Bonus Inkmas Review: Troublemaker Grapevine

Inkmas 2019In preparation for Inkmas (Who am I kidding? Inkmas was just an excuse to buy a ridiculous amount of ink!), I gathered a lot of new, different inks to have a pool (who am I kidding? To to FILL a pool!) of inks to choose from. One of those inks was the Troublemaker Inks exclusive ink for Shigure Inks: Grapevine ($12 for 60ml plastic bottle). However, we ended up having way more ink options to review than days in Inkmas. Hence, the bonus review.

While Jesi and I continue to debate whether sheening inks are still going to be hot for 2020, I figured I better squeeze in one more review for 2019. Grapevine is a purple ink with a green sheen.

Jesi  has already mentioned the packaging but I agree. I like the simple but elegant paper wrapping with twine over the recyclable plastic bottle. It’s like a gift and yet all materials are recyclable or compostable.

Troublemaker Inks Grapevine writing sample

My initial writing tests on Rhodia paper did not reveal any of the sheening effects that were evident on the swatch card. All I could see on Rhodia paper was a deep grape-y purple.

Troublemaker Inks Grapevine Close-up on Rhodia

Close-up, there is no evidence of the sheening but the ink keeps a clean line with no bleeding or feathering.

Troublemaker Inks Grapevine writing on Tomoe

I decided to go ahead and test the ink on Tomoe River to see if any of the sheening would show up on this notoriously sheen-revealing paper.  The greenish gold glow is immediately evident on this paper even though its a bit more cream in color.

Troublemaker Inks Grapevine close-up on Tomoe River

In close-up, its even more evident.

Troublemaker Inks Grapevine swatch comparison

Comparing the Troublemaker Inks Grapevine  to other inks in my stash, there are two Diamine sheening inks that are comparable: Diamine Robert and Diamine Manggis. For less sheen soaked colors, I would recommend Birmingham Pen Co. Boysenberry or Colorverse Einstein Ring.

Troublemaker Inks Grapevine

In close-up, its easier to see the similarities and differences in the ink hues, and the amount of sheening. Pricewise, all of these inks are pretty comparable though Manggis is a bit harder to acquire in the US as its an exclusive for Pen Gallery in Malaysia and Diamine Robert comes from the UK. At present, these inks may all be difficult to acquire. Or at least require more patience than most of us used to 2-day Prime shipping may be able to bear.

To be honest, all the inks I tried for Inkmas, Grapevine ended up being my favorite. It performed well and the sheening was a nice bonus on appropriate paper.


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