After my last test (Part I) to determine the archival qualities of ink from one of many artists favorite drawing instruments (the ballpoint pen) I decided to test again. The last test used the Bic as compared with the Montblanc claiming the archival DIN ISO 12757-2 Standard. So I used the same pens for this test.
We already saw in my previous results that there were basically no differences in the archival qualities of either pen, regardless of the manufacture's ISO claims. Uggg… I truly which this were different. This time I did the same test again, using the famous UV Museum Glass, sold at every frame shop.
The manufacture's claim is that the glass blocks out 99% of the rays.
My results underneath demonstrate the real life test results. The "acid free paper" still yellows, but not as much. Both the Bic and the Montblanc inks still faded and changed color but slightly less.
To make things fair I tested several color pencils and two separate inks which I also use to draw with. The Noodler ink is from a fountain pen and the Speedball, super black ink, I use with my dip pens occasionally.
Clearly, neither the color pencils or the two black inks faded. I knew this would be the case because I've tested them extensively before without the glass.
My conclusion is that the Museum UV Glass works but does not offer protection any where near what the manufacturer claims. I'd say instead of 99% protection, the real number is probably closer to 15% protection. Uggggg... again. I desperately wish this were different.
The bottom line is if one works with any fugitive material like a ballpoint, or paint, or collage element, etc. it will definitely disappear. As the saying goes, it's not a question of if, it's a question of when. In the case of these wonderful drawing instruments, if they are exposed to any kind of real light, you can look to see them start fading in less than a month.
I still love drawing with a ballpoint but sadly it's best uses are for work that won't be on display, like a sketchpad. I suppose if one were determined to frame a drawing done in ballpoint for display, the best thing to do would be to keep it in a very low light environment, like a hallway with no windows and low wattage bulbs.
If you know of any ballpoint that draws as well as a Bic and does not fade, I'd sure like to know about it and I'd be willing to pay you for the knowledge.