Ink Review: Robert Oster Carbon Fire

Review by Jessica Coles

Have you ever seen someone who has absolutely found their niche in life?  Sean Connery? He was absolutely meant to be an actor.  Billy Joel?  Piano entertainer.  It’s a pleasure to see them at their work because it seems to be a natural extension of themselves. Sometimes I wonder if Robert Oster should be on that list as well with his new inks.  2018 has been a busy year for him with new inks popping up every few weeks, including one of the more recent releases, Carbon Fire ($17.00 for 50 mL at Pen Chalet).

I used this ink in my review of the Monteverde Monza Flex pen last week.  Even though the pen didn’t give much variation in line width, Carbon Fire still showed shading through the beautifully rich blue.

A bit of sheen shows when the ink is allowed to pool, but that sheen isn’t very evident with writing.

In fact, with normal writing, the color seems to be a normal deep blue. The ink writes a tad on the dry side.

But I found that Carbon Fire seems to hold a secret within that color.  A red sheen shows as a halo around the edge of my writing.  This is a huge change from other inks we have seen in the past that could be classified by the sheen color rather than the ink color.  The sheen is quiet and surprising.

This halo sheen doesn’t show on all paper.  When testing on Rhodia paper, no sheen could be found.  However, on Tomoe paper and Col-O-Ring cards, this secret sheen is waiting to be discovered.

I have greatly enjoyed using Carbon Fire — the blue is perfectly acceptable for work situations and won’t call attention to itself, but occasionally you may find yourself taking a second look when you see the sheen peeking out when you don’t expect it.


DISCLAIMER: Some items included in this review were provided free of charge by Pen Chalet for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. I’ve never been big on “regular” ink colors, like dark blue and black. But I have to say that I particularly like this one. The subtle red touches of sheen are fascinating and require a second look. I love that quality in an ink. I, too, am a little tired of inks that look more like their sheen than the color they’re named for; they’re OK in limited numbers, but I’m a little bored with some of them. This one is a refreshing change and is of a quality that I’ve come to expect from Robert Oster.

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