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  1. Nearly 3 years ago I wrote a review for the newly-produced Blackstone Barrister Blue Ink - part of a new line of permanent inks made in Australia (you can find that review at https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/311074-blackstone-barrister-blue-permanent-ink/). It was (and remains) a favourite of mine: a dark, strong blue that wrote well and stayed written no matter how much water you threw at the page! My recollection is that Kevin (the proprietor of Blackstone Inks and Just Write Pens) was not entirely happy with the ink, though - because whereas his black ink relied on a nano-pigment dye, the blue relied on a dye that had iron-gall like properties (though much less corrosive). Which meant that the blue started out darkish, and went almost black with time. Fast forward 18 months, and I found myself looking at a YouTube review of Barrister Blue, on fellow Aussie Mick L's YouTube channel (see link at bottom). Mick's sample looked substantially lighter - so I made enquiries and discovered that Blackstone had reformulated the ink using a newly-available blue nano-pigment. The ink was out of stock at the time, so it was many months later that I finally bought a new bottle - and many months more before a discussion on my old review thread prompted me to re-post. There is also now a Blue-Black ink available from Just Write Pens (www.justwrite.com.au) and (probably) other Blackstone distributors. It took me months to procure a bottle (it was out of stock for a long time), but I now have it, and will review it - another awesome ink. Below is a scan of the new formulation Blackstone Barrister Blue - very happy to answer questions. Disclaimer: I'm a long-time buyer from the JustWrite website, but purchased these inks at full price with my own funds. And a close-up of the Water Test: Mick L's YouTube review from October 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUK-GVIdFuo&t=192s
  2. A bit over a month ago now (I think) I placed an order with Kevin from Just Write Pens (www.justwrite.com.au), and with my order received a sample vial of his latest 'Blackstone' branded ink. I've held off on publishing a review until now, because it didn't appear to be have been released yet - but I understand it's now available through Anderson Pens (and others?) in the US. Due to supply issues (of nalgene bottles) the ink is not yet available in Australia, but I'm hoping that will be rectified soon - I'm keen to order a bottle! Like Barrister Black, Barrister Blue is a 'permanent' ink - though as you'll see (when I get around to appending some pictures) it's not completely "bulletproof". A small amount of blue ink washes away in water, leaving a solid line of blue-grey ink. Unlike the 'Colours of Australia' inks (which are non-waterfast), Barrister Blue is a 'serious' ink rather than a vibrant colour. It's a dark blue, almost a blue-black, that tends to darken further as it dries. I've been really impressed with it, though: it doesn't seem to dry out at all in my pens (I've tried it in 3); it's well-lubricated and flows very nicely onto the page; and it's not prone to feather, bleed or spread. Highly recommend this for anyone who wants a permanent / *almost* completely colourfast blue ink. Without further ado, here's a photograph my ink review sheet: Here are two close-ups of the water test grid, both during the test... and after One last picture - here's a close-up of the cotton tip colour swatch:
  3. JustWrite Pen Company

    New Blackstone Barrister Waterproof Inks

    Coming soon exclusively to Pensive Pens in Australia and Anderson Pens in the US. Four new Barrister waterproof ink colours: Barrister Blue/Black :: Barrister Brown :: Barrister Red :: Barrister Purple. Blackstone Barrister inks are well behaved, saturated, waterproof, permanent fountain pen inks made in Australia by Blackstone Ink. Barrister inks are 100% waterproof and are unaffected by complete immersion in water. They are fade resistant and highly resistive to bleach, alcohol and mild acids. Barrister inks are nano pigment inks made with sub-micron sized pigment particles instead of the usual soluble dyes. These nano particles are so small that they can easily pass through fountain pen feeds and are treated with a special soluble polymer to overcome their natural attraction to each other. Blackstone fountain pen ink is packaged in reusable Polypropylene bottles. Polypropylene is one of the toughest plastics in existence and these bottles are practically indestructible. These bottle can be re-purposed as ink carry or storage bottles and Polypropylene is completely recyclable. Barrister waterproof inks are available in black, blue-black, blue, red, purple and brown
  4. Jamerelbe

    Blackstone Cmyk Inks - Black

    This post rounds out my review of the newest four inks to be commercially released by Blackstone Inks - a 4-pack of mixable "primary" colours. Black is the least interesting of the lot - for the obvious reason that it's black. It doesn't have any "special" qualities such as waterproofness - it's designed to mix with the other inks in the range, rather than to serve as a stand-alone ink. That said, this is a very "honest", well-performing ink. It's a "pure" black that washes out to produce a grey colour, and (depending on the pen) tends to dry as a "grey-black" rather than a straight black. I wouldn't have bought this ink if it wasn't part of the package - I already have another 3 bottles of black, at least! - but it's actually pretty good in its own right. In a wet enough pen (my Pilot Metropolitan seems to qualify), and on a coated-surface paper like Rhodia, I managed to get an almost pure black patch of ink with "shiny" (not sheeny) finish. Not bothering with the photo this time, just the scan:
  5. Jamerelbe

    Blackstone Cmyk Inks - Cyan

    A few weeks ago now, I noticed that the folks at JustWrite Pens / Blackstone Inks had released a new line of mixable inks - available in 30 ml dropper bottles. The four base colours - cyan, magenta, yellow and black - are sold together, at this stage they're not available for individual purchase. I purchased a Mixing Kit (which includes the four inks, plus vials, bottles, syringes etc) with my own funds, and have not been compensated in any way for this series of reviews. I do receive sample and prototype inks and pens from JustWrite/Blackstone from time to time, but I didn't get a preview set of these inks, so this is the first I've seen of them. So far I've tested three of the four inks - I've only just inked up a pen with Black, so that'll come a little further down the track. Three of the four base inks I believe can be used as inks in their own right - Cyan (see below) is a pleasant, moderately-saturated turquoise colour, magenta is quite a vibrant reddish-pink, and on first inspection the black looks fairly black! Yellow, on the other hand... you can wait for the review to see how that looks! These inks have all of the characteristics I appreciate in the other three Blackstone ranges (the Barrister inks, Colours of Australia, and Scents of Australia): they have smooth flow and good lubrication, and are completely trouble-free in my pens. They are formulated from a completely different set of dyes, though, to facilitate their mixing qualities - I didn't ask for more detail than that, but it goes without saying, you mix *between* the colour ranges at your own risk. These inks are highly water soluble, and therefore not very waterfast. In every other respect I think they're great - and I'll look forward to experimenting with mixing colours down the track. In the meantime, and without further ado, here's Cyan - a scan (which on my screen is just a bit more "true to life"), and a photo taken with my Sony xPeria: Congratulations to the Blackstone team on this new line of inks - feel free to ask any questions, and I'll do my best to answer them!
  6. Jamerelbe

    Blackstone Cmyk Inks - Magenta

    This is my second review in the new line of Blackstone CMYK Fountain Pen line of inks, that are designed for mixing - and to date it's probably my favourite (unmixed, i.e. base) ink in the range. Magenta is a strong, reddish-pink colour that's clearly visible on the page. It's a smooth, lubricated ink that's very well behaved in the pen and on the page. For more information on the ink range, and full disclaimers (I bought these inks with my own money!), see my earlier review of the Cyan ink at https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/327635-blackstone-cmyk-inks-cyan/ - or you can check out the product range at the Blackstone Inks website (http://www.blackstone.ink/index.php/blackstone-cmyk-ink-mixing-set). Here's a scan and a photo of my written review - I think the scan is a little more accurate for colours.
  7. Jamerelbe

    Blackstone Cmyk Inks - Yellow

    This is the 3rd of 4 inks that make up the Blackstone CMYK Ink kit - designed so you can mix your own custom colours. At the moment I'm just reviewing the 4 base colours (cyan, magenta, yellow and black)... Maybe later I'll mix some custom colours and post on the 'Inky Recipes' forum (?). Yellow is the least usable of the base colour inks - for obvious reasons. I'd call this a 'pure' yellow, as compared with the stronger, slightly orange yellows I've compared it to (Blakcstone Golden Wattle and Diamine Sunshine Yellow). I'm sure it'll mix in a treat with the other colours - just don't expect to get much use of this ink on its own, unless you're wanting to cause eye strain! [To be fair, it dries a little darker than it appears while writing - though this means it's harder to see what you're writing than to read what you've written, which causes some hassles of its own...] These are not my first mixable inks - I bought the whole Toucan range when Kevin from Just Write Pens (and now also Blackstone Inks) first started spruiking them. The Toucan inks are highly mixable, but aren't the most lubricated of inks - they tend to need a fairly wet pen to get reasonable flow and saturation. These inks, by contrast, have excellent 'inky' qualities, and play very nicely with my 'regular' pens. By way of disclaimer, I purchased the CMYK mixing kit with my own funds, but have received complimentary ink samples (and prototype pens) from the manufacturer in the past. I have not received any financial compensation for putting up this review - it's entirely my own initiative. For more comments , see my first review of the range (https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/327635-blackstone-cmyk-inks-cyan/). You can check out the manufacturer's summary at http://www.blackstone.ink/index.php/blackstone-cmyk-ink-mixing-set. A scan and a photo (please forgive the inconsistent lighting for the latter):
  8. Jamerelbe

    Blackstone Sydney Harbour Blue

    This is the second of what will (probably) be an incomplete set of reviews for Blackstone Colours of Australia inks. The two blue colours are my favourites in this range - neither of them a classic 'Royal' blue, but both with their own distinctive appeal. According to the JustWrite website, Sydney Harbour Blue is "a dark grayish blue ink inspired by the grey blue waters of Sydney Harbour when the sky is overcast on a rainy day down on the harbour". Which sounds really boring, right? Besides, having caught the Manly Ferry more than once during my teenage years (when I lived on the northern beaches of Sydney), I have to say I don't remember Sydney Harbour's waters being a grayish blue! Thankfully, the ink is much more interesting than the webpage description. To my eyes, it's more of a dark blue with dark green overtones - you could almost call it a dark teal. What makes it even more interesting is that the saturation levels produce an interesting sheen, especially when Tomoe River paper is involved. Here's a photo of my review - the scan was too dark, and didn't do the ink justice in terms of colouring: Here's what the sheen looks like (in appropriate lighting!) on Rhodia paper (using my new cheapy macro lens attachment for smartphone): And on Tomoe River paper: I wasn't really sold in this ink at first - it's not a Royal Blue, nor a blue-black, and doesn't have the brightness of Barrier Reef Blue - but it didn't take long for me to find myself really liking it. As with Barrier Reef Blue, it flows really well in all of my pens - it can occasionally be a bit hard-starting, but once it gets going it just keeps on going...
  9. Jamerelbe

    Blackstone Barrier Reef Blue

    I've been meaning to post a review of some of the Blackstone "Colours of Australia" inks for some time now - but didn't realise till I checked that these inks have been in my possession for a little over 6 months. That makes sense, actually - I ordered them just before moving house, which coincided with a whole lot more stuff to get done, both on the home front and at work! No matter: I've had 6 months to get to know these inks, and try them out in a variety of pens - and to come to really appreciate (some of) them. Full disclosure: Kevin from JustWrite.com.au has sent me ink samples and pens in the past, free in return for testing and/or review - but this range of inks I purchased with my own funds. I can't decide which of the Blackstone inks I like best, but it's a toss-up between the blues. Sydney Harbour Blue (review to come) is a darker tealy-blue which looks more 'serious', while Barrier Reef Blue is a vivid, bright blue colour that really does (maybe?) remind me of a tropical reef. Both inks flow well in my pens, shade well, and produce a certain amount of sheen - but more on that later. Here's a photograph of the review page I filled out - it captures the hue a little better (I think) than the scan which follows. Photo: Scan: I really like the brightness of this colour - it shades (and sheens) when using a wider nib, and produces a brighter blue colour with finer nibs. Just to give an idea of how it sheens, here's a close-up of text written on Rhodia paper with a 1.1mm Bock stub nib (check out the pinky outline): And here's the slight sheen that's possible writing on regular (Reflex) copier paper!
  10. Through an ad on FPN, I stumbled onto Bookbinders Snake Inks. Bookbinders is a small stationary store in Melbourne, Australia, established in 2013. They are very active on Instagram. And as their name suggests, they come at stationary and inks from a book binder's approach. Many of their notebooks are hand made, and feature beautiful letterpress work. I have been busy on another intense project, so this is only the briefest of peaks at three inks. The Snake range of inks are all named and color sampled from various snakes from around the world. The bottles are heavy glass, with a tin cap which is rather tall and sturdy. And each bottle comes snuggled inside a brown hessian bag. (images from Bookbinder's site.) http://i.imgur.com/te8cI6C.png?1 http://i.imgur.com/rmUlnWs.png?1 This is the quick peak at Everglades Ratsnake, a pleasing solid orange. It was neither murky nor too bright and retina searing. It is a wet ink, with medium shading, no sheen. It is well-lubricated and glided beautifully across the page. On Tomoe River and a Med. Italic stub it still dried in under 10 seconds. http://i.imgur.com/epxs4qS.png The next quick peak was with Emerald Boa. I am not a big lover of green inks, but I found this rather charming, and very much it reminded me of spring sweet pea vines curling away. This is a light ink, rather wet. It is highly shaded. If you are a lover of green and have the winter blues, this is the ink for you. http://i.imgur.com/at5ZjuQ.png Lastly, the Blue Coral. This ink has a light red sheen. Be warned it is very wet. Very, very wet. At my elevation it bleed in shipping but that sometimes happens with ink coming from sea level to 5,500' where I live. I have heard from some friends that they actually had this ink feather and bleed on Tomoe River. So use caution. Blue Coral is a lovely deep blue, with hints of red sheen. The lighter shades are turquoise and the deeper shades a stout Cerulean. It is highly saturated, well lubricated and an extremely wet ink. Although I had no issues with feathering on Tomoe River, I was using a Shaeffer Javelin Artified Stub, which can handle wet inks just fine.I really wouldn't want to put this into a wet writer that was a broad stub. http://i.imgur.com/rCiPV1K.png I enjoyed playing with these three. I haven't had a chance to ink up the Red-belly Black or Eastern Brown, but I will add them to this when I get a chance. I did order a set of all five, as well as a dozen of their wire-bound Tomoe River notebooks as a group buy for the (P)inksters. Ink samples and notebooks have been sent out, and I am sure you will soon see proper reviews posted. My integrity requires I inform you the that we received a discount on the inks and tablets so everyone is aware of this fact upfront; however, I passed out the samples to other (P)inksters at no cost to them but shipping. I was pleased to see Bookbinders has initiated a Group Buy program, wherein they will ship orders of AUS $100 worldwide for no shipping costs, which makes ordering their products affordable for non-Aussies.
  11. In a recent thread on the Toucan ink range, someone asked a question about mixing the inks - specifically red (Crimson) with black. Somewhere or other I indicated I'd check it out if I found the time - but can't remember which thread, so thought I would post this here. A general comment, first of all: the designers of this ink specialise in paints and dyes of all kinds, and manufacture most of their products to allow mixing of colours. This extends to their inks - they've been intentionally designed to allow mixing. With my older daughter, I've created a 'peach' colour by mixing orange with magenta (which should be called pink) - she likes to use it in one of her cheap pens. I've also tried mixing crimson with violet (I think it was) to create a maroon or burgundy - though it's not as vibrant as the Platinum purple (Preppy) colour I was trying to mimic. I hadn't tried mixing with black before - so this is my first try. The picture first, then the explanation: http://i.imgur.com/Z0Bn0HF.jpg[Photographed with my Sony, at my desk, using 'Fill Flash' on my Sony xPeria Z1 phone - excuse the 'ghosting' from the other side of the page!] (1) I started with one of the pens I'd inked with Crimson on Friday (a 'Classic 626', as per previous post) - sample top-left. (2) I dumped the ink back into my sample vial of crimson ink, then drew out 2ml of Crimson (roughly) with a syringe - deposited into a fresh, clean vial. (3) I added roughly 0.2ml of Toucan Black ink with a 3ml syringe, agitated the mixture vigorously, then flushed the new ink colour in and out of the pen by turning the cartridge converter piston back and forth several times - then wrote the sample, top right. (4) I dumped the contents of the cartridge converter BACK into the vial, and added ANOTHER 0.2ml of ink (roughly), then flushed the ink back in and out repeatedly as per step (3), before writing the sample, bottom right. (5) Dumped ink back into vial, added another 1ml of Crimson, agitated, flushed repeatedly through nib, then wrote bottom left sample - unfortunately I omitted to wipe excess ink off the nib tip, so the top line was excessively saturated. All of the above was pretty unscientific (I should know, I used to BE a Research scientist ) - but hopefully this gives you some idea of how easy it is to mix these inks - and how effectively you can darken a base colour with small quantities of the black... Standard disclaimer: I have no affiliation with, and no financial interest in the JustWrite company (though I HAVE been given some pens by the proprietor, free in return for an impartial review); and I have no vested interest in this group buy, other than promoting some inks I enjoy using and maybe generating some business for an Australian company I enjoy dealing with!





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