Tag: ink

Ink Review: KWZ Grapefruit

KWZ Grapefruit Ink

As indicated by the absolute fervor around the Vanness Pens table at the DC Pen Show, KWZ inks are very popular. The inks are from Poland and are available in a wide range of colors from subtle to brilliant. I reviewed Menthol Green after the Chicago Show which I really liked and now I’ve got KWZ Grapefruit to share with you.

KWZ Grapefruit Ink

I think Grapefruit is a perfect end-of-summer color. At first, I thought it going to more pinky but it ended up being a much more orangey color. It’s bright a vivid and shades a bit to a lovely sunset yellow-orange.

KWZ Grapefruit Ink comparison swabs

I compared it to swatches I had in my stash of Noodler’s Dragon Napalm and Habanero which are much more yellow-orange than KWZ Grapefruit. Surprisingly, Waterman Red, which turns out to be a very warm red, was closer in hue to Grapefruit than the more deep orangey colors in my swatch libraries.

I hope you enjoy the color and the cocktail recipes. I’m thought it was an appropriate way to share this fun, summery color.

A 60ml bottle of KWZ Grapefruit is $12, 4ml sample is available for $2.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Vanness Pen Shop for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Crate Subscription Service: July 2016 Crate

Ink Crate July 2016

After the end of the Goulet Ink Sample subscription service, Ink Drop, I know a lot of people, myself included had been missing a little monthly ink infusion. Well, thankfully, someone stepped up to take up the reigns of the ink sampling empire. Ink Crate is a new ink sample subscription service created to be the successor to the gap left in our hearts and our ink cabinets by the closing of Ink Drop. Luke Dolan launched the service in July and it offers five bottles of 2ml of ink in each of its signature “crates” each month.

Ink Crate July 2016

The inks provided in the first kit was a nice variety of what I suspect were favorites. J. Herbin Lie de The, Noodler’s Army Green, Noodler’s Dragon’s Napalm, Pilot Iroshizuku Amo Iro,  and Diamine Majestic Purple. The kit included an extra milliliter of one or two of the ink colors randomly added as a bonus to some subscribers.

Ink Crate July 2016

Its a good variety of colors and a great start to the Ink Crate subscription. If you haven’t subscribed to an ink sampling service, this would be a great chance to get started. I do hope that future kits will be seasonally or subject-matter themed just because I enjoy that. Theming kits by topics like autumn colors in September or October, document or permanent inks for a month, maybe fluorescent or shading inks, etc. But starting off with a solid range of appealing colors was a good approach. These are all great options.

Hopefully, in the future, there is also either a partnership with a specific shop or some other way to purchase full bottles of ink should someone love a particular color. Even just recommendations for best sources to acquire different brands.

The last component of the subscription is the option to fill out a survey for the next month to help select colors. I haven’t had a chance to fill out my survey yet but I’m looking forward to putting my suggestions into the proper channels.

Ink Crate July 2016

An Ink Crate subscription costs $10 per month plus shipping (update: $3.99 worldwide at the moment). For readers of The Desk, you are lucky! You can use a special $2 off coupon on your first month by using the code: WELLAPPOINTEDDESK. Coupon code is valid until September 22nd, 2016 so you’ll need to sign up soon.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Ink Crate for the purpose of review. I am, however, now a paying subscriber! Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Waterproof, Permanent Inks

Waterproof Inks

During an episode of Art Supply Posse, Heather mentioned that she didn’t realize that most fountain pen inks were water soluble. I held my tongue because I already had a pile of waterproof fountain pen inks in my arsenal and I was ready to test and share them with folks but I didn’t want to derail our conversation at the time. I’ve collected a few waterproof, permanent fountain pen ink options currently available. These are a little bit more finicky to use since they can dry out in a pen and become difficult to remove so I would not recommend putting them in fancy “grail pen”. However, if you have an assortment of lower-priced fountain pens in your collection and are looking for a permanent ink for addressing envelopes, using with watercolors, or for signing documents, then one of these inks might be a great option to add to your collection.

I’d recommend using them with a pen like a Lamy Safari, a Platinum Carbon Desk Pen, a Pilot Metropolitan or maybe refilling a Preppy. You can also use these inks with dip nibs. Just remember to clean out the inks every couple of weeks to make sure that they do not dry out in the pen.

Waterproof Inks

The Platinum Carbon Black is an excellent ink. I find it incredibly well-behaved. I’ve been using it in my Platinum Carbon Desk Pen for almost a year and I have yet to clean it out thoroughly. I occasionally dip the tip in water and wipe it with a rag to clean off a bit of the built up carbon build-up but it is one of my go-to pens. It’s refilled three times with both cartridge and bottled Carbon Black and performs beautifully. I also put some Carbon Black in an old Platinum Preppy and it works fine too.

That said, I was willing to try some of Platinum’s Pigment inks — the Sepia ($16 for 60ml bottle) and Rose Red ($1.25 for a 3ml sample) specifically. I went ahead and purchased a full bottle of the the Sepia knowing that a good permanent sepia brown is something I needed to have in my collection and I’ve been using it in my Lamy Joy. I’ve refilled it several times already and been quite pleased with the performance of the Sepia so I went ahead and got a sample of the Rose Red as well. I wasn’t sure if I’d need want a whole bottle of rose red ink but, upon using it, I really quite like it. It wasn’t as pink as I expected it to be. It’s more of a warm red. I liked using it to draw. Though I’m still on the fence as to whether I’d use a whole bottle of it.

Waterproof Inks

I also purchased samples of an assortment of De Atramentis Document Inks in Yellow, Fuchsia, Dark Blue, Blue, Green, and Turquoise.  Easch sample is 3ml and costs $1.75. Full bottles are $18.50. The most interesting aspect of the Documents inks, beyond the permanence, is their mixability. I purchased what was essentially the building blocks of printer’s inks — cyan, magenta and yellow to mix with my carbon black in an effort to make some of my own colors in the future. I was inspired by some of the ink color experiments that Liz Steel has done for her field sketching.

The one issue I found was that the turquoise color was a bit runnier than the other colors. I imagine mixing it with one of the other colors might help a bit but I was disappointed with the runnyness. The yellow was also too light to use without mixing with another color but is nice and bright so it would be fun to mix to brighten a darker color.

Waterproof Inks

All-in-all the permanent colors are definitely more experimental. I am fairly confident recommending the Platinum Carbon Black and the Platinum Pigment Sepia though as I’ve been a pretty disrespectful pen owner and they have both worked flawlessly in both my Platinum Carbon Desk Pen ($9.60) and in the Lamy Joy ($28) with an EF nib ($13) so you should feel confident using those and Liz Steel praises the performance of De Atramentis Document inks so I think those should work pretty well long term as well. But I’d still proceed with caution and be prepared to tweak as needed for performance and color.


Thanks to Pen Chalet and Anderson Pens. Both are sponsors of this blog but I purchased all the pen, inks and samples shown here with my own money.

Jinhao X750 + Zebra G Nib Hack + KWZ Green Gold 2 Ink

Jinhao X750

I found a fabulous flexible nib hack over on Parka blogs and nothing says “let’s mess with a cheap pen” like a rainy day. Throw in a cool ink sample from Vanness Pen Shop and an urge to be a little tweaker and off I go.

This hack will work with either a Zebra G (Titanium pack of 10 for $33.50 from JetPens) or Nikko G nib (3 for $4 from JetPens), whichever you have available to you. Warning: you may or may not damage your pen, so proceed with caution. It is a fun hack and most Jinhao X750 pens can be purchased for $10 or less so its not a huge investment, no matter what happens. I purchased mine from Goulet Pens, the Shimmering Sands model for $9.90.

I followed the instructions in the Parka Blogs video as well as doing a little feed modification à la Leigh Reyes’s tutorial for modifying the Ranga to try to get the nib to lay down a little bit more flush with the feed by using an X-Acto to shave a bit off the feed.

So, for a grand total of $13.50 I had a wonky, but functional, flexible nib fountain pen. Its a little bit finicky and could probably use a little bit more work to make it consistent but it works. I occasionally have to dip it in water to keep it working but it writes much longer than a regular dip pen. I might just need to add more fins in the feed and since the feed is plastic it might not be as ink receptive as the Ranga’s ebonite feed.

Why did I do this hack when I had a perfectly lovely Ranga? I already owned a box of Zebra G nibs and Jinhao X750 and I was bored. The only reason I would recommend this hack over the Ranga is that it is considerably less expensive and it is considerably easier to acquire the Jinhao X750 in the US than a Ranga at this time. But if you have the means, the time or the patience to get a Ranga or a Desiderata instead, the overall experience is better. But for a quick-and-dirty option, this hack is definitely an option.

Jinhao X750

Now, let’s talk about the lovely KWZ Green Gold #2 ink. I picked this up while I was working the Vanness table at the Chicago Pen Show. Lisa said I would love it and she was totally right. Its a lovely green, golden color as decribed in the name. Pantina gold would be another way to describe it. It shades and colors nicely, ranging from a light golden wheat to a dark brown depending on the density of the color.

Jinhao X750

This is not a water resistant ink so its a good candidate for playing around since it will clean out of the pen and feed easily.

KWZ Green Gold 2 ink comparison

KWZ Green Gold 2 is definitely more yellow thank Bung Box 88 and Diamine Safari but its a deeper yellow gold than Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-Ho. A full of KWZ Green Gold 2 60ml bottle is $12 and a 4ml sample is $1.50. Pricewise, its much closer to the Safari than Bung Box or Pilot Iroshizuku.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Vanness Pen Shop for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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Ink Review: Callifolio Bleu Equinoxe 5 (and a Happy Ending)

Parker Duofold

First, I wanted to take a chance to thank the kindness of the pen community for rescuing my Parker Duofold from its sad state. Susan Wirth, “queen of pen shows” that she is, offered to repair my Parker Duofold for me before she jetted off to New York for a Guggenheim retrospective and she did a beautiful job. Not only was she able to remove the damaged section of the body of my Duofold but, she was also able to restore the sac and filler so now it holds ink! So, I was able to use my beloved little pen for this ink review. It has the smoothest gold nib with just a little flex so its just such fun to use. And now that it holds ink and isn’t all distorted like a silly straw, I can use it on a daily basis. Thank you, Susan for bringing my little jewel back to life and restoring my faith in the pen community, though I never doubted you for a second!

If you ever have a chance to meet Susan Wirth and her colleagues at a pen show, I highly recommend stopping by and saying hello. She has a lovely collection of pens available to try and purchase and many fascinating stories about the history of pens.

Now, on to the ink review…

Callifolio Equinoxe 5

With every blue black ink I try, I think to myself, “do I really need another blue black ink?” Then I start using it, looking more closely at the subtle differences of the colors and I realize that yes, I really do need one more shade. Because, like lipsticks and nail polish, every shade of ink ever-so-slightly different. And Callifolio Bleu Equinoxe 5 (40ml for $12, 50ml pouch for $8 and sample for $1.25) is no different. Their shade of blue black is ever-so-much-more royal in its blue tone with a red sheen. Oh, the sheen is lovely!

I smudged my header only because it is like a million degrees here in the Midwest with about 100% humidity so all dry times have slowed to a crawl. I don’t think it would be fair to blame it entirely on the ink, I was laying it on thick with a paint brush and then, of course, I’m a lefty with a tendency to lay my arm in my ink almost immediately.

Callifolio Equinoxe 5

Equinoxe 5 is not waterproof or even water resistant but it also means it should be pretty easy to clean up. That made me feel safe putting it in my vintage pen, at least for a week.

The great thing about Callifolio ink beyond the lovely color, shading and sheen is that ink is incredibly, reasonably priced. A 50ml pouch is just $8. The contents can be transferred into an empty bottle for easy access.

Callifolio Equinoxe

I pulled some other deep blue/blue black inks from the sample rings and Equinoxe 5 is clearly more royal blue  than the others in my stash though it does have a sheen similar to Sheaffer Blue Black and the Sailor Bung Box Blue Black. Pricewise, Equinoxe 5 is definitely closer to Sheaffer than Bung Box so if you were looking for an ink that gave you the same oomph for a whole lot less dollars than importing Bung Box, a bottle or pouch of Callifolio may be the way to go.

And remember, Vanness can also sell you an empty ink bottle and laser etch it with your name or a logo if you want to purchase a pouch instead of a bottle.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Vanness Pen Shop for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Noodler’s Dostoyevsky

Noodler's Dostoyevsky

I got a sample of Noodler’s Dostoyevsky ink (19.50 for 30z bottle or $1.75 per sample) because I need more teal blue grey ink like I need a hole in my head. Right? But there was rationale here, folks. Several of the teal blue grey inks I own are limited edition inks like the Montblanc Meisterstück Blue Hour and Pelikan Edelstein Aquarmarine. As far as I know, Dostoyevsky is a regular ink color in the Noodler’s line-up not to mention considerably more affordable than either the Montblanc or the Pelikan Edelstein inks.  So, let’s talk about the overall quality.

Noodler's Dostoyevsky writing samples

The color has lots of shading and was relatively smooth performing. In my water test, it did not shift much which leads me to wonder if it might stain. Anderson Pens Ink Tool lists the ink as a permanent and waterproof ink so its definitely not an ink to be left in a vintage pen. My sample for the water test was not left to dry for more than a minute so it probably was not completely dry. But its good to know that this is a permanent ink. I may try it out in my Lamy Joy for drawing. It could prove interesting!

Noodler's Dostoyevsky comparison

I re-tested the waterproofiness several hours later with similar results to the water droplet test shown above so the ink isn’t PERMANENT permanent. There was definitely some color travel but it would definitely hold up well for a writer’s notebook but not enough to be used with watercolor for sketching purposes like Platinum Carbon Black.

Overall, I like the color and shading enough to consider Dostoyevsky as an option to replace the limited edition teal blue greys when they run out.

CJ helps with ink review

If you happen to ever see a stray hair in any of my reviews, this is why. I have helpers. Three furry ones and one of them always decides they need to sit on my review, my lap, my table, in the box or be pet at some point during my review process. Today, CJ looked so content it was hard to boot her off the review. Can you blame me?


Anderson Pens is a sponsor of this blog but I purchased this sample and all opinions are my own.

Ink Review: KWZ Menthol Green

KWZ Menthol Green Ink

KWZ Menthol Green Ink

It wasn’t until I started writing with KWZ Menthol Green ($12 for 60ml bottle) that I realized what I liked about it so much – it’s essentially Emerald of Chivor without the sparkle. It might be a tad bit bluer when actually writing with it, but KWZ Menthol Green is probably the closest I’ve found to a sparkle-free substitute for Emerald of Chivor. It’s not water proof but it stands up to a little water without completely losing its shape so that’s handy. It’s a good shading ink, and its priced right too!

I testedd the ink with several different Esterbrook nibs which will account for the color variations. I used wide nibs, fine nibs, flex nibs and even a slightly janky nib. All worked well with the Menthol Green, even Mr. Janky Nib.

KWZ Menthol Green Ink

KWZ Menthol Green doesn’t have the red halo that Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku has either and its a considerably cheaper ink as well.

All-in-all, I can’t say enough nice things about the ink. The only bad thing is that KWZ inks sells out fast. Keep your eyes peeled for it. Vanness usually tries to get it in stock for pen shows so save your pennies for the next big show (DC and SF, for sure).


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Vanness Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Anderson Pens Ink Comparison Tool

AP-inkcomptool

Have you seen the new Anderson Pens Ink Comparison Tool? The tool will allow for up to five ink color comparisons from their inventory and will allow sorting by brand, color family and will even allow selecting out colors that are unavailable.

I tried it out today and I have to say it wasn’t until I scrolled down to see the tables, that I was blown away by the level of detail it contained. Each table lists the price of the ink per ounce/ml, the country of origin, if its available in cartridges, if its water resistant, shimmery, pigmented, quick-dry and so much more in a quick, easy-to read comparison chart. The ink color comparisons are shown side-by-side so its also easy to see to color differences. I added in a color I already owned as a visual “control” so I could gauge how much bluer or greener the other turquoise colors might appear. And that helped me make a more accurate comparison for myself and figure out how color accurate my computer monitor is. This is a really thorough, easy-to-use tool and its a little TOO easy to buy either a sample or a whole bottle of ink right from the comparison tool. I think I’m going to be spending a lot of money this way.


Full transparency, Anderson Pens is a sponsor of this blog but they did not ask me to mention this new feature nor was I specifically compensated to mention it here.

Ink Review: Lamy Dark Lilac

Lamy Dark Lilac Ink

I feel terrible that I keep reviewing inks that are sold out already but what can I do? I buy them as fast as I can but, when they are limited edition, they sell out. But you want to know if they are good, right? So here it is… my take on Lamy Dark Lilac $10.50. Some shops are saying they will get a restock towards the end of May, beginning of June so keep your eyes peeled.

Lamy Dark Lilac Ink Writing Sample

I tested Dark Lilac with my new-to-me Lamy Safari Lime (the 2008 edition, thanks to Susan Wirth for this wonderful pen!) with an EF nib. I’d heard there was not a lot of shading with the Dark Lilac so I didn’t think using a fine nib would be doing the ink a disservice. I did do a few sentences with my Esterbrook 9315F relief stub, just to check, but the color is so dense that it really did not shade much. As a result, Dark Lilac really is a good color for legibility in fine and extra fine nibs and a great alternative to a black or blue-black ink as an everyday use ink. It flowed beautifully in the Safari with an EF nib and I think would be equally effective with a Japanese F or EF nib as well. It might even look a little lighter in an even finer nib and might show off the vividness of the color a bit more.

Lamy Dark Lilac Ink Comparison

In the ink swabs, the Dark Lilac shows a slight gold sheen but its also evident how dense and the vibrant the color is compared to the other inks. Noodler’s Purple Wampum is really the only ink I could find that was close in hue. KWZ Gummiberry Iron Gall was close in color density. I’m not sure if the regular version of Gummiberry is as deep as the iron gall formula but that may be another alternative.

The last few special edition colors of the Lamy Safaris and AL-Stars with matching inks have offered ink colors that have been way too light to be genuinely usable until now.  Dark Lilac is one of the most usable and interesting ink colors from Lamy since their BlueBlack. If you happen upon a bottle (or even some cartridges), grab it while you have the chance. This is definitely one of the better limited edition ink offerings from Lamy.

Ink Review: Callifolio Andrinople (and Sailor Pro Gear Slim Pink Love)

Callifolio Andrinople Ink

When Brad Dowdy told me he was looking for a bottle of ink that would match his new Sailor Pro Gear Slim Pink Love that he ordered from Bung Box and had delivered by his darling wife on Sunday to the Atlanta Pen Show, I helped him pick Callifolio Andrinople. In the process of picking the ink, I both fell in love with the Sailor Pink Love and Callifolio Andrinople. So, by the time the Chicago Pen Show rolled around two weeks later, I found someone willing to sell me their Pink Love pen and had Lisa Vanness to hold one of the last foil packs of Andrinople for me to pick up in Chicago. So, thanks to Brad, I developed an instant lust for a pink pen and a pink ink. Who thought I’d ever have to blame him for that?

Callifolio Andrinople Ink Etched Bottle

The great thing about the Callifolio foil pouches is the cost-to-volume value. The pouches hold 50ml for a mere $8. Then I was able to transfer the contents to the custom, laser-etched bottle that Lisa made for me with my logo on an empty KWZ bottle. Pretty spiffy, huh?

Callifolio Andrinople Ink Writing Sample

As for the ink itself, I think its a pretty great match for the Sailor Pro Gear Slim Pink Love pen from Bung Box, without being too girly. Andrinople is a fruit punch pink without being garish and totally legible, particularly in the wide music nib.

Callifolio Andrinople Ink Comparison

I did not have many other inks that were similar in color to Andrinople. Caran d’Ache Divine Pink is very similar in color but at three times the price. And J. Herbin Rouge Opera is similar but a little more pink and maybe slightly more coral. I was going to show Platinum Cyclamen Pink here but it was so far removed in color that it didn’t seem appropriate. Way too fluorescent red.

As you can tell, I’m a big fan of Callifolio Andrinople. The color is lovely and a great match for the Sailor Pink Love.

FYI: I looked it up and Andrinople is a reference to a location in Turkey now known as Edirne, historically known as Adrianople, was known for making a type red dye known as “Turkey red” or in France “rouge d’Andrinople“.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Vanness Pen Shop for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Franklin-Christoph Emerald Midnight

Franklin-Christoph Midnight Emerald Ink

Please don’t shoot me for reviewing another teal blue ink so soon after Pelikan Edelstein AquamarineFranklin-Christoph Midnight Emerald ($12.50 for 2oz.) is a much deeper blue-teal color than Aquamarine. It’s in that space between teal and blue-black that you didn’t know you needed an ink. Did you?

FC- Midnight Emerald writing sample

I tested the ink in my Franklin-Christoph Pocket Ice 66 eyedropper with a Fine nib and the ink still shaded quite nicely. The ink dried pretty quickly in the fine nib and I didn’t have any smearing issues even with my left-handedness. The painted lettering took a little bit longer to dry on the Rhodia paper so I suspect a wider nib would also take a bit longer to dry. Not a scientific analysis but this ink dried faster than a lot of inks I test.

The color strikes a nice balance between being a teal and a blue-black. Professional enough for everyday work but unique enough to be fun to use.

The ink is not waterproof so it means clean-up is pretty easy despite the depth of color.

Franklin-Christoph Midnight Emerald Ink comparisons

Midnight Emerald is very similar in color to Akkerman #24 Zuiderpark Blauw-Green but Midnight Emerald is a tiny bit more blue than Zuiderpark. The price for Midnight Emerald is considerably lower. Diamine Twilight is  more blue black and Callifolio Olifants is more indigo blue so Midnight Emerald really does seem to hit an unusual niche.

Overall, Midnight Emerald is a really lovely color and I’m grateful to have it in my arsenal.


Erin Marie A lovely fan in Atlanta gave me this bottle of ink because she knew how much I loved teal colors but I forgot to write down her name so, if you’re out there, please leave a message in the comments so I can give you a proper thank you and shout out for this lovely gift which I will cherish. We had such a lovely conversation but I have a brain like a sieve sometimes and trying to remember Slack handles, real names, email addresses and Rav names often leaves me not remembering any name at all! So sorry!

Ink Review: Sailor Bungbox Blue Black

Bung Box Blue-Black ink

Sailor Bung Box Blue Black is also called “4B” and boy, is it another one of those colors I just love. Its a rich indigo blue with a halo of red that gives it such a pop. I decided to test it in the teeny, tiniest pen I own, my Kaweco Liliput with an EF nib — maybe I’m just channeliing the vibe of the teeny tiny Bung Box shop in Tokyo Hamamatsu, Japan (Thanks to Mel for setting me straight!)?

Bung Box Blue-Black ink

The advantage of testing BB BB (Ah, there’s the four Bs!) in a small, fine nibbed pen is that the dark indigo blue-black is dark enough to show even in a fine nibbed pen and the red halo even adds some shading and character to small, fine writing. If you, too, write small or like fine nibs, this blue-black has enough character and shading to be interesting even in such a delicate line. Quite exciting.

Bung Box Blue-Black ink

I put the quarter in the photo above to show how small the writing is, just for scale. But also to show this ink is not waterproof which means it will easily clean out of your most delicate pens. Just don’t sign your mortgage papers with it.

Bung Box Blue-Black ink

And finally, it was hard to narrow down to just a few blue-black ink comparisons because I literally have a dozen to choose from! But I picked the ones that were the closest in hue. Diamine 1864 150th Blue Black and Sheaffer Blue Black both had the same sort of red halo but the actual shade of blue was different. Diamine 1864 is a bit more violet and Sheaffer is a little more on the green side. I included a couple more common blue black inks like Lamy and  Kaweco and they both feel flat compared to the sheen and halo on the 4B. The MontBlanc Midnight Blue is much darker overall and the Caran d’Ache Magnetic Blue has a sheen too but is more denim-y.

So there you have it. Another in a long line of options in the hunt for the perfect blue-black. I think 4B is pretty darn close to perfect. But Sailor really does make delicious inks. Pricey, but delicious. So if you have a chance to pick up a bottle of this rarity, and you like blue-black inks, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.


Big thanks to Junee at Alt. Haven for sending me this sample of ink. I love the pen community!

Ink Review: Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine – Ink of the Year 2016

Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine ink

Oooooo, Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine – Ink of the Year 2016 ($28 for 50ml bottle)! I don’t know what it is with me and the Pelikan Edelstein Ink of the Year Colors. Since I discovered that there was such a thing as a special color each year, I’ve pretty much made a point of either buying or trying each one. The color for 2013 was Amber, then 2014 was Garnet (which is the only one I’ve missed), 2015 was Amethyst and now Aquamarine. Now, I have to say that the Aquamarine is squarely in my “color wheelhouse”. I love this sort of complex, teal-blue-grey so I am so glad to get to try it out. It also makes me not very impartial about it. So bear that in mind.

Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine ink writing sample

I drew the header with a watercolor brush to get a range of hues and intensities and was thrilled with the color right out of the bottle. I seem to forget just how well-behaved Pelikan Edelstein inks are. Then I dipped my Esterbook 2442 stub nib to experience the ink in more “real world” circumstances. There’s a good deal of shading in the ink and the color is deep enough to hold up even with my small, light writing. It just glided across the Rhodia paper stock and dried is a reasonable amount of time. I did not smudge, nor did I time my writing. I just wrote at a regular pace. (Says the overhand lefty.)

Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine ink

I also went back to my Seawhite of Brighton sketchbook and tested the ink on 140 gsm “cartridge paper” and added water to see how it behaved if I wanted to use it as more of a drawing ink and I loved the sea green colors that emerged. Also, the Seawhite of Brighton paper once again performed quite well.  The ink stood up beautifully. Good pairing!

Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine ink comparisons

When compared with some of the many other shades of teal-y blues in my arsenal, it may be hard to discern a difference from the photos. Both Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku and Sailor Jentle Yama Dori have a very distinct reddish halo that Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine does not have. De Atramentis Pigeon Blue is much brighter than Aquamarine and Noodler’s AirCorps Blue Black is a good deal darker, especially once its in a pen. Of course, Aquamarine is a limited edition color and its a bit pricier than some of these others so if you’re looking for similar options, any one of these would be good.

If FOMO is a driving factor for you, than I definitely recommend grabbing a bottle of Aquamarine while you have a chance. If you’re a fan of teal-y blues, that goes double for you!


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Noodler’s Berning Red

Noodler's Berning Red

I’ve always wanted to try one of Noodler’s quick drying inks but I could never decide which color to try. Then along came the new Noodler’s Berning Red ($12.50), and my decision became a little easier. “Let’s try the new one!”

Noodler's Berning Red ink writing sample

I don’t usually go for red inks but I thought it would be nice to have one and one that dried quickly is definitely a perk. I was surprised when I started my painted lettering how much it bled. I don’t think I’ve ever had an ink do that on Rhodia before. I was getting a little nervous that the ink was going to misbehave. Once loaded into my Esterbrook with the 2442 falcon stub nib, the ink was much better behaved but the unusual behavior in the painted lettering made me want to test the ink on some other paper stocks to make sure that it wasn’t a fluke. I pulled out a piece of Moleskine Volant paper and a piece from my Filofax notebook (also available from Pen Boutique) to see how the ink behaved. Berning Red was amazingly well-behaved on the Moleskine paper and only a little soft on the Filofax paper, even with the stub nib. Phew.

Now to talk about the shading… not much to speak of. Mostly the color shifted because I dipped the Esterbrook rather than filling it.

Also, while the ink is quick drying, it is not permanent so it will clean up easily and the ink will run if wet so plan accordingly.

Noodler's Berning Red ink comparison

Colorwise, its just a little lighter than Noodler’s Rattler Red Eel, slightly warmer in color than Diamine Red Dragon and slightly cooler than Waterman Red. It’s very much a true bright red though I did find it a bit darker in the larger swashes of the painted lettering, not as vivid. I find it looks brighter in the writing sample.

If you’ve been waiting for a quick drying red ink, you can’t go wrong with Noodler’s. The Bernake line of blues and blacks have been quite popular and I’m sure the same will be said for Berning Red. Noodler’s bottles are full-to-overflowing so you get your money’s worth too.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Pen Boutique for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Akkerman Treves-Turquoise

Akkerman Treves Turquoise header

I must be on a blinded-myself-with-turquoise kick this month because Akkerman Treves-Turquoise is a kissing cousin to Private Reserve Daphne Blue which I recently reviewed. I guess I’m just ready for blue skies, turquoise swimming pools and burn-your-retinas summer colors. Akkerman Treves-Turquoise is definitely on the vivid end of the ink spectrum but its not quite as bright as Daphne Blue.

Akkerman Treves Turquoise

Treves-Turquoise does have a much more distinct red halo though, especially in wider nibs, in swatches, and in my painted lettering.

I started out testing this ink in my Pilot Retro Pop with medium nib but the ink seemed a little light. I switched to my Esterbrook 2442 stub italic and both the color and the red halo became much more evident. This ink is definitely at its best advantage in wider nibs.

It shades with a great ranges of blues from a light sky blue to a deep turquoise. When wet, the ink completely puddles so it would be fun to play with for some light watercolor washes but do not dip your carefully crafted manuscript or latest letter into the tub or it will be lost forever.

Akkerman Treves Turquoise Ink comparison

When comparing swatches, you can see how similar Treves-Turquoise is to Daphne Blue. If you’re on a budget, Daphne Blue is a perfectly fine substitute for Treves-Turquoise which is pretty pricey to acquire in the States. Treves-Turquoise is a richer color than Iroshizuku Ama-Iro so if you’re looking for something more retina searing, Daphne Blue or Treves-Turquoise would definitely be more saturated than Ama-Iro.


Special thanks to Junee Lim at Alt.Haven for sending me a sample of this ink to try out. I’ve had it for absolutely ages and FINALLY got around to trying it out. Luckily, Vanness Pens will be in Atlanta for the pen show and they stock Akkerman inks so I might be able to score a bottle of this ink of my very own in a couple weeks.

Ink Review: Diamine Teal

Diamine Teal header

Can there ever be too many deep teal blue-green inks? Not in my world. Diamine Teal ($14.94 for 80ml bottle) is a deep ocean blue-green color. Its got a bit of shading in a finer nib pen but is more evident in wider strokes and in my painted title. The color is muted enough and dark enough to work-appropriate but interesting enough to keep the most discerning pen geek engaged.

Diamine Teal

When I loaded Diamine Teal into my TWSBI 580 Christmas Green I was immediately reminded of another favorite, DeAtramentis Petrol. However, DeAtramentis inks are a little more watery than Diamine and the Petrol color is a bit more vibrant than the Teal. So, clearly, I have reasons to need both.

Diamine Teal Swab comparison

Akkerman #24 Zuiderpark Blauw-Groen is also very similar but is a little darker and has a visible sheen. Akkerman inks are also a bit more expensive and harder to acquire in the States so if you’re looking for a good alternative to #24, I think Diamine Teal is a very close alternative.

 

Ink Review: Akkerman #9 Laan Van Nieuw Oost-Indigo

Akkerman #9 header

Akkerman #9 Laan Van Nieuw Oost-Indigo ($28 for a 60ml bottle) appears to translate to “New Eastern Indigo Avenue” which is not at all what I expected when I looked at the color. I thought it was like “new moon night sky” indigo or something like that since its such a deep blue color and has a fascinating reddish halo in the swatch.

Akkerman #9

I paired it with my Lamy Scala in blue black which seemed like a fitting match and the 14K gold nib let the ink color and shade beautifully. Yesterday in the comments, someone mentioned how Lamy pens tended to lighten inks overall which was such a wake up call for me. And I think it probably holds true for this Akkerman #9 too. The ink looks darker in the painted title and I suspect in a wetter pen, the ink would be darker overall. But I think the color is legible and shades nicely in the Lamy so its completely useable even in a drier pen.

Akkerman #9 swab comparison

Compared with several of my other deep blue black inks, its clear that the Akkerman #9 is bluer and more “denim-y” than most. Noodler’s Bad Blue Heron is probably the only one that’s more blue while maintaining the deep tone of a blue-black. Akkerman #9 seems quite similar in color to the Caran D’ache Magnetic Blue which is not quite as vivid and actually a bit more expensive, if you can believe it.

Are you a fan of blue-black inks? Do you like them more vivid or more subdued? I waffle between wanting a deeper blue-black and preferring a bluer blue-black. Either way, I love blue blacks and Akkerman #9 is no exception.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Vanness Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Private Reserve Daphne Blue

Private Reserve Daphne Blue header

Private Reserve Daphne Blue ($11 for 66ml bottle or $1.25 for 2ml sample vial) is the most beautiful Mediterranean Sea blue. At first, I was worried that the color would be too light to work in a fine nib fountain pen but the color is deep and vivid enough that its actually extremely legible, even in a fine nib. And it shades beautifully too. I actually think this is a great color for fine nib pens if you’re looking for a color that is readable and you enjoy shading in your ink colors.

Private Reserve Daphne Blue

I test a lot of ink colors and many of them I enjoy using but, by the time I use up a pen’s worth, I’ve had my fill of that color. However, before I even finished writing my review, I was already placing an order for a full bottle of Daphne Blue. I seldom do that so that must be the highest sort of praise. I’m looking forward to putting this into Franklin-Christoph Pocket 66 eye dropper. Won’t that look stunning?

Private Reserve Daphne Blue Comparison

I pulled some swatches to compare to Daphne Blue. Lamy Turquoise and Noodler’s Turquoise Eel were both lighter turquoise while Diamine Aqua Lagoon, Kaweco Paradise Blue and Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku were progressively greener and darker than Daphne Blue. Clearly, I do love those turquoise blues and teals.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Diamine Meadow

Diamine Meadow Ink

I was recently reminded about Diamine Meadow (available in 2ml samples for $1.25 and 80ml bottles for $14.95) 30ml bottles for $7.50 and from my Secret Society of Enablers (you know who you are!). I’m lucky I know so many people who share my love of green. I had a sample of it in my stash from a Goulet Pens Ink Drop so I finally pulled it out to give it a good going over to determine if this was an ink worthy of a full bottle purchase, seeing as I already own many bottles of yellow-green ink. I have to be choosy about how many more lime green inks enter my house for fear of mojito overload.

I filled my Lamy Safari with 1.1mm stub/calligraphy nib and set forth to give this ink a thorough testing.

First, I did my watercolor brush painted lettering, to see the range of color and was pleased with the range of color. Meadow varies from a deep almost kelly green to a light lime depending on how much ink is applied.

Then I started my writing tests. It seemed like the color was coming out much darker than most people had described it. I kept thinking that maybe I had some fugitive color from poor cleaning and the more I wrote the lighter the color became. Yep. Fugitive color.

Diamine Meadow Ink close-up

By the time I was halfway down the page, I am pretty confident I was getting the true color, consistent with both the color in the painted lettering and the swab. Its a bright, happy grassy green with lots of shading and it looks great in the wide 1.1mm nib. It does seem to dry a bit darker than when its wet … almost a little olive-y which is actually quite legible.

I was concerned about overall legibility so I switched out the 1.1mm nib to a F nib just to see for myself and the ink maintained both shading and legibility, at least with the European F nib. A Japanese F nib might lose some of the shading because it would be much finer but I think the color would stay dark enough to be usable unlike Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-Rin which I sometimes find too light in very fine nibs to be useful.

Diamine Meadow Ink comparison

Overall, I think Diamine Meadow strikes a nice balance between being a bright green and being a usable color. I love the hue of Chiku-Rin but there are instances where its just too light. Caran D’ache Delicate Green is kind of ridiculously expensive for how kelly green it is and Monblanc Daniel DeFoe is a little subdued, not to mention limited edition. So if you’re in the market for a good green ink, Diamine Meadow is a good candidate and a favorite among the green beans. I think its a keeper.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

InCoWriMo Stationery Package Set: Bamboo Green

incowrimo kit-4

I swore to myself this year I would skip InCoWriMo/LetterMo because I can get so overwhelmed with too many letters and not enough time. However, everywhere I turn this year, all signs are pointing to a February full of letter-writing. I cannot diverge from the path, not when people are putting all these beautiful things on my doorstep making it impossible for me not to want to write lots of letters! To start, the folks are Goulet Pens have put together fabulous color coordinated Stationery Package Sets like the Bamboo Green Kit ($84.90, reduced from $100.90 retail). In this kit is Original Crown Mill Correspondence Set with 25 edged sheets and matching lined envelopes in lime green, a bottle of color coordinated Pilot Iroshiuku ink in Chiku-Rin and a Faber-Castell Loom fountain pen in Lime.

incowrimo kit-6

I’ve  always wanted to try a Faber-Castell fountain pen and this was the perfect opportunity to do so. The barrel of the pen is shiny, silver chrome with a brush solve grip section. The cap is lime green plastic embossed with the Faber-Castell logo and has a spring-loaded, silver clip. When I’ve seen pictures of this pen the cap always looks really bulbous. In person, its not nearly as noticeable. The cap is a little bit more rounded than the smooth cylindrical barrel of the pen but the cap is not onion-headed. Its much better looking in person. Is it possible for a pen to not be as photogenic as it is pretty in person?

The body of the pen is quite weighty. The whole pen with cap weighs in at 33gms, unposted its 27gms. Comparing it to other low-priced pens, you can see that the Faber-CAstell Loom is no lightweight. Surprisingly though, when I started writing with it, the pen itself is so well-balanced, I did not notice the weight though I did use the pen unposted so it was just a little weightier than a Lamy AL-Star.

Fountain Pen Weights

The Loom is 5.125″ (13cm) long capped, just 3/8″ (1cm) shorter than a Lamy Safari and the grip on the Loom is 3cm long to the Safari’s 3.5cm grip. So they are quite comparable in size but the Loom is a much weightier pen and the nib is much silkier out of the box (comparing F nib to F nib). Both also use snap caps and the Loom snap cap is very tight.

I got the F nib and I was kind of blown away with how smooth it wrote right out of the box. It wrote immediately upon filling and had no hard starts, even after I left it uncapped for 10 minutes.

incowrimokit1-1

The Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-Rin also performed quite well even in the fine nib of the Loom. everything was readable and I got good shading out of the nib. The Loom plus the Chiku-Rin is actually a good match-up I was quite pleased with my results! I did my writing tests on my standard Rhodia Blank writing pad just so my results were consistent with all my all ink and pen tests and I was really happy with how it all turned out.

I haven’t tested everything out on the Original Crown Mill stationery yet but the paper is a nice bright white with some lovely tooth to the stock and I will be sure to do a follow-up about how the stationery performs but I’m not expecting any issues. Original Crown Mill is known for its good quality paper and it looks beautiful! The paper and envelopes came in a sturdy metallic silver box too which seems posh and old world. I miss stationery that comes in a good box and this set delivers! Lined envelopes!

Several other stationery color sets are available as well in navy, fuchsia, royal blue and dark green in a range of prices and each include a fountain pen, matching ink and a Original Crown Mill Correspondence Set if lime green isn’t your thing.

incowrimo kit-2

And the folks at Goulet Pens wanted my InCoWriMo/LetterMo to be completely decked out and totally color coordinated so they included an edelweiss wax seal ($12) and handle ($16) and two matching green wax seal wax sticks ($6 each) too. I love that the was sticks are embossed with “Atelier Gargoyle”.

incowrimo kit-3

I was a bit nervous to try the seals out on an actual letter so I thought I might practice first in case I made a complete mess.

incowrimo kit-7

I’ve never learned how to seal a letter with a wax seal so I looked for some videos on YouTube to learn how to do it. I now know why Brian Goulet was playing with blow torches on the Q&A video this week. I didn’t have anything that extreme so I practiced melting the wax using a long grill lighter which worked great until I ran out of butane. The example above was my first try and I think it turned out pretty good on my desk scratch paper. (The dust in the seal was from my second attempt with a candle and I got candle wax all over my desk. It was not the wax stick’s fault. It was a total user error)

The best thing is the wax his actually quite flexible, its not at all brittle and I think it will hold up well to the rigors of the postal service, even in the cold temperatures of a Midwest winter. I can see why Goulet chose to stock this brand. The wax melted easily, it smelled pleasing and stayed supple. And I’m impressed with the level of detail in the seal design. Wow, I’m officially a convert to wax seals. This was super easy to do. I just wish I hadn’t run out of lighter fluid.

incowrimo kit-1

So, it looks like I’m all set for February! Are you? Will you be participating in InCoWriMo/LetterMo this year?


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Waterman Tender Purple

Waterman Tender Purple Ink

Well, hello Royal Purple! Waterman Tender Purple is a very regal violet purple indeed. Its bright, vivid and a perfect remedy for the bleak January days we’ve been facing here in the Midwest recently. I  tested this ink out in my Karas Kustom INK with a fine nib and was able to get some shading and color variation even in this thin line so the color is deep enough for your finest nibs and the color is rich enough to be legible as well. It dried quickly with the fine nib, even on the Rhodia stock so I was able to write with a good clip. Even the painted lettering in the header didn’t take too long to dry and that was applied with a watercolor brush.

Waterman Tender Purple Ink comparison

I included a few other purple/violet inks samples for color comparison but you can see that Waterman Tender Purple definitely has a unique hue. Pilot Iroshizuku Murasaki-Shikibu is a warmer purple, J. Herbin Violette Pensee is much lighter and  Noodler’s Purple Martin is much, much darker. These were the inks that were closest in my stash too. Everything else was either much redder, much darker or just not in the same family at all.

So, if you’re looking for a regal, bright, clean violet purple, Waterman Tender Purple is definitely a good candidate. I received this sample as part of the Goulet Pens Ink Drop subscription series some time ago but you can purchase a sample individually for $1.25 or a full 50ml bottle for $12.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Bung Box 88 Green Tea

bb88-title

Several months ago, some friends went in together on a group order for some Bung Box inks. By the time they finally arrived, I was up to my eye bals in things I needed to review so I pushed the Bung Box inks to the back of the pile. My friend was adamant I try the Bung Box 88 Green Tea ink ASAP. So I relented and moved it to the top of the pile this week and am i ever glad I did. Part of my hesitation might have been because I keep hoping I’ll find the perfect lime green ink and I’ve yet to find “the one” yet. So I didn’t want to have another pricey disappointment.

Bung Box 88 Green Tea

This particular ink came in the taller facted bottle which I really like. Initially I was not fond of the sort of low budget hand-drawn sticker labels but I find them sort of charming now. They are sort of quaint.

bb88-overview

It turns out I didn’t have so much to worry about. The Bung Box 88 Green Tea is a wonderfully usable “old money” green. I did, however, have some challenges photographing it. It looks a tad more yellowy in the photos than it actually appears in real life. Its as if the ink did not want me to capture its true spirit, like someone giving an awkward half smile when you try to take their picture.

I tested it with a Franklin-Christoph Fine Italic nib on Rhodia paper as well as a watercolor paintbrush and it gave lovely shading and dried in a reasonable amount of time. It wrote a bit greener than it dried, drying to a slightly browner hue but was quite legible and easy to read which is an issue I’ve had with green inks. If the color is a lovely lime, its often too light and transparent to be easily read at normal writing sizes or too dark and then becomes more of an evergreen or green black and no longer lime colored.

bb88-swabs

I pulled out swatches of other green ink contenders. Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-Rin is definitely a more vibrant lime color but can be difficult to read in fine nibbed pens as it is very translucent. The darker yellow brown in the Bung Box 88 makes it a better option for daily use, I think. Daniel De Foe and Diamine Safari are quite similar in color but are both from special edition runs and a touch more green than the yellowy green of the Bung Box 88 Green Tea. The last two inks I included are easier to acquire, regular edition inks but are definitely not as complex in color but are still good options if you’re looking for a different kind of green.

Like all Bung Box inks, #88 Green Tea is a custom created Sailor ink so it has all the fabulous properties Sailor puts into its inks. Its smooth flowing and writes beautifully. If you have the opportunity to invest in a bottle of Bung Box ink, I think its worth adding a bottle to your collection. No, they are not cheap. It’s definitely a luxury item. Depending on how you purchase your bottle, the cost per bottle ranges between $30-$40 per bottle but the colors are unique and well-made and definitely something you’ll enjoy using.

Ink Review: BungBox Ink of Witch

Bungbox Ink of Witch

Earlier this year, I went in on a group buy of some Bungbox inks and they finally arrived a few weeks ago. I am so far behind on my pile of reviews though that I am just getting around to trying them out. First up is the Bungbox Ink of Witch. I wanted to have the review up in time for Halloween but I grew up believing that Everyday is Halloween so let’s stick with that theory, shall we?

Ink of Witch comes in the beautiful low slung Sailor bottle I love with the little plastic cone inside to make filling a pen easy and pretty tidy. I used my Lamy Studio with a 1.1mm stub nib to show of maximum line variation. There’s a good deal of shading to the ink with the wide nib and it glides. Oh, Sailor! You really do make lovely inks!

I found the ink to actually be much blacker in color than the purple color I had anticipated. It reminded me of the sort of faded black of antique fabrics or documents. I always think old fabrics and documents get a purplish cast to them.

Bungbox Ink of Witch

That said, I think the color shows a definite purple sheen compared with the few (okay ONE) black ink in my collection. I’m definitely more inclined to use a purple black than I would be to use a black for everyday writing and note-taking.

When I start to think about black blacks, I want hardcore, waterproof black like Platinum Carbon Black for art-making purposes so Ink of Witch is actually quite appealing as a writing ink.

Ink of Witch can be purchased through Vanness in the US for $43 per bottle.

Ink Review: J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor (plus giveaway!)

J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor

First, I want to say a huge thanks to JetPens, Goulet Pens and Rhodia Drive for all coming through for me and getting me this much-coveted ink. They are all responsible for allowing me to review this product and give some goodies away. Now, on the the review and giveaway details!

J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor

I cannot tell you how long I’ve been waiting to ink this ink in my hands and, by now, you and I have seen dozens of other reviews of this ink. So, there’s probably not a lot I could say that hasn’t already been said. But bear with me…

Maybe I could tell you that before the name was settled upon, Emerald of Chivor was called “Emeraude des Ardes v.2”? This tidbit of information came from the sample bottle that Rhodia sent to me. Pretty cool, huh?

 

J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor

Before I shook up the inks, you can see the gold flecks floating at the bottom. Such a beautiful sea blue-green!

J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor

Sadly, when I photographed my full writing page, you don’t see much of the sparkle. The flash flattens out all the color. At the same time, in my TWSBI 580 in green with a fine nib, not much of the sparkle showed in the writing anyway. These types of twinkly inks definitely benefit from a stub, broad or italic nib in order to show them in their full glory.

However, the color is amazing! With or without the sparkles.

J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor ink comparison

When compared with my ever-growing collection of teal blue inks, there is a vibrancy to the Emerald of Chivor that is lacking in the other contenders in this color category. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are all beautiful colors. The Emerald of Chivor is definitely more bluish than Ku-Jaku or Yama Dori. The Callifolio Olifants is a tad more blue than the Chivor. So if you’re looking for ink in a similar color family but sparkle-free, any of these others are good options with Callifolio Olifants and Noodler’s Air Corps Blue Black being the most wallet friendly.

I’ve left the EoC in my 580 for over a week, gave it a little twirl to mix in the gold fleck and started writing with no issues. I’ve heard there’s some challenges cleaning it out but so far I’m not having any clogging issues so I am really happy with this ink.

So what can I do to wow you with the new Emerald of Chivor?  I can giveaway a whole bottle of Emerald of Chivor (thanks to JetPens for this bottle!) and the runner-up will get the super, rare sample bottle of Emerald of Chivor BEFORE the name was settled upon (thanks to Rhodia for this!). While to color is identical, its a cool little bit of ink history.

Leave a comment below and tell me what sparkly color you think J. Herbin should do next to be entered to win. I’ll draw two winners: the first will get a full bottle of J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor and the second will get the preliminary sample bottle.


FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Wednesday, October 14, 2015. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winners will be announced on Thursday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money. US residents only please.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens, JetPens and Rhodia for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: P.W. Akkerman #22 Hopjesbraun

Akkerman Hopjesbraun Ink

I don’t tend to purchase much brown ink. When I first got into fountain pens, all I wanted was the perfect, vintage sepia ink but I bought a few bottles early on that I didn’t like and swayed away from browns for a long time. This P.W. Akkerman #22 Hopjesbraun is making me rethink my stance on brown inks. Its got TONS of shading and is a warm, dusty reddish/golden brown that reminds me of the Southwest and cowboys and Albuquerque sunsets. How a Dutch ink company can generate a color that reminds me of New Mexico? Quite the impressive feat.

Akkerman Hopjesbraun Ink

There is a wonderful, dark halo around the letters when writing with my stub nib Esterbrook. Its just such fun to watch the ink darken around the edges of the letterforms as the ink dries. But that’s the catch.

Hopjesbraun dries slowly. I even smudged a bit in my painting at the top of the page because it dried quite a bit slower than the Zuiderpark I tested last week. I suspect in a finer pen or on slightly more absorbent paper, it wouldn’t be quite as big a deal but as a messy left, the dry time was a bit long. For letter writing where I could pause here and there to let the ink dry before I stuck my arm in it, it would not be a problem but as a daily use ink… well, for this lefty I’ll have to save it for special occasions. But it is one of the prettiest browns I’ve ever used.

Akkerman Hopjesbraun Ink

So if you’re a tidy righty, grab a bottle ASAP. And my fellow messy lefties, you’ve been warned to proceed with caution.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Vanness Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.