuries. With a newly opened bottle, the black ink writes brown but turns a dense black. Good for fine hairlines.

(Colors and whites are not oak gall inks. They are made with natural pigments).

Choose from Ivory, White, Indigo Blue, Green, Brown, Red, Red-Violet, Black, Glossy Black.
Prices of colors vary.

I37. McCaffery's Ink color chart

Click to read what Michael Sull has to say about using McCaffery's

Q and A


Write a review

Not impressed
Jul 5, 2017  |  By Rachel
I have many other calligraphers using McCaffrey's Ink, and so was excited to try it out. But when I did so, I found that it was much more watery than I'd expected. I never achieved the ink consistency that I liked... maybe I need to add some arabic gum to thicken it up a little, but overall, I wasn't impressed enough to buy more.
Owner Response: Gum Arabic is a good thickener for this ink.

Probably the
Jul 20, 2017  |  By Michael Sacco
Well, the above poster is entitled to their opinion but this is the closest thing IMHO to the ink of old. It will go on grey but in a hour or so the shades will be rich and the hairlines a very, very, thin pale grey. This is exactly what one wants for Ornamental Penmanship. Now it's quite possible you might want an ink with blacker shades and strong hairlines for copperplate or E.S. but that is not what this ink does well. I would put Blots a close second but even that ink cannot pull the faint hairlines of McCaffs!

Favorite Ink
Feb 3, 2020  |  By C. McCurley
I've been using this ink exclusively in my maps (and other reproduction 19th Century paperwork) for almost a decade. I absolutely love it.