Blackstone ink samples

Ever since I got around to color labeling a full rack of ink samples, I have been wanting to do writing samples of the Blackstone samples I had ordered from Appelboom Pennen quite some time ago. I will do full reviews on what I have left of the samples, but for now a nice quick overview of a handful of alphabet scribbles. I must say, I’m quite smitten with them…

The Blackstone ink line consists of two waterproof inks: the Barrister Black and Blue, as well as six inks which are highly saturated new takes on regular colors, black, blue, turquoise, red, green and yellow. The only ink from the Blackstone line that is missing in this overview is the yellow, Golden Wattle, which I traded in an ink swap. I will add that ink to this post once I get another sample. Without further ado: Blackstone inks! All writing samples are done with a Kaweco Classic Sport BB, which I ground into an architect shape, to show thicker and thinner lines in the writing samples.

Barrister Black


A black ink just as I like them: opaque and no shading. An intense black black. Since it is waterproof, it should be nice for layering in mixed-media art and adding detail to watercolor or other ink art. Mind you: when I rubbed it with a wet finger, it gave off a gray wash, but the words remained legible. So be aware of that when using with other materials. Perhaps adding detail when the other layers have been applied and are dry. Unless you are after the washed out effect, of course.


The ink is so opaque that the sheen is silvery, as you can see above. The smell is an intense inky smell, the smell of the desks at my elementary school in Delft, which still had ink bottle cubby holes.

Black Stump


Black Stump is actually a quite interesting black ink. It has a heavy brown-red hue when used in a very wet and broad nib. The Kaweco does not show that as well as my Esterbrook 2284 does. The term Black Stump is said to mean an imaginary landscape marker beyond which uncivilized territory lies. But since the origin of the term is much discussed, please don’t hold me accountable for this explanation.


Because the reddish hue shows better in a broader nib, I’m keeping the ink for use in a broad gusher. If you are after a nice “warm” black ink that does not have to be waterproof, this is a good one.

Uluru red


This is a very intense red. Only a smudge of shading. A much bluer red than the earthy red color of its name sake, Uluru – or Ayers Rock. I love a dark red like this, but it is an accent or lettering color for me. It is too heavy to use as a daily writer ink for me, because a pageful would be quite harsh to read. A stunning red though.


A red like a classic lipstick. If you want to write a couple of seductive words but still in the best possible taste, this is your ink.

Barrister Blue


The most sensible of the Blackstone inks, if you ask me. A classic waterproof blue, nudging toward blue-black so that it has an almost purplish hue. A nice bit of shading to make it interesting enough. It writes the driest of the Blackstone inks, so suitable for crappy office paper, if you have to suffer through that kind of ordeal. Plus the waterproofness makes it a suitable signature ink.


I could live with this ink as a workplace ink. It also has that typical inky-ink smell. So if you are bothered by your colleague’s peanut butter sandwich, just take a quick sniff o’ the nib.

Sydney Harbour Blue


This ink is fiercely competing with the next for being my favorite of the Blackstone colors. From above, -it appears to be just a very dark tealish blue-black with a heavy red sheen and outline. But mind you, it’s not an ink for the faint of heart. This ink is so saturated and flows so thick, there is hardly any shading but who cares! Look at that sheen!


Each letter is set apart by a very distinct red outline. If you have to write on ink-sucking paper, don’t waste this beauty on that. You’ll be through your converter within a single page. This is nice paper – special letter – journaling ink. Now which one do I like best, this one or…

Barrier Reef Blue


This is a slightly darker than regular turquoise ink, bordering on intense sky blue. Some shading, a heavy shining blue ink, like its darker brother. This ink does not only make me very happy to look at, it works slightly hypnotic even.


Isn’t that a looker! If I use this, I can’t help but taking a sideways glance at it. An immediate picker-upper. I have had both this and the Sydney Harbour blue in the architect Sailor 1911 and I cannot decide which I like best. Might have to get both bottles when my samples have been squeezed dry of their final drops.

Daintree Green


This is a green ink for people who think they do not like green inks. It is cheerful and bright, but not blinding or sickening. It has a very lovely red sheen, but not so much that it makes you dizzy. It is named after the Daintree Rainforest and if you still do not like green inks, at least look up the pictures of this rainforest online. Those are instant stress relievers.


This ink would make a very nice daily writer, as well as a great accent ink for journaling. If you love green inks, this is a great addition to your green stash. It’s the next to go into my mint Kaweco when I’ve finished the current load of Akkerman Groenmarkt Smaragd.

Have you tried Blackstone inks or any of the other Australian ink brands currently on the market? I’d love to hear what you think if them.

Quick disclaimer: I bought these samples myself, for my own use, pleasure and testing. I am not affiliated with Blackstone or Appelboom.

Thank you as ever for reading and until the next post!

Freshly inked and first impressions

It’s a lovely sunny, activity-filled Sunday, so a quick post of some freshly inked pens and a couple of first thoughts of pens that came in over the last couple of weeks.


From top to bottom:

  • Pen: Aurora Optima Burgundy, medium nib. Ink: Aurora Black. I love this pen-and-ink combination, I have started using it as my bujo pen and ink, because I find that the simple bujo style in black suits me best. More on that next Sunday when I’ll update you on my bujo experiences.
  • Pen: Bexley Gaston’s Angels, stub nib. Ink: Noodler’s Lexington Gray. I needed a bulletproof ink in one of my pens, but I will not hang on to this combination. The Lexington Gray is just too wet in the Bexley, even for my taste. Might try it in the much dryer-writing black Kaweco later.
  • Pen: Montegrappa Fortuna Mosaico Marrakech, medium nib. Ink: Private Reserve Lake Placid Blue. I really like this pen and ink combination, the ink complements the blue hues in the lovely material of the Marrakech. The ink tends to run dry in the nib pretty quickly, so it needs to be used regularly.
  • Pen: Kaweco Skyline Sport Black, medium nib. Ink: Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green. I bought this pen because I wanted to try the medium Kaweco nib. I was not happy at all with how it wrote out of the box. Dry, scratchy and more like a fine. So I rinsed the pen, flossed the tines and feed with a brass sheet. Didn’t help. Then I stubbed the nib and the ink line has slightly improved. Next ink in is the Noodler’s Lexington Gray, to see if that will give a better ink flow.
  • Pen: Sailor 1911 Standard, Zoom nib, ground to an architect by John Mottishaw. Ink: Blackstone Barrier Reef Blue. Another great shading and sheening Blackstone ink in this pen after the Sydney Harbour Blue I had in it before. I only have samples of both inks, so now I’m contemplating which to get as a full bottle…
  • Pen: TWSBI Eco Clear 1.1 stubby italic nib. Ink: Robert Oster Signature Forest Green. A lovely combination, I think. The ink sloshes around like a lovely jewel in the piston filler and the flow is excellent. Nice calm green, good shading but not much sheen on this paper (G. Lalo Verge de France).
  • Pen: Pilot Prera Vivid Pink, fine nib. Ink: KWZ Ink Raspberry. This is my now favorite modern fine steel nib. It feels just right, this is definitely a fine nib that suits people with largish handwriting like I have when writing in this style. Great pen for office use on not so great paper. The pink of the body is very hard to capture in photos, so if you are one for hot pink pens, this is one for you. I love the combination with the bright yet still eye-friendly pink Raspberry ink.
  • Pen: Pelikan Twist Jungle, medium nib (comes in only this nib size) which I ground into a fine-medium architect. Ink: J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune. The soft violet ink combined with the light taupe of the pen is a combination that speaks to me. The Pelikan writes very well for an 8-9 Euros pen. I liked it so much, I ordered the final pen in this list not long after…
  • Pen: Pelikan Twist Bronze, medium nib. Ink: Kaweco Caramel Brown. I have not worked on this nib, because I like it as it is. And you cannot grind all your nibs into architects. That would not be sane… right…? Anyway, this nib has a slightly stubby feel to it so there is some very slight line variation. I love the Kaweco ink in this pen. The cola-colored ink suits the bronze Pelikan very nicely. It’s a nice pen if you are looking for an ergonomic grip but you are not after a kiddy-colored pen. Even though those are darn cute as well! This grip suits both right- and left-handed writers, by the way.

Would you like to know more about these or other pens or inks on my blog, be sure to send me a comment. Have  great week and thank you as ever for reading! As always much appreciated! OK, one more pic…