Review: Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi


Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Here’s the last of the Kyo-Iro line of Kyoto Inks that I’ve tried. The next inks linked up for review are all Kyo No Oto inks. This one’s called Flaming Red of Fushimi. At first I was surprised because it was neither flaming nor red when wet. The ink’s color got darker as it dried, and under natural light, the red component is much more obvious. It does start out as a cross between pink and peach, like the color of pink guava flesh or four seasons juice. Pink that leans more on the red side. When in a low-light surrounding, the ink looks less-saturated and more pink, but in natural light, it does become a more pronounced shade of red. The color is pretty interesting in both cases. I don’t think I have tried an ink that is similar in hue. It’s eye-catching, to say the least. It’s a moderately saturated ink, so I would recommend that you use it with a medium nib at least, or something that writes wet, so that you can appreciate the character of the ink. The shading is expressive and gorgeous, with shades of peach and dark pink. It flows a bit drier than moderate, though not unpleasantly so. I just feel it’s not as wet as the other Kyo-Iro inks I tried. The drying time is more or less the same, about 15 seconds. It’s not water resistant. Here are a few close up shots of the writing sample.

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed:

Review: Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage


Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Gosh, look at that. That is a purrty shade of pink. Cherry blossoms come in a range of colors, from pure white with the faintest hint of pink to dark pink, yellow, purple, and even green. This color of Kyo-Iro ink reminds me of pink cherry blossoms because the shading is expressive and shows a range of pinks, like the blossoms. The ink is sufficiently saturated enough to make it easy to read, but I find the color so delicate and refined.

The flow is moderate; not too dry, not too wet. It’s well-behaved and pleasant to write with. It dries in about 15 seconds (using a European medium nib on Tomoe River paper), and it’s not water resistant. I like that the vibrancy of the ink doesn’t fade after several days. The color didn’t go flat or dull.

Pink ink lovers will definitely love this shade. Here are a few close-ups of my writing sample:

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Overall, you may not be able to use it for work or exams, or anything like that, but it’s a cute ink for journal-writing and other creative purposes.

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.


Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed:

Review: Birmingham Inks Edgar T. Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)


I’ve been using this ink for a week and it’s about time to write a short review. What surprised me most when I was only beginning to explore different kinds of inks for fountain pens is that not all black inks are alike. I’ve come across several interesting black inks like Diamine Onyx, which has some subtle hints of purple. My least favorite is Parker Quink which seems so diluted and has terrible flow with most of my pens. It seems weird to review black ink, but if you look closely enough, different kinds of black ink do look…different.

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

So, Birmingham Inks’ Coking Coal Black. While wet, I had the impression that it was a bit on the warm side. A little purplish brown. As it dries, the color develops to a more slate grey hue. It reminds me of the color of the core of a pencil. Under certain lights, it reminds me of the color of nori wrap. I wouldn’t say that it’s highly saturated, it doesn’t look jet black and it doesn’t look “thick” on paper, like J. Herbin’s Perle Noir. It doesn’t look watered-down either. For a dark-colored ink, it certainly shows some nice shading which highlights different gradations of gray. There’s a slight hint of purple, too.

The flow is really nice, it flows moderately wet in a medium nib. The pen glides on paper while using the ink, I like the flow a lot. It dries relatively fast, too. About 10-15 seconds. It’s definitely not too water resistant, only leaving behind a faint purplish line after 30 seconds of soaking in drops of water. Overall, it’s a pretty nice coal-black ink. Here are some closeups of the writing sample:

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham Inks Edgar T Steel Works (Coking Coal Black)

Birmingham inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Birmingham Inks Point Park – Fountain Turquoise


Finally, I found time to post this review. I really enjoyed trying out this ink. I’m afraid the photos didn’t really do justice on how pretty this ink is. It’s really better to enjoy it in person. Anyway, I’ll try my best.

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Fountain Turquoise is quite a pretty ink. It kind of reminds me of Pilot Iroshizuku SyoRo when it dries, without the sheen. It’s a simpler version of it, I think. A nice blue-green color that tilts just a little bit towards the green side of the spectrum. It’s sufficiently saturated to make it suitable for daily writing, even for work-related notes, but the color is ambiguous enough to give you pause and wonder about it. I love the flow as well, it’s a moderate to wet-flowing ink. It dries relatively fast at 15-20 seconds, without noticeable feathering. It’s a head-turner, for me. It’s not water-resistant, though it leaves behind a faint, purplish line. It washes away pretty easily. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks - Point Park - Fountain Turquoise

Birmingham Inks are available exclusively at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Birmingham Inks Smithfield St. Bridge – Truss Blue


Here’s another blue Birmingham Ink that I’ve been using for the past few days. It’s Smithfield St. Bridge (Truss Blue). This is another dark blue ink, which looks conservative and behaves pretty well.

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

It’s a bit dark when wet, reminds me of the color of Tsuki-yo, but it seems to get a bit lighter as it dries. I used a Waterman Gentleman with a fine nib for this writing sample. It’s a wet, European fine nib, though. I’m very much pleased that the ink flowed so well, even in a fine nib. The drying time is a little over 5 seconds, and the flow is moderate to wet. I like that it’s a very well-behaved ink, it doesn’t feather a lot and it doesn’t clog up even if I don’t use the pen for a few days. Even with a fine nib, I love that it still shows beautiful shading.

The color is dark blue, and it’s not a crazy blue with sheen or anything like that. It’s a straight up blue that’s nicely saturated and conservative-looking enough for you to use even at work. You probably can’t use sheen-y, shimmer-y inks for official documents, but this kind of blue can be a staple for everyday writing.

It’s not water-resistant, though it leaves behind a faint but noticeable purple line. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Birmingham Inks – Andrew Carnegie – Steel Blue


Here’s another Birmingham Ink that I’ve been playing with for the past few weeks. It’s Andrew Carnegie Steel Blue. I must admit I was surprised to see a dark blue instead of a light, icy blue, but a quick research in Google corrected my perception of the color.

Birmingham Inks - Andrew Carnegie - Steel Blue

The ink is a dark blue-grey while wet, but it dries to an interesting color of dark blue with a greenish tint. Like dark turquoise. Of all the Birmingham Inks I tried, so far this is more flow-y. I would put the flow at a moderate to wet. It take a bit longer to dry too, about 25 seconds or more, depending on how wet the nib is and the quality of paper. For this review, I used a Pelikan M200 with a medium nib and tomoe river white paper. It’s not waterproof or water resistant, though it leaves noticeable blue lines behind. The high saturation of the ink makes shading less noticeable, except if you’re using fine nibs. It reminds me of Sailor Miruai, except it’s on the bluer side. Here are a few close ups of the ink’s writing sample:

Birmingham Inks - Andrew Carnegie - Steel Blue

Birmingham Inks - Andrew Carnegie - Steel Blue

Birmingham Inks - Andrew Carnegie - Steel Blue

Birmingham Inks - Andrew Carnegie - Steel Blue

Birmingham Inks - Andrew Carnegie - Steel Blue

Birmingham Inks - Andrew Carnegie - Steel Blue

Overall, it’s a nice dark blue ink. The greenish tint makes it an interesting variation on blue-black. I also like the flow a lot.

Birmingham Inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Birmingham Inks – Schenley Park – Thicket Green


Here’s the second Birmingham Ink that I tried so far. It’s called Schenley Park (Thicket Green). It’s a nice, dark green ink that looks a lot like the color of pine trees, or evergreen. It’s a very organic-looking color.

Birmingham Inks - Schenley Park - Thicket Green

As far as performance goes, I would put the flow at almost a moderately medium flow. It is a tad dryer than what I would like, though it behaves pretty well, and I’ve been using this ink for over a week. It dries pretty quick at a little over 10 seconds, with a medium nib. It’s not very water resistant, though it does leave behind some traces of dark green ink. The color reminds me of Pilot Iroshizuku Shin Ryoku, without the reddish sheen. It’s sufficiently saturated, making it easy to read and (for green ink lovers like me) a nice ink to use for everyday writing. It’s beautiful, though not quite what you’d call an adventurous color. The shading is quite pronounced too. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Birmingham Inks - Schenley Park - Thicket Green

Birmingham Inks - Schenley Park - Thicket Green

Birmingham Inks - Schenley Park - Thicket Green

Birmingham Inks - Schenley Park - Thicket Green

Birmingham Inks - Schenley Park - Thicket Green

Birmingham inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.