Category: Ink Swabs

Ink Swab: Vinta Nakar 1934 (Mother of Pearl)

The wonderful people of Vinta Inks sent over a sample of their ink for the Manila Pen Show. It’s called Nakar 1934 (Mother of Pearl). I am today years old when I learned that the Filipino word for mother of pearl is actually “nakar”, probably based from the word nacre. It’s a beautiful shimmery grey ink and it’s unfortunate that it’s a bit hard to photograph the beauty of this ink. It has a purplish tint to it, and it appears to be on the warmer side when viewed in artificial light, but on the cooler side when viewed in natural light.

It has expressive shading on both the medium and 1.5mm nibs that I tried it on. The color does remind me of mother of pearl, especially when you apply water on it. Those who like to use fountain pen ink for art will find this ink color very interesting. Here’s a chromatography of the ink:

The ink has silver shimmer, but for me the shimmer appears pearlescent. Perhaps it’s reflecting the different color components of the ink? Here are some close ups of the writing sample:

I’ve been using it for a few days on two pens (Lamy Studio 1.5mm nib, Tactile Turn Gist Medium nib) and so far both pens still flow well. But, as always, I would advise to only use shimmer inks in pens that are easy to clean, and don’t leave them unused too long in order to avoid clogging. There are only a few bottles of this ink available in the Manila Pen Show this coming weekend.

Overall, it’s a very interesting color. It looks like dark graphite when used with a medium nib, but I suggest using it with a wide nib to really see and appreciate the unique characteristics of the ink.

Ink Swab: Vinta Bodabil (Harlequin)

I recently received a sample vial of Vinta’s new ink called Bodabil or Harlequin. Apparently it’s not part of a new collection, which I heard is already in the works (yaaaay!). Anyway, Bodabil is a fun purple ink with green sheen. I used a Lamy Safari Dark Lilac with an F nib for the writing sample above and at first it looked really dark, almost black. The purple color shows up more prominently after it dries. Like their popular sheening inks (Dugong Bughaw, Sandugo, etc), this one has a very pronounced sheen. I really like the combination of purple and green.

The flow of the ink is a little bit wetter than moderate. I’d say it has a good flow and has no problems with clogging up even my fine nibbed Lamy. There’s minimal shading, though you can see that the darker parts are almost black in color. Some of the red component of the ink can also be more pronounced in some spots. I used it with my Lamy Studio with a 1.5mm nib and the shading and sheen is even more beautiful. It’s pretty on photos but I think it’s even prettier in person.

Using a fine nib, it dries up after about 20 seconds, which isn’t bad for a sheening ink. It’s also not waterproof. People who like using fountain pen ink with water will find this ink quite delightful because it washes to a generous purple while leaving a bit of outline on the paper.

Overall, it’s a rich purple ink that’s flows well and is easy to read. Suitable for daily use or for art journal entries. I think it’s a great addition to the Vinta Inks family. Here are more close up photos of the writing sample: Continue reading “Ink Swab: Vinta Bodabil (Harlequin)”

Sneak Peek: Inks by Vinta, Collection 2

I received a few sample vials of Vinta’s second collection of inks last week. These are mostly pastels so they’re pretty interesting because I don’t really have similar inks in my collection. I haven’t really used them a lot because I just got them, but I did some swabs and writing samples using a glass pen. A few of them, I’ve tried with fountain pens. More on those when I write reviews about them later.

A general observation, many of these ink colors are very subtle. To coax out the uniqueness of their colors, it’s best to use wet-writing mediums, broads, stubs, or flexies. From my observation, those that can be used with fine and mediums are: Lucia, Maskara, Carnival, Armada, Piloncitos, Sirena and Kanlaon. Those that work better with wider and wetter nibs are Hanan, Perya, Julio, and Julia.

My favorites are Lucia, Maskara, and Julio. Sirena and Armada are close contenders. Two colors aren’t really pastel so they kinda broke the pattern; Piloncitos and Kanlaon. The shimmer on these two are just absolutely crazy. I’ll write individual reviews as time permits.

These should be available for preorder in a couple of weeks, according to Jillian of Inks by Vinta.

Ink Swab: La Paz by Vinta Inks

Next up on my reviews on Inks by Vinta is La Paz 1985 (Bronze Yellow). I think that’s a very apt name for it; bronze yellow. It’s surprising how yellow inks can look beautiful on a page and that they can be used for daily writing. This isn’t a light yellow ink, it actually borders on golden brown. The shading on this ink is beautiful, a closer look at the strokes that the pen makes will show a range of colors from light, earthy yellow to dark brown. When it dries up, it has this sort of chalky finish to it, which makes it quite interesting to use with water.

It’s really fun to wash out and layer. If you’re into using fountain pen ink for your art, you might find that this ink moves a bit differently from other inks. I can’t really explain it well, you need to try it to see what I mean.

The ink dries pretty fast, about 15 seconds or so using a medium nib. The flow is dry to moderate, depending on the nib you use. I think that the color is saturated enough to use for daily writing. It kinda reminds me of the color of honey, or dried leaves without that red component. It’s a very interesting looking ink.

Here are a few closeups of the writing sample:

It doesn’t have sheen or shimmer like most of the other ink in Vinta’s current lineup, but it has a certain charming complexity that makes you look twice.

Vinta Inks are available on their website inksbyvinta.com.

Ink Swab: Sandugo by Vinta Inks

Here’s the only red ink in Vinta’s current lineup. Sandugo 1565 (Sikatuna) is a dark red ink with a golden green sheen. The name is based on Datu Sikatuna and the Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi who made a blood compact, or Sandugo, to seal their friend­ship. The first time I tried this ink, I thought it was black, but after writing more, the red shows through. When the light hits is at an angle, the green sheen just lights everything up. The wetter your nib is, the more it shows off the character of the ink.

It actually reminded me more of cherries. Dark red that’s almost black and a hint of green under the right light. The base color is a nicely saturated red which is light enough to show some shading. Its flow is moderate to wet, and it dries up a bit slow. I think it’s a nice, complex color that’s good for everyday writing.

Here are a few close up shots of the writing sample:

I like how beautiful the sheen on Vinta’s inks look like, and I love that they’re not hard on the nibs at all. Left in my pen for a couple of weeks without using and it didn’t hard start at all.

Vinta Inks are available for purchase within the Philippines. Visit their website here.

Ink Swab: Kosmos by Vinta Inks

Next up in my review of Vinta Inks is Kosmos 1955 (Cosmic Blue). I think that Vinta came out with really beautiful blue inks, but this is my favorite. It’s surprising because I’m not a huge fan of shimmery inks. I think they’re too high maintenance because of the sparkly bits. When I tried the prototypes last year, this was also my favorite of the batch. It’s remarkable that I used it in several pens (stubs, mediums) and I didn’t have any problems with clogging. I like using it with my stubs and (in the photo above) a Waterman Expert II with a left oblique cursive italic nib. The amount of sheen and shimmer is pretty dramatic.

In low light, it looks like blue ink with a pink halo. When light hits it just the right way, all the sparkly bits just light up like stars. it’s so much fun to look at. At first I thought the shimmer is silver but if you take a closer look it looks more like copper. It actually reminded me of Emerald of Chivor because of the combination of sheen, shimmer and shading, but the base color is a beautiful royal blue. It pops right out of the page and is very eye-catching, especially if you use fountain pen friendly paper like tomoe river or mica (which were the two kinds of paper I used for the writing samples in this review).

The flow is moderate, not too wet. It dries pretty fast too, about 10-15 seconds. It also doesn’t smudge when I run my finger over it after it has dried. It’s a great looking ink, and it’s well-saturated enough for daily writing. In low light it looks like a nice, dark blue ink, but then you look closely and it’s so…disco. Me likey.

Here are a few closeups of the writing sample.

It’s such a trippy ink, and I’m happy that it behaves relatively well in my pens, considering the amount of shimmer in it. It’s even more fun to look at in person. The team behind Vinta did a wonderful job on this one.

Check out Vinta Inks’ website for details on Kosmos and other colors.

Ink Swab: La Union by Vinta Inks

La Union 1971 (Vineyard) is a beautiful, velvety magenta-colored ink. It looks like red grapes, and in fact the name was derived from vineyards in La Union. The color reminded me at first of Iroshizuku Yama Budo, but this one looks a bit more subdued. It’s a nicely saturated ink that is so much fun to use on my ultraflex pen. The color is just brilliant and vibrant.

It takes a bit long to dry if you’re using a wet pen (like what I used for this writing sample), and it’s not waterproof. It has some shading but I wouldn’t call it dramatic. There’s a subtle gold sheen on it, but it shows up more on wet nibs or, in this case, the ultraflex nib that I used. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample (and some additional samples not in the photo above):

The ink flows moderately wet and it’s really gorgeous in person. Definitely something you can use for daily writing, it’s so easy to read. Pretty awesome on a flex nib too. I think the Vinta team did a really nice job on this color.

Vinta Inks are available on their website.

Inks by Vinta

One of the greatest pleasures of using fountain pens is the insane variety of inks available in the market. There was a time when the only available colors are red, black, blue, and the occasional blue black from Parker or Sheaffer. Now there are more brands to choose from and a delightfully wide amount of colors too. One only needs to spend a few minutes with a fountain pen nerd to know that all of blue inks he/she owns have its own character and nuances. Even black inks aren’t just black. I can tell just by looking at my journal which kind of black ink I used for a sketch.

So it was such an amazing treat to be asked to attend the launch of a new brand of locally-made fountain pen inks called Vinta Inks. It’s such an appropriate name because the word Vinta refers to boats with vibrant, colorful sails traditionally from Mindanao. The brand was launched last March 9 and it was such an huge success. I had the pleasure of trying out some prototypes of the inks since last year, and I already know that they do perform quite well and the colors they made are so beautiful. There were still a few surprises for me during the launch, though.

I made these writing samples using a glass pen and watercolor brush. You can see right away that there are very interesting colors in the lineup.

The inks during the launch came in 45ml bottles but newer batches will come in 30ml bottles due to issues sourcing a stable supply of the 45ml bottles they used for the first release. I like the little bottles, and I suggested that they figure out a way to accept bottle returns so that they can reuse them instead of us throwing them away.

I like the simplicity of the design of the logo and the labels. It’s clean and classy.

Best of all, the opening of the bottle is wide enough to accommodate big pens. That’s always been a pet peeve of mine. Of course you can decant inks to smaller containers if the opening of the bottle is not wide enough to accommodate fatter pens, but it would’ve been much simpler if the opening was just wide enough in the first place.

I’m relieved the bottle’s opening is of a comfortable size. Also, look at the sheen on that lid. Yum.

It’s also worth noting that Vinta Inks will donate P25.00 per bottle sold to Teach for the Philippines, Inc. which provides support and training for public school teachers nationwide. What a wonderful advocacy.

I bought five colors to add to my personal collection, most of them are colors that I loved during the time that I was regularly using the prototypes. I picked Kosmos 1955 (Cosmic Blue), Carlos 1960 (Emerald), Leyte 1944 (Sea Kelp), Dugong Bughaw 1521 (Blue Blood), and Sandugo 1565 (Sikatuna). All very interesting colors. I’m going to try and write a review on all of them and will update this entry with a roundup of all the Vinta Inks I review.

Vinta Inks are locally available in the Philippines via their website.

INK REVIEWS:
La Union 1971 (Vineyard)
Kosmos 1955 (Cosmic Blue)
Sandugo 1565 (Sikatuna)
La Paz 1985 (Bronze Yellow)

Ink Swab: Rohrer and Klingner Sketch Ink – Emma

A few months ago, I wrote a review about Rohrer and Klingner Sketch Ink Lotte. My experience with this ink was so good that I decided to try out another color. This time I tried Emma, which I got on sale from Everything Calligraphy’s Write3C event. I really love the illustrations on the label of these inks, they’re so cute.

I bought it without trying it first so I was a little nervous when I inked up my Faber Castell Ambition with it last Sunday. It was love at first write, though. The ink is a saturated olive green with such wonderful shading. It doesn’t have too much of the yellow or brown components that other olive greens do, but I find it so beautiful just the same.

Like Lotte, Emma flows a bit on the wet side. That makes it suitable to use even with XF and F nibs. It dries up at about 20 seconds, depending on the size of the nib and paper quality. I like using it even for regular writing. The shading is really eye-catching.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

Overall, it’s a beautiful green ink. If you’re a fan of green inks, this would be worth adding to your collection. It behaves well, flows wet, and is nicely saturated. I’ve only been using it a few days so I can’t say yet if it will clog the pen if you leave it unused for days but I’m hoping that it won’t since I’ve not had any problems with Lotte so far.

Best of all, it’s water-proof:

Ink Swab: Troublemaker Inks Bantayan Turquoise

As I wrote in my last entry, I bought a couple of Troublemaker Inks to try out recently. I picked out these two colors because they popped out of the page for me. Bantayan Turquoise (which I am assuming is named after the waters around Bantayan Island) is a brilliant, beautiful turquoise-colored ink. I don’t have a lot of turquoise inks in my collection, there’s none that looks too similar to this one.

First off, the bottle looks like Diamine’s bottle but taller and the material feels thinner. I like the minimalist approach to it, and at least the opening of the bottle is wide enough to accommodate my fattest pens. The bottle is a bit light, so be careful when you fill your pen because it might tip over.

The flow that I picked for both inks is Wet, and I would recommend this for pens with xf or f nibs because the flow is really very wet. In hindsight, since I have mostly medium nibs, I should probably have chosen the moderate ink flow. I inked a Parker 75 with a fine nib, Sailor Morita Progear Mini with a Broad nib, and Bexley Corona with a 1.1mm nib.

Since the flow is so wet, there’s not much shading to show off, but the color is just so beautiful. I’m glad that it’s not too bright, and that the balance between the green and blue components makes it a bit difficult to say which is more dominant. If you are using non-fp friendly paper, this will feather like fluffy chicken. It shows a bit of feathering on Leuchtturm 1917 but, oddly enough, not too much bleed through except a few dots here and there.

Here’s an example of a journal page written with the broad-nibbed pen:

It’s not waterproof, by any stretch, though. It also dries relatively fast, for its level of wetness. The writing sample took about 15 seconds to dry. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample: Continue reading “Ink Swab: Troublemaker Inks Bantayan Turquoise”