Ink log pages

Recently I have started to log inks in a fountain pen friendly journal, the Pen Addict Dot-Dash (Nockco) pocket notebook. Every time I share a page on Instagram, I will also upload it here. No reviews, no properties, just the colors next to each other. Reviews will be done separately, under the same page in different posts. If you have any questions or want to share your experience about the inks, please comment.

Orange inks, May 2017
Red inks, May 2017
Red-purple inks, May 2017
Magenta and reddish pink inks

Ink review: KWZ Ink Raspberry

A pink ink crush is one of my most recent fountain pen related revolutions. I never  cared much for pink inks until I was gently ushered back towards them by using and loving burgundies and purples. The Fall of 2016 saw me falling for oranges and now that Spring is upon us, I ink my pens up with pinks. Now pink inks are somewhat of an issue when it comes to the delicate matter of “office appropriateness”. There are pinks that are and those that are not. For me the rule of thumb is: can I stand looking at a full written page for as long as it takes to read the text? If not, do not use the ink for business correspondence. Use it for journaling, editing, or writing messages on cards. Or any situation where is is okay for your written word to pop cheerfully into the reader’s spectrum.


KWZ Ink Raspberry is an ink I do use in office situations, where I take notes for myself in small paragraphs during a meeting. The lively, but not too “in your face” pink is bound to attract my attention later on when I am flipping through my notes. It is also a nice ink to use for editing printed texts. Especially in the extra fine nib, the ink shows up more as a pinkish burgundy than a bright pink. The wider the nib, the lighter and brighter the ink, the less work-appropriate it becomes. The color is beautiful, though, and I think this is a pink that will suit the many other uses you might have for your inks apart from using them in the office. A perfect ink for leaving a loving message to your better half when and where they least expect it.


As for the properties: this is a medium wet ink. It flows very good in my fine nibs. I have it in a Pilot Prera fine and that is always ready to write, with the ink still “respecting” the fine line this nib is supposed to lay down. My Lamy 1.5 is a well-used and very wet nib, so you can see it puts a much fatter ink line on the page than the much newer 1.1 and 1.9 Lamy nibs. In the Kaweco it behaves excellently, not too wet, certainly not dry. There is not a lot of shading, especially on this Leuchtturm paper. On more ink resistant paper such as Rhodia or Tomoe River, there is a bit more shading. I have not been able to detect any noteworthy sheen on any paper (perhaps if you put a blob of ink on Tomoe River) but the loveliness of the color makes up for that as far as I am concerned. Plus, it is nice to not be bedazzled by a lot of sheen on your written page when you use a bright color. Cleaning is done in a jiffy, which also means that the ink is not waterproof. So, very nice for letter writing, but the address will not survive a rain shower if the ink is used for addressing the envelope. One thing I almost forgot to mention is the smell. This KWZ ink has the most subtle smell of all the inks I have used so far. A little on the herbal side, and very light. Where inks like Honey, Old Gold and Menthol Green are really noticeable, Raspberry only has a hint of smell.


Looking at my always very scientifically executed -not- chromatography, you can see this ink consists of quite a lovely mix of pigments. Yellow-oranges, reds, going upwards into pinks and almost lavenders. This bit of tissue makes me very cheerful, actually!


Comparing KWZ Raspberry to a couple of other inks, you can see that it leans more towards the cherry-burgundy ink family where Amaranth and Black Swan in Australian Roses can be categorized. Diamine Hope Pink is truly a much more “Barbie” pink and Diamine Deep Magenta leans more towards the purple spectrum. Raspberry clearly has more of a reddish-pink component than those two.

All in all, a lovely pink. Since I bought the bottle, there has always been a pen inked up with this ink. I am curious how it will compare to Robert Oster’s Cherry Blossom and Pinky, and I am sure I will do a side by side of those inks one day. If I forget, do remind me.

Do you have a pink ink that has become a staple in your collection? Please leave a comment, I would love to know. Especially the guys out there “brave” enough to use pink inks!

Tools used:

  • KWZ Ink Raspberry, of course
  • Leuchtturm A5 notebook
  • Platinum Preppies EF, F, M
  • Lamy Vista B, 1.1, 1.5, 1.9
  • Kaweco Classic Sport BB architect grind
  • Lots of water and tissue
  • Diamine Hope Pink, Deep Magenta and Amaranth
  • Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses

Thank as ever for reading and until the next post!


Ink review: P.W. Akkerman Shocking Blue


A rim like this on your ink bottle neck surely looks promising! P.W. Akkerman’s #5 ink, Shocking Blue, is the most loved and best known of the Akkerman inks. A deep, bright blue you just cannot go wrong with. Before we take a look at the writing samples, let me tell you about the name of this ink. Perhaps you are already aware of this fact, or it is new to you, but P.W. Akkerman is one of Holland’s oldest fountain pen stores, located in The Hague in one of Holland’s very first “malls”. Akkerman uses names for their inks that are all associated with the town’s phenomena. The Hague was Holland’s birth ground of quite a number of blues bands in the 60s. The Golden Earring for example, who you may know from their song Radar Love, Brainbox who covered Summertime in a bluesy-funky way and Shocking Blue, who had a hit in 1968 with Venus. Some of you may know the Bananarama cover version of that song. I used a couple of lines in my writing samples. Enough of that, on to the ink!


Shocking Blue is a classic, intensely deep royal blue with its renowned red sheen. As you can see above, it almost pops of the page! The ink behaved decently in all nibs sizes and has relatively quick drying time, especially in finer nibs. My husband is a lefty overwriter and always has his TWSBI Eco inked up with Shocking Blue. Another reason he loves this ink is a matter of ritual. The Akkerman inks all come in that very distinctive marble-in-the-bottleneck ink bottle. You tip the capped bottle upside down so that some ink gathers in the top part of the bottle from where you fill your pen. This was the ink his parents used many years ago, so refilling the pen from the bottle brings back memories for him.

Let’s look at the writing up close to find that illustrious sheen!


Yes, a wonderful deep deep blue ink, really vibrant with a lovely red sheen and outline. It pops up in every nib, especially on more absorbing paper. I made a rim stamp in my Leuchtturm journal to show the ink’s sheening capacity.


Oh yes, here we see that the ink is so intense that it leans towards a purple. The sheen is nice and thick, almost oily. The chromatography shows the purple aspects in the lavender hue in the base. The ink trail develops into a bright blue and ends in a dark blue outer line where the pigments are deposited.


This ink is usable in most situations -apart from those where you want your ink to be waterproof, it isn’t- school, university, the office, personal use, correspondence that doesn’t require bulletproofness. It is a crowd pleaser! And I can see why. It is blue without being run-of-the-mill.

How about you, do you have a deep royal blue with a red sheen of choice? Let me know, so I can do a side-by-side at some point.

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

All pictures taken in natural light, no filters used.

Disclaimer: I bought this ink wit my own money for my own use. No affiliate links.

Tools used:

  • Leuchtturm A5 blank notebook;
  • Akkerman Shocking Blue ink;
  • Platinum Preppies EF, F, M;
  • Lamy Vista B, 1.1, 1.5, 1,9;
  • Kaweco Classic Sport BB architect grind;
  • a strip of paper kitchen towel;
  • Samsung S7 phone camera.


Ink comparison: Akkerman 15 Voorhout Violet and Montblanc Lavender Purple

At the end of the first Dutch Pen Meet-up, when we had besieged Akkerman The Hague, we were graciously given a wonderful goodie bag plus an Akkerman ink of our choice. I went back and forth between Voorhout Violet and Groenmarkt Smaragd, but finally opted for Voorhout Violet, Akkerman ink no. 15. One of my fountain pen friends from that meet-up, Neseli, asked if I could do a comparison between this ink and Montblanc Lavender Purple and I hereby happily oblige.

fullsizeoutput_42f.jpegBoth inks are of very good quality, decently behaved, easily cleaned and both are not waterproof. Both come in a 60 ml bottle. The bottles are very distinctive and good looking bottles in their own right. Dry times on this Leuchtturm paper was about the same for both inks. On Tomoe River the Montblanc dries more quickly. In the Netherlands, the price of both inks fall in the same 15-20 Euros category, the Montblanc being about 3 Euros more expensive for 60 ml.

Seen from above in natural light, the inks both are dark purples. So let’s take a closer look at them. Pens used, by the way, are a fine Preppy for the faux brand calligraphy and a Kaweco BB with an architect grind for the alphabets, squiggles and scribbles.


The Voorhout Violet is a dusky violet purple on the blueish scheme. It is actually pretty close to the darker shades in the pansy after which it was named. Voorhout is a chic avenue in The Hague and the ink reminds me of Eline Vere, a novel named after its main character by Dutch fin-de-siecle novelist Louis Couperus. Eline Vere was quite a hysteric character, misled by her day dreams and misplaced romantic illusions, fed by her male equivalent cousin. A beautiful novel that portrays the ennui of the upper classes in The Hague at that time pretty impressively. This ink fits the atmosphere in that novel very well. Ill-lit rooms, crammed with dusty expensive furniture and people stifled by their bourgeois rules. Chic, but gloomy. I love the novel and I love this ink. Great for letter writing on good quality paper, journaling and I would consider it office appropriate.


The Lavender Purple is a much pinker, redder purple than the Voorhout Violet. It reminds me of the dark purple that was fashionable in the 70s, but a little more subdued and fit for everyday use. To me it is much more purple than lavender. Lavender in bloom tends to lean more to the blueish spectrum. Nevertheless, a beautiful ink. I love using it as an office ink in my Hobonichi office planner, because it dries pretty quickly, even in a broad nib. I would qualify the Lavender Purple as a bit more cheerful than the Voorhout Violet, without jumping off the page in screaming purpleness.

A closer look side-by-side, in natural light:


This picture shows equal qualities in shading. No sheen to speak of on this Leuchtturm paper, but both do sheen on even more ink resistant paper. Both lovely inks in their own right and I am happy to have both as a full bottle. These dark, decent purples will surely get good daily use because I consider both office appropriate.

Now for my crude chromatography, picture taken in natural light:


To the left the Voorhout Violet, to the right the Lavender Purple. Both show dark blue at the base, lavender hues in the middle coming up to still dark purple with a light pink halo in the Voorhout Violet. The Lavender Purple shows a bright nearly hot pink halo.

As said, I am happy to have both the inks at my disposal, and both will get a good deal of written mileage. Now that leaves just one thing… one day I will still have to go for that bottle of Groenmarkt Smaragd… The struggles of an inkaholic!

One final picture, just for the heck of it. Let me know what your purple ink of choice is. And as ever, thank you for reading!



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…


Montblanc JFK Navy Blue Ink

Rumor has it that amongst fountain pen lovers there are those who are able to maintain a respectable office position. Kudos to you if you are one of them! And if you have a decent job, you will need at least one decent ink. An ink that will confirm your office appropriateness. Montblanc JFK Navy Blue is just such an ink. But even if you cannot or do not use fountain pens at your place of work, this is a great ink to have in your collection/hoard/walk-in ink closet. This is not a boring blue-black or navy blue ink. Plenty of shading and sheen going on here. And depending on your nib width of choice, Montblanc JFK shows a nice range of blues. Let’s have a look.


Depending on the nib width and the dry- or wetness of your pen, JFK shows quite a lovely range of cool dark blues. I would even classify this as a new-pair-of-denims blue. Dark enough where the ink pools and lighter at the edges and frays. The ink shows a nice sheen in particularly wet nibs, as the line in my vintage Pelikan 140 OBB (yes, I did the eclectic thing and put a Montblanc ink in a Peli…)


This gusher of a nib puts down a near black ink line, very nice! So this ink gives you a range of colors from near black via dark royal blue to a light indigo.

Even office appropriate inks can have hidden aspects. It’s a good guy with a bad boy edge. Is that why it was named after JFK?


The ink is a special edition Montblanc ink and has been re-launched (we’re speaking end of 2016 – early 2017) at a number of pen sellers. In the Netherlands, it is currently sold at Akkerman and in the USA I have seen it on the Anderson site. Not affiliated, just to let you know should you want to go after this ink. On auction sites it goes for triple or quadruple its store price, so be aware of that. It is sold in the special edition 30 ml bottles, which isn’t much for an ink of this color, I think. It is so multi-purpose, you will finish the bottle in no time.

I do love the look of these elegant ribbed special edition bottles, I think it suits the elegance of the ink color itself very well. Although I have yet to experience what it is like to get the last drops out. But you can always transfer it to an ink miser or sample vial for those final drops. The box is very stylish, a clear white box with the Montblanc mount and logo in gray, JFK in navy black blue with a gray outline, John F. Kennedy below that and navy blue in small caps at the bottom. On the sides the capitals JFK are repeated in a glossy finish, a lovely detail.


I always keep my inks boxed to protect the color from sunlight and moist. I am sorry this particular box is slightly dented and have to convince myself that is not a valid reason to get another bottle of this ink. For practical reasons, yes, because I always have one pen inked up with a color that I can use for all occasions, as this ink absolutely is. It is also reasonably waterproof by the way; holding a written piece under running water somewhat diluted the ink but the writing was still legible.

Let’s finish this review with a look at the chromatography. As expected with a blue, the largest part of the pigments is blue as it is a primary color. fullsizeoutput_419.jpeg

The blue pigment has been darkened with pigment that looks to be an oily greenish gray, a color that reminds me of Noodler’s El Lawrence or Diamine Salamander, to obtain the blue-black/navy blue hue. It stayed pretty low in the chromatography while the blue pigments all shot upwards with the water absorption.

So, a work appropriate ink with a nice dark edge, interesting shading and sheen. A classic if you ask me and I would very much like to see this become a regular Montblanc ink.

Do you have a limited edition ink (of any brand) that you would like to be a regular?


Robert Oster Signature Fire & Ice

Now that I have “invested” in an extra-fine, fine and medium Platinum Preppy and tweaked my Lamy steel broad to actually write like a broad nib, I feel sort of kitted out to do an ink review. By the way, before I continue with the ink: the step up from the fine to the medium Preppy is quite a substantial one. Have you experienced that as well? Anyhow, back to the ink. I thought it would be nice to do a genuine “it” ink, an ink of the moment: Robert Oster Signature Fire & Ice (we’re talking February-March 2017, if you are reading this blog in future years). The first runs were sold out in no time and I have seen new batches ready for shipment to dealers. So if you are waiting for yours, hang on just a little bit longer. It’s on its way!


Above is a full page view of Robert Oster Signature Fire & Ice in a Leuchtturm A5 blank journal. At first glance this is a very becoming, dark side of light blue ink, if you catch my drift. It does not have enough green in it to be a true turquoise and it is a lot more more grayish than a royal blue. It has beautiful shading qualities as well as a red sheen and outline. When used in a wet nib and on the right paper, I must add. I tried the ink in the same nibs on different paper qualities, to see how it behaved.


Above the various paper qualities next to each other. Clockwise from top left: cheap copy paper, Leuchtturm A5 blank, Rhodia 90gsm dot grid, Tomoe River white loose sheet A4. By the by, bottom right are writing samples of Robert Oster’s Blue Denim and Bondi Blue.

Let’s have a closer look.


Oh my! This paper does not do the ink justice. Not even that much shading, to be honest. Well, I’d suggest not using this lovely ink for your office notes, unless you absolutely cannot do without this color. The extra-fine nib, which seems slightly wetter than the fine (I have another fine nib on the way, don’t worry) already shows quite (un)impressive feathering. I write in a slightly large hand but as soon as I write in this broad, it becomes nearly illegible.Flipping the page showed substantial bleed-through. Next!


This is the Leuchtturm journal paper. I’m a lot happier with this! Hardly any feathering, very nice shading and some fiery red outline with wet and broad nibs. Some bleed-through though. But I expected that from Leuchtturm paper, so I am not surprised about that.


The Jinhao Fude nib shows the fire best, although you really don’t need a paint brush nib like this fude to bring out the sheen. Take a look at the extra-fine Platinum Preppy on the Tomoe River:


There is definitely a fiery outline on this extra fine ink line. Even a very slight outline on the fine. Very subtle, but it’s there.


What about the ink on Rhodia paper? Loads of nice shading (yes, I wrote “Fir” with the medium… blame a slow eye-brain connection), no feathering, no bleed-through. Slight outline and sheen on the very wet pooling bits. Definitely an ink that deserves an decent base. Not a standard work horse ink, unless you bring a Hobonichi with Tomoe River paper or a Rhodia journal to the office. So, just to top that off, a Tomoe River overview of nib lines:


A nice and calm ink when viewed from above, with a surprise fiery edge when viewed from aside. I’d say: a great ink for art journaling and art work, where you can really bring out that sheen by generously applying it to good paper. A great ink for letter writing, because a pageful is quite pleasant and calm to the eye, but with that lovely sheen as a bonus. A great ink for making special entries in your journal or diary, or on fountain pen friendly greeting cards. Just use a waterproof ink to address the envelope, because this ink is not waterproof.

Talking about waterproofness, let’s take a look at the chromatography.


All blues, with the concentrated pigment on the edge of the tissue forming the illustrious outline. The bottom shows the more grayish aspects while at the top the bright bright blue almost leaps off the tissue. No greens or yellows peeping out at the top, so just blue pigment, making for the outline and sheen where it concentrates on the paper. It cleans out pretty easily.

All in all, a well behaved ink for special-occasion-writing on old quality paper. I have said on Instagram before that Robert Oster has revamped and de-dulled blue inks and I stand by that. Not only this Fire & Ice, also the bright and happy Bondi Blue, the new take on a shading blue-black with Blue Denim, the sunny Australian Sky. All blue colors to make you fall in love with blue inks all over again.

Have you used any of his inks? Please let me know if you would like to seen another Robert Oster Signature reviewed.


Page of Shame February 26, 2017

What is a Page of Shame… it is a page filled with pens currently inked. 32… yes, a sizable number. These are all pens I have in rotation at the moment, especially with InCoWriMo2017 going on. I must be honest and tell you that there are four fude pens inked, which I have not included on this page. Purely for aesthetics.

So, 32 pens inked… let’s got to it!


Top to bottom:

  1. Esterbrook Grey “J” nib no. 2284, Blackstone Black Stump
  2. Kaweco Classic Sport Demonstrator, double broad architect nib, J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey
  3. Jinhao 159 Germany iridium point italic grind, Rober Oster Signature Purple Rock
  4. Bexley Jim Gaston Holiday 2002 stub nib, Robert Oster Signature Melon Tea
  5. Jinhao 159 original nib, Noodler’s Lexington Gray (bulletproof)
  6. Pelikan Pelikano medium, Kaweco Caramel Brown
  7. Mabie Todd Swan 3250 oblique medium/broad, Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan
  8. Montblanc Meisterstuck Chopin oblique double broad nib, Rober Oster Signature Copper
  9. TWSBI Eco White 1.1 stub nib, Rober Oster Signature Ng Special ’16
  10. Pelikan 400 oblique broad nib, Diamine Autumn Oak
  11. TWSBI Diamond 580 broad (crisp grind) nib, Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin
  12. ASA Pens Nauka Translucent 1.1 stub, Diamine Coral
  13. Montblanc 264 oblique double broad, Diamine Sunset
  14. Sheaffer Quasi Imperial italic stub nib, Diamine Crimson
  15. Franklin-Christoph m45 Cherry Ice IPO S.I.G. medium, Kyo-iro Cherry Blossom of Keage
  16. Kaweco Skyline Sport Pink double broad architect nib, Noodler’s Cactus Fruit Eel
  17. Online medium architect nib, Organics Studio Emily Dickinson
  18. Franklin-Christoph m45 Italian Ice Organics Studio Jane Austen
  19. Sailor 199 Standard demonstrator zoom architect nib, Blackstone Sydney Harbour Blue
  20. Pelikan 140 oblique double broad nib, Akkerman Deep Duinwater Blauw
  21. Montbland 254 oblique medium nib, Sailor Jentle Yama Dori
  22. ASA Pens Porus Jumbo White Acrylic flex nib, Rober Oster Signature Blue Denim
  23. Franklin-Christoph m66 Stabilis Solid Ice broad cursive italic nib, Rober Oster Signature Fire & Ice
  24. Bexley Gaston’s Angels stub nib, L’Artisan Pastellier Callifolio Olifants
  25. TWSBI Eco Clear 1.1 stub nib, Rober Oster Signature Bondi Blue
  26. Sheaffer Quasi Imperial oblique italic stub nib, KWZ ink Menthol Green
  27. Italix Parson’s Essential oblique italic broad nib, Organics Studio L. Frank Baum
  28. Inoxcrom Agatha Ruiz de la Prada fine architect nib, Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green plus a blob of green ink left over in the feed
  29. Kaweco Skyline Sport Mint double broad architect nib, Ackerman Groenmarkt Smaragd
  30. Jinhao 159 Noodler’s flex nib, Diamine Shimmertastic Green Oasis
  31. Lamy 2000, medium (crisp grind) nib, Rohrer & Klingner Alt Gold-Gruen
  32. Franklin-Christoph m40 fine cursive italic nib, Kyo-iro Koke-iro.

What is your number of inked pens?


Ink comparison: J. Herbin Stormy Grey and Diamine Sparkling Shadows

Today I started out by prepping a review of the J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey only. But was frustrated to once again find the Lamy fine putting down a broader line than the medium and a much wetter line than the broad. So, single ink reviews will resume once I get a fine and extra fine that are actually more true to size in general. Until that time, I’ll do comparisons and the odd Page of Shame (that is a page filled with writing samples of all currently inked pens… *blush*… that’s usually a sizable number of pens with me)

So, as I had already inked the Lamy Vista up with Stormy Grey, I thought it would be nice to compare it to its Diamine cousin, Sparkling Shadows. Both are grey inks with golden shimmery bits in them.


To the left the Diamine Sparkling Shadows, to the right the J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey. Looking with the naked eye (I am a woman of a certain age so I have to take of my glasses to take an up-close look), the particles in the Diamine look more yellowy golden and a little less finely milled than those in the Herbin. The Herbin particles look a bit more rose gold to me.


Above the writing samples side by side. Both inks felt about moderately wet in the Lamy fine with which I did the faux calligraphy, and in the 1.5 used for the alphabets, passes and writing. The J. Herbin Stormy Grey is a darker grey that seems to have a little more depth in color than the Diamine Sparkling Shadows, although the Diamine shades better. That will be due to it being a lighter grey. The particles look to be better suspended in the J. Harbin, but with both inks you do need to give your pen a gentle shake regularly to get the shimmer to float again.


Above: Stormy Grey


Above: Sparkling Shadows


Above: Stormy Grey


Above: Sparkling Shadows


Above comparison shots of the feed. Top left with Herbin Stormy Grey, bottom left with Diamine Sparkling Shadows, to the right the feed after cleaning. It does take a good couple of rinses and thorough flushing to remove the particles from the feed, but that is to be expected from an ink containing glitter. Both inks’ glitter does rub off a little on paper and hands, so be aware of that. But if you are writing something worthy of glitter, you should not mind throwing a little extra glitter around!

Let’s have a look at the chromatography I did with these inks… First a glimpse of my highly professional chromatography gear:


Yes, a soy sauce dish! Everything for the “science” of it! Tonight, there will be mushroom soy sauce and light soy sauce in it again for dipping dumplings. Or perhaps tonight we’ll have pizza… Anyway, the outcome of the chromatography was pretty spectacular.


Wow! The Herbin consists of separate pigments and the particles are clearly visible at the bottom of the strip. The Diamine is a single pigment ink and the particles are, well, they seem to be gone. Absorbed by the paper strip?

A closer side-by-side look:


Well, that accounts for the shading in the Diamine and the depth in the Herbin, I suspect.

What would I use them for? Now that I have seen them side-by-side, I think I would use the Diamine for a congratulations card for a wedding or anniversary, it being a bit more subtle ink, yet it gives your message a little something extra. The Stormy Grey is more of a personal favorite and I actually use that in a Kaweco Classic Sport Demonstrator on a daily basis for journaling and for personal notes or shopping lists. At least when the subject is boring, the ink keeps it interesting.

Which is your favorite and what use did you find for your sparkly inks?