On the seventh day of Inkmas I couldn’t resist featuring Kyo-no-oto #7 Hisoku ($28 for 40ml bottle). This smoky blue grey color is one of my favorite ink colors. When I first got into fountain pens, one of the first bottles of ink I bought was De Atramentis Pigeon Blue which is not too dissimilar in color and has remained one of my favorite ink colors though De Atramentis inks can be a little finicky to use as they are what I tend to describe as “watery” and others describe as wet. As a result, Pigeon Blue can often run a bit wild or make my lines look wider than I intended on certain papers or with certain pens.
Hisoku is the perfect remedy since Kyo-no-oto inks are known to be drier inks. I think of them as sometimes feeling a little sandy or gritty if I am using super smooth paper and a super smooth nib. After the ink dries, I can actually feel the ink standing up on the paper and it feels a little chalky. That’s not a bad thing or it doesn’t have to be. It means my spidery fine lines stay fine and legible and the ink performs better on crappy office paper. Not great, but better.
Hisuku also has shading and a lovely reddish, purple sheen. The sheen will be more noticeable on paper like Tomoe River than on Rhodia but it creates a nice edge on the letterforms with the wider nib.
Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine is probably the only other ink color I could find that was even close to Hisoku or Pigeon Blue. Organics Studio Nickel is lighter and starts to veer into the turquoise realm.
While I love Pigeon Blue and would never dissuade anyone from loving on a color based on service birds, Hisoku is going to be my next purchase as my Pigeon Blue is almost empty. Does Hisoku translate to “pigeon”?
- Paper: Rhodia Uni-Blank No. 16 with 7mm guide sheet
- Pens: Empire vintage traveling dip nib holder with Zebra G titanium nib ($33.50 per 10-pack), Esterbrook #2442 nib in a Shawn Newton custom nib holder
- Swatches: Col-o-Ring Ink Testing Cards
- Brush: Blick Studio #0 Synthetic Round
- Ink: Kyo-no-oto #7 Hisoku ($28 for 40ml bottle)