Last December I was a little overwhelmed. Between work, the holidays and life, getting time to actually enjoy the Diamine Inkvent Calendar didn’t happen. I was able to open about half of the calendar before time got away from me. I wanted to enjoy the experience of opening each window and the inks so, on the advice of Jesi, I saved the calendar. Then the pandemic came along and this summer became the perfect opportunity to take time to open and enjoy these inks. This also coincided with Diamine releasing full-sized bottles of the colors originally included in the Inkvent calendar called the Diamine Blue Edition Collection ($15 per bottle) in new, whimsical shaped 50ml bottles.
The original Inkvent Calendar was a paperboard package that featured classic perforated windows. Under each numbered window there was one of twenty-four 7ml glass vials and on the 25th, they included a large 30ml bottle.
Each bottle indicates the color as well as whether the ink is sheen, shimmer, standard or a combination of these characteristics. The new Blue Edition Collection lists the inks with the same notations.
Per the listings, the inks are as follows:
- Purple Bow
- Fire Ember
- Mulled Wine
- Ho ho ho
- Triple Chocolate
- Candy Cane
- Roasted Chestnut
- Midnight Hour
- Festive Cheer
- Polar Glow
- Season’s Greetings
- Blue Peppermint
- Gold Star
- Snow Storm
Shimmer & Sheen
- Winter Miracle
- Jack Frost
- Happy Holidays
This video will give you a day-by-day swatch preview of each color from day one to day twenty-five. There’s no audio for this video, it’s just a flip through.
I’ve also grouped each of the swatches by color. I’ll start with the reds. The set included six reds. It’s a holiday set and red is a predominate color for the holidays. There are three bright reds and three darker reds. Candy Cane is a little more pinky-red/cooler red. Ho Ho Ho is very Santa suit red. Fire Embers is a warm red-orange. Surprisingly, none of the reds were shimmers. The only sheener was Noel and it was almost a wine color.
I think the holidays is one time where it is entirely acceptable to have a shimmer ink for addressing holiday cards or packages. I think including a shimmery red ink would be totally appropriate in the Inkvent calendar and was a missed opportunity. For 2020, shimmery red with silver particles is my recommendation.
I found Poinsettia to be very watery. It bled on my swatch cards and that seldom happens. I noticed that it happened on the Vanness swatches too so it’s clearly the ink and not my nib.
There were five blue shades in the calendar. They are lovely colors but five is a lot of blues especially considering that blue is a common color in most ink collections. With a small sample size like the Inkvent calendar features, I think being more experimental is totally acceptable. It’s a great place to try out inks and get feedback from consumers.
The next grouping of colors is browns. There are four browns in the set. I think all four colors are lovely but naming two after nuts was unimaginative. I would have renamed Nutcracker and called it Santa’s Boots or after one of the reindeer or Sleigh Horses or something. There are lots of options. And again, I think there could have been more experimentation here.
There are three greens in the set. Elf is a classic bright green, Mistletoe is a deeper green and Holly is a more deep forest blue-green. It’s a decent range but next year, I’m hoping for some more vintage-inspired pale greens, aquas or celadon.
There are two violets: Winter Miracle and Purple Bow. Winter Miracle has a lot of sheen. It’s supposed to have shimmer as well but I had trouble seeing it. Maybe because it’s such a deep color. Purple Bow is listed as a standard ink but on Col-o-ring paper there’s a little bit of a reddish halo sheen.
Finally, there are five standalone colors: a gold, an aqua, a grey, a green-black, and a deep navy/blue-black. Besides being standalone colors, several of these are also shimmers: Blue Peppermint, Snow Storm, Gold Star and Solstice. Season’s Greetings is a sheening ink that is an unusual blue-black/deep navy color. While I don’t use a lot of shimmer inks in fountain pens (I tend to use them with dip pens more often), I like some of these ink colors best in the set, maybe because they are more unusual?
I did a quick ink vial stamp and swab of each color in order (from bottom to top) on Col-o-ring OVERSIZE to have a record of the colors altogether since they will get separated in my Col-o-ring and Col-o-Col-o-dex by color.
Of the set, I think Polar Glow, Mulled Wine, Gold Star and Gingerbread are my favorites. At some point, I might buy a full bottle of one of these but I would I rather wait to see if Diamine will try to repeat the success of 2019 with a 2020 Inkvent Calendar.
- Pens: Tachikawa Comic Pen Nib Holder – Model 40 dip nib holder ($8.25) with Zebra G chrome nib ($13.50 per 10-pack)
- Swatches: Col-o-Ring Ink Testing Book ($10), Col-o-dex Rotary Cards ($15), Col-o-ring OVERSIZE ($15)
- Brush: Schraff 3000 Fineline #3 Round ($34.50)
- Ink: Diamine 2019 Inkvent Calendar, now available as Blue Edition Ink Collection ($20 for 50ml bottle)
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