Iroshizuku Yama-Budo

Oh wow! Can you believe its already August? I know right, seems the older I get the faster time seems to go by.  People who say their 30’s are amazing need to tell me how its done, because i’d jump back to basic arithmetic and three month holidays in a heartbeat. Enough about my old age, lets jump to the ink at hand.

Ink Box

Iroshizuku Ink Box

The Iroshizuku line is a premium fountain pen ink created by Pilot, and in my opinion they’ve done an excellent job. According to Pilot they chose the name Iroshizuku because its a combination of the Japanese words “iro” (colouring) expressing high standards and variation of colours, and “shizuku” (droplet), which embodies the very image of dripping water. Each ink name derives from the expressions of beautiful Japanese natural landscapes and plants, all of which contribute to the depth of each individual hue. In this case the name Yama-Budo is translated to Crimson Glory Vine.

Yama Budo Bottle

Yama Budo Bottle

The box it comes in feels expensive and the bottle is pure simplistic elegance, the only other thing in the box is a simple pamphlet.

Yama Budo Open

Yama Budo Open

The bottle is beautiful and has a large opening as well as a handy functional dip, that should allow you to get the very last drop out.

Full Page Writing

Full Page Writing

Now this was an exceptionally difficult colour for me to try and capture, it has a chameleon quality depending on the lighting. My definition of this colour would be a darkened magenta. Its neither pink, red nor purple but more like a mixture of all the above. The colour is reminiscent of red wine, when is spilled on a white carpet.

This ink handles and flows like a charm, and with standard fountain pens this ink performs flawlessly. I really think pilot did a great job with this line. I did get some bleedthrough, and feathering but only when using an exceptionally fine calligraphy nib. Once I switched to a smoother larger one – the problem was no more.

Extra Fine Calligraphy Nib

Extra Fine Calligraphy Nib

Normal Sized Copperplate Nib

Normal Sized Copperplate Nib

The pilot parallel gave me no problems whatsoever, and demonstrated the range of shading this ink can accomplish. The water resistance in this ink is pretty good, with cleaning still remaining relatively easy.

6mm Nib

6mm Nib

The closest colour comparison would be Rhorer and Klingner Magenta, closely followed by Noodlers Cactus Fruit Eel which is the same range, but a brighter slightly more pink tone.

Colour Compare

Colour Compare

From the two Iroshizuku inks I own,  and from the inks that I own, only Sailors ink formula beats it for me. The inks write smooth without hard starts, clean out easily and

As always this ink can be found online at Write Gear  and for those of you lucky enough to live in the mother city, why not stop at the physical store and see the perrrrdy for yourselves?

M

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TWSBI GO

I’m a tad late on this review, so lets jump straight in shall we?

The TWSBI GO is packaged so beautifully and simplistically, it would feel quite comfortable sitting on a shelf in the apple store.

TwsbiGoPackaging

TwsbiGoPackaging

 The simple cardboard sleeve only has the TWSBI logo printed on the front, and houses a slimline plastic case with the TWSBI name debossed into the plastic.

TwsbiGoPackaging

TwsbiGoPackaging

 The plastic case has a sticker seal on each side, and once opened the pen is displayed dead center. The only other item in the box is a small instruction leaflet.

TwsbiGoPackaging

TwsbiGoPackaging

TwsbiGoPackaging

TwsbiGoPackaging

I don’t consider the TWSBI GO a beauty, my first thought when I held it in my hand was “I feel like a two year old”. Like when you see a young child’s hand clutching a crayon that looks giant in their tiny hands.

It.is.a.FAT.pen – at least for me.

Bic vs TWSBI Go

Bic vs TWSBI Go capped

Bic vs Go posted

Bic vs Go posted

I compared the TWSBI GO to a Bic pen, and the Kaweco Sport since most people own a Bic, and the Kaweco is a popular pocket pen.

Kaweco Vs Go

Kaweco unposted Vs Go unposted

Kaweco Vs Go

Kaweco posted Vs Go unposted

Kaweco Vs Go

Kaweco Vs Go – both posted

Another thing i’m not that excited about is the plastic that the pen is made from, this gets a solid “Eh” from me. This is the basic run of the mill plastic shell, with an even cheaper looking plastic grip section. But for the price it’s to be expected, and they did add some good details to the cap.

Cap Detail

Cap Detail

Go Cap Detail

Go Cap Detail

That being said, I adore the fill mechanism – its exceptionally quick to fill and incredibly easy to clean out. While the pens looks may not be my favorite, the fill mechanism defiantly is.

TWSBI Go dismantled

TWSBI Go dismantled

The plastic is translucent which means you can see both the fill mechanism, as well as your ink level – a very useful thing to see, especially since I chose the 1.1mm stub.

The grip section has a very similar triangular grip to the Lamy Safari, and although I know this may bother some people I find it very comfortable.

TWSBI GO Nib and Grip

TWSBI GO Nib and Grip

The cap is a click on/off cap with a lanyard loop and a seal inside to prevent your nib from trying out.  Love the seal, love the click cap, but am very confused about the lanyard loop. Who here has ever went out and actually bought a lanyard for themselves? I have one, because it was being given away at a expo – I have never actually used it though – and I doubt I ever will.

Lanyard loop

Lanyard loop

Lastly the nib, and it is good. I inked it up with J.Herbin Emeralds Of Chivor. And just look at it! Looks! It writes with the same quality as my Diamond 580, is smooth with no hard starts, beautiful flow and I honestly can’t fault it at all.

1.1mm stub

1.1mm stub

So all in all would i recommend this pen? I would say depends on your budget and what you already own.

Already own a TWSBI 580 (or any other TWSBI twist piston mechanism)?:

* Get the Twsbi GO. The fill mechanism is fun and quick to  use, and brings a different more relaxed fountain pen experience. (IMO)

Don’t own a TWSBI at all?:

* Get the Eco – from the reviews I’ve seen and recommendations I have heard – I would
say rather save the extra and go for that one. It has a much classier look and I feel without the price tag of the Diamond 580. (Again IMO)

It’s a fun pen which is destined to the land of shimmer inks and calligraphy pages, and i’m
pretty sure its gonna love it there.

Emeralds Of Chivor

Emeralds Of Chivor

You can get your TWSBI pen here: Write Gear

Which TWSBI is your favorite?

M

Lamy Crystal Ink – Peridot

Uhhhh ya > person who invented ink samples was a bonafide genius.

I don’t know how to start his blog post because I haven’t disliked an ink so much since my Noodlers hoard a good few years back. (Polar Green specifically, although that one has very specific properties which made it understandable)

Lamy Peridot

With that very conclusive review done, let me explain. The way I viewed this launch, was Lamy trying to enter the “high end ink market”, (is that a thing?) that said, I was expecting it to be a dream to use even if I didn’t find the colour to my taste.

Lamy Peridot Review

According to the marketing iv’e seen about this ink it reads as follows:

“LAMY has complemented its portfolio with Crystal ink – a series of extremely attractive color inks. Ten brilliant tints expand the fascinating art of writing with the fountain pen into a whole new dimension. The carefully composed ink colors highlight the individual character of every piece of writing. At the same time, they invite one to be creative with the medium of color and set design accents in a completely new form. Of course, all of LAMY’s Crystal inks are “Made in Germany”. They are nuanced advancements of the standard colors yet also independent and unique, each with a subtly appealing range. LAMY Crystal inks deliver exceptional color intensity and product quality.”

According to my experience it goes as follows:

This is a flat forest green with no shading in finer nibs, and average shading in broad nibs. The colour reminds me of the forests in Europe. The water resistance is actually quite good, and when using  it as a watercolour wash it bleeds out beautifully.

Lamy Peridot Review Close Up – Enlarge me I dare you. :/

BUT… this ink bleeds, and feathers like crazy. EF = bleeds, F = bleeds, M = bleeds, you get the idea. Lamy inks are normally very well behaved, which made this even more surprising, so surprising  that I actually tried three different Rhodia pads just to make sure I wasn’t going crazy.

Lamy Peridot Review Back

Maybe I got a bad batch, or its just this specific colour in the range ,but I would 100% go for a sample first to see how it performs for you.

As always if you want to give this ink a try you can find it at Write Gear.

M

J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey

I absolutely adore this ink. Normally blue and black inks only make an appearance when required in a meeting setting or some formal document … That being said, this ink has been in my pen non-stop since I bought it. I have a bunch of new inks to try, but every time I need to refill – I reach for this ink.

J Herbin Stormy Grey Bottle and Box

J Herbin Stormy Grey Bottle and Box

It’s somehow addictive, it writes like a dream, keeps up with my flex writing and the sparkle, oh the sparkle – golden shimmery goodness in a pool of light black ink. It reminds me of the ocean at night, when a cruise ship lights dance on the swells. And the water resistance is surprisingly good!

J Herbin Stormy Grey Shimmer Sample

J Herbin Stormy Grey Shimmer Sample

If you had to make me choose one ink, that I had to use for the rest of my life, this would win in a heartbeat. Although I also have all the other J.Herbin 1960 currently available, Stormy Grey, in my opinion, is absolute perfection.

J Herbin Stormy Grey Writing Sample

J Herbin Stormy Grey Writing Sample

Okay, now for some more objective points: The bottle – although stunning, is not very practical – the opening is very narrow. You will defiantly have to decant or syringe the ink out once you reach half way – if you lucky. Also, the wax on my bottle cap is already cracking even though I tried to be super careful when opening and closing it.

J Herbin Stormy Grey Bottle and Box

J Herbin Stormy Grey Bottle and Box

I mainly use my Noodlers Konrad or Kaweco Sport BB Nib with this ink, so cleaning is out is a breeze for me – I just take the whole pen apart. But if you use a pen that’s not so easy to dissemble then it could take a while because of all the shimmer in the ink. Lastly the gold particles settle(don’t store the pen nib down), so to keep an even distribution of shimmer you need to keep moving the pen around and shake it up a bit if you have left it sitting in one position for to long.

J Herbin Stormy Grey Writing Sample

J Herbin Stormy Grey Writing Sample

Diamine Sparkling Shadows is a very similar ink – near identical, and a bit cheaper. Personally though, I prefer Stormy Grey. It just seemed to flow marginally better and the shimmer seems to be a touch finer. But perhaps i’m biased because of the name and packaging – it’s just so darn pretty!

J Herbin Stormy Grey vs Diamine Sparkling Shadows

J Herbin Stormy Grey vs Diamine Sparkling Shadows

I wouldn’t put this ink in an extra fine or fine nib for any extended period of time because I feel it block the feed. But my Lamy (M) seems to cope perfectly fine, although the wetter the nib the more magical the ink appears.

As always, this ink can be found on Write Gear, the paper is Rhodia and the pens are Lamy Safari F, Lamy Safari M, Lamy Safari B, Noodlers Konrad Flex and the Pilot Parallel 6mm.

Does anyone else find this ink addictive or is it just me?

M.

Kaweco Sport – White and Gold

I must say, I’ve been wanting a Kaweco Sport for a while now, but I specifically wanted a BB nib. And the specific combo I wanted wasn’t available so I waited.

Kaweco Sport Cap Detail

Now in general anything from a M up just doesn’t do it for me with regards to everyday writing, so why the very abnormal obsession with BB?

Kaweco Sport Capped

Well, my favorite ink of all time is J Herbin Stormy Grey. And yes, it works perfectly fine in a M or B but I really like creating page patterns with this ink. A BB nib will fill it out the coloured areas quickly, and is the only standard sold nib size missing from my current collection. Also I had this idea in my head of the perfect ink, pen, nib and pocket journal combo.

Writing Sample

So I present to you the most perfectly matchy travel combo of all time: The white and gold Kaweco Sport, with a BB nib, filled with JHerbin Stormy Grey used with the TWSBI A6 pocket journal.

Kaweco Sport and TWSBI A6 notebook

But back to the pen. I got my pen at Hobby-X expo in Joburg, my main reason for going was that Write Gear decided to do a pop up stand. This was my chance to drool over all the perddddy, and finally get my hands on that elusive BB nib.

Now I must apologize, the pen packaging got into an altercation with an apparently “empty” cup of coffee… unfortunately the coffee won. So I don’t have a photo available, but the pen comes in a basic black slimline box with white Kaweco prints all over it. The pen is simply wrapped in a protective plastic wrap that has a sticker with a barcode.

The pen itself comes assembled with a single blue cartridge inside. Now my initial plan was to turn this pen into a drop filler, but once I got home I realized my O rings were to big for the actual pen. I just went ahead, used some silicone grease and filled it anyway, but getting a mini converter just seems safer.

The design of the pen is modern an classic at the same time, while the octagonal cap provides an anti-roll function which I find very useful.

Kaweco Sport VS Bic

The pen is travel friendly when closed, but posts to a comfortable almost full sized pen. This nib does give me a few hard starts and skips, but as a disclaimer, I did purchase the only BB nib that was available and it happened to be a demo nib at the show. Also the fact that i’m using a shimmer ink probably doesn’t help. Other then that it writes like butter, its amazing.

The other thing I regret not getting is the clip attachment. I honestly thought it would be more in the way then anything else, but walking around, it would be much more convenient if I just clipped it onto my notebook.

Kaweco Sport VS Bic

All in all I’m very happy with this pen, and it will be my official shimmer ink pen going forward. My TWSBI Diamond 580 is still my favorite everyday pen by far, but as an affordable travel pen – this is highly recommended.

Lastly I just want to give a big thank you to Write Gear, I know I defiantly was not their easiest customer, so thank you for being so accommodating. Meeting you guys, was amazing and getting
to see all the stock was defiantly the highlight of the expo.

Write Gear Booth

As always this pen, but not this nib can be found at Write Gear

Word of the day:

Brobdingnagian

 

M.

Diamine 1864 Blue Black

Wow, just wow…over a year since my last post – that’s a record. Shout-out to the reader who reminded me I actually have inks that need reviewing! Hopefully the annual break won’t be repeated.

Does anyone even read blog post anymore? With youTube so readily available, and Instagram being a mini film mecca, the moving pictures of  Hogwarts seem to have become a reality. Nonetheless, ponderings for a different day > to the ink!

Diamine 1864 Blue Black was part of an anniversary collection released to celebrate Diamines 150th year, the bottle is one of 8 wedge shapes that come together forming a perfect circle.  I did not purchase the bottle, as my love of blue and black inks tends to be very limited. But it defiantly is the most blue-black, blue black ink I have tried.

Diamine 1864 Blue Black

Diamine 1864 Blue Black

The colour reminds me of something James Bond would use to sign a document. Formal enough to be accepted on any legal document, but on closer inspection, not all is as it seems. Although that may not be the best idea, because any water would make the inked document null and void.

Diamine1864 Blue Black

Diamine1864 Blue Black

I would describe the colour as Navy Black, and uniquely enough, the wetter/broader the pen – the more navy the colour appears.

Diamine 1864 Blue Black

Diamine 1864 Blue Black

This ink did not feather or bleed through in normal writing, but when using the Pilot parallel I did notice feathering. As this is fairly rare on Rhodia Paper, i’m guessing this may not be an ink that fares well on standard pad and copier paper.

Below are a few ink drop comparisons, and I stand by my statement – a lot of blue-black inks that I try immediately get classified as navy blue in my head, this one really does have me asking the question… Is it blue or black?

Diamine 1864 Blue Black

Diamine 1864 Blue Black

As  always, this ink can be purchased at Write Gear

Pens: Lamy Safari, Flex Dip Pen, Pilot Parallel 6mm

Paper: Rhodia Grid Pad

Word Of the Day: Verisimilitude

Shameless Plug: Instagram

M.

Diamine Pumpkin

I’ve had this colour in my pens for the whole month of October cause you know Halloween and pumpkins, it was a no brainer. Although I don’t care much for Halloween, and have no interest in pumpkin pie – it was a nice colour theme for the whole month.

img_20161106_144902

This colour is beautiful – super vibrant and summery. Has good smooth flow, water resistance is non-existent – as is expected, and the shading is minimal. This ink doesn’t have a really visible sheen to it, more like a definite shading line.

img_20161106_144833

I know this ink is called pumpkin, but this colour makes me think of summer days, juicy oranges and melting snow cones. Oh and Orange is the new Black – that series name is so catchy is ridiculous! Every time I hear the word Orange my mind automatically adds “is the new black”.

img_20161106_144851

The closest colour comparisons I had in my collection were: Diamine Peach Haze, Noodlers Dragons Napalm, Diamine Autumn Oak and Lamy Red. As you can see below none of them are a perfect dupes.

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This ink was bit more work to clean out, but that could simply be because it was in my pen for such a long period of time.

img_20161019_134853

There was also some bleed through, but none in normal writing, and only when going over the same spot multiple times – and even then it as minimal.

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I also took a few macro shots so below you can see a close up of the ink splat, and the transition in shading.

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As always I purchased my bottle here: Diamine Pumpkin

Now I just need to decide on a colour scheme for Christmas…

M.