I guess I’m a sheen ink guy now. At least somewhat.
For any ink that is created to exhibit properties on the more extreme end of the spectrum - sheen and shimmer, for example - I am cautious. That means, I stick with the big brands who have a track record of good inky behavior. Not only do I expect them to work well, they need to flow well, clean well, dry well, and not act odd on the nib or on the page.
Diamine is one of those brands I have had great luck with, so when Cult Pens asked if I wanted to review round two of their Iridescink collection, it was an easy yes.
The relationship between these two great British brands extends back for several years, beginning with the Deep Dark series. Those colors were a hit, and the Iridescink has turned this entire collaboration up to eleven.
Previously, I reviewed Maureen and Robert, the first two inks in the series. I love both, but I cannot tell a lie: I love Maureen the most. Sorry Robert! Maureen is a bright blue with a red sheen, so when I saw Christine’s formulation - blue black with red sheen - you could say I was excited. I’m happy to report Cult Pens and Diamine delivered another winner.
I used my TWSBI ECO 1.1 mm stub to test Christine with. The ink goes down dark on the page, and dries with a red sheen covering what seems to be around 90% of the line. Where the letters start, and the ink is thinner, a bright blue peeks out from underneath, making for a great result on the page. I’m biased, of course, because blue black ink with red sheen may be my single favorite every day ink option. (Note: Similar to my Maureen and Robert review, it is practically impossible for me to get a good picture of this ink.)
It’s this level of sheen that I am not used to. It shows up the best on sheen-favorable (aka long dry time) paper like Tomoe River and in my Yoseka notebook. On Rhodia, it’s not as pronounced and more of the blue comes out on the page, with some sheen around the edges. On Leuchtturm, it was darker with less sheen, but dried the fastest.
Cult Pens lays all of this out on the product page, stating:
“Sheen can be fickle. Everything has to be just right for sheen to show up, so we can't guarantee you'll see sheen when you write with these inks, but they give you a good chance in the right conditions. You need the right combination of ink, pen and paper.”
This matters if you want the full effect of Iridescink, or any sheening ink. Heck, this matters for any pen, ink, and paper combination. That said, Christine is a color I enjoy on any paper type so far. The next test will be if I like it in a fine nib, as opposed to a stub. My guess is I will.
As much as I have fawned over these inks, I have yet to discuss possibly the best part of all: The price. At £9.50 (just under $12) for an 80 ml bottle, they are practically giving it away. That makes biting the bullet on international shipping a whole lot easier.
I’m a fan of sheen when it is well-behaved. The Iridescink inks from Cult Pens and Diamine are exactly that, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
(Cult Pens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)