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: Kyo-Iro Moonlight of Higashiyama


Kyo-Iro Inks

The nice people from Everything Calligraphy sent over a few samples of their new line of inks from Kyoto, Japan. There are Kyo-Iro and Kyo No Oto Inks. I’m eager to review them because all the Japanese inks I’ve tried so far have been excellent. I’m curious to see how these inks perform. Kyo-Iro inks are named after famous places in Kyoto Japan. It may be a bit hard to distinguish the colors on the bottle because for Kyo-Iro inks, the names are printed in Japanese characters. I’ll dive right in and review one of the colors that really got my attention. This one’s called Moonlight of Higashiyama.

Kyo-Iro Inks

I like that the packaging of Kyo-Iro inks are so reminiscent of what makes Japanese aesthetics so pleasing. It’s minimalist, simple, elegant, and functional. I love the print on the box and the labels on the bottle. Each bottle holds 40ml of ink, and the opening is convenient to use, no matter what the pen size is.

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Moonlight of Higashiyama is an earthy brown color that leans more towards orange or terracotta. When wet, the yellow component of the ink is more obvious, but it gets a lot darker as it dries. The color reminds me of autumn leaves, or caramel. It’s warm and pleasant, and really gorgeous especially on cream-colored paper. I like that it has subtle shading that shows different hues from light terracotta orange to dark brown, the color of burnt brown sugar. It’s saturated enough for daily writing, it’s very comfortable to read. The flow of this ink is also quite good. It’s a touch above moderate flow, and my pen just glides on paper when using it. The drying time is relatively fast at about 15 seconds using a medium nib on Tomoe River paper. It’s not water resistant. So don’t leave your journal out in the rain ;-). Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Overall, it’s an eye-catching color. I enjoy using it in journal entries. Kyo-Iro inks and I are off to a great start, it seems. 🙂

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 – Andy Warhol – Pop Art Purple


Here’s another Birmingham ink that I tried this week. It’s called Andy Warhol (Pop Art Purple). I was expecting a bold, loud, violently violet color but it turned out to be quite a demure and dusky purple color.

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

At first it looks very similar to Diamine Bilberry when wet, but it gets darker as it dries. After it’s completely dry, it looks more like blue violet. It’s very subdued and nicely saturated. While it’s not exactly a screaming purple ink, it’s something you can use for daily writing, without calling too much attention to it. I would put the flow at dry to moderate, depending on the nib you’re using. It dries up pretty fast, considering that I used a stub nib for this writing sample (obviously, I need to clean my other pens soon, haha). It’s not waterproof but does leave a faint purple line behind. Overall, it does look a bit flat, but it’s something you can use for work or class notes if you want a purple ink that, at first glance, can pass as dark blue. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks - Andy Warhol - Pop Art Purple

Birmingham Inks are available 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: 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.

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.