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.