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6 Birmingham Pen Co. inks - crisp formula - summer 2021


Intensity
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Here are a few of the new crisp formula Birmingham Pen Co inks from a recent sale, summer 2021.  Their inventory changes over time, so I'm noting the sale time here, as once these inks go out of stock they may or may not eventually be discontinued in favor of other colors.

 

Full album here: https://imgur.com/a/1pFhPUm

 

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Cream TR52g (old) on the left, Fabriano Bioprima 85g on the right, Tsubame Fools paper cards on the bottom. Daylight shade.

 

 

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Cream TR52g (old) on the left, Fabriano Bioprima 85g on the right, Tsubame Fools paper cards on the bottom. Mixed lighting.

 

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bit overexposed here

 

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Supercell can sheen visibly. Ancho Chile Pepper has a pale silver-gold sheen that only shows up in very concentrated areas. The rest have practically no sheen to note.  I suppose Eroded Bronze has just the smallest amount of sheen at the edges there, but not in any writing.

 

1.  Walnut Street:  this is a watery, translucent dirty red leaning brown-pink with dark outline edging.  Kind of unique.  Makes me think of dried flowers.  It goes down burgundyish red and dries more brown and muted.  I couldn't get this one to photograph properly--it looks more pink on my photos than in real life.  Imagine it being more brown-leaning than that.  This cell phone photo does a better.  Some water resistance.

 

2. Ancho Chile Pepper:  nice muted brown.  It goes down a cool reddish brown while wet and dries to green-leaning cold gray-brown with a pretty dark outline edging effect.  In very wet spots on TR you can get a faint silver-gold sheen with it.  Good water resistance.

 

3.  Chrysanthemum:  gorgeous cold pink, pastel and grayed, with strong dark outline effect.  I love this ink.  It does best with a wetter pen, so you get the nice dark edging.  Not much water resistance, but a pale pink line remains.

 

4.  Antique Sepia.  Interesting polychromatic ink with hues of olive green, beige, and even pink in saturated spots, dark outline effect is present, no sheen.  This ink writes in the Sailor Rikyu-Cha murky olive family, but much more translucent.  In very concentrated spots in can turn almost pink, but you do want very good paper for that to come through in writing, like Tomoe River.  Mostly it looks pale olive with a dark outline and some hue variation within lines.  Poor water resistance: only a faint pink line remains.

 

5.   Eroded Bronze.  Photographs and scans of the ink can be a bit misleading, as they pick up the blue and the lavender-pink tones of this ink strongly.  In person it's a tinted gray with hue variation, somewhat similar to Sailor Ink Studio 123 but more blue.  I expected it to be more blue based on on-line swatches, but using a pretty wet and broad pen with it at home now, it's a tealy-blue-tinted gray with some lavender-leaning areas.  Poor water resistance, only a pink lavender line remains.

 

6.  Supercell.  I was excited to get this ink for general purpose writing.  I expected it to be more muted and darker, compared to the online store swatches.  In person it's a dark, muted turquoise.  The wetter the pen, the darker it will look, but in a thin dry pen it  can look medium dark.  Online swatch made it look more like a darker blue-black leaning teal.  I do like this ink.  It reminds me of my favorite Monteverde Iced Cookie but less vibrant and with less color variation.  There's some water resistance: a gray line remains, though, depending on paper, not very prominent.

 

All of these inks have moderate-to-low lubrication, but plenty sufficient.  They don't feel "scratchy" to write with, but they are not anywhere near Sailor Jentle level of lubrication.  It's enough flow and lubrication for nice crisp lines, as intended.

 

All in all, I'm very pleased with all of these inks.  Some might not be my cup of tea in color, but all are beautiful, imaginative hues with complexity and good performance.

“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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Thank you for this in depth comparison and review of such beautiful inks... 🙏

 

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They look beautiful - thank you @Intensity for such a nice writeup and some lovely pictures. 

 

Sadly, they won't ship here at the moment, so I shall have to admire them from afar. 

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Very nice - thanks much for showing them so beautifully. Such intriguing inks. Alas, they won't ship here either.

"Most people enjoy the sight of their own handwriting as they enjoy the smell of their own farts." - W. H. Auden

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the great review, I really like the Chrysanthemum although I usually do not like pink inks.  I wonder if there is enough contrast for everyday use.

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Depends on pen and paper.  There’s a strong dark outline effect on paper like Tomoe River with a broader nib or wet writer.

“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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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, gawain3 said:

I ordered some on September 7th, yet they still have not been mailed!

 

Time to reach out to them for status.

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They have a tiny team, and it takes longer to ship stuff as their popularity grows, with more orders placed.

“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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16 minutes ago, Intensity said:

They have a tiny team, and it takes longer to ship stuff as their popularity grows, with more orders placed.

True enough yet there is little harm in asking for a status, after their '2-5 business days to fulfill' has passed.  

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1 hour ago, I-am-not-really-here said:

True enough yet there is little harm in asking for a status, after their '2-5 business days to fulfill' has passed.  

Also true enough, except that every email a two man operation has to respond to slows them down even more.  I’ve dealt with them for three years, and it does take a little longer to get their product, but for me their product is worth being patient.  

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2 hours ago, Carrau said:

every email a two man operation has to respond to slows them down even more

 Surely their operational model has an allowance each day for customer correspondence.  
 

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My order was placed on the 5th, shipped today.  They are obviously busy, but if you want something fast, there's always Amazon.com with prime shipping.  At this point it's widely known what kind of practices Amazon has in terms of treating its staff and what it's like to work at an amazon shipping warehouse. Smaller vendors/artisans take more time, because they don't have large teams of people.  It is what it is, and I'm happy to support them.  Expecting immediate turn-around is not always possible.  If they hire more people, they might have to raise the prices of the products to support another salary and overhead.

“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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This is a great comparison.  A friend @Frank C brought over some of these so that we could play ink, but I haven't used them yet.  

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



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