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  1. Pelikan Edelstein Apatite (Ink of the Year 2022) In 2011 Pelikan introduced the Edelstein series of high-end inks, available in a variety of colours. The theme of the Edelstein concept is the gemstone – each ink corresponds to the beautiful colour of a gem. The Edelstein line of inks is presented in 50 ml high-value bottles, that are truly beautiful, and worthy of a place on your desk. In this review I take a closer look at Apatite, the Edelstein Ink of the Year 2022. This is a limited edition ink, that will probably be gone in the near future. Apatite is a blue-turquoise shade of colour, that – according to Pelikan – “leads to an association with the natural element of water, an ink colour that lets all thoughts flow…” Hmm… that sounds a bit over-the-top to me. In reality, the colour was more of a bummer (personal opinion): I don’t hate it with the same intensity as I do Edelstein Jade, but a full page of Apatite is still too much for me. Nevertheless, I collect these Edelstein inks, so I had to get this one, even if it’s not my cup-of-tea. And – as always – I will do my best to give you an honest technical review. The chromatography shows the blue & green components of the ink. It’s definitely a blue with green undertones, but I wouldn’t call it a teal. From the bottom part of the chroma, you can already deduce that Apatite is not a water resistant ink. This Edelstein ink can handle all nib sizes with ease, always showing an easily readable line. I do prefer this ink with the broader nibs (M,B), where it becomes more saturated and leaves a darker line on the paper. Regardless of nib size, a full page of text written with Apatite remains overwhelming. Too bright and in-your-face for me… this ink could use some toning down. 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 a scrap of 52 gsm Tomoe River paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. Apatite has a medium dynamic range, with not too much difference between the light and darker parts. But the ink makes the most of it: in writing Apatite mainly uses the extremes of this spectrum, resulting in fairly heavy shading. Personally, I find this one of the few strong points of this blue-turquoise ink. The ink copes well with a wide variety of paper, both white and more creamy ones. Apatite prefers higher quality paper. With the cheaper variety, you get a tiny amount of feathering, and a fair amount of see-through and even some bleed-through. I had expected the ink too look ugly on yellow-leaning paper, but that’s not the case. The ink’s colour remains fairly consistent across paper types. Below, you’ll find the writing samples. On each scrap 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 Safari fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with a B-nibbed Lamy Safari A small text sample, written with the M-nib Safari Source of the quote, written with a wet-writing Laban Rosa Lilac M-nib Drying times of the ink on the paper, with the M-nib Lamy Safari I’ve also added a few photos to give you another view on the ink. Scanned images and photos often capture different aspects of the ink’s colour & contrast. That’s why I present them both. In this case, the photos capture Apatite’s colour best – the scans of the writing samples are little bit too bright, and definitely exaggerate the shading. Writing with different nib sizes The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. As you can see, Apatite works well in all nib sizes, even the finest ones. I personally prefer using it with broader nibs, where the colour becomes more saturated, and more to my liking. With broader nibs, the shading becomes more pronounced, and can be quite good-looking. In my opinion, this prominent shading is the saving point for the ink. Related inks To show off related inks, I use my nine-grid format, with the currently reviewed ink at the center. This format shows the name of related inks, a saturation sample, a 1-2-3 swab and a water resistance test – all in a very compact form. This allows you to easily compare the ink with its eight direct neighbours, which I hope will be useful to you. Apatite sits somewhere between Kaweco Paradise Blue (greener) and Robert Oster Clearwater Rain (more blue). Personally, I prefer the Robert Oster ink over Apatite: only minute differences in the amount of green, but Clearwater Rain simply look better to me. Inkxperiment – Green City As a personal experiment, I try to produce interesting drawings using only the ink I’m reviewing. For me this is an incredibly fun extension of the hobby, and one that continuously challenges my drawing skills. Inspiration for this drawing comes from a town project in my home town. To mitigate the effect of “heat islands” in the town center, one of the central market squares will be turned into a city forest (from the current situation where it is a huge slab of concrete – a superb heat absorber that drives up air temperature with a few degrees). A fine geo-engineering project, that I fully support. I started with an A4 piece of 300 gsm watercolour paper, on which I first drew an outline of a town street leading up to the market square. I then used water-diluted ink with ever more saturation to fill in the street and buildings, using Q-tips as a drawing tool. Next I used more or less pure Apatite to draw the tree trunk. Foliage was added with the rough end of a dishwashing sponge dipped in ink. Final touches of the drawing were done with the M-nib Lamy Safari. This Apatite ink turned out to be rather difficult to draw with. Not much dynamic range, which made it fairly difficult to add texture to the drawing. Definitely not my favourite drawing ink! Inkxpired – computational art I love experimenting with pen/ink/paper, and have added another layer as part of the hobby. I’m exploring computational art, inspired by the ink drawings I do during ink reviews. Another fun offshoot of the hobby… and all that starting with a few drops of dye-coloured water on paper. For this computational derivation, I abstracted the scene a bit, and used a colour palette that adds some contrast to the drawing. The result is definitely an improvement over the original, somewhat bland, Apatite drawing. Conclusion This Edelstein ink of the year 2022 with its blue-turquoise colour is not a must-have in my book. The colour fails to convince me, and the ink has some issues with lower quality paper. Shading looks great though, and is the one saving feature of this ink – in my opinion. A decent ink, just not for me. To salvage my bottle, I already explored some ink mixes with last year’s Golden Beryl, that result in several beautiful greens. Never let a bottle of ink go to waste! Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
  2. namrehsnoom

    ink mix : Kung Fu Caine

    Ink Mix – Kung Fu Caine 2 parts : Pelikan Edelstein Golden Beryl 1 part : Pelikan Edelstein Apatite Pelikan Edelstein Apatite is the new Ink of the Year 2022. I knew it wasn’t my type of colour, but I collect these Edelstein inks, and so didn’t want to miss this one. Apatite is a really bright and in-your-face blue… a full page of it is just too much for me. I got the feeling though that it might be a nice base colour for some ink mixes. So I resurfaced Edelstein Golden Beryl – a golden yellow that works well with wet & broad nibs, but not so well with my usual F and M pens. I tried out some combinations in an Ink Shift experiment, and the current mix turned out to be a really beautiful yellow-green. This yellow-green reminded me of the long grass in the garden, that is populated by those small green grasshoppers – almost invisible until they jump away. Grasshopper… that brings back memories... it was the nickname of Kwai Chang Caine in the 70’s TV series Kung Fu (played by David Carradine). As a kid, I really enjoyed this series, so I decided to name this ink mix “Kung Fu Caine”. “Kung Fu Caine” is brewed by mixing 1 part of Edelstein Apatite with 2 parts of Edelstein Golden Beryl. The resulting mix is a really beautiful yellow-green colour … a substantial improvement over the parents’ colours. This new ink writes fairly wet and well-lubricated (inherited from Apatite) in my Safari test pens. Contrast with the paper is good, even with EF nibs. Like Apatite, this Kung Fu Caine mix is a strong shader – not too harsh though, but aesthetically pleasing. I like this mix a lot! 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 a piece of 52 gsm Tomoe River paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. Kung Fu Caine has a medium tonal range. Contrast between light and dark parts is not too harsh, resulting in well-defined and elegant shading. The resulting mix has zero water resistance. Short exposures to water flush away all colour, leaving only some yellow-green smudges. This is also clear from the chromatography : at the bottom part, you can barely see where the original dyes were put on the coffee filter paper. A good ink for journaling, but not one for use at the office. I have tested the ink on a variety of paper – from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. Below I show you the ink’s appearance and behaviour on different paper types. 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 Safari fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib Safari A small text quote, written with the M-nib Safari Source of the quote, written with a Pelikan M120 Green-Black with F-nib Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Safari) The Kung Fu Caine mix behaved perfectly on most of the paper types I used, with only a tiny bit of feathering on the lower quality papers. Bleed-through was only present with the Moleskine paper, but even there it was not too bad. Drying times with the M-nib are mostly paper-dependent ranging from 5-10 seconds on absorbent paper to 10-20 seconds on paper with a hard surface. I quite enjoy the way it looks on the Paperblanks paper, which is what I use for daily journaling. The scan above greatly exaggerates the contrast in the shading. Below you’ll find a photo of the same writing samples, that gives a truer impression of reality. A difficult ink to capture... the colour is more in the direction of the scan, the contrast is more like in the photo. The colour is best captured in the more zoomed-in scans: B-nib detail, saturation swab, related inks... Related inks To compare this mix with related inks, I use my nine-grid format with the currently reviewed ink at the center. This format shows the name of related inks, a saturation sample, a 1-2-3 swab and a water resistance test – all in a very compact format. Kung Fu Caine looks very similar to kyo-no-oto moegiiro and Diamine Meadow. Inkxperiment – Embracing Diversity I always enjoy doing a small drawing using only the ink I’m reviewing. Inspiration for this little piece comes from some pics I saw on Pinterest. People come in all kinds of hardware & software configurations… big & small, multiple skin tones, many belief systems, a multitude of personalities. On an individual level, I embrace this diversity, and I mostly enjoy my interactions with other people, regardless of inevitable differences. But scale up the group, and individuality is quickly wiped out and replaced by mob dynamics with binary thinking and loss of nuances. This never ceases to amaze me! Oh… and you may have noticed that I included a cat in the drawing… cats have personalities too! For this inkxperiment, I started with a piece of 300 gsm rough watercolour paper and a 4x3 grid. I used water-diluted ink to fill in the background, and added some texture with Q-tips dipped in ink. I then used a piece of cardboard with pure Kung Fu Caine to draw the borders of the 12 rectangles. Next I drew in a variety of people (and the cat) with a glass dip pen. Final accents were done with my B-nib Lamy Safari. Yellow-green inks are usually very rewarding to draw with, and this ink mix is no exception. The resulting drawing gives you a good idea of what can be achieved with Kung Fu Caine in a more artistic context. Inkxpired – computational art I love experimenting with pen/ink/paper, and have added another layer as part of the hobby. I’m exploring computational art, inspired by the ink drawings I do during ink reviews. Another fun offshoot of the hobby… and all that starting with a few drops of dye-coloured water on paper. For this computational derivation, I zoomed in a bit on the inkxperiment picture, and used a colour scheme that adds some extra contrast to the drawing. Conclusion Kung Fu Caine is an ink mix that really impressed me, and that’s definitely ways better than the original Apatite and Golden Beryl. It is a stunningly beautiful yellow-green that works well with all kinds of nibs and papers, and that is especially nice for drawing. Another great thing: you’re at the controls here: do you want the colour to be a bit more yellow or a bit darker green… just add a drop of Golden Beryl or Apatite to steer the mix in the direction you want. Fabulous! Backside of writing samples on different paper types
  3. InkShift – Pelikan Edelstein Apatite to Golden Beryl Just for the fun of it, I occasionally resume my project exploring what happens when you move progressively from one ink colour to another. My hope is that some of these "inkshifts" result in interesting colours that I can use to write/draw with. And besides... it's just fun to watch one ink colour morph into another one. Pelikan Edelstein Apatite (review coming shortly) is the new Ink of the Year 2022. I knew it wasn’t my type of colour, but I collect these Edelstein inks, and so didn’t want to miss this one. Apatite is a really bright and in-your-face blue… a full page of it really is just too much for me. I got the feeling though that it might be a nice base colour for some ink mixes. So I resurfaced Edelstein Golden Beryl – a golden yellow that works well with wet & broad nibs, but not so well with my usual F and M pens. Could there be some nice looking greens in there? Who knows… only one way to find out, and that is to do the inkshift experiment. In the span between the two starting inks some interesting greens appear, that certainly cater more to my taste than the bright blue Apatite original. The 1:1 mix results in a fresh spring green that looks quite nice. And the 1:2 and 1:3 mixes of Apatite with Golden Beryl are more of a delicate lemon grass green. Overall, a few very appealing greens in the mix. Above, you can see the progression of the chromas from Apatite on the left to Golden Beryl on the right (with the 2:1, 1:1 and 1:2 mixes in between). From these, you can already see that none of these mixes show any water resistance. It’s also clear that the mixes with a stronger presence of the yellow ink show a bit more complexity. I continue to enjoy these ink morphing experiments. Fun adventures in ink-land, and more often than not you are rewarded with a mix that beats the original inks. Fun guaranteed!





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