Ink Flight #3 Reveal

This month, our inky journey continues to Poland, which happens to be the home of Konrad Zurawski, maker and namesake of KWZ inks.

Konrad has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Warsaw University of Technology and has been manufacturing his own inks since 2012. The interest started out innocent enough. As a fountain pen enthusiast, he wanted to increase the saturation in one of his inks. After doing some research into making his own home-made iron gall ink, he started a hobby that would lead to building a world renown brand of fountain pen inks.

inkjournal ink flight reveal swabs and swatches water test

KWZ is primarily known for a large selection of iron gall inks, as well as a unique set of colors that sometimes can share a distinct fragrance.

Iron gall inks are new to our Ink Flight, so we wanted to give our travelers a head's up on using iron gall safely in their fountain pen. For more information about iron gall inks, check out our pen safety page, which includes quoted information from Konrad's writing.

KWZ ink samples swatches and writing samples

Here is a run down of all the colors in this month's flight:


Oh, how sweet it is. KWZ is best known for this golden brown ink with deliciously smoky shading. On a personal note, I was searching for this ink last year at the DC Pen show, but Vanness pens had run out of their 30+ bottle supply on Friday. Yes, it's that popular! I'm super glad I've got a bunch of it, now!

Azure #3

This super wet, saturated electric blue has a mysterious dark purple sheen. It flows like the lapping waves of the deep blue sea. KWZ sometimes numbers their inks to indicate a slightly different formulation of the same color. This #3 is a winner in my (note) book.

Old Gold

This golden yellow is lightly saturated but packs plenty of dramatic shading. It reminded me of last month's Robert Oster Caffe Crema, which was a favorite of mine as well. 

Menthol Green

This is a refreshing and vibrant spearmint green with a hint of blue. It has a clean scent to it that matches appropriately with its color. 

Brown Pink

Another fan favorite of KWZ, this ink is a warm, dusty, dark pink that has smoky shading. This is one of those unique hues that you can only find from this manufacturer.

Iron Gall Gummiberry

This rich, saturated purple is a lovely eggplant color that dries darker after sitting on the page for some time.

BONUS COLOR - Iron Gall Turquoise

This "turquoise" is closer to a teal blue that dries darker and carries a noticeable degree of shading.

Here are my personal favorites:

Honey, Brown Pink, Azure #3

And the not-so-favorites:

Iron Gall Turquoise, Menthol Green

kwz ink sample swatches with Clairefontaine my essentials journal in tan brown cover

As for the surprise mystery item in our Ink Flight Box, we introduced inky travelers to the new Clairefontaine My Essentials Journal. When looking for the utmost best in paper quality for a bullet journal, lab book or work journal, the Clairefontaine has got the good stuff! The "My Essentials" format closely resembles the format of a Leuchtturm "bullet journal" type notebook. It has index pages in the front, numbered pages, a set of perforated pages in the back, inside pockets, page ribbon marker, and a grid inner page format.

To help get you kicked into high gear with a solid journaling habit, we created an accompanying companion guide called "Project Phillip." This downloadable PDF is a 6-page helper in getting into a journaling habit while providing you with tips and prompts to get your mind fluid and the pen primed to write. Project Phillip can be downloaded here.

I'd love to read your thoughts on April's Ink Flight. What did you think of the colors? Which inks do you think you would NEED a bottle of after sampling them? Which ones didn't "do it" for you? What do you think of the journal? If you downloaded Project Phillip, did you print it out and write using some of the ideas? If so, do you think they were useful and helped you write more or better?

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY (USA shipping addresses only)

Comment below with your thoughts on the KWZ Ink Flight and you will be entered for a chance to win a Clairefontaine My Essentials Journal, your choice of cover color. We will pick one random commenter to win the prize on Wednesday, April 19th at 9:00pm. My sincere apologies to our international friends, we will only ship this giveaway to USA addresses.


  • I am so happy to have found you.
    I so happen to be perusing Instagram and there you were.
    I can’t sing enough praises.
    The samples of ink! I love, love, love them.
    My new obsession of Fountain pens can only be described as accidental. I had no idea this is where I should have been twenty years ago.
    I’m a pen junkie and have been on the “Hunt for Red October” for as long as I can remember.
    I love journaling and we all know that each day means a new color of ink or weight or paper, etc.
    I love to learn and believe that knowledge is power. I had no idea that this world existed.
    I sound so sappy but I wanted to express my elation.
    You’re the best and I truly appreciate all that you do.
    Raving fan in Utah.

    Phyll Montero
  • I’m new here, just visiting the first time. I love the way you express yourself and seeing the inks. My problem is that I’m on disability and can’t afford to buy a full bottle of ink that I may not like. How can I find samples of ink?

    Kat van Rooyen
  • The colors of KWZ inks are great. Haven’t tried them yet but I am considering a purchase of the Honey. The Clairefontane paper is wonderful and would love to win it.

  • The inks are gorgeous and vibrant…I don’t have a favorite yet as I’m still experimenting. I am, however, deeply in love with the Clairefontaine journal. This is my first experience with the Clairefontaine paper and I am now hooked. The silky feel of the pages, the way it accepts the various types of inks, the smart layout of this particular notebook, I love it all. I know this is weird, but I have a feeling there are some in this tribe who will understand…the tactile feel of this paper has become a guilty pleasure. The way the paper feels on my hand when I am writing adds a totally new dimension to the writing experience and makes me want to write more!!!

    Barrie Smith
  • I had just recently received and order from Vanness that included my first KWZ ink. I seen a review of Honey and was instantly in love. I love the rich, warm tones that to me, invoke feelings of history and life. I’m not sure where I why I was first drawn to the color family, possible my love for writing and literature when I was an English Lit/Major.

    Anyways, I had also ordered samples of Standard Gummiberry and Rasberry. (I love unique pink colors as well, lol. ) I thought I loved both of them, but then you sent Brown Pink and I was like, yeah. Both of my favorites in one ink. Score again, KWZ. I will definitely be ordering a bottle shortly.

    Also, loved the bonus this month. I’ve been on the hunt for fountain pen friendly notebooks that are smaller sized and durable. One to create a penmanship/lettering journal and another for a sort of EDC brain dump (life dump.) This will be on my short list for sure.

    Danni Jones

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