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Showing posts from August, 2019

Perle Noir, Herbin

Perle Noir is one of the most recommended and well reviewed black inks out there. When I bought this ink a few years ago, I was disappointed. It is not the blackest, not the smoothest, not the fastest drying ink, not an archival ink, not the cheapest.  I decided to give it a second chance so I eyedropped a Preppy with it and filled a Lamy All-star. Over the past few days I have written many pages of work notes with the ink. Perle Noir is a well behaving black ink that is sold at a reasonable price, but it doesn't excel in anything. Below some writing samples, followed by drying times and test in water resistance. Drying times are about average to slow, 45 secs with a broad nib on Tomoe River 52g paper. The ink is certainly not water resistant, but it can handle an accidental drop.   The full characteristics: Feathering none Shading hardly any Show through negligible 

Steenrood van Vermeer, P.W. Akkerman

Steenrood van Vermeer (stone red by Vermeer) is an ink from P.W. Akkerman's Dutch masters series. Inks inspired by the colors famous 17th century Dutch painters used. Stone red resembles the colors of bricks used in the famous ' Straatje van Vermeer ' painting. This is my second favorite red, after Diamine's Oxblood. The color is midway between red and brown. Classy and modest enough to be used in an office environment (for note taking). Beautiful and striking enough to be used for personal notes and correspondence. The ink remains pleasant for the eyes, no matter how long the text you have to read or write.  Akkerman's ink are excellent. Very well behaved, no feathering, very beautiful shading, no show-through, not too wet and well lubricated. I never noticed any startup problems or skipping. Drying time is fast, between 15 and 20 seconds on Crown Mill Vellum paper. The ink is very susceptible to water.  When compared to other brownish reds, it can

Ruby, Lamy Crystal Ink

I like inks. I like red inks. My favorite ink color by far is Diamine's Oxblood . And at the same time red can be disappointing and frustrating. It is often brownish and in that case no competition for Oxblood, with the possible exception of P.W. Akkerman's Stone Red (Dutch masters series). Or the red is too pink (Bishamonten), too orange (Esenin), or simply too light (Rouge Caroubier). What I miss is a dark, but bright, saturated red.  Lamy's Crystal Edition Ruby looked promising in the store, in a great bottle and reasonably priced.  In reality, Lamy Ruby is a decent, mediocre red. Not very saturated, but really red. I wouldn't use it in the office unless you have to grade or correct. Personal notes or correspondence? Only when short, the color is not bad, but not pleasant enough for the eyes for longer reads.  Decent is also the word I'd use to describe its behavior. Writing gives a dry feeling, lubrication could be better. There is no feathering, sh

Night Sky (shimmer), Diamine

In the past few years Diamine has released several series of shimmering inks. Night sky is one of those ink, a black color with silver shimmer in it. The shimmer makes it a bit of a gimmick of course. You will get away with it in the office (for note taking), but the amount of shimmer is definitely noticeable. It looks a it as if someone wrote with a pencil over your black ink. The color is pleasant to read, which makes it suitable for personal notes. For me, I think inks with  this high level of shimmer are best used for invitation cards, short notes, or maybe greeting cards. The ink is good, but not excellent. No feathering, minimal show-through, some shading, well lubricated and wet but not too wet. Drying time is long, 50 seconds, but it's not unheard of for a dark, black ink. Be careful with fluids. You will still see what you wrote, but you will have to rewrite the page. The amount of shimmer in this ink is quite high, much higher than in Herbin inks.Not so easy to c

Ultramarine, Montblanc

Recently released by Montblanc: Ultramarine. A very bright, dark blue. There is no shortage of blue inks in this world, including many by Montblanc itself, which makes the question inevitable; does this ink really add something? The ink can be used in any situation. It's dark enough to be used for business purposes, but pleasant and vibrant enough for personal notes and correspondence as well. I have used it for two days now in many different situations and it didn't bore me for a minute. Most blues do after a few hours to a day at most. In my experience Montblanc inks are excellent and well behaved, but a little bit dry. This causes problems in some pens, like TWSBI's. This Ultramarine ink is wetter and better lubricated than the other Montblanc inks I have. I didn't experience the problems encountered before. The ink doesn't feather, its shading is subtle and beautiful,  show-through is minimal.  Water will quickly ruin your writing.  No surprises the

IJzer-galnoten, P.W. Akkerman

My recent buy of the KWZ inks  got me interested again in Iron Gall inks. Years ago I had a bottle of P.W. Akkerman's iron gall ink (in Dutch: IJzer-galnoten) but never replaced it. The bottle itself is amazing. Practical because of the reservoir (sealed off with a marble) on top and a gem on every bookshelf. The ink itself is a very sturdy and practical blue-black ink (but definitely grayish too when dry. It is perfect for the office, but there is no reason not to use it for personal notes or letters as well. The color may not be very vibrant or cheerful, but it's a good, solid, beautiful ink. The ink is a bit dry, but behaves extremely well. Writing is smooth. No feathering, decent shading, minimal show-through. Drying time on Crown Mill Vellum paper is less than 15 seconds, fast! This iron gall ink definitely has registrar qualities, it is not afraid of water. You don't even see on the grid where I dropped water. And a separate two hour soak-in-a-cup test di

Tchaikovsky, Noodler's ink

Tchaikovsky by Noodler's ink is part of their Russian series. I couldn't find out why they associate Tchaikovsky with purple, Diamine has a blue Tchaikovsky ink, but having an ink named after you is a great tribute in almost any color.  Being a purple ink this ink is useful only for personal use of course and should be kept far from the office. The most striking think about this ink is the HUGE difference between a dip pen (1mm OB nib) and a regular nib on a Parker Sonnet. The color changes from a lowly saturated, bland purple into a well-shaded deep purple.   The ink itself is a typical Noodler's ink. It does what it has to do, no-frills.  The color is neither ugly nor beautiful, the bottle is chock-full (careful), the ink dries quickly enough and it behaves decently in almost every pen and on every paper. Plus, it's not very expensive.   Show through is minimal, shading is low, water resistance is high.  The dip pen was a surprise, and so was comparin

Yonaga, Sailor Shikiori

My first experience with this brand, Sailor Shikiori. Shikiori meaning four seasons. I read the stories that these are simply the old Jentl inks, rebranded and a lot more expensive. I never used those either. The bottle is small (20ml) and beautiful. Yonaga means long autumn night. The color represents an autumn night without the moon. The naming of the inks definitely reminds of Iroshizuku's style of naming their inks. Yonaga is a very dark blue, with a slight hint of green. In very broad (oblique) nibs a bit of green sheen can be seen, but in normal pen sizes I didn't notice it. Being a dark blue, Yonaga can be used almost everywhere. Work notes, business correspondence, signing, personal notes, letters and writing.  The ink is very well behaved. Arguably the smoothest ink I have ever used. Quite wet, which makes drying time long (almost a minute) and there is some show-through even on quality paper. No feathering though and the shadowing is beautiful, clearly visible

Iron Gall Red #3, by KWZ

Yesterday I wrote a review on KWZ's beautiful IG Green #3 . Today's review is of a red from the same brand, iron gall red #3.  The ink is very well behaved, no feathering or show-through, well lubricated and drying faster than average (little less than 25 secs). Shading is moderate. The water resistance is quite good, the ink can take some water and still remain legible. I have used this ink in a TWSBI with a broad nib, a TWSBI with stub nib and with an oblique 1mm tape nib. With all these pens the ink behaved perfectly on Original Crown Mill Vellum paper. On copy paper KWZ IG feathers a little bit and there is significant show-through, but the ink is suitable for use on cheaper papers as well. IG Red #3 is suited for long (work) notes or letters and doesn't strain the eyes. That makes it suitable for a lot of different uses. Like every IG ink this one darkens (a lot) when dry. The effect is in this color is so big you can literally see it change when writ

Iron gall Green #3, by KWZ

Earlier this week I came across the handmade iron gall inks by Polish brand KWZ. Beautiful colors, not the typical iron gall colors purple-black or brown-black. Reading a bit further I learned their inks don't contain the strong mineral acids like sulfuric acid, but use a more friendly formula. I ordered two colors IG Red #3 and IG Green #3; this is obviously a review of the green color.  Green #3 is a beautiful dark green. The use of green in the office is a debate I referenced to in the Lierre Sauvage review , I will keep it out of this review. In my opinion this color is very well suited for work notes, personal notes, and any other personal correspondence.  The ink is very well behaved, no feathering or show-through, well lubricated and drying faster than average. The green is dark and bright. Shading in this ink is extremely beautiful. The water resistance is not bad, the ink can take a few drops. I have used this ink in a TWSBI with a broad nib, a TWSBI with stub