Ink Flight #73 Reveal, February 2023

Birds of a feather flock together. Inks of a flight are a delight. This month, we feature the latest collection from Van Dieman's Ink. Every bottle is hand-made in micro batches with 90% Australian ingredients, including 100% Tasmanian natural mountain spring water. Each color is inspired by the colorful plumage of the namesake bird.

For frequent flyers of our monthly subscription box, Van Dieman's was featured previously on Ink Flight #47 and #62. Much like Colorverse, Van Dieman's tends to release their inks in thematic series. In #62, we dove into the "Underwater" series with some dark, intense, sheening colors like Ghost Ship, Royal Starfish, and Blue-Ringed Octopus. In their latest "Birds of a Feather" series, we are treated to a wide range of sheening, shading, and shimmering inks inspired by bird plumage.

February 2023 Ink Flight Box #73 "Currently Inked" Color Selection

Van Dieman's Blue Jay Crown
A gorgeous periwinkle blue that shades very nicely, with a dual tone of pink. It is undersaturated, so I would recommend using a broad nib with wet flow to see the ink more clearly on the page.

Van Dieman's Mandarin Duck Nape
The nape is at the back of the duck's head and is highly saturated teal with a sheening red.

Van Dieman's Laughing Kookaburra Crest
This unique, shading color is a smokey brown with tones of blue. 

Van Dieman's Honey Bee Eater Wing
This ink is a pastel shader and pushes the limit of where green and blue meet.

Van Dieman's Mandarin Duck Wing
The Duck Wing is a rich purple mahogany that sheens.

Van Dieman's Honey Bee Eater Chin
This ink is a bright, warm-leaning yellow with hints of orange.

Van Dieman's Elegant Peacock Train
This shimmer ink was inspired by the decadent train of the peacock with photonic crystals of gold.

Tasting Notes: After swatching and evaluating the seven inks in the "Birds of a Feather" series, three things stood out. First, all of the inks have excellent depth in shading. Second, the "feather" theme is well represented with the color choices. Last, these inks have got to have the longest names that I've ever recorded in my ink journal.

Of the lighter, undersaturated colors (Blue Jay Crown, European Honey Bee Eater Wing, and European Honey Bee Eater Chin), the celadon-colored Bee Eater Wing had the best readability and strongest shading quality. I used a Sailor 1911 music nib to see the dramatic shading within each letter. 

Laughing Kookabura Crest intrigued me the most. It's a brown that has a greyish quality to it. Despite a lighter saturation, it shades well and reads nicely on the page. Also kookaburas have an amusing bird call.

The Mandarin Duck Nape & Wing colors also have good tonal variation and bold saturation with a zing of sheen. Lastly, the gilded Peacock Train has a fresh, vibrant hue with shimmering gold sparkle.

Box Extras: Jaquere Impression A5 Size Color Swatch Book, Girl of All Work "Great Writers" Page Flags

Record your ink swatch collection in this 40-page spiral A5-sized notebook. Each page of thick 200gsm paper has a set of illustrated ink bottles to "fill in" with fountain pen ink. Feel free to apply ink using a dip pen, fountain pen, or brush on this paper. Identify each swatch by writing the name underneath. 

Made by the same company that produces Wearingeul inks, these notebooks are imported from South Korea.

For book lovers and aspiring storytellers, this set of page flags features four writers of classical literature. Edgar Allan Poe, Jane Austen, Emily Dickenson, and Oscar Wilde. Mark a noteworthy place with these adhesive flags. A perfect adornment for your literary treasures.

Founded in 2007, Girl of All Work creates innovative office/lifestyle accessories that bring joy and whimsy to everyday tasks.

Hit the slopes with the winter Inktopus sticker illustrated by the talented Vanessa Langton (Instagram: @vanessa_langton)

What are your thoughts on February's Ink Flight? Please feel to share them on social media by tagging me @inkjournal or send me a quick e-mail to provide your feedback. 

See the contents of all our previous Ink Flight Boxes here. We hope to see you next month to continue our journey into the world of fountain pen inks.