Ink Flight #14 Reveal + Giveaway

For March 2018's Ink Flight, we ventured back to the "land down under" to sample another favorite ink manufacturer of pen connoisseurs - Blackstone Inks!


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, Ink Flight #10 - Monteverde, Ink Flight #11 - Krishna, Ink Flight #12 - Caran d'Ache, Ink Flight #13 - Rohrer & Klingner )


Cheers, Ink Flight Crew! This month, we sampled a batch of wild inks from Blackstone, Australia. Crafted by Kevin Watson and the fine folks of the JustWrite Pen Company, Blackstone Inks might not have a large selection of colors, but they are quality colors. Recently, the selection expanded to a range of scented ink colors called the "Scents of Australia."

Blackstone Inks - Ink Flight 14 Samples and Fountain Pen Revolution Guru Flex Nib

As you can see from the swatches on Col-O-Ring cards, we had several "sheeners" in with this month's assortment of inks. Interesting scents seemed to be an inadvertent theme with the box this month. The "Wild Orange," "Red Kunzea," and "Blue Gum" are part of the scented ink series. The box extras, which we will get to later in the post, also engaged the olfactory senses.

Here's your currently inked for March 2018:

Barrier Reef Blue

This bright, azure blue ink has plenty of violet sheen and shading. I inked my OMAS Ogiva extra flessibile nib with this ink. If I have a sheeny ink in the OMAS, it tends to get extra sheeny (possibly due to dry-out in the feed). Such was the case with Barrier Reef, which was bright blue to start, but as the days went on, started to come out dark and super sheeny.

Sydney Harbour Blue

This saturated blue-black has a rich flow and a high degree of purple sheen. Similar to Organics Studio Emerson Twilight, Sydney Harbour has a high sheen factor which also led to some hard starts and a drier writing experience.

Daintree Green

As wild and vibrant as a lush jungle, Daintree shades well and exhibits slight sheen. 

Black Stump

As close to black as we're going to get in an Ink Flight, Black Stump can appear black at first glance but look at it closer and you'll see this ink is actually a dark brown with purplish undertones. 

Blue Gum (Scented)

This dark turquoise ink has a slight hint of green. It shades nicely and has a light scent of eucalyptus. It wrote a bit on the dry side and saturated in the pen (a Nemosine Singularity) over time.

Wild Orange (Scented)

A juicy, golden orange, this ink has a sweet, fresh scent with a lighter saturation that shows some shading.

Red Kunzea (Scented)

This ink is a little strong if you aren't a fan of floral smells (as I am, haha!). However, the rich, royal red color is beautiful and makes up for the perfume smell.

Blackstone inks on tomoe river paper - sheen

After sampling so many different inks that have a high degree of sheen to them, my personal taste has evolved to prefer a lower degree of sheen in favor of better flow and avoidance of any hard start or dry-out issues. That may be totally different than the general opinion of "MOAR SHEEN," but that's my two cents.

Barrier Reef Blue, Wild Orange, and Daintree Green were personal favorites from this month's Flight. Due to the overpowering floral smell, I wouldn't go for using Red Kunzea, despite how lovely the color is. Black Stump might be nice to do some illustrations because of its richness and complexity.

As of the writing of this post, we are in the midst of ordering more bottles of Blackstone to fulfill requests from our subscribers to have them added to their upcoming April Ink Flight. If you would like to also add a bottle to your upcoming shipment, or just want to be aware of when we get more Blackstone ink, please feel free to contact us and we'll be glad to help.

fountain pen revolution guru flex nib fountain pen

Box Extras: Fountain Pen Revolution (FPR) Guru Flex Nib Fountain Pen

One of the most frequent questions that beginning and intermediate fountain pen users have is regarding flex nibs. Once you've had a chance to experience a few standard nib sizes, the temptation to try a nib that has the ability to change its line variation from thin to thick and back again takes hold in the imagination of the enthusiast. Some envision taking meeting notes in breathtaking swirls of copperplate calligraphy. If you fancy your "John Hancock" to rival the elegance of John Hancock's bold signature, then giving flex a shot is a step in the "write" direction.

Most folks wonder where is a good place to start with a flex nib. If you have a higher budget and your shopping knowledge is good, I'd always suggest purchasing a vintage pen with a flex nib is the truest experience and will provide the best results. However, most folks need to be able to find something that's inexpensive and easy to find. Enter the FPR Guru.

The "Guru" is a pen that is made in India and sold here in the USA by Fountain Pen Revolution. Based in Texas, FPR specializes in low-cost, good quality fountain pens that are ideal for beginners and those seeking a solid writing experience. They don't require as much fuss with heat setting and nib alignment as the Noodler's Ink pens do, so they are easier for the uninitiated to use right out of the box.

The Guru is a piston-filling mechanism fountain pen. Although it does come in a variety of colors, we opted to send our subscribers the clear demonstrator model. Each Guru is fitted with an FPR steel flex nib. Going along with the unintentional "fragrant" theme of this month's box, the resin that is used to make the Guru has a noticeable smell. The InkJournal team tested and applied several methods in an attempt to lessen the odor so you aren't socked in the nose by the scent.

To help beginners get started with flex, we produced a companion tutorial that will show you how to write with the FPR Guru and immediately add flair to your everyday handwriting.


GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY (USA shipping addresses only)

Leave a comment below to let us know what you think about March 2018's Ink Flight, Blackstone inks, flex nib writing, and/or the Fountain Pen Revolution Guru Flex.  We will pick one random commenter to win an upcoming April 2018's Flight Box on Tuesday, March 27th at 8:00 pm. My sincere apologies to our international friends, we will only ship this giveaway to USA addresses.