Category: Ink Swabs

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.

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”

Roundup: Colorverse Limited Edition Voyager I Set

I’ve finished reviewing the four bottles of ink that come in Colorverse’s Voyager I limited edition collection. That was truly an enjoyable set of reviews to write. As an ink set, I like that there’s two greens and two browns, all very different from each other but can be used as partners to complement one another.

There are two inks that dry up with a matte-like texture and more muted, subdued colors (Interstellar Space and Jupiter Flyby) and two that had a more vibrant hue (Pale Blue Dot and Golden Record). The names may be related to Voyager I and space travel, but for the most part, I really don’t think they fit the colors too much.

These are very beautiful colors. Some may be a little bit similar to inks I already have, but for the most part, I think they’re quite distinctive and eye-catching. They’re also well-behaved and have no flow-problems. I’ve included the RGB and Pantone information in the writing sample below. The literature that came in the box provided this information along with ph levels and other things I don’t find particularly useful but others might appreciate. I think that’s a very nice touch, and it certainly appeals to people who like to know even the littlest details about colors. The packaging is very well put together, well thought out. I like that the box uses an attractive combination of all the colors of the inks.

It’s hard to pick a favorite because I like all the colors a lot. Whether I use one ink on a page or a combination of one of the browns and one of the greens, they really stand out and pop on the page. If I really have to pick one favorite, I think I like Golden Record best and Pale Blue Dot a close second. I like that Golden Record is nicely saturated but the shading is very expressive so that the lighter parts of the lines look like they’re glowing orange and the thicker parts are sometimes red and sometimes brown.

This set is a bit on the expensive side, probably because it’s a limited edition and only 1977 sets were made. The 15ml bottles are small and it could really make it difficult to fill pens straight from the bottle, of course there are ways to make it work. The bottles are super cute. The downside is that you need to purchase this as a set, and none of the colors are available individually or in bigger bottles. Is it worth the price tag, I think that depends on whether you like the colors. Personally, I like all of them and there’s not one color that I wish isn’t included in the set, so I guess it’s worth it for me.

Here are the links to the individual reviews:
Pale Blue Dot
Jupiter Flyby
Interstellar Space
Golden Record

As I mentioned in previous posts, I got these inks through Everything Calligraphy. I am not sure if they will offer these inks as part of their regular stocks or if it’s solely on a pre-order basis, though. I hope I can try out other colors from this brand, Schrodinger and Cat looks interesting.

Ink Swab: Colorverse Golden Record

The last Colorverse Voyager I ink that I tried is called Golden Record, and wow it’s pretty gorgeous. It has warm orange and brown hues that remind me of the colors of autumn. It’s pretty striking in person. It’s inks like this that truly remind me of what I like best about fountain pen inks. The color is rich, has beautiful shading, and looks like the strokes have  been painted on. Ballpoint or rollerball pens will never achieve shading as gorgeous as this. The lines look like caramel pooling in some spots.

It flows moderate to wet and made my pen just glide on paper. It dries fast, at a little under 15 seconds. The color reminds me of Akkerman Hopjesbruin, but this is definitely more saturated, so the shading shows more varied shades of orange and brown. The contrast between the light and dark shades, together with the red component of the ink make it look like the lighter edges are glowing. It’s super beautiful. Here are a few writing samples. Continue reading “Ink Swab: Colorverse Golden Record”

Ink Swab: Colorverse Interstellar Space

The third ink I tried from the Colorverse Limited Edition Voyager I set is “Interstellar Space”, a puzzling name because the color doesn’t evoke anything about interstellar space. The color is actually an earthy, dusky green.

The ink is really gorgeous, though. I was like “wow, I wish this came in a BIG bottle”. It reminded me of De Atramentis Black Green, but it’s more saturated and has more green in it. It doesn’t have pronounced sheen or dramatic shading, but the color is oh, so delicious. I knew right away it would be a perfect complementary color to Jupiter Flyby.

I love that they both have this matte-like texture after they’ve dried on paper. The colors look striking, and it kind of gives me that vintage-y vibe. Interstellar Space looks like green with a bit of grey thrown in, like camo-green.

The flow is, for me, a consistently moderate flow. I used a Parker 51 pen with a medium nib for the writing sample and journal entry.

It dries moderately fast, at a little over 20 seconds. It’s not water proof or water resistant, and leaves behind a faint green line after soaking a few seconds. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample. Continue reading “Ink Swab: Colorverse Interstellar Space”

Ink Swab: Colorverse Jupiter Flyby

The second Colorverse Limited Edition Voyager I ink that I tried is the Jupiter Flyby. Pretty cool name, and I like that this color is actually quite close to the color profile of the planet Jupiter. This is a pale brown ink, it reminds me of the color of foundation or concealer. When wet, the color if the ink is very different, it’s reddish brown. Almost like the color of rust. When it dries up, it becomes this very mellow shade of brown, which is pretty cute.

The color is a beautiful match to my Kaweco Macchiato. The shading is very pronounced on this ink, and though I find the rust color (when wet) very interesting, I think the color it dries to is pretty nice as well. I would recommend a wet writer for this one because it writes a bit dryer than moderate. The writing sample above was made with my Kaweco pen with a medium nib. So far, I’ve been using it for a week and the flow has been consistent.

I like that it matches really well with Colorverse Pale Blue Dot. It provides a very nice contrast of color and when used together, they really pop on the page.

The ink dries quickly, at a little less than 15 seconds. It has a very subtle (almost imperceptible) green sheen, which you can only see if you use a wet writer. It’s not the most striking ink in the collection, but I like that it’s a nice, delicate brown shade that will go very well with other blue and green inks. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample. Continue reading “Ink Swab: Colorverse Jupiter Flyby”