Tag: ink swabs

Review: Kyo-Iro Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Here’s another Kyo-Iro ink from Kyoto Inks, Japan. It’s called Soft Snow of Ohara. It’s a pretty interesting ink because under certain kinds of light, it looks a little purplish. In natural light, it is a beautiful shade of blue. A familiar kind of blue, I thought. It actually reminded me of this article I read before about indigo dying techniques in Japan. It’s called Aizome or that indigo dye that comes from the Japanese indigo plant. It became popular initially because indigo was an effective insect repellant. The color of indigo extracted from the plant came in different ranges from “indigo white” to dark indigo and was so extensively used that it became popularly known as Japan Blue. I think this ink’s color is pretty close to it.

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

It’s a muted shade of blue that is eye-catching and has a subtlety to it. It’s nicely saturated, but still manages to look delicate. The shading is quite gorgeous, and shows a range of different shades of indigo blue. It’s also very well-behaved. The flow is quite wet, but it doesn’t feather or bleed through. It feels almost as if it’s lubricated. My pen just glides on paper while using it.

It dries relatively fast at about 15 seconds. It’s not water resistant, 30 seconds of soaking in droplets all but wiped out any trace of the ink. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Overall, it’s easy to fall in love with this ink. It’s a beautiful color and it flows great. I like that it’s really close to an iconic color in Japan. I don’t think I own an ink that’s similar to this hue yet. Looks like it’s a keeper. 🙂

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

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

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.

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.

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