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 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!



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…