Review: Robert Oster Golden Antiqua


Wow. This is another interesting ink color in the lineup of Robert Oster Signature Inks. Golden Antiqua reminds me so much of Pilot Iroshizuku Ina Ho, except it’s more saturated (more brown than golden yellow) so it’s easier to read. It also reminds me of the color of wheat. It’s a color that reminds me of so many things in nature. Look at that gorgeous shading too. It’s a very eye-catching ink that makes you want to look closer. My first impression of it was now THIS is what golden brown should look like.

Robert Oster Golden Antiqua

Among the other Robert Oster Inks, this one is just a teeny-tiny bit dry compared to others. It doesn’t have problems with the flow, but it just feels a bit dryer by comparison to the other inks that I tried. I think it’s pretty impressive that these Robert Oster inks all have great flow, all are pretty well-behaved, and they all have really great, vibrant colors. This is a nice, golden brown ink that somehow seems almost like it’s gleaming, even if it has no shimmer. It has gradations of dark golden brown to light golden yellow, which makes for very expressive shading. It also has the slightest, nearly imperceptible silvery sheen if you use a wet nib on good paper It’s very suitable for regular writing, you don’t have to struggle to read it. It’s nicely saturated without losing its beautiful golden hues. Drying time is pretty short, like the other Robert Oster inks that I tried–a bit over 10 seconds even on a wet medium nib and Tomoe River paper. It’s also not water resistant. I wish Robert Oster will make waterproof inks in the future. I would be so down for that. Anyway, here are a few close ups of the writing sample: Robert Oster Golden Antiqua

Robert Oster Golden Antiqua

Robert Oster Golden Antiqua

Robert Oster Golden Antiqua

Robert Oster Golden Antiqua

Robert Oster Golden Antiqua

Robert Oster inks are exclusively distributed in the Philippines by Everything Calligraphy.

The Old Is Gone, The New Has Come


IMG_4917

These days, the pervading attitude towards inmates and even those who struggle with drug addiction is more uncharitable than I ever remember in my life. It’s like all those people are lumped into one huge pile of subhuman specie. If you have a family member who is struggling with addiction secretly, this uncharitable attitude would probably make them think twice before coming to you for help. Especially since a lot of them die anyway, as collateral damage in a drug war that’s becoming increasingly violent. Admitting your addiction may even put your life at risk.

I was in the middle of a hiatus from the prison ministry when this drug war commenced. I was overwhelmed with work and could not fulfill my duties in the ministry properly. But day by day I see people talking about addicts and offenders as if they have forfeited their right to live. All this made me remember my sisters in Las Pinas City Jail so I broke my hiatus (even though there was no change in my workload) because I could not stop thinking about them. These days we have to hold our bible study at the main corridor of the female dorm because we don’t fit into the visiting area anymore. I welcome this problem though. It’s a happy kind of problem. Everybody is welcome.

IMG_4919

I realize how impossible it is to change the minds of people who are riding the wave of hate and violence. I cannot change the flow of the tide. I can only do my best to work with the inmates together with other people who are in the ministry with me, help them focus on the Word and remind them of how God sees them, instead of how the world sees them.

A lot of people say that nobody in jail will ever admit that they’re guilty, but that’s not true. A lot of people in my bible study group have owned up to their guilt, are quietly serving their prison sentences, and dealing with the regret of wasting so many years of their lives, aside from the years of incarceration that stretches ahead of them. Many of the inmates we work with are there because of drug-related charges. A lot have been there for years while still waiting for their first court appearance. While many may have been drug addicts, as you can see by the way years of drug use have ravaged their appearance, a lot are already in the process of waking up from the stupor. They’re realizing how they’ve damaged their lives, how they’ve hurt and alienated their family who now refuse to visit them. It’s like they’re waking up after a rampage and are only beginning to comprehend what they have done. Many have not seen their families for years and have endured…are continuing to endure incredible loneliness as part of their punishment. Prison is a dark place where people are soon forgotten.

Our bible lessons are always hopeful, helping them deal with the reality of their present as well as the possibilities of their future. As deep and dark as the pit may be, the light of Jesus still shines. And though the vast majority will treat them like vermin fit for extermination, we try to remind them of a simple truth:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Review: Robert Oster Dark Chocolate


Robert Oster Dark Chocolate

Now that Fountain Pen Day is officially over (kudos to the staff of SM Aura and volunteers from Fountain Pen Network Philippines for such a wonderful event), I can resume my regular programming. ^_^ Here’s another interesting Robert Oster ink. This one is Dark Chocolate, and it’s such a rich, velvety ink. It’s a purplish brown color, which reminded me of Waterman Havana Brown.

So far, all the Robert Oster inks that I’ve tried are so nice to use in pens. They flow so well and have very vibrant colors. They’re all very interesting. This one is something you can probably use even for work documents, when black and blue inks become a tad boring. It’s nicely saturated and it has such nice shading. It’s not light brown at all, it’s a deep, dark brown. In finer nibs or dry writers, the purplish undertone becomes more apparent.

Like the other Robert Oster inks that I tried, this is so well-behaved. No feathering, it doesn’t feel overly wet. It dries up in about 10 seconds, which is relatively fast, even when used with a medium nib. It’s not waterproof or water resistant, though. Here are a few close up shots of the writing sample:

Robert Oster Dark Chocolate

Robert Oster Dark Chocolate

Robert Oster Dark Chocolate

Robert Oster Dark Chocolate

Robert Oster Dark Chocolate

The pen I used was a Kaweco Sport with a medium nib. The paper is white Tomoe River.

Overall, it’s a delightful ink. So far my experience with Robert Oster inks has been pretty awesome. Again, thanks to Everything Calligraphy (the local distributor of Robert Oster inks in the Philippines) for the samples.

Review: Robert Oster Jade


Here’s another Robert Oster Signature Ink that I’ve been using these past few days, thanks to samples sent by Everything Calligraphy. It’s such a pleasant surprise because It’s a very nice, eye-catching shade of green. Robert Oster Jade is exactly how I want a jade-colored ink to be. It’s a  brilliant, vibrant, jade green with expressive shading that mimics the complexity and depth of jade stone.

Robert Oster Jade

My first impression of this ink is that it’s so, so gorgeous. I noticed that it gets a bit darker after it’s had a bit of time to dry, though. Even while it’s wet, it looks like a brilliant shade of green.

Robert Oster Jade

If you look at the swab samples, you’ll see that the lightest part of the swab is a pretty shade of light yellow-green, though not too light as to make it unreadable or difficult to read. Like the other Robert Oster inks that I tried, I like how this ink looks really vibrant on the page, and how it flows really well without misbehaving. It flows good without getting all bleed-y on paper. This is a moderate flow, and it dries relatively fast. Around 10-15 seconds on Tomoe River paper with a wet, medium nib. It’s not very water-resistant, though. I think I’ll need a full bottle of this color. I’d love to see more of this in my journal. Here are a few more close ups of the writing samples:

Robert Oster Jade

Robert Oster Jade

Robert Oster Jade

Robert Oster Jade

Robert Oster Jade

Overall, it’s a very interesting color. It flows very nicely, and it’s a pleasure to use. I tried it in my fine-nibbed Sheaffer Tuckaway and it just flowed so beautifully. I love it a lot.

Robert Oster inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Robert Oster Crimson


Robert Oster Crimson

Here’s another Robert Oster Signature Ink that I tried last week, Crimson. My first impression was that it didn’t look like an extremely red ink. When it’s wet, it looks more like dark old rose, but it gets darker as it dries.

Robert Oster Crimson

Like the other Robert Oster inks that I’ve been using these past couple of weeks, I find this color to be rather easy on the eyes. It’s vibrant but also a bit muted at the same time. It’s not a screaming, angry kind of red, but a more reserved, muted red.

I really like how it feels in the pen that I used. It flows moderately wet, but doesn’t feel like it’s too wet. It doesn’t bleed or feather much and it’s really well-behaved. It dries pretty quickly (between 10-15 seconds on a wet, medium nib) and has a bit of shading. It’s a gorgeous ink and is really easy to read because it’s nicely saturated and easy on the eyes. It’s not very water resistant, though. I like that like the other Robert Oster inks that I tried, this one’s color stays vibrant on paper even when it’s dry. It doesn’t appear washed out and has a lovely way of popping out of the page. For people who would like to use it in pen and wash drawings, the ink does wash very nicely.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

Robert Oster Crimson

Robert Oster Crimson

Robert Oster Crimson

Robert Oster Crimson

Robert Oster Crimson

Robert Oster Crimson

Robert Oster Signature inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Pens Through the Years


Fountain Pen Network Philippines will  be joining the celebration of Fountain Pen Day on the first weekend of November. I was invited to submit some artwork along with other fellow members of FPN-P. I’m usually really shy about showing people my art in person, but I figured that it might be a fun way to give back to the community and meet other artists as well.

I kind of agonized over what to submit, what paper to use, etc. I redid this a few times because I had some details wrong (plating color of a clip here, nib color there). But last night I was able to finish my final pieces.

IMG_4834

Overall, I enjoyed the process of making these two pieces a lot. Using fountain pen ink in the washes is challenging because it gets absorbed by the paper almost as soon as you brush it on. Mixing it with a lot of water helps. It’s also very fascinating to read about the pens again and see the tiny little details that make each pen unique. These two are collection of pens from Sheaffer and Parker through the years. There’s a lot of different kinds of pens to choose from, so I picked several that were made in different decades. It was really so much fun, and it reminded me again why I love vintage pens, especially Parker pens (I’m a Parker gal). They don’t make ’em like they used to.

This year’s Fountain Pen Day celebration will be on November 5-6, at the 3rd floor Atrium of SM Aura. Aside from the art exhibit, there will be other activities like calligraphy demonstrations for adults and kids, and pop up stores for fountain pen/calligraphy fans.

Review: Robert Oster Signature Ink – Khaki


Robert Oster

I received a few ink samples of Robert Oster Signature Inks from Everything Calligraphy to review several days ago, and of course I made a bee line for the first green ink that caught my eye–Khaki.

Robert Oster - Khaki

I’m very excited to try this brand of ink because I’ve never tried this before. I inked up my Parker 75 and was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the ink looked on paper. At first glance, it looks a little similar to Diamine Safari, except that it’s a bit more golden, or it has more hints of yellow. It straddles the line comfortably between green and brown, and I love the rich, earthiness of the color. It washes quite well too, if you’re thinking of using the ink for that application. It has some shading, though it’s not what I’d call overly expressive. I really like that it flows so well without bleeding through or feathering.

It’s a very well-behaved ink, and I’d put the flow to a moderate to wet. Even when I used it with a fine nib, it just glides on paper. It’s so much fun to use. It dries relatively fast too, between 5-10 seconds in a fine nib on tomoe river paper. It’s not very water-resistant, though. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Robert Oster - Khaki

Robert Oster - Khaki

Robert Oster - Khaki

Robert Oster - Khaki

Robert Oster - Khaki

Robert Oster - Khaki

Robert Oster - Khaki

Overall, I love the color. Not exactly something you can use for work, but it’s nicely saturated enough for everyday writing. I’ve written a few journal entries with my sample, and I’m really enjoying how it pairs so well with cream-colored paper. It’s just so beautiful!

Robert Oster Signature inks are exclusively available at Everything Calligraphy.