Hi everybody! I'm Conrad, a stationery lover and quiet lurker of the Massdrop writing community. I'm sure most of you definitely do not know me! But I'm super happy to meet you, and I wanted to invite you to maybe sit down a little while with me while we talk about the things we love: writing instruments and the things we buy to keep them chugging.
Thanks to Mike, I was generously sent a couple of bottles of ink and I've been playing around with them for a little while. I think I'm about ready to share my thoughts on these inks over the next week or so; I hope you enjoy the review!
I thought I would get us all started with an ink brand that I've actually never tried before: Faber-Castell! You probably know them for their other art products, like colored pencils and PITT artist brush pens. I certainly had no idea that they made inks. I have seen their fountain pens (I've heard they write particularly well right out of the box, although I've never personally tried one).
The bottle arrived in a a cream-colored, cardstock box. Faber-Castell really aimed for a more upscale look with their ink. There's a sticker of the burned orange color on the front, as well as the Faber-Castell logo and branding. When you open the box, there's a black flap that folds completely over the top of the ink bottle, with a small notch to help you lift it. The first thing you see is the cap of the bottle: it's a chrome-color silver (though I'm certain that it's plastic) with the Faber-Castell name surrounding an inset logo.
There's a little pamphlet tucked inside with pictures and (printed) writing samples of the other inks in the line. According to the pamphlet, certain colors are "indelible." Burned Orange seems to be one of the newer releases, as it's not included in the pamphlet just yet.
Once you pull out the glass bottle, I think you definitely get the image of luxury. It's the kind of bottle that you wouldn't mind displaying on your desk, I think. It's a beautiful bottle: it has an oval-ish shape, and a chunky base that reminds me a little of the larger Pilot Iroshizuku bottles. It's a bit flat, so I am concerned about the ink level getting too low for you to get a good fill with a pen. Tipping the bottle a little, or using something like an ink syringe, would definitely help you in the case that happens.
Opening the cap, there isn't a discernible smell (hey, it's a concern for some people!). If you put your nose right to the opening and take a deep whiff, there is a slight... ink smell. It's not pungent, nor is it very noticeable. Definitely great for those of you who are a bit more sensitive to smells.
I tested this ink on Midori MD notebook paper, which is smooth with a light texture, and has cream-colored, fountain pen-friendly sheets inside. I used a Jinhao X750 with a stock feed and nib as well as a Nemosine broad nib.
This ink flows really nicely! Depending on the nib that you use and the ink flow, the ink varies from a more typical orange to a red-orange. You do get a very slight amount of shading (more prevalent in the broad nib) but it's nothing dramatic. This particular ink is definitely not waterproof; dabbing at the ink with a Q-tip dipped in water lifted a lot of the color from the page.
I've never used an orange ink quite this vibrant before; actually, I don't think I've really touched an orange ink in this tone. My other inks, like Noodler's Antietam and Diamine Ancient Copper, are much deeper, far closer to brown than orange. I love the way that it pops off the page; it's very sunny and bright, and reminds me of orange soda. You might love it if you want to freshen up your color palette, but it's definitely not an ink you can use in a business situation, except perhaps to highlight.
You get about 75 ml (~2.5 oz) of ink. This may seem like quite the premium considering the price (about $30 MSRP), but Faber-Castell does not want you to think that this isn't a luxury product. The packaging is fitting of the price tag. Personally, I think the ink would be a great gift for someone.
So what do you think? Is Graf von Faber-Castell an interesting ink color waiting for its turn in your palette, or something you'd definitely skip?
In the future, I'll provide swatches of the ink alongside other colors that I have in my collection to give you an idea of what inks are in a similar color family, but not necessarily similar. If you have any suggestions for what I can provide in future reviews, please let me know. And, of course, if you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them to the best of my ability.
Thanks for reading my first review on Massdrop! You can also find me on my website (http://wintersharks.blogspot.com) where I review inks, papers, and pens. The site is a bit empty because I just started brand new from an older blog, but I promise new material will be coming very soon. I also have an Instagram (instagram.com/pharaonis/) where I post artful pictures of my stationery collection.