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  1. Robert Oster Signature - Blue Water Ice 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 Blue Water Ice. 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 a cerulean-style blue, that is quite similar in colour to Pelikan Edelstein Topaz or iroshizuku kon-peki. It's a nice vibrant sky-blue, that provides good contrast with the paper in all nib sizes. The ink also writes pleasantly, with a wet and well-lubricated feel to it. Blue Water Ice shows nice and aesthetically pleasing shading, especially in broader nibs. But even with finer nibs, the shading is present, although less pronounced. Personally, I quite like the expressive shading that this ink displays - not too much contrast between light and darker parts, just as I like it. 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 Blue Water Ice is capable of in terms of colour range. Like most Robert Oster inks, Blue Water Ice has zero water resistance. Short exposures to water completely obliterate the text, leaving next to nothing on the page. As the chromatography shows, only a faint blue residue remains on the paper. Smudge resistance is also bad, with terrible smearing of the text. One more thing I noticed: although not water-resistant, the ink clings to your pen's insides, and it takes a lot of rinsing with clean water to remove all traces of ink. 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-tip1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturationAn ink scribble made with an M-nib fountain penThe name of the paper used, written with a B-nibA small text sample, written with an M-nibDrying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)Blue Water Ice behaved impeccably on most paper types, with no visible feathering. Only with the Moleskine paper a tiny amount of feathering is barely visible. The colour looks great across the different paper types, which I also appreciate. Despite feeling wet & lubricated when writing, this ink dries quite quickly within the 5-10 second range (with the M-nib). 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 significant bleed-through. All in all, a well-behaving ink. Inkxperiment – Triangle SeaportAs a personal experiment, I try to produce interesting drawings using only the ink I'm reviewing. I find this to be a fun extension of the hobby, and have found these single-ink drawings a nice challenge. For this drawing I used OCM cotton paper, which has a nice texture to it. The background of the picture was painted with heavily diluted ink (20:1 water/ink ratio). For the scene itself, I used 5:1 diluted ink for the lighter blocks, and undiluted ink for the others. The dynamic range of this ink's colour is not very broad, but it's still possible to get an interesting result. At least you get a good idea of what Blue Water Ice is capable of in a more artistic setting. ConclusionRobert Oster Blue Water Ice is a nice cerulean-blue ink, that manages to look good on all of my test papers. The ink shows some prominent but still subtle shading, that is very pleasing to the eye. I really like this ink for writing, because it works very well with my usual F/M nib sizes. A pity that the ink has zero water resistance. My personal opinion: a good-looking ink, but no threat for Pelikan Edelstein Topaz, which remains my king of the cerulean blues. 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. L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Bleu Pacifique L’Artisan Pastellier is a small company in southern France that specialises in natural pigments, and offers customers authentic and reliable products in beautiful colours based on mineral or vegetable pigments. In a collaboration with Loic Rainouard from Styloplume.net, the chemist Didier Boinnard from L’Artisan Pastellier created the line of Callifolio fountain pen inks. These pastel-colored inks are traditionally crafted, and can be freely mixed and matched. Overall these inks are only moderately saturated, and have low water-resistance. The inks were specifically designed to work well with all types of paper, and all types of fountain pens. Being pastel-tinted, these inks have a watercolor-like appearance, and are not only fine inks for journaling, but are also really excellent inks for doodling & drawing. I only recently discovered them, and they are already the inks I gravitate towards for personal journaling. In this review I take a closer look at Bleu Pacifique, one of the many blue inks of the series. The blue Callifolio inks are named after rivers, lakes and oceans – this one gets its name from the Pacific Ocean. Bleu Pacifique is a really bright light-blue ink with a hint of green undertones. Think of a blue lagoon on a very bright day, with just a small shimmer of the green seabed coming through. A really nice and sunny colour. That being said – I personnaly prefer the true blue cerulean inks like Pelikan Edelstein Topaz, Pilot Iroshizuku kon-peki and Callifolio Bleu Atlantique. The ink writes well, with good flow, and is nicely saturated. Lubrication is surprisingly good for a Callifolio ink, with almost no feedback from the paper when writing. Bleu Pacifique is comfortable with all nib sizes – it even looks good and nicely saturated with an EF nib. The ink exhibits a pleasing unobtrusive shading with the finer nibs, and really robust shading with broader nibs. On the whole, a pleasing ink for writing, but a bit too bright for use in the workplace. Bleu Pacifique smudges easily, but the result remains very readable. On the water resistance front, we can be brief: this ink has zero water resistance. Even short exposures to water obliterate all of your writing. There is nothing left to read on the paper! This is a bit disappointing. When using a water-brush with doodling & drawing, you get a nice light-blue shading effect, that contrasts well with the inky lines. Like all Callifolio inks, Bleu Pacifique is a very fine choice for inky drawings. I’ve tested the ink on a wide variety of paper – from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. For the Callifolio reviews, I’m using a new format to show you the ink’s appearance and behaviour on the different paper types. On every small band of paper I show you: An ink swab, made with a cotton Q-tip1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturationAn ink scribble made with an M-nib fountain penThe name of the paper used, written with a B-nibA small text sample, written with an M-nibDrying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)For this review, I have extended my test repository with two new papers: Original Crown Mill Vellum paper and Graf von Faber-Castell 100gsm notebook paper. Bleu Pacifique behaved perfectly on all the paper types, with no apparent feathering even on the lower quality papers in my test set. Drying times are mostly around the 10 second mark, with a low of 5 seconds on the more absorbent paper. This is a quick-drying ink. The ink is equally at home with both white and off-white creamy paper. I also show the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order. With the low-end Moleskine there is significant show-through and bleed-through. Surprisingly, the generic 70gsm notepad paper behaved really well with this ink. Another surprise, the Graf von Faber-Castell paper had lots of problems with show-through and bleed through - I didn’t expect this from a 100gsm paper type. On the other hand, the writing itself looks stunning on this paper. With the other papers, Bleu Pacifique’s behaviour is impeccable. The ink copes really well with a wide variety of paper types. Conclusion Bleu Pacifique is a very well-behaving ink on a wide range of paper, with surprisingly good lubrication for a Callifolio ink. The ink works well with finer nib sizes, and shows robust shading in the broader nibs. The lagoon-like colour is a very bright light-blue with a hint of green undertones. If you don’t like the green component, look at another ocean with Bleu Atlantique. I find Bleu Pacifique to be very enjoyable for doodling & drawing. For lasting writing it’s total lack of water resistance can be a problem though. Overall, Bleu Pacifique is a fine ink, but - in my personal opinion - looses some of its appeal because of the green undertone and the non-existent water resistance. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib
  3. namrehsnoom

    Ink Review : Pelikan Edelstein Topaz

    Ink Review : Pelikan Edelstein Topaz Pen: Pelikan M120 Green-Black Special Edition, F-nib Paper: Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm Review In 2011 Pelikan introduced the Edelstein series of boutique inks, available in a variety of colors. The theme of the Edelstein concept is the gemstone - each color corresponds to the beautiful color of a gem. The inks themselves are presented in 50ml high-value bottles, which are truly beautiful, and worthy of a place on your desk. Here I review the color Topaz - a really nice cerulean blue, which reflects the color of a morning-sky. This truly is a stunning color, similar to iroshizuku kon-peki, albeit a tad lighter in color. I'm in love with this ink - it's a happy color, which gives me a vacation-like feeling. It's a true light-blue ink, which clearly shows in the chromatography. It seems to be a single-component dye. Topaz exhibits some really nice shading - but the shading remains subtle, resulting in a pleasing and highly aesthetic look. Love it ! The ink is - in my opinion - a bit too dry for an EF nib, but looks and writes great in F, M and B. The ink is a bit too exotic for the workplace, but great for journaling and especially so for drawing and doodling - just look at my starry friend in the handwritten review below ... that's a happy topaz fellow ;-) Topaz is a well-behaving ink on a variety of paper - even on cheaper paper like Moleskine or regular notepad paper. The ink is smudge-resistant, but I wouldn't call it water-resistant. With a good soak, almost all of that lovely color disappears, but a perfectly readable residue remains (even after 30 seconds of running tap water). Not really visible in the scan, but you can trust me on this - you will be able to reconstruct your precious writing. Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm - drying time ~20 seconds, no feathering, no show-through nor bleed-throughPaperblanks journal paper - drying time ~10 seconds, no feathering, no show-through and no bleed-through. The color looks really beautiful on this ivory paperGeneric notepad paper 70 gsm - drying time 5-10 seconds, no feathering, some show-through and bleed-throughMoleskine journal - drying time ~5 seconds ! No visible feathering, very prominent show-through and bleed-throughThis ink dries superfast on cheaper paper - that's probably why there is no feathering visible... the ink is just drying too fast for it to spread. Very good behavior on the cheap paper - just use one side only due to the significant show- and bleed-through. And even though it dries superfast, this doesn't seem to affect the writing experience, which remains smooth. The ink is really well lubricated. Conclusion Pelikan Edelstein Topaz is a definite winner. A stunning color, nice shading, and good behavior on a wide range of paper. Suggestion - try this ink on a more yellowish paper... pure loveliness ! If you don't own a bottle, I just have one word of advice: buy one now, you won't regret it. my overall score: A+

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