Category: Ink Swabs

Ink Swab: Vinta Laguna 1605

Next up in my review of their Heritage collection is Vinta’s Laguna 1605 (St. John’s). The name is from St. John’s Parish in Calamba, Laguna which was built in 1605. The church is known for its brick red exterior and baroque architecture. The color of the ink reminds me more of rose petals. Those blood-red roses which has petals that go from dark red (almost black) to rich, velvety red. I think this color reminds me of De Atramentis Thomas Alva Edison or Red Black, except it’s redder. This is the kind of red that’s suitable for daily writing.

I would put the flow at moderate to slightly wet. It’s nicely saturated, and at first look it doesn’t look like it has shading, but it does. It doesn’t have any noticeable sheening. I like that it dries up in a color that’s dark cherry red, not like magenta or oxidized blood. I would say it’s a true red black. I’ll go back to this page a few months later to see if it changes color over time.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

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Ink Swab: Vinta Makopa 1938

I’m catching up on my reviews of Vinta’s new ink collection. I barely had the chance to do anything fun like this during quarantine. Today’s review is of Makopa 1938 or Malayan Apple. Also called rose apple or java apple, I believe. Its scientific name was first pubished in 1938, hence the number on the Filipino name. I had to Google what makopa looked like because I had already forgotten about it, but there was a time in my childhood when we ate this fruit every week. We attended a church with makopa trees planted around it and the fruit was plentiful. We just picked them up and ate them with salt.

This ink color is a bit hard to pin down, at first it looks like dark purple, but under certain lights and as it dries up, the pink really shows through. It ends up being somewhere between purple and pink, and with a beautiful gold sheen. The sheen is even noticeable in Midori Cotton paper, which is what I used for the writing sample above. When you mix water with it, it really shows the light pink, red, a bit of yellow. It’s nicely saturated so it doesn’t show off a lot of shading except if you use Tomoe River paper. It flows wet too, so the nib just glides on paper. I think the color is close to Pilot Iroshizuku Yama Budo. This one will be legible even with fine or xf nibs. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

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Ink Swab: Vinta Romblon 1582

This next Vinta Ink from their Pamana collection is called Romblon 1582 (Black Onyx). The name is derived from the province of Romblon, which is the marble capital of the Philippines. The name was given by Spanish chronicler, Miguel de Loarca in 1582. This is a nicely saturated, wet-flowing black ink with blue and gold sheen. The combination of the sheen on Tomoe River paper looks a bit reddish, though, as you can see from the photos below. Some people may ask why fountain pen users would even think of getting different kinds of black inks when black is black is black. The answer to that is simple, black isn’t just black. There’s a color bias even for black inks, and of course there are differences in saturation and they way they look when they’ve dried on paper. This particular black ink looks like a warm shade of  black, although a closer look will show that the base color itself is a cool shade of bluish grey. The sheen gives it a layer of complexity so that it looks warm under certain kinds of light and cool in others.

This ink is pretty wet-flowing, but it dries fast (about 10-15 seconds on Tomoe River paper, using a medium nib). I think it’s pretty well-behaved. I love that Vinta came out with a black ink that’s great for daily use. For people that like to use fountain pen ink for art, you’re in for a surprise once you add water. The ink explodes from black to pink and teal. It’s so cute. Of all the Vinta Inks that I used for art, this is the easiest to use. That’s worth considering if you’re interested in making art journal entries.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

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Ink Swab: Vinta Pamana 2018

The next ink I tried in Vinta’s Heritage collection is Pamana 2019 (Heritage Brown). The color’s name is to commemorate the first anniversary of Vinta Inks and their commitment to sharing Filipino culture to the world through their products. The dark, reddish-brown ink reminds me of the color of pear wood. It has a very subtle greenish-silver sheen to it, but the sheen isn’t what you’d call very noticeable. The shading is gorgeous–dark orange, red, dark brown. It’s a warm color, and nicely saturated too so it’s great for daily writing. While wet, the ink is decidedly dark brown, but it lightens to its reddish shade after a few minutes. The flow is a tad wetter than moderate, and it takes about 15-20 seconds to dry with a medium nib.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample and a comparison with Fortaleza and Damili:

Pamana will be available at Vinta Inks soon.

Ink Swab: Vinta Fortaleza 1797

The next ink from Vinta’s third collection that I tried is Fortaleza 1797. The name is from the Miag-ao Church in Iloilo which is also known as a Fortress church. The color is a distinct ochre and was constructed in 1797 using materials such as eggs and limestone. This church is a UNESCO heritage site.

Oh my gosh, look at it.  Needless to say, this ink is a lot prettier in person. Brown ink fans will certainly love this one. This is a lovely shade of brown with hints of  yellow, orange, and some red. There’s no sheen or shimmer on it, just good old fashioned shading, and boy, what gorgeous shading. The longer you look at it, the more fascinating it is. The shading on this ink runs from dark brown to orange to some warm, butterscotch yellow. The effect is quite eye-catching, as if the letters are glowing a subtle shade of light orange.

The flow is moderate, but again I would recommend that you use it with a wet writer to really see the gorgeous shading on this ink. It’s saturated enough to make it more than comfortable to read. It’s not waterproof, and if you like to use fountain pen ink in art, this one’s pretty fun to mix with water. Here are some close ups of the writing sample:

This one’s also going on my to-buy list, obviously.

Fortaleza 1797 will be available in Vinta Inks soon.

Ink Swab: Vinta Damili 1572

I received some samples of Vinta Inks’ new collection and I must say, the colors are pretty interesting. This is one of my favorites. It’s called Damili 1572. Damili is a term that refers to the art of red clay pottery popular in Vigan. A very apt name for the terracotta red color of this ink. The color reminds me of MB’s Red Fox. I think it’s really pretty and vibrant. I tried it in two pens, it flowed wet in one and a tad dry in another. I suggest using it with a wet-writing pen so that you can really appreciate how vibrant the color is. It dries pretty quickly too, about 10-15 seconds with a medium nib on Tomoe River paper. It’s the shade of a bright, red-orange tomato. So cute! I love the expressive shading on it too. There seems to be a light silvery sheen on it but I wouldn’t say it’s too noticeable.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

The third collection of Vinta Inks will be available for preorder soon.

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.