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Birmingham – Frick Park Fern Hollow Creek


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The Birmingham Pen Co.’s line of inks (30 colors when I bought the sample pack, but I think they’re at 40+ and counting) feature various colors based on or inspired by notable locations or people associated with its home city of Pittsburgh, PA. I bought their sampler pack, and plan on slowly going through the whole line of inks, though I expect it will take me quite a while. For those interested, I posted some color swatches in a different topic (https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/328952-birmingham-pen-co-ink-swatches/) where you can get a quick idea of what the whole line looks like together.


Fern Hollow Creek is an interesting blue-green-grey that I can’t think of a good word for. Maybe I’ll call it a desaturated teal? The hue is in the family of blue-greens (like the well-known Sailor Yama-Dori), except that the color is much less intense, with a healthy dose of grey instead. Due to being in between blue, green, and grey, I think, the ink’s appearance varies quite a bit according to the paper used. The three papers I used for writing samples all brought out different sides to the ink: on Mnemosyne the most grey, on the creamy Midori the most green, and on the cold FC the most blue (didn’t come out well in the scan). The ink felt a little dry; I didn’t have issues with ink starvation, but I felt the lack of lubrication when writing on more absorptive paper. The low flow also meant the color on the page was mostly on the paler end, although the ink has the potential to shade darker when allowed to. On the other hand, that meant it had relatively dramatic shading on all the papers I used, which for me is a plus. Overall, I found this to be a calm color with attractive shading, but the writing experience was a little dissatisfying with the medium nib (and I imagine I’d feel the same way in any finer/drier nib). The broad nib made a huge difference, especially when writing in print rather than script (Midori sample).I wish it always looked like that. Anyway, I think I personally prefer more intense colors in this family, but I do wish I had a little more of this ink because I ran out halfway through doing the doodle… Oh well!


Flow/Lubrication: Moderate-Low

Shading: Moderate-High

Sheen: The tiniest bit of red sheen, barely visible on TR and not at all on other paper (might as well be none)

Water Resistance: Low



The following sample was done with a Pilot Kakuno (Medium) and a Namisu Ixion (Broad) on Tomoe River (68gsm, white, loose-leaf). Doodle was done with a Kuretake Menso brush (Small). Flex writing was done with a Leonardt 30 dip nib.


Inaccurate Image(s) Disclaimer: This ink was a nightmare to scan. I’ve adjusted the color so that the writing came out as accurately as I could manage. As a result, the smear and the doodle are both a touch too blue, but still relatively close to accurate. The comparison inks are all okay, though, so you can still compare the hue to other inks.






Comparison inks from left to right (big smear is the featured ink):

Robert Oster Lake of Fire, Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo, L’Artisan Pastellier Callifolio Oconto, Sailor Yama-Dori, KWZ IG Green #1


Writing Samples (scans; some color correction; papers of increasing absorbency), from Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go


Maruman Mnemosyne:



Midori MD:





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Nice, love how it looks in the drawing!


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OH MY your artwork is amazing and I love this review. Thank you.

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

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY







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Not overly enamored of the color (I tend to prefer greens that lean a little yellow, rather than a little blue), but it looks good on the Midori paper, especially with the broader nib.

And of course your artwork is stellar as always.

Thanks for the review.

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."

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Stunning review. I really like the look of this ink in your writing samples. Seems like they decided to have 2 green inks with "Fern" in their name, and I have "Fern Moss". Will add this one eventually.

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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