Robert Oster Signature - Verde de Rio
Robert Oster is an Australian ink maker that is well-known for its unique range of colours. On his website he describes our shared love quite eloquently: "Robert Oster Signature originates from one of the most famous wine producing regions of the world, the Coonawarra district of South Australia, an idyllic setting with great influence on the senses. There is my inspiration. It's a joy to share it with you." Well, we are certainly fortunate to have inspiring ink makers like Robert Oster to satiate our thirst for glorious inks.
In this review the center stage is taken by Verde de Rio - which you might describe as a grass-green ink, and which would fall way short of what this gem represents. Do you believe in ink-love on first sight? Well I didn't ... until now that is. The first time I put Verde de Rio to paper, I got a thrill of excitement. It just feels wonderful when that happens, doesn't it? I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and some might just see a nice grass-green ink. For me however, Verde de Rio is a stunning beauty that went straight to the top as my personal ink of the year. This ink is liquid poetry!
Verde de Rio is essentially a fresh-looking grass-green ink with yellow undertones, where the green remains dominant. It lays down a wet and relatively saturated line, and can accommodate all nib sizes, even the finer ones. I typically use F or M nibs, so this is a nice take-away. The ink is a real pleasure to write with: you start with a dewy grass-green line that dries relatively quickly into nicely shaded writing. I find the shading simply stunning - it is very present but still subdued. Because the contrast range between light and dark parts remains relatively narrow, you get an aesthetically pleasing shading effect. Really well executed!
Unfortunately, Rio de Verde is allergic to water. On the smudge test - rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab - this quickly becomes apparent. The ink smudges easily, although the writing remains perfectly readable. Water resistance is totally non-existent though - even short exposures to water completely obliterate your writing. On the droplet test and after short exposures to running tap water, all the ink simply vanished. This is clear from the lower part of the chroma - almost no ink remains attached to the paper. The chroma also shows the complex character of the ink - Mr. Oster sure has great mixing skills.
- An ink swab, made with a cotton Q-tip
- 1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturation
- An ink scribble made with an M-nib fountain pen
- The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib
- A small text sample, written with an M-nib
- Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)