Previous Ink Flights (Ink Flight #1 - Noodler's, Ink Flight #2 - Robert Oster Signature, Ink Flight #3 - KWZ, Ink Flight #4 - J. Herbin, Ink Flight #5 - P.W. Akkerman, Ink Flight #6 - Papier Plume, Ink Flight #7 - Platinum Mix-Free, Ink Flight #8 - Franklin-Christoph, Ink Flight #9 - Organics Studio)
From the crabby shores of Maryland, we travel across the continental United States on a non-stop flight over to sunny California for Monteverde's latest collection of fountain pen inks. Ink Flight members were treated to a variety of the LA-based pen company's wide range of ink colors.
In the last year, the Monteverde refreshed their entire color lineup that now features “ITF technology,” improving flow, extending cap-off time, lubricating the feed and improving dry time. Did the marketing claims live up to the IRL writing experience? We'll find out when we sample 7 fun colors from across all their dozens of ink formulas.
But before we do talk more about the inks themselves, I did want to bring up a note about the Monteverde ink bottles. If you're already familiar with the Monteverde ink line, you know they come in 30mL or 90mL bottles. However, as we had sampled each color, we noticed that every bottle was not providing 90mL of ink.
Most ink manufacturers will tend to overfill past their rated capacity, providing (give or take) an extra few milliliters of ink. However, Monteverde's 90mL bottles were consistently short 14mL. Even attempting to pour 90mL worth of liquid into the bottle proved to be impossible, as the bottle overflowed, meaning that the bottles aren't even designed to hold 90mL. We contacted Monteverde for comment but received no response.
TL;DR, we are advertising the correct estimated number of milliliters (75mL) you would receive with your Monteverde ink bottles. </rant>
Here is the rundown of this month's ink exploration:
The "Noir" collection is Monteverde's newest, debuting only a couple of months ago. Besides having the "European Ink Treatment Formula" that is advertised in all new Monteverde colors, the Noir is simply a lineup of muted "insert-color-here+-black." Azure Noir will make blue-black lovers happy with its moody, cool, dark gray hue.
This brilliant, cerulean blue has beautiful, vibrant saturation and a touch of reddish-purple sheen. It first stuck out to me because of the name. I've visited the island of Capri once before and was enamored by the beauty of the surrounding sea. The ink is a wonderful color that does do justice to the reference.
An obvious tip of the hat to "Purple Rain," this vibrant hue leans more toward a pinkish magenta with plenty of shading. Not necessarily a "purple," but it does jump out on the page and provides plenty of contrast with the other purple we included in this month's Flight.
The "Gemstone" ink collection is a series of colors that are rich in color and vibrancy, just like their namesake precious stones. This dark green has a rich tone and nice shading.
A lovely, plummy wine red, Napa Burgundy has smoky shading and a slight hint of sheen. This was the first color I ran out of (already!) in my pen while using it during the month.
Now, this is a purple! This saturated, royal violet has a shock of yellow-green sheen. You can see it in the photo above used in this post.
This warm, sweet brown ink shades nicely with a touch of reflective sheen.
Capri Blue, Gemstone Charoite, Napa Burgundy
And the not-so-favorites:
Purple Reign (more of a color preference than a distaste for the ink).
So, did the inks live up to the Ink Treatment Formula (ITF) claims?
After writing with these inks for an extended period of time, I would say the claims are par with the experience. Each Monteverde ink has a decent flow. I would consider none of them to be "dry writers." Despite their saturation, the Gemstone inks do flow well. Last month, I had to make a notice to everyone using the Organics Studio "Sheen Monsters" regarding the cap-off dry-out, which I did experience quite often if I left my pen uncapped without writing for 20-30 seconds. Nonesuch issues with Monteverde.
Box Extras - InkJournal Tomoe River Regular TN Size Notebook
The InkJournal Tomoe River notebook has been an item that we've wanted to include in an Ink Flight for a long time. The trouble was that we would never have enough stock on hand to be able to put it in a box. Finally, after 10 months, we were able to get enough notebooks made in the Regular, Traveler's Notebook size.
Each notebook is hand-made, from the cutting of the delicate Tomoe River sheets to the hand-stitched binding to the stamping on the cardstock cover. In case you're unfamiliar with Tomoe River paper, it is thin, almost like tracing paper. This paper is amazing for fountain pens. It holds the ink quite well, showing off a vibrancy, saturation, shading, and sheen like no other paper. There's nothing quite like this paper, which is why it is imported from Japan to make these notebooks.
The paper's thinness allows a fair amount of transparency through the page. For some, this means using only one side of the page. We took advantage of this feature by including a template card so you may use it on the back of the page as a guide to writing your ink journal entries. The included card has a side for an individual ink review and the backside allows you to list a series of pen & ink combinations. There, you can list your currently inked lineup of pens or record each pen & ink combination as an index.
You can also download free templates that we created to use your Tomoe journal for handwriting practice or all-purpose writing/journaling. They are PDF files, which can be printed on card stock to be used the same as the Ink Journal template that is included in your book.
Inspired by one of the most favorited Inktober posts we did last month on Instagram, we included a "Scripturient" sticker with each Ink Flight Box.
Did you love this month's Ink Flight and want more ink? We've got extra bottles of Monteverde waiting for you!
GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY (USA shipping addresses only)
Leave a comment below to let us know what you think about November's Ink Flight, Monteverde inks, and/or writing in the Tomoe River InkJournals. We will pick one random commenter to win December's Flight Box on Tuesday, November 21st at 8:00 pm. My sincere apologies to our international friends, we will only ship this giveaway to USA addresses.