(P)ink Shoot-Out : Callifolio Andrinople vs Edelstein Turmaline
Given that today is Valentines Day, I thought it would be fun to pitch a fight between two inks that are definitely up to the occasion. And what a surprise ! These turn out to be pink inks ! I’m not a pink ink person myself, but these inks crossed my path and somehow stuck in my collection. The inks entering the arena today are L’Artisan Pastellier Callifolio Andrinople and the Pelikan Edelstein Ink of the Year 2012 Turmaline. Both are really vibrant super-pink inks that I would normally dislike, but these two have a certain “je ne sais quoi” that turned my eye.
The date being what it is, I thought it would be a perfect time to do a detailed comparison, and find out which of these inks I like the most.
Enter... the Ink Shoot-Out. A brutal fight spanning five rounds, where heavyweight inks do battle to determine who is the winner. In the left corner – la petite Française Callifolio Andrinople. In the right corner, das Deutsche Fraulein Edelstein Turmaline. Which champion will remain standing at the end of the fight ? Let's find out...
Round 1 - First Impressions
Both inks are an eye-searing super-pink. The inks pop from the page – pink and proud – waiting for some joyful writing or drawing. Both are lovely, but there are some differences:
- The Edelstein ink is more saturated, leaving a well-defined line when writing.
- Edelstein Turmaline is also very well lubricated, making your pen glide over the page. In contrast, Callifolio Andrinople writes much drier with noticeable feedback from the paper.
- Callifolio is a more reddish purple, which in my opinion looks more appealing. I like the fact that the colour is more subdued (if it’s possible to say this of a pink ink).
Evaluating this round, I find that the French girl has the looks, the German girl the moves. In my opinion, this evens out. For this round, it’s the judge’s opinion that both champions are on par with each other, resulting in a draw.
Round 2 - Writing Sample
The writing sample was done on Rhodia N°16 Notepad with 80 gsm paper. Both inks behaved flawlessly, with no feathering and no show-through or bleed-through. Pelikan Turmaline wrote like a dream, with very good ink flow and lubrication, and leaving a well saturated line. In contrast, Callifolio Andrinople is much less lubricated, and feels much drier. It also has visibly lower saturation. The Callifolio ink needs broader nibs for a satisfying writing experience. Turmaline on the other hand writes perfectly fine even when using an EF nib.
Colourwise both inks look very similar in writing, the reddish undertones of Andrinople becoming more apparent in the broader nibs. Both inks also exhibit some nice and classy shading. The shading is not very prominent – ranging from rose to pink – but it’s definitely present, and enhances the character of your writing.
For this round, the focus is on writing, and here the German ink clearly has the upper hand. A solid win for Pelikan Edelstein Turmaline.
Round 3 - Pen on Paper
This round allows the batlling inks to show how they behave on a range of fine writing papers. From top to bottom, we have : FantasticPaper, Life Noble, Tomoe River and Original Crown Mill cotton paper. All scribbling and writing was done with a Lamy Safari M-nib.
Both champions did well, with no show-through nor bleed-through. But this round is not about technicalities, it is about aesthetics and beauty. Are the fighters able to make the paper shine ?
Well – the choice is difficult and highly personal (almost a blonde vs brunette thing). In my opinion, Callifiolio Andrinople is the more beautiful of the champions – I find its more reddish appearance much more appealing. The only exception is with Tomoe River paper, where I prefer the looks of Edelstein Turmaline (on this paper it’s a really striking and vibrant pink). For this round, Andrinople gets the upper hand and is granted the victory.
Round 4 - Ink Properties
Both inks have drying times in the 20-25 second range on the Rhodia paper, with Andrinople the quickest-drying of the two. Both inks also do fine on the smudge test, where a moist Q-tip cotton swab is drawn across the text lines. There is some smearing, but the text remains perfectly legible. The smearing is more prominent though for the Edelstein ink. For the droplet test, I dripped water onto the grid and let it sit there for 15 minutes, after which I removed the water droplets with a paper kitchen towel. Neither of the champions exhibits good water resistance – all that lovely pink writing just disappears, leaving only smudges ! The Pelikan ink leaves some traces of the original though, which might be reconstructed with a lot of patience.
The chromatography shows that Turmaline leaves a greyish residue – as was apparent in the droplet test. You can also clearly see that Turmaline is a more intense pink, and one with a surprisingly complex chemical composition (notice the very water-soluble yellow and light-grey components at the top). With Andrinople, the chroma shows the more prominent existence of the red undertones.
In this round, both inks show more or less the same behavior. Andrinople dries a bit quicker and is a bit more smudge-resistant. On the other hand, Turmaline is more soak-resistant (in comparison with Andrinople that is – both inks score very low for water resistance). There is no clear winner in this round.
Round 5 - The Fun Factor
Welcome to the final round. Here I give you a purely personal impression of both inks, where I judge which of them I like most when doing some fun stuff like doodling and drawing. Both inks do well, and the lack of water resistance allows for nice effects when using a water brush. I really enjoyed using them.
Pelikan Edelstein Turmaline was easier to draw with using a fountain pen – no doubt owing to its better lubrication. When using a brush or dip pen, you won’t notice the drier feel of Callifolio Andrinople though. On the other hand, I really like the somewhat more reddish appearance of Andrinople. On the light side of these inks’ colour spectrum, they produce an almost identical light-rose colour. It’s only on more saturated parts that Turmaline shows it’s more pinkish nature.
I really wanted a clear winner for this round, but in all objectivity I have to admit that both inks were on par with each other. Both inks dealt some good punches, but neither of them dominated the fight. I had a great time using them both ! So for this round, I have no other choice than to declare a draw.
Both inks are joyful, lively and vibrant pinks that are guaranteed to bring colour to your page. For writing – Pelikan Edelstein Turmaline is technically the superior ink. In the looks department, I definitely prefer Callifolio Andrinople myself. In this fight, both champions put on their best show, but in the end no clear winner emerges.
So – as a first in this shoot-out series – I leave it up to you to pick your winner. If you prefer blondes, go for Pelikan Edelstein Turmaline. If you prefer brunettes, the French ink Callifolio Andrinople is an equally good choice. And in case you’re interested: my own vote goes to Callifolio Andrinople ;-)
Postscriptum: in case you want to buy a bottle – be aware that Pelikan Edelstein Turmaline was a limited edition ink that is no longer produced. You can still pick up a bottle of Andrinople though, and use the occasion to explore some other Callifolio inks. I’ve done so myself, and never regretted it.