The Birmingham Pen Company’s December Pen Parcel featured brighter-than-usual colors for a company known for dark, moody ink colors. When rumors went out that the December kit would include brighter colors, I was expecting BRIGHTER colors but, I guess, for Birmingham, this was bright.What surprises me is that the pens that they make are often very vivid colors so it seems at odds that the inks are not occasionally equally vivid.
The December Pen Parcel included two shades of yellow: Jane Grey Swisshelm Daisy Lace and Luna Park Marmalade. Daisy Lace is much more of a true yellow and would probably only be useful in a flew nib or wide stub for calligraphy. The Luna Park Marmalade is more of a yellow-orange making it a bit more usable in more pens. There are also two shades of red: America’s Oyster Bar Salmon Hors d’Oeuvre (I really think the names of Birmingham Inks could be longer, don’t you?) and and Erroll Garner Rose Overture. The Salmon Hors d’Oeuvre is a warm red-orange and does remind me of the color of salmon though it also reminds me of the Pantone color of the year too. Rose Overture is a deep red rose red with slight pink undertones. The last color in the set is the odd man out, I think. It’s Henry P. Ford Argula. The color is a deep green black. While it is an interesting color, if the goal of the December Pen Parcel was to be more bright inks, then the Argula did not quite fit in to the equation.
Overall, all the inks shade but none exhibited any sheening. As with any subscription service, some items in a kit will be to your liking and some will not. This month, though I was truly hoping for some bright brights, I ended up liking the Salmon and Argula best of the lot with the Marmalade being a close third. I always find yellow inks hard to use in practice, even if they look great in swatches.
Birmingham Inks are some of the best value inks on the market at the moment and I like the surprise and delight I get swatching the new inks each month, regardless of whether the colors strike a cord with me or not. I gladly share the inks with friends either way.
- Pens: Midori bullet pencil modified dip nib holder with Zebra G titanium nib ($33.50 per 10-pack), Acrylic dip nib pen (Approx. $15)
- Swatches: Col-o-dex Rotary Cards ($15)
- Brush: Blick Studio Short Handle Synthetic Round #0 and no-name Cotton Swabs
- Ink: Birmingham Pen Co. Pen Parcel ($17 for 50ml bottle)
This product was purchased with my own money. All opinions are my own.
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