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Robert Oster Signature - Marrone Mustard

robert oster signature marrone mustard brown

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9 replies to this topic

#1 namrehsnoom



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Posted 15 August 2017 - 11:55

Robert Oster Signature - Marrone Mustard


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, I take a closer look at Marrone Mustard. Catherine from Sakura provided me with a sample of this ink to play around with – much appreciated! This particular incarnation of a Robert Oster ink is of the golden-brown variety. It’s a really nice light-brown colour with orange undertones. The ink contrasts nicely with the paper. It’s dark enough to make for a very readable text, yet not too contrast-rich in that it tries to dominate the page. 
Marrone Mustard is more at home in broader nibs. I didn’t like the way it looks in a EF nib – too flat and too light. In my opinion, this ink’s Goldilocks zone encompasses the M-B-1.1 range. Here the ink really shines, with great shading and the optimal expression of its colour range. With these wetter/broader nibs, you are rewarded with really good-looking writing.
To show you the impact of saturation on the ink’s look & feel on paper, I made some scribbles where I really saturated portions of the paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. 
Like most Robert Oster inks, Marrone Mustard has no water resistance.  Short exposures to water completely obliterate the text. All that remains are some orangy smudges. This is evident from the chromatography – the ink detaches easily from the paper, as can be seen in the bottom part of the chroma. The ink also smudges easily, with orange smudges on the page. The text itself remains very readable though.

I’ve tested the ink on a wide variety of paper – from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. On every small band of paper I show you:
  • 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)
Marrone Mustard behaved perfectly on all paper types, with just a tiny bit of feathering on the Moleskine paper. The ink manages to look good on both white and more yellowish paper. While writing, the ink lays down a rather wet line, but still dries quickly within the 5 to 10 second range. The initial wetness means that you have to look out for smudging while writing – as such it’s not an ideal ink for lefties.
I also show the back-side of the different paper types at the end of the review. No troubles there, except with the Moleskine paper, which shows a bit of bleed-through.  All in all, a very well-behaving ink.

Robert Oster Marrone Mustard is a beautiful golden-brown ink, that is at home on all types of paper. The ink is at its best in broader nibs, where it truly shows off its colour range and great shading. Unfortunately, the ink has zero water resistance – the briefest touch of water completely obliterates your writing. I consider Marrone Mustard an excellent choice for journaling, but be sure to use a wet M or B-nib to bring out the best from this ink. If you typically use EF/F nibs, this one is probably not for you.

Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib
Back-side of writing samples on different paper types


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#2 visvamitra


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Posted 15 August 2017 - 13:14

What a cool ink. I like it a lot.

#3 Tas


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Posted 15 August 2017 - 13:45

Thank you.

#4 inkstainedruth


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Posted 15 August 2017 - 22:16

This one is going to be a "maybe" ink for me.  Not wild about the lack of water resistance, but it does look to be an interesting color.

Thanks for the review.  I especially appreciated that your comparisons include Edelstein Smoky Quartz, an ink I like a lot.  

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#5 Barkingpig



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Posted 15 August 2017 - 23:42

Thank you for this review, which was a joy to explore.  


I just refilled a pen with this ink last nite after I had depleted it's first fill of MM; usually I am content to clean & try another new ink awaiting it's turn, but not for this one!

#6 PS104


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Posted 16 August 2017 - 04:28

Thank you for your extensive review. 

#7 KaB



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Posted 16 August 2017 - 04:42

Thanks for the extensive review. What a joy to rediscover all those sharp quotes from the Dune cycle.

How would this ink compare to Sailor Jentle Rikyu-Cha, Herbin Lie de thé and KWZ Aztec Gold? Anyone?

fpn_kab_tsuki_yo_most_boring_212x150.gif  Current rotation: home: Lamy Al-star 1.5, GvFC Moss Green; Lamy Vista 1.1, Diamine Oxblood; Sheaffer Touchdown 0.6, Sailor Kin-Mokusei

Case: Visconti HS EF, Sailor Kin-Mokusei; Estie 2314M, R&K Alt-Goldgrün; Lamy Studio 1.1, Diamine Ochre 

#8 amberleadavis


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Posted 05 September 2017 - 00:46

You do great reviews.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).


Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar  


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#9 mmg122


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Posted 05 September 2017 - 01:08

Just excellent review! Thank you so much. Goes on my wish list tonight.

#10 SenZen



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Posted 05 September 2017 - 20:02

What a great review; I can't make up my mind about the colour.. But it might complement Ancient Copper well.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: robert oster, signature, marrone mustard, brown

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