Tag: ink swabs

Ink Swab: Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium


A few weeks ago, I received a bottle of Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium from friends. I’ve long been curious about this ink since it’s not locally available (it was exclusively made for Goulet Pens). I am so happy that I was able to try this out.


My first impression was that it’s an uncomplicated, vibrant blue. It has no sheen to it, it’s not bling-y. It’s just a beautiful shade of vibrant, vivid blue. It dries up relatively fast. In my Waterman Expert II (photo above), which is a wet writer with a left oblique cursive italic nib, it dries up between 10 to 15 seconds.

The flow is also good. It hasn’t dried up on me yet, or clogged my nib, and I’ve been using it regularly since late last month. I like that it’s a very nicely saturated blue that you can use for daily writing. I also like that it has nice shading. Check out the close up shots of my writing samples below.


The shading is not crazy, but I think it’s beautiful. It’s slightly dark blue-darker blue. I like it a lot. There’s no nib creep either, for people who are bothered by that sort of thing.

It’s not exactly water proof, but it’s water resistant. Especially if you dry it out thoroughly first before testing. A pretty nice blue ink. I’m happy to add it to my ink collection. ^_^

Ink Swab: Pilot Iroshizuku Syo-Ro


My Pelikan M600 had been out of rotation for a few months. I decided to ink it up yesterday and since Syo-Ro looked a bit like a suitable blue green, I decided to try it out. It’s one of those inks that look very different when wet and dry. The photos below will show that. The one on the left is how it looks when it’s wet and the one on the right is when it’s dry.

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When wet, it looks similar to the base color of J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor, just without the sparkles and the pronounced red sheen. As it dries, the green component of the ink becomes more obvious. It’s a nice teal shade that leans more on the green side. As expected of the Iroshizuku line of inks, this ink performs really well. It dries relatively fast (less than 10 seconds on a wet, medium nib), and flows really good. I would put this at a moderate to wet flow. It’s not waterproof but it leaves behind traces of blue when wet.

It’s an interesting-looking ink, not your run-of-the-mill teal. The shading has some dark blue in it, reddish under some kinds of light. Check out some close ups of my writing sample below:




Pilot has this way of making their ambiguous-looking inks very eye-catching.

Overall, I like this ink a lot because it’s something I can be comfortable using at work while still looking like a unique color. The flow is so pleasant, and it behaves very well. What’s not to like? 🙂

I bought this as part of a set of three small bottles from Everything Calligraphy.

Ink Swab: Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai


Shink-Kai (Deep Sea) is one color in a set of three that I bought from Everything Calligraphy last week. Honestly I picked it because I wanted to expand my collection of blue inks, but it wasn’t even my second choice. After trying it out, it promptly dislodged Tsuki-Yo as my favorite blue ink (though I still love Tsuki-Yo, of course).

PB258795I was a little hesitant about it because it seemed like a run-of-the-mill stock blue ink. I was so wrong. This leans more into the blue black category, but it’s more on the  blue side than on the black side. I like it because it’s a simple kind of blue black, not something that has confusing green undertones. Just a nice blue black which gets more greyish as it dries. It’s certainly far from boring blue.


In bright light, it shows as a vibrant, nicely saturated blue. Under gentler light and with more absorbent paper, the greyish undertones become more apparent. This blue is so easy and gentle on the eyes. It’s eye-catching in its own subtle way. The blue really pops out, especially when used with Tomoe River paper (what I used in this review).


It has a slight red sheen to it, although it’s not immediately noticeable. It sort of just gives the lines that you write that subtle red outline. The shading is also quite gorgeous. Check out a few close ups below:

You can see some of the subtle red sheen here.
Gorgeous shading!



Not very water resistant, but does leave some blue behind.

Lefties will like that this ink dries up relatively fast. It minimizes the risk of smudging. It’s not very water resistant, though it leaves traces of blue behind.


For an ink that dries up fast, it certainly flows very well. I would put the ink flow of Shin Kai as moderate to slightly wetter than moderate. It performs really well, as I’ve come to expect from these wonderful Iroshizuku inks. I would  imagine it would turn out differently if I use finer nibs, but I like how it pairs with my Franklin Christoph Model 02’s 1.1mm nib.

Overall, it’s a wonderful blue ink. It’s easy on the eyes, performs wonderfully, and produces beautiful shading. It’s a subdued blue that makes it great for everyday writing, but it’s not a boring, ordinary-looking kind of blue. I think the name fits it so well. 🙂

Ink Swab: Diamine Shimmertastic Inks – Golden Sands


I’ve been waiting for these inks to be available locally since it has been released. I had my eye on a particular color of these Shimmertastic inks–Golden Sands. From the writing samples I saw online, I thought that the golden brown base color is very pretty. I ordered this bottle from Everything Calligraphy and it arrived yesterday (with a couple of chocnuts, yay!), much to my excitement. The bottle’s label is pretty, I love it. But the opening of the bottle is almost the same (if not the same) as their 30ml bottles. Sigh, Diamine, would it kill you to widen the opening a bit so my Bexley Corona fits more comfortably? A minor annoyance, this small bottle opening. :-/


Look at those golden particles. Compared with Emerald of Chivor, these micronized gold bits seem to be denser. They clump together near the bottom and it takes a good shaking to disperse them again. It kind of reminds me of the gold particles of Stormy Grey. They seem heavier.


The base color of this ink is so pretty. It reminds me of Diamine Sepia, only a bit more yellow. Maybe it looks more like amber. That kind of yellow-brown makes you look twice, it reminds me of the color of leaves in fall, quite lovely! The shading is gorgeous too. Even without the gold bits, I love the base color of this ink a lot.


I like that the ink doesn’t look gaudy, which was what I was worried of because it’s basically gold on gold. I thought it would make the ink hard to read under some lights, but it turns out that the distribution of particles is pretty good, you can see the character and appearance of the base ink pretty well. Under some kinds of light, the bling shines through…

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It doesn’t make the letters look like they’re written with gold ink, though. You can still obviously see that the base color is a nice golden brown, and that it’s got some expressive shading.


The ink’s flow is a bit on the dry to medium side. I wish that it’s a bit more flow-y, but it’s all good. Compared with Emerald of Chivor, it has more shading to it, although the color doesn’t have EoC’s depth (thanks to the red sheen and gold particles), but it is still a pretty ink. Takes about 10-15 seconds to dry on Tomoe River paper, and it’s not particularly water-resistant. It’s best to use on wet writers with medium or broad nibs. Probably not what you would use for daily writing, this kind of brown is pretty unconventional and not something you can use for official documents. Still, it makes journal entries and personal letters so very, very pretty.

I’ll observe the pen I used with it (a Lamy Studio with a medium nib), and will update this entry if it ends up clogging my pen (highly doubtful). 🙂

Ink Swab: Pilot Iroshizuku Shin Ryoku Review


I’ve had this ink for a while but I got so many new inks afterwards that I forgot to upload my review for it. Well, today’s as good a time as any. This ink was a gift from my husband a few months ago. Since I love green inks, he thought I’d like this too. It’s hard not to like these Iroshizuku inks. I’ve yet to meet an Iro ink that did not perform great in pens.


I used this ink with my Faber Castell Emotion (medium nib). At first I didn’t want to put brown pen and green ink together, but Shin-Ryoku has this natural vibe to it. Using it with a wood pen didn’t feel incongruous. Shin-Ryoku means “Forest Green”, by the way. How apt.


Like with all the Iroshizuku inks that I’ve tried before, this one flows so well. it feels like writing with silk. This ink is more expensive than others, but I can say it’s totally worth it. This one’s no exception. It flows so well, and at first glance the ink looks like what you would expect of a “forest green”, but then there are subtle things about it that makes it even more beautiful.


On to the technical little nitty-gritty first. The ink dries moderately fast (between 10-15 seconds, depending on nib grade and paper). It’s not prone to nib creep as far as I can tell. The flow is moderate to medium, it actually feels like lubricated ink.


It’s not waterproof or water resistant by any stretch, but it does leave behind a bluish outline. Not dark enough to be too noticeable though (see the photo below).


In certain kinds of paper and under certain kinds of lighting, it shows tinges of red in the shading. It does show some shading, but I wouldn’t call it expressively shade-y. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:



Overall, it’s a nice, vibrant green that is nicely saturated. I prefer expressively shade-y inks, but this one’s pretty nice too. The red undertone gives it a subtly distinct character.

The great news for people living in the Philippines is that Iroshizuku inks are now available through Everything Calligraphy (nationwide shipping is available). There was a time when the only way to get this ink is through a balikbayan or through international shipping. It’s amazing how times have changed. 🙂

Ink Swab: J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor Review


Last week I heard that J. Herbin’s new anniversary ink, Emerald of Chivor, has finally arrived in the Philippines. So I asked my favorite Scribe branch to reserve one for me, and I picked it up last Sunday. I’ve been looking forward to this ink for a while, so I was really excited to try it out.


I only use my bling-y anniversary inks with Lamy pens, but this time I thought I would be adventurous and try it with my Faber Castell Emotion with a medium nib. My first impression (as I waited for the ink to dry and show the sparkly bits), is that the base ink looks gorgeous. It kind of reminds me of Iroshizuku Syo-Ro, but darker. The gold bits on the bottle are also noticeably easier to shake than Stormy Grey. Perhaps the concentration of micronized particles for this color is lower? I’m not sure.


It is a pretty good-looking shade of blue-green, though. The ink flows really wet. I used it on a medium nib and it definitely flows wetter than other J. Herbin anniversary inks that I’ve tried. This review was written on the loose Tomoe River paper I got from www.pengrafik.com, and I must say…wowza! This combination is amazing. I’ve tried the ink on several different papers and of course, you need to get the right combination of nib and paper in order to bring out the sheen more effectively. On most papers, the micronized gold bits get distributed a bit evenly, making it look almost like colored sandpaper. See the closeup photo below of what it looks like on Mnemosyne’s paper.


It’s a bit harder to see the micronized gold specks. With Tomoe River paper, though, the sheen is so pronounced. The letters look like they’re glowing reddish gold, and the areas where the ink pools show more of the gorgeous sheen. The wetter the pen is, the more obvious the sheen. Here’s what it looks like with the pen newly inked:


This was written with my Lamy Safari’s 1.5mm nib. You can see the reddish gold sheen almost covering the dark blue green parts of the ink. The photo below shows my Emotion when it was newly-inked with Emerald of Chivor.


You can see the reddish gold sheen complements the dark blue green base color so beautifully. It actually reminded me of the color of beetles. I can say that it’s my favorite J. Herbin anniversary ink so far.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample above.

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The ink flows super wet, so I’m not sure if lefties who are over-writers will have a difficult time with it. It takes between 25 to 30 seconds to dry. Even if it’s nicely-saturated, it’s not very water resistant. It looks awesome when used with calligraphy nibs, such a head turner. It doesn’t hard-start after being left in the pen, unused for over a day. I’ll update this post if I notice any clogging issues when left unused for a few days.

Overall, I really like the base color of this ink. It’s suitable for daily writing. The sheen is spectacular (provided you find the right combination of nib and paper). Takes a long time to dry, but I think that’s alright. Hat tip to J. Herbin for making another wonderful anniversary ink!

Used in this review:
Pens – Faber Castell Emotion (Medium) and Lamy Safari (1.5mm nib)
Papers – Curnow Tomoe River loose paper (from Pengrafik) and Mnemosyne dot grid paper

Ink Swab: De Atramentis Jane Austen


This bottle was part of the batch I preordered a while back through Everything Calligraphy. I have to say that I am soooo happy with the inks I chose for that preorder period. I think this bottle of Jane Austen is my favorite, and not just because it’s a green colored ink (I’ve never met a green ink I did not like).


I generally prefer olive greens to other kinds of green ink. I was a little hesitant about this color at first because I thought it lacked depth and wasn’t very interesting-looking. Then I got it through the courier, inked up my Bexley Corona with it, and I was so pleasantly surprised at how striking this color is.


It is a vibrant dark green. It reminds me of green velvet used for Christmas decors because the color it leaves on the page looks thick and soft. It writes as a very wet, glistening dark green and dries to a vibrant color with beautiful shading. I used this pen with the 1.1 mm nib, it gave me such expressive, beautiful shading that I found it hard to stop writing. It’s like painting with words, really.


The ink behaves well. I’ve been using it for days and the flow is good. I would say it has a consistent moderate flow. It’s not prone to nib creep, either. I like the saturation of this ink. It’s not too much of a dark green that makes it nearly indistinguishable from black unless under certain kinds of light…no, this ink is undoubtedly green. It’s obvious and unapologetic in being Christmas-y green. The shading is a darker shade of green. I like that it doesn’t seem to have pronounced undertones of other colors. It makes the shade look less complex, yes, but that has a certain appeal to it too.

I would definitely use this for daily writing. It’s easy to read, pleasant to use, and dries up really nice without losing its vibrant color, even in more absorbent paper. It’s not waterproof, nor is it remarkably water resistant. it dries a bit slow (20 seconds, more or less). I don’t mind, though, it’s gorgeous! A few close up shots of the beautiful shading:

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Used in this review:
Pen (not in the photos above) – Bexley Corona, 1.1mm steel nib
Ink – De Atramentis Jane Austen from Everything Calligraphy

Ink Swab: De Atramentis Thomas Alva Edison


This ink was preordered a while back through Everything Calligraphy and I must admit that I was curious because I wanted to have an ink with my namesake on it. My mom got my first name from this famous historical personality. Also, it seemed to be a nice dark red ink. It’s a little hard to determine if the color is really good or not based on online swabs because there’s not a lot of it out there. In any case, I still preordered it and when I got it last weekend, I was surprised at how beautiful this ink was.


I paired it with my Cross Century II (medium nib) and it was perfect. The flow was awesome on this pen. My first impression was that it looked similar to Yama Budo but it wasn’t exactly the same. It was also a nice, vibrant shade of magenta but more on the red side. As it dries, it becomes slightly more pink.


Surprisingly, even if the flow is beautifully wet, it dries up quickly. I think lefties are gonna love this. It’s so much fun to use when taking notes because it’s nicely saturated, it flows so well, and it’s not so pink that it’s hard to look at on a page. It’s actually quite subdued in color and when you use it with a wet nib, the shading is pretty dark. It reminds me of rose petals that are a richer shade of crimson towards the middle of the flower.

Here is a comparison between De Atramentis Thomas Alva Edison, R&K Alt Bordeaux and Iroshizuku Yama Budo (in that order, from left to right).


For the kind of saturation it has, the shading is pretty awesome. It gives off a nice color variation because the shading is pretty expressive. Here are a few close up shots of it.

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Overall, the ink is so pleasant to use because the flow is wonderful (I would consider it a moderate to wet-flowing ink). It well-behaved, dries fast, and though it’s not very water resistant it does leave a red outline behind when exposed to some drops of water. I like it especially when paired with white paper. Definitely a must-have for magenta-colored ink lovers.

In this review:
Pen – Cross Century II Medalist, Medium
Ink – De Atramentis Thomas Alva Edison from Everything Calligraphy

Ink Swab: De Atramentis Coffee Ink


What is it about the scent of coffee that is so comforting and makes you want to drink it, like a reflex action? Haha. I took a whiff of this ink from the bottle and I had a mental image of myself sipping it. It smells like a nice cup of espresso. I took out my TWSBI Micarta and inked it up right away.


My first impression of the ink is that it flows so well. I expected it to take a long time to dry, but I was surprised to see that it only took about 10 seconds. I tried it on different kinds of paper and always came out with 10 seconds or a tiny bit more. That’s pretty awesome. Like my other De Atramentis inks so far, this ink writes wet. It’s so pleasant to write with because it glistens on paper and the nib just practically glides because the ink flow is excellent.

The scent of coffee fades after a while, but it makes the writing experience pretty interesting. While I wrote, I keep on smelling that wonderful scent of coffee. It has this relaxing effect on me because I often associate coffee-drinking with my quiet times writing in my journal and reading.


The color of the ink is a very pleasant, rich brown with a slightly reddish tint. It looks more like chocolate, I think. Like many brown inks, this looks perfect for daily writing.


It’s not water proof but it does leave a light brown impression when it comes in contact with water. It does not creep on the nib, and what’s remarkable is that the ink does not show through or feather too much in cheap paper. My least fp-friendly paper took it well, surprisingly. Also, the shading is gorgeous! Take a look at the close up shots of the writing sample:

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All in all, I think it’s a great brown ink. I love the flow, I love that it dries quickly, I love how expressive the shading is, and of course I love how it smells!

In this review:
Ink is De Atramentis Coffee from Everything Calligraphy
Pen is TWSBI Micarta with a cursive italic nib by Pentangeli
Paper is some loose paper I found lying around, because I ran out of my favorite paper sheets for my ink reviews. 🙁

Ink Swab: Rohrer and Klingner Alt Bordeaux


When Elias announced that they will carry Rohrer and Klingner inks, I was ecstatic. This means more options for fountain pen users, and of course, I’ll finally get a steady supply of one of my favorite greens, Alt Goldgrun. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what other color to try from Rohrer and Klingner except for Alt Goldgrun. I was looking for a nice purple ink, though, so I thought I’d give Alt Bordeaux a try.


I loaded up my Bexley Corona with the 1.1mm nib and my first impression was “Heeey, this works super well with this pen! OTP!” I used it for a few days before I wrote this review. It’s pretty interesting how it dries up to different shades depending on the paper you use.


It has an average drying time, about 15 seconds. It’s not very water resistant. When wet, it reminds me of Welch’s grape juice. It’s that color of dark purple or mauve that’s pretty serious without being too sombre. It flows very wet, and I guess it will give more pronounced shading if you use it with a medium nibbed pen. My 1.1mm nib is a wet writer so it doesn’t give very pronounced shading when the ink flows wet and is saturated.

On Elias notepad, the ink looks very much like mauve. It reminds me of J. Herbin’s Poussiere de Lune. The color doesn’t change much as it dries, it just becomes a bit lighter.

On Elias Notepad

When I write on other white paper (I think this one’s Muji? I can’t remember) the reddish undertones of the ink show through more. It looks more like dark magenta than dark purple.

On Muji’s white paper

On cream-colored paper, though, it’s like it’s a different ink color altogether. It’s mauve when wet, but dries to an old rose color which is pretty amazing. It’s like the more serious older sister of Yama Budo.

Curnow’s A5 Journal – Tomoe River Paper
Curnow’s A5 Journal – Tomoe River Paper

All in all, I just love, love, love, this ink. Even when I use it on cream-colored paper and it dries to a shade of old rose, I’d still say it’s fit for daily writing. It’s a lovely color and a well-behaved ink. I’m very happy with it.

In this review:
Ink – Rohrer and Klingner Alt Bordeaux from Everything Calligraphy
Pen – Bexley Corona Blueberry Cream, 1.1mm nib
Paper – Elias Notepad, Muji, Curnow A5 Cream-colored Journal with Tomoe River Paper