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  1. 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
  2. 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!
  3. essayfaire

    IMG_1273.JPG

    From the album: Essay Faire's images

  4. Pelikan Edelstein Golden Beryl - Ink of the Year 2021 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 the spotlight shines on the sparkling presence of Golden Beryl, the Edelstein Ink of the Year 2021. Golden Beryl is a limited edition ink, that will most probably be gone in the near future. I got my bottle fairly late in the year, but the ink is still easily available if you’re thinking about buying it before it’s gone. Golden Beryl has a fairly light yellow-orange colour with some added twinkle. For the first time, Pelikan introduced a shimmering ink in the Edelstein line. This Golden Beryl has gold shimmer added to it, and quite a lot of it too. The effect is that of ornamental writing in old manuscripts. Definitely not an ink for everyday use. To be honest, I’m not impressed by this ink. The yellow-orange colour is fairly light, although with better contrast on the paper than I expected. Unfortunately, you really need wet pens and broad nibs to get the best out of this ink – dry pens or fine nibs won’t do! The added glitter is very present, and only loosely bound to the paper. Once dry, the glitter comes off too easy… rub the paper, and you’ll find glitter all over your hands. That said, the choice of gold glitter for this yellow-orange ink is a good one – they blend well together. Personally, I’m not a fan of glitter in my inks. And without the glitter, this Edelstein has not too much going for it. As it stands, this is an ink that I only see myself using for greeting cards and the like. For this purpose, the 50 ml bottle will easily last you a lifetime. The chromatography shows the yellow & orange dyes, that are very water soluble. What remains fixed to the paper is the gold shimmer, and a faint blue-grey component. Based on this info, I didn’t expect any water resistance, and the water test at the end of this review confirms this. Golden Beryl is not an ink that can survive watery accidents. Golden Beryl writes well in broad nibs, with heavy shading and lots of glitter. It did not do well at all with dry pens and finer nibs. With dry pens, the ink exhibits subpar lubrication and feels fairly scratchy. Worse though is that the gold glitter easily clogs up the ink channel, stopping ink flow. I noticed this multiple times when using finer nibs, both with dry pens (Lamy Safari’s) and even with wet Pelikans. The minimum you need is an M-nib, but ideally you use this ink with a broad nib or even wider (BB and calligraphy nibs). As said before, this is more of an ink for ornamental writing, not really usable for everyday writing & journaling. 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. Golden Beryl has a fairly wide colour span, ranging from a faint light-yellow to a much darker yellow-orange. This translates to heavy shading, which - combined with the heavy glitter - looks real good in calligraphy writing, but is much less at its place for normal journaling. I see only limited uses for this ink. Technically, the ink felt quite dry in my Lamy Safari test pens, where it writes a fairly unsaturated line. With the Safari, the ink is actually too light to be useful. For me, the ink only became tolerable when using a wet Pelikan with M nib and above. With the wet pens and broader nibs, Golden Beryl wrote smoothly, and showed its higher-contrast dark yellow-orange tone. It then becomes quite a nice ink to use, with some lovely shading. But still… not an ink I see myself using for normal journaling. For me, this Golden Beryl remains a greeting-card ink with only limited use-case scenarios. Because dry pens don’t do justice to the ink, I used alternative pens for 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 wet Pelikan with M cursive italic nib A small text sample, written with a wet Pelikan with M-nib Drying times of the ink on the paper, with a B-nib Lamy Safari I’ve also added a few photos to give you another view of 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 Golden Beryl’s colour best – the scans of the writing samples are little bit too yellow, and seem to exaggerate the shading. Writing with different nib sizes The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. The top samples were written with a Lamy Safari, which is typically a dry pen. I also added a few visiting pens – all wet-writing Pelikans. Even with these wet pens, Golden Beryl needs broader nibs. I found it best with M-nibs and above. 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 format. Golden Beryl’s base colour is fairly similar to several other inks. A good alternative would be Callifolio Heure Dorée… quite similar, but without the glimmer. Inkxperiment – all these worlds … I’ve put myself a challenge to 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 ideal for experimenting with different techniques. Yellow-orange inks are often great for drawing, and this Golden Beryl is no exception. I could do without the glitter though… the golden shimmer adds some ornamentation when writing, but didn’t do much to enhance my drawings. Inspiration for this inkxperiment comes from the book “2010 – Odyssey Two” by Arthur C. Clarke. In this book, the planet Jupiter gets transformed into a star, and its moons become new worlds for mankind … “All these worlds are yours - except Europa. Attempt no landing there.” The drawing concept started with a little doodle in my daily journal. For the artwork itself, I used an A4 sheet of HP photo paper, and applied water-diluted Golden Beryl to paint in the background. I then used glass jars and pure ink to stamp in the world circles. Next I used cotton swaps to add the background bands. I finally painted in the worlds and star shapes to complete the drawing. The end-result gives you an idea of what can be achieved with Golden Beryl as a drawing ink. Not too bad… a nice ink to draw with. Conclusion With this Ink of the Year, Pelikan tried something new and risky: a shimmering ink with gold particles against the backdrop of a yellow-orange colour. A nice ink for greeting cards, but less well suited for everyday writing and journaling. For me personally, Golden Beryl feels like a missed opportunity. It has too many flaws: only works with wet pens and broad nibs, and glitter and more glitter… One can only hope that this was a one-off experiment, and that 2022’s Ink of the Year turns out to be a more satisfying one (personal opinion of course). Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with a Pelikan M200, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types





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