Posts filed under KWZ

KWZ Gummiberry Ink Review

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(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

The best ink decisions you can make are those that take place at a pen show. That's exactly how I ended up with a bottle of KWZ Gummiberry, and I'm very happy with this bright little ink that I picked up earlier this year in Atlanta.

Gummiberry (not to be confused with the Iron Gall Gummiberry version from KWZ) is a bright purple with lots of personality. It pops off the page and has some moderate shading to boot.

Gummiberry was one of the handful of KWZ samples available at the Vanness Pens ink testing station at the Atlanta Pen Show, and I fell in love with it immediately. I'm not normally so attracted to purples, but this one was so vibrant and fun that I couldn't resist.

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The saturation and vibrance dials of this ink are turned up to eleven, and the hue is such a delicious color...it looks edible. The shading is another prominent feature, and it varies the ink color from dark purple to light violet in places. The shading isn't incredibly dramatic, but it's certainly noticeable in most nibs. If you're looking for something a bit more dialed down in terms of saturation, Iroshizuku Murasaki-shikibu might do the trick nicely.

The dry time for Gummiberry in my 1.1mm stub nib wasn't impressive, coming in around 20 - 25 seconds usually. In a German fine nib, this dry time was reduced by about 5 seconds. So, it certainly doesn't win any awards for its drying time, but it's within the normal bounds — especially for such a bright ink.

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From what I've seen, feathering and bleeding are nonexistent with this ink as long as you're using decent paper. There's a bit of spider vein crawl when using this ink on common copy paper or even standard Field Notes paper, but it's not extreme. For any of your favorite papers, I'm sure Gummiberry will perform admirably.

As far as nib lubrication goes, Gummiberry is right in the middle of the scale. It's not dry, but it's not wet. I tested this in 4 different nibs, and had the same results. There also haven't been any problems with skipping, hard starts, or unusually short drying times when left uncapped and unused for around a minute at a time.

Cleaning the ink out of pens isn't difficult, but it does take quite a few flushes to remove all the bright purple from pens. I've found this to be true for many of the bright inks I normally use. At any rate, it's not a big deal.

KWZ Gummiberry is available in a 60ml bottle for around $15 if you're ready to go all in, or you can pick up a small sample for a couple of bucks to make sure it's everything you hoped and dreamed for in a bright purple ink. The price is a great deal, and I highly recommend this fun, playful ink.


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Posted on September 6, 2017 and filed under KWZ, Ink Reviews.

KWZ Ink - Brown Pink: A Review

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

A few weeks ago, I reviewed my first KWZ Ink - Honey. I purchased a whole bottle of that ink and still think it is fantastic. This week, I'm reviewing another KWZ ink color: Brown Pink. I purchased a sample of this ink from Vanness Pens for $2.00.

Brown Pink is an unusual color and that's why I wanted to try some. Although it's called "brown pink," the color looks more like dusty mauve rather than brown. Chromatography distributes the colors in two shades: pink and blue.

In my testing, I found the ink to be wet with fairly lengthy dry times.

The photograph makes the ink look more purple/pink than it is. It is a dusty mauve.

The photograph makes the ink look more purple/pink than it is. It is a dusty mauve.

It shades well with flex nibs, but exhibits no shading with my medium Franklin-Christoph SIG nib. It is not waterproof.

I did some ink splats to check for sheen and found absolutely none with this ink. Although the ink actually looks brown in the splats it also seems very flat. I'm not sure how else to describe it other than "flat." The ink (in the splats) lies thick on the paper much like paint. Not all inks have sheen, so this isn't necessarily a negative strike against the ink. But I did find its flatness strange.

Like KWZ Honey, Brown Pink has a distinct odor to it. I explained the odor in my last KWZ review, so I won't reiterate that here other than to say that the smell is normal.

I like KWZ Brown Pink in spite of the fact that it is a muted, flat color. It is different from any other ink color I've tried. Most burgundy/plum inks are bright and showy. This one is understated, and that makes it unique and adaptable to most tasks. While I wouldn't use an ink like Iroshizuku Yama Budo for writing a business letter, KWZ Brown Pink would probably be acceptable. It's a great ink for journaling (I've used it quite a bit the last week in my journal and love how it looks on Tomoe River Paper) and general writing.


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Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

KWZ Brown Pink on Tomoe River Paper

KWZ Brown Pink on Tomoe River Paper

Posted on September 23, 2016 and filed under KWZ, Ink Reviews.

KWZ Ink - Honey: A Review

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

KWZ Ink (pronounced "kah-veh-zeh") is a new ink on my radar. I had never heard of it until I started seeing reviews for various colors of this ink. The color that really intrigued me was Honey. So, I purchased a bottle from Vanness Pens.

The ink is packaged in a nondescript white box. The bottle itself is simple as well, which speaks to the handmade manufacturing of this ink. The focus is on producing unique colors not on fancy bottles.

The first thing you notice upon opening this ink is the distinct aroma. Sometimes it smells sort of like a medicinal vanilla. Other times, perhaps because the ink's name influences your brain, it smells like honey. Regardless, it is very . . . aromatic. I contacted Vanness after opening the bottle because the strong smell concerned me. They reassured me that the smell is normal. More on the origins of the strong odor later.

The ink itself certainly reminds one of the color of honey.

It is a beautiful amber with truly excellent shading capabilities, even with fine nibs. The ink flows well – in fact, this is a rather wet ink, especially with broad nibs. The ink is not waterproof.

I've been using KWZ Honey in my Danitrio Hakkaku with a flex stub nib. As you can see, the shading is spectacular with this nib.

I also inked my Pilot Custom 832 with a medium (really more like a fine) nib. Even with this finer nib, the shading is excellent. I really love this color.

I compared it with my other brown/amber inks, and really nothing comes close except Sailor Uca Arcuata which is definitely more greenish.

But then there's the smell. This has obviously caused concern amongst customers because there are at least two threads on Fountain Pen Network about the smell (here and here). Initially, some ascribed it to Phenol which is used as a preservative in Sailor inks. But it definitely does not smell like Phenol. Eventually, the owner of KWZ wrote a response on FPN to explain the smell without giving away too many secrets of his formula.

Hello. No I do not use phenol. I will quote my answer I did send to one of the users lately regarding the smell: "In case of Iron Gall inks the strong smell is caused by gallic and tannic acids - both compounds have relatively strong odor.
Both our standard inks and Iron Gall inks use similar compounds for stabilization. Our inks contain large number of compounds which stabilize and improve them in various ways, for example preservatives, antioxidants, corrosion inhibitors, free radical scavengers and more. What has probably the strongest smell is fungicide - in case of this compound this is naturally occurring compound widely used in different branches, including medicine and cosmetics. Additives we use in our inks are approved to be used in food industry or approved for contact with humans in form of cosmetics for example.
Considering allergies - our inks in some conditions might be source of salicylic and/or benzoic acid. I'm very cautious about what I do use in ink making, and will certainly not use toxic compounds in ink making. This is for both safety of users, environment and also my health. We have to remember that concentration of preservative in ink is pretty low (less than 0,05-0,08%) while I have to handle pure substance or highly concentrated solutions while preparing ink."

KWZ Ink is made in Poland by Konrad Żurawski (according to the KWZ website). Now that the ink is becoming more popular because of the unique colors, I wonder if the owner will have to expand production. There certainly seems to be great demand. I contacted Vanness and got myself on an email list so I would be notified when they had more KWZ Honey in stock. The minute I got the email, I purchased mine because it doesn't tend to stay in stock long.

You can purchase KWZ Ink in a wide variety of colors from Vanness Pens for $12.00 per 60ml bottle. Ink samples are also available for $2.00. KWZ Iron Gall inks are a little more expensive at $14.00 per 60ml bottle.

My next bottle will probably be Brown Pink, but at $12.00 I may buy several, including the delightfully-named "Rotten Green." I think that might make an appropriate grading ink, don't you?


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, which I am very grateful for.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Posted on August 26, 2016 and filed under KWZ, Ink Reviews.