Tag: fountain pen inks

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 – Andy Warhol – Pop Art Purple

Here’s another Birmingham ink that I tried this week. It’s called Andy Warhol (Pop Art Purple). I was expecting a bold, loud, violently violet color but it turned out to be quite a demure and dusky purple color.

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

At first it looks very similar to Diamine Bilberry when wet, but it gets darker as it dries. After it’s completely dry, it looks more like blue violet. It’s very subdued and nicely saturated. While it’s not exactly a screaming purple ink, it’s something you can use for daily writing, without calling too much attention to it. I would put the flow at dry to moderate, depending on the nib you’re using. It dries up pretty fast, considering that I used a stub nib for this writing sample (obviously, I need to clean my other pens soon, haha). It’s not waterproof but does leave a faint purple line behind. Overall, it does look a bit flat, but it’s something you can use for work or class notes if you want a purple ink that, at first glance, can pass as dark blue. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

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 – 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 – Grandview Avenue Midnight Horizon

Birmingham Inks - Grandview Avenue - Midnight Horizon

I got a few new inks to try a few weeks ago, thanks to Everything Calligraphy. I’ve never heard of Birmingham Inks before. I think it’s pretty awesome that we now have a lot of ink brands to choose from in the Philippines. I can still remember a few years ago when the only choices that were readily available were Parker and Sheaffer inks, and only in black, blue, red or green. It’s awesome to have so many options to choose from now. These little bottles contain 30ml of ink especially made to commemorate iconic landmarks and people related to Pittsburgh’s culture. Unlike my usual habit of going for the green and brown inks first, I opted to pop open the first blue ink I saw, Grandview Avenue Midnight Horizon.

Birmingham Inks - Grandview Avenue - Midnight Horizon

It reminded me of a few blue-black inks that I tried, but this one’s more of a grayish blue. It’s a dusky blue color that is muted and quite conservative. People who want a more subdued color of blue will definitely love this.

The ink flow is on the slightly dry to moderate side. It’s not a wet-flowing ink, at least not in the pen that I tried it with (Liliput steel, Medium nib). I kept it in the pen for over a week and it did not dry up or hard start. It really just has a moderate flow.

I’d say it’s well-behaved, not given to feathering or bleeding through, it dries up in about 20 seconds, and is not particularly water resistant. It does have shading, though no discernible sheen. In a wetter pen, I guess this shading will be less pronounced. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Birmingham Inks - Grandview Avenue - Midnight Horizon

Birmingham Inks - Grandview Avenue - Midnight Horizon

Birmingham Inks - Grandview Avenue - Midnight Horizon

Birmingham Inks - Grandview Avenue - Midnight Horizon

Birmingham Inks - Grandview Avenue - Midnight Horizon

Birmingham Inks - Grandview Avenue - Midnight Horizon

Birmingham Inks - Grandview Avenue - Midnight Horizon

Birmingham Inks are distributed by Everything Calligraphy in the Philippines.

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.

Review: Pilot Iroshizuku Shimbashi Iro

Pilot Iroshizuku Limited Edition Itoya Inks

Here’s the third of the Tokyo Limited Edition inks by Pilot Iroshizuku¬†which I got from Everything Calligraphy. It’s a very mellow kind of baby blue color. It looks like it’s best used with medium nibs or wet writers. The color is very light.

Pilot Iroshizuku Shimbashi Iro

It would also probably be very nice to use for calligraphy nibs.

Pilot Iroshizuku Shimbashi Iro

I’m not sure it would be very suitable for official writing (like signatures and other work documents). I see it more as an ink color for creative applications.

Pilot Iroshizuku Shimbashi Iro

It’s saturated enough to make it a readable ink, but I must admit I prefer darker blues. It flows great, though. It’s a wet-flowing ink that dries moderately fast (15-20 seconds, depending on nib and paper). It also has expressive shading. If you like light blue inks, this one is a great option. It’s not waterproof, but it also doesn’t completely wash off. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

Pilot Iroshizuku Shimbashi Iro

Pilot Iroshizuku Shimbashi Iro

Pilot Iroshizuku Shimbashi Iro

Pilot Iroshizuku Shimbashi Iro

Pilot Iroshizuku Shimbashi Iro

Pilot Iroshizuku Shimbashi Iro

Pilot Iroshizuku Shimbashi Iro

These limited edition Iroshizuku inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

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.

Review: Robert Oster Dark Chocolate

Robert Oster Dark Chocolate

Now that Fountain Pen Day is officially over (kudos to the staff of SM Aura and volunteers from Fountain Pen Network Philippines for such a wonderful event), I can resume my regular programming. ^_^ Here’s another interesting Robert Oster ink. This one is Dark Chocolate, and it’s such a rich, velvety ink. It’s a purplish brown color, which reminded me of Waterman Havana Brown.

So far, all the Robert Oster inks that I’ve tried are so nice to use in pens. They flow so well and have very vibrant colors. They’re all very interesting. This one is something you can probably use even for work documents, when black and blue inks become a tad boring. It’s nicely saturated and it has such nice shading. It’s not light brown at all, it’s a deep, dark brown. In finer nibs or dry writers, the purplish undertone becomes more apparent.

Like the other Robert Oster inks that I tried, this is so well-behaved. No feathering, it doesn’t feel overly wet. It dries up in about 10 seconds, which is relatively fast, even when used with a medium nib. It’s not waterproof or water resistant, though. Here are a few close up shots of the writing sample:

Robert Oster Dark Chocolate

Robert Oster Dark Chocolate

Robert Oster Dark Chocolate

Robert Oster Dark Chocolate

Robert Oster Dark Chocolate

The pen I used was a Kaweco Sport with a medium nib. The paper is white Tomoe River.

Overall, it’s a delightful ink. So far my experience with Robert Oster inks has been pretty awesome. Again, thanks to Everything Calligraphy (the local distributor of Robert Oster inks in the Philippines) for the samples.