Tag: fountain pen ink

Review: Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Gosh, look at that. That is a purrty shade of pink. Cherry blossoms come in a range of colors, from pure white with the faintest hint of pink to dark pink, yellow, purple, and even green. This color of Kyo-Iro ink reminds me of pink cherry blossoms because the shading is expressive and shows a range of pinks, like the blossoms. The ink is sufficiently saturated enough to make it easy to read, but I find the color so delicate and refined.

The flow is moderate; not too dry, not too wet. It’s well-behaved and pleasant to write with. It dries in about 15 seconds (using a European medium nib on Tomoe River paper), and it’s not water resistant. I like that the vibrancy of the ink doesn’t fade after several days. The color didn’t go flat or dull.

Pink ink lovers will definitely love this shade. Here are a few close-ups of my writing sample:

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Overall, you may not be able to use it for work or exams, or anything like that, but it’s a cute ink for journal-writing and other creative purposes.

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed:

Review: Birmingham Inks Edgar T. Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

I’ve been using this ink for a week and it’s about time to write a short review. What surprised me most when I was only beginning to explore different kinds of inks for fountain pens is that not all black inks are alike. I’ve come across several interesting black inks like Diamine Onyx, which has some subtle hints of purple. My least favorite is Parker Quink which seems so diluted and has terrible flow with most of my pens. It seems weird to review black ink, but if you look closely enough, different kinds of black ink do look…different.

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

So, Birmingham Inks’ Coking Coal Black. While wet, I had the impression that it was a bit on the warm side. A little purplish brown. As it dries, the color develops to a more slate grey hue. It reminds me of the color of the core of a pencil. Under certain lights, it reminds me of the color of nori wrap. I wouldn’t say that it’s highly saturated, it doesn’t look jet black and it doesn’t look “thick” on paper, like J. Herbin’s Perle Noir. It doesn’t look watered-down either. For a dark-colored ink, it certainly shows some nice shading which highlights different gradations of gray. There’s a slight hint of purple, too.

The flow is really nice, it flows moderately wet in a medium nib. The pen glides on paper while using the ink, I like the flow a lot. It dries relatively fast, too. About 10-15 seconds. It’s definitely not too water resistant, only leaving behind a faint purplish line after 30 seconds of soaking in drops of water. Overall, it’s a pretty nice coal-black ink. Here are some closeups of the writing sample:

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Birmingham Inks Point Park – Fountain Turquoise

Finally, I found time to post this review. I really enjoyed trying out this ink. I’m afraid the photos didn’t really do justice on how pretty this ink is. It’s really better to enjoy it in person. Anyway, I’ll try my best.

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Fountain Turquoise is quite a pretty ink. It kind of reminds me of Pilot Iroshizuku SyoRo when it dries, without the sheen. It’s a simpler version of it, I think. A nice blue-green color that tilts just a little bit towards the green side of the spectrum. It’s sufficiently saturated to make it suitable for daily writing, even for work-related notes, but the color is ambiguous enough to give you pause and wonder about it. I love the flow as well, it’s a moderate to wet-flowing ink. It dries relatively fast at 15-20 seconds, without noticeable feathering. It’s a head-turner, for me. It’s not water-resistant, though it leaves behind a faint, purplish line. It washes away pretty easily. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks are available exclusively at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Birmingham Inks Smithfield St. Bridge – Truss Blue

Here’s another blue Birmingham Ink that I’ve been using for the past few days. It’s Smithfield St. Bridge (Truss Blue). This is another dark blue ink, which looks conservative and behaves pretty well.

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

It’s a bit dark when wet, reminds me of the color of Tsuki-yo, but it seems to get a bit lighter as it dries. I used a Waterman Gentleman with a fine nib for this writing sample. It’s a wet, European fine nib, though. I’m very much pleased that the ink flowed so well, even in a fine nib. The drying time is a little over 5 seconds, and the flow is moderate to wet. I like that it’s a very well-behaved ink, it doesn’t feather a lot and it doesn’t clog up even if I don’t use the pen for a few days. Even with a fine nib, I love that it still shows beautiful shading.

The color is dark blue, and it’s not a crazy blue with sheen or anything like that. It’s a straight up blue that’s nicely saturated and conservative-looking enough for you to use even at work. You probably can’t use sheen-y, shimmer-y inks for official documents, but this kind of blue can be a staple for everyday writing.

It’s not water-resistant, though it leaves behind a faint but noticeable purple line. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Birmingham Inks – Andrew Carnegie – Steel Blue

Here’s another Birmingham Ink that I’ve been playing with for the past few weeks. It’s Andrew Carnegie Steel Blue. I must admit I was surprised to see a dark blue instead of a light, icy blue, but a quick research in Google corrected my perception of the color.

Birmingham Inks - Andrew Carnegie - Steel Blue

The ink is a dark blue-grey while wet, but it dries to an interesting color of dark blue with a greenish tint. Like dark turquoise. Of all the Birmingham Inks I tried, so far this is more flow-y. I would put the flow at a moderate to wet. It take a bit longer to dry too, about 25 seconds or more, depending on how wet the nib is and the quality of paper. For this review, I used a Pelikan M200 with a medium nib and tomoe river white paper. It’s not waterproof or water resistant, though it leaves noticeable blue lines behind. The high saturation of the ink makes shading less noticeable, except if you’re using fine nibs. It reminds me of Sailor Miruai, except it’s on the bluer side. Here are a few close ups of the ink’s writing sample:

Birmingham Inks - Andrew Carnegie - Steel Blue

Birmingham Inks - Andrew Carnegie - Steel Blue

Birmingham Inks - Andrew Carnegie - Steel Blue

Birmingham Inks - Andrew Carnegie - Steel Blue

Birmingham Inks - Andrew Carnegie - Steel Blue

Birmingham Inks - Andrew Carnegie - Steel Blue

Overall, it’s a nice dark blue ink. The greenish tint makes it an interesting variation on blue-black. I also like the flow a lot.

Birmingham Inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Birmingham Inks – Schenley Park – Thicket Green

Here’s the second Birmingham Ink that I tried so far. It’s called Schenley Park (Thicket Green). It’s a nice, dark green ink that looks a lot like the color of pine trees, or evergreen. It’s a very organic-looking color.

Birmingham Inks - Schenley Park - Thicket Green

As far as performance goes, I would put the flow at almost a moderately medium flow. It is a tad dryer than what I would like, though it behaves pretty well, and I’ve been using this ink for over a week. It dries pretty quick at a little over 10 seconds, with a medium nib. It’s not very water resistant, though it does leave behind some traces of dark green ink. The color reminds me of Pilot Iroshizuku Shin Ryoku, without the reddish sheen. It’s sufficiently saturated, making it easy to read and (for green ink lovers like me) a nice ink to use for everyday writing. It’s beautiful, though not quite what you’d call an adventurous color. The shading is quite pronounced too. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Birmingham Inks - Schenley Park - Thicket Green

Birmingham Inks - Schenley Park - Thicket Green

Birmingham Inks - Schenley Park - Thicket Green

Birmingham Inks - Schenley Park - Thicket Green

Birmingham Inks - Schenley Park - Thicket Green

Birmingham inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Robert Oster Bondi Blue

My fascination for blue ink is pretty new. I have to say that nobody’s more surprised than I am to see how much this color grew on me. I prefer darker blues, though. Not anything that leans towards baby blue. I was a bit hesitant at first to try this ink color, but using it in my Franklin Christoph Model 02 (a wet medium) really changed my mind.

Robert Oster Bondi Blue

This is such a vibrant blue. I immediately Googled images of Australia’s famed Bondi Beach and yeah, the likeness of the color of this ink to the color of the water on a bright day is striking. It’s beautiful! It’s also great ink to use with wet nibs because these nibs will show off the complexity of the color. There’s a noticeable red sheen on it, and the shading is a dark blue with a tinge of red. In broader strokes, it looks like a red halo. Much like the shoreline where the waters of Bondi Beach touches the sand. It’s not as pronounced as crazy-sheeny ink like Emerald of Chivor, but it’s there. I heard that Fire and Ice has more pronounced red sheen, this one is quite subtle but lovely. It’s something you can use for daily writing, really easy on the eyes.

Like other Robert Oster inks that I tried, it’s pretty well-behaved. I really enjoy that about this brand of ink. The drying time is not too long (just an average of 10-15 seconds), the flow is great, it’s not prone to drying out or causing hard starts. They’re not water proof or water resistant, though. I really wish Robert Oster Signature Inks will come out with a waterproof line of inks in the future. So far, all the inks I tried have been wonderful. Here are a few close ups of the writing samples:

Robert Oster Bondi Blue

Robert Oster Bondi Blue

Robert Oster Bondi Blue

Robert Oster Bondi Blue

Robert Oster Bondi Blue

Robert Oster Bondi Blue

If you’re in the Philippines, the exclusive distributor of Robert Oster Signature inks is Everything Calligraphy.

Ink Review: Pilot Iroshizuku Fukugawa Nezu

Pilot Iroshizuku Limited Edition Itoya Inks

Here is another one of this year’s limited edition inks from Pilot Iroshizuku. It’s called Fukugawa-Nezu. It’s a grey ink that’s quite cool to the eyes but still saturated enough so that it’s easy to read. I think it’s a pretty shade of grey, and reminds me of the color of a koala bear’s fur.

Pilot Iroshizuku Fukugawa-Nezu

Pardon the wobbly drawing. I iz tired, gaaah.

Anyhoo, I like that this ink is almost silver in color. The only grey ink I have in my collection is Stormy Grey. I’m not much of a grey ink user so I never thought of adding more to it. This seems a bit lighter in color than Stormy Grey’s base color. It has some shading, though not very expressive. There’s  also no noticeable sheen.

This ink flows pretty well, but it dries fast too (around 10 seconds with a cursive italic fine nib). What’s pretty remarkable is that it’s water resistant.

Pilot Iroshizuku Fukugawa-Nezu

Pilot Iroshizuku Fukugawa-Nezu

Coolness. The color would probably make it an interesting ink to use for pen and wash paintings (if you want your lines to be less obvious than black ink) or for pen and ink sketches.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Pilot Iroshizuku Fukugawa-Nezu

Pilot Iroshizuku Fukugawa-Nezu

Pilot Iroshizuku Fukugawa-Nezu

Pilot Iroshizuku Fukugawa-Nezu

Overall, I like it the ink because it’s readable but stands out as a grey ink, not just a washed out black ink. Also, it’s water resistant so I can really use it for drawings and watercolor paintings in my journal.

Iroshizuku Fukugawa Nezu and other limited edition inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Pen used: Franklin Christoph pocket 40, steel cursive italic (fine) nib
Paper: Tomoe River white

Review: Pilot Iroshizuku Edo-Murasaki

Pilot Iroshizuku Limited Edition Itoya Inks

The wonderful folks at Everything Calligraphy sent over a few samples of the Limited Edition Pilot Iroshizuku inks. These were made specially for Itoya, Tokyo, I believe. They’re all pretty interesting colors, but I made a beeline for the Edo-Murasaki first. I’ve been wanting to try out Pilot’s Murasaki Shikibu but I never got around to buying a bottle. My first impression of the ink was that it’s a very beautiful shade of purple. I don’t have a lot of purple or purplish inks in my collection, so I decided to buy this one for myself.

Pilot Iroshizuku Edo-Murasaki

I can easily see this as a great ink for everyday writing. It’s nicely saturated and it’s a dusky kind of purple. Not too fruity-looking or too loud. It’s a nice, conservative, dark purple ink. It kind of reminds me of J. Herbin’s Poussiere de Lune, but a tad darker.

Pilot Iroshizuku Edo-Murasaki

It has nice shading, but the shading becomes less obvious with my 1.1mm nib. I like how it looks so rich and velvety. It has some sheen to it, but it’s not too noticeable. It takes a bit long to dry (about 15-20 seconds with a medium nib on Tomoe River paper), but it’s a very well-behaved ink, as I’ve come to expect from the Pilot Iroshizuku line. It flows so well and makes the writing experience that much more pleasant. Here are a few closeups of the writing sample:

Pilot Iroshizuku Edo-Murasaki

Pilot Iroshizuku Edo-Murasaki

Pilot Iroshizuku Edo-Murasaki

Pilot Iroshizuku Edo-Murasaki

Pilot Iroshizuku Edo-Murasaki

Pilot Iroshizuku Edo-Murasaki

It’s not very water resistant, though it leaves a faint bluish mark behind. It also seems to get a bit darker after leaving on paper for a few hours.

Overall, another drop-dead gorgeous Iroshizuku ink. Watch out for my review of the other two limited edition Iroshizuku inks in the next few days.

These LE inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Robert Oster Golden Antiqua

Wow. This is another interesting ink color in the lineup of Robert Oster Signature Inks. Golden Antiqua reminds me so much of Pilot Iroshizuku Ina Ho, except it’s more saturated (more brown than golden yellow) so it’s easier to read. It also reminds me of the color of wheat. It’s a color that reminds me of so many things in nature. Look at that gorgeous shading too. It’s a very eye-catching ink that makes you want to look closer. My first impression of it was now THIS is what golden brown should look like.

Robert Oster Golden Antiqua

Among the other Robert Oster Inks, this one is just a teeny-tiny bit dry compared to others. It doesn’t have problems with the flow, but it just feels a bit dryer by comparison to the other inks that I tried. I think it’s pretty impressive that these Robert Oster inks all have great flow, all are pretty well-behaved, and they all have really great, vibrant colors. This is a nice, golden brown ink that somehow seems almost like it’s gleaming, even if it has no shimmer. It has gradations of dark golden brown to light golden yellow, which makes for very expressive shading. It also has the slightest, nearly imperceptible silvery sheen if you use a wet nib on good paper It’s very suitable for regular writing, you don’t have to struggle to read it. It’s nicely saturated without losing its beautiful golden hues. Drying time is pretty short, like the other Robert Oster inks that I tried–a bit over 10 seconds even on a wet medium nib and Tomoe River paper. It’s also not water resistant. I wish Robert Oster will make waterproof inks in the future. I would be so down for that. Anyway, here are a few close ups of the writing sample: Robert Oster Golden Antiqua

Robert Oster Golden Antiqua

Robert Oster Golden Antiqua

Robert Oster Golden Antiqua

Robert Oster Golden Antiqua

Robert Oster Golden Antiqua

Robert Oster inks are exclusively distributed in the Philippines by Everything Calligraphy.