Posts filed under Robert Oster

Robert Oster Bishop to King Fountain Pen Ink Review

Robert Oster Bishop to King Fountain Pen Ink Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)

Robert Oster is one of my favorite ink brands. I love the wide range of colors, the way they are inspired from nature in Australia, the eco-friendly production of the ink and bottles. It's all good to me--and this is another great color in a winning lineup.

Robert Oster Bishop to King Fountain Pen Ink

Bishop to King is a complex purple. It's very rich and royal, but violet enough to pass for blue under certain light, so it's a great ink if you want something with character but that you can still use in professional settings. It's purple with deniability. The chromatography shows a pretty even split between purple and blue, and the blue element has a slight touch of water resistance, too. On the water drop tests, standing water that was blotted dry left a hint of blue line behind. But when water is wiped up, it did wash all trace away.

Robert Oster Bishop to King Fountain Pen Ink Chromatography

The most noticeable element of this ink is a distinct dryness. It feels dry when writing or swabbing, and its dry time is so fast, I had to do it twice to make sure I hadn't imagined it. Despite this dryness, it does show some shading on Clairefontaine paper, but I could not get it to sheen, even when I let it pool.

I prefer wet inks, so this dry one isn't for me, but I highly recommend it for lefties, or for quick notes that must be jotted down on swiftly-turning pages. I think this makes it ideal for school or meeting notes, or for when you need to write a hasty note in your planner, slam the book shut, and hit the road.

Robert Oster Bishop to King Fountain Pen Ink Purple Comparison

The ink comes in a 50ml plastic bottle which is manufactured in a carbon-neutral plant. The bottles are fully recyclable. They're also a good shape for filling--narrow enough to allow for nib submersion even when the ink is running low, but sturdy enough that they don't tip over. The bottles aren't as glam as the handblown glass ones, but they also don't have the glam price tag. This bottle sells for about $17. In our world of climbing ink prices, I'll take that deal all day.

I think this is a solid, practical ink that fits some specific, practical needs. It's not one I'm likely to reach for often for my own needs, but I think it's an essential player on the field.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Robert Oster Bishop to King Fountain Pen Ink Tests
Posted on July 11, 2019 and filed under Robert Oster, Ink Reviews.

TWSBI ECO 1.1 mm Stub and Robert Oster Barossa Gilt Ink Review

TWSBI ECO 1.1 mm Stub

What more can I say about the TWSBI ECO that I haven't said already? It is the best fountain pen for beginners in my book, and it provides experienced users with a fun, high-quality writing experience at a nice price.

The one difference for me this time around - aside from the transparent orange pen parts - is the 1.1 stub nib.

I love how fine and firm TWSBI’s extra fine steel nibs are, which is why they are my preferred nib for this pen. But sometimes I need to sling ink on the page, and that's where stub nibs come into play.

TWSBI ECO 1.1 mm Stub Transparent Orange

What this nib provides for me is character. Wide vertical strokes combined with thin horizontal strokes make my handwriting pop. This stub nib has enough variation to make that work for me, and an ultra-smooth feel from it's slightly rounded edges.

All of those things add up to be the perfect ink testing pen and nib for me. And what better to show off the shake and shimmy of Robert Oster Barossa Gilt.

Robert Oster Barossa Gilt Ink Splat

I have a hard time not calling this ink Barossa Grape, because that is an ink color, too. But the “Gilt” nomenclature alludes to what is so special about this ink: The gold shimmer found within. And it shimmers a lot.

That’s one thing Robert Oster has made perfectly clear with his Shake ’N’ Shimmy ink lineup. There is no lack of shimmery particles on the page. When shimmer inks first became a thing, I found the shimmer-to-ink ratio inconsistent. Over time, manufacturers have figured out whatever magic it takes to give every stroke a full compliment of shine.

Robert Oster Barossa Gilt Ink

As hard as it is to describe an ink like this in words, it is even harder to show in pictures unless you angle the page just so in the light. Most of my straight-on pictures make the ink look flat, and maybe even boring. But if you get the light angled just right, you wonder where purple color is for all of the gold.

The underlying purple color reminds me of grape juice. More accurately, spilled grape juice where the color and shade changes depending on how much you now have on the paper towel you used to clean it up with. There is even a hint of blue around the edges.

Robert Oster Barossa Gilt Ink Shimmer

When writing in my Yoseka Notebook for this review, I did run into a dry spot seven lines into it. I hadn’t picked up the pen for about two days at the point I started, and hit a hard stop where you see the word “flooding” show up lightly on the page. I wonder if that was a bit of clogging from the shimmer? I wouldn’t put it past that happening. A few taps of the nib and scribbles on a different page got it going again, and I had no more troubles. This is always a possiblility with shimmer ink.

This is a fantastic ink in a fantastic pen. Will I use this combination a lot? Not likely. I love the purple ink color, but I like my shimmer like I like my pen furniture: Silver in color. Plus, I think this will be my new ink testing pen, so it will be seeing many different inks pass through its feed in the future. That said, Barossa Gilt really does it’s job well, and makes for an impressive look.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Robert Oster Barossa Gilt Ink Review
Posted on June 24, 2019 and filed under Robert Oster, Shimmer Ink, Ink Reviews.

Robert Oster Blue Water Ice Ink Review

Robert Oster Blue Water Ice Ink Review

My most used ink color list looks something like this:

  1. Blue Black
  2. Orange
  3. Bright Blue
  4. Purple
  5. Bright Green

Blue Black ink goes in any every day writing pen and nib combination. Stock Fine Japanese nibs for example. The same goes for Orange, although it will find its way into finer nibs more often than Blue Black. Bright Blues, on the other hand, tend to find their way into the extreme ends of the nib spectrum. XXF, UEF, and PO on the fine side, and big stubs on the broad side. I almost never use them in the middle range of nib sizes.

Why is that? Bright Blues offer the perfect amount of character and readability for the nibs I use them in. Blue Black inks are arguably more readable on the micro side of the ledger, but will lose their character when the line is that fine. Conversely, they are a bit boring on the wide end. There are inky exceptions, of course, but in general terms I find this to be the case.

Robert Oster Blue Water Ice Ink

Orange inks look cool in micro nib sizes, but they are more difficult to read. Wide nibs tend to show off their brightness, but they often lack the big shading and sheening characteristics that other colors have.

Bright Blues, like Robert Oster Blue Water Ice, are my favorite in nibs that aren’t covered by Blue Black and Orange. For this review, I used my Pelikan M805 Demonstrator with a Medium nib modified to a stub by Dan Smith. As wide as stock Pelikan nibs already are, this made the line somewhere around a 1.0 mm stub, which shows off the characteristics of Blue Water Ice wonderfully.

This is a moderately shading and light sheening ink. There is good color variation within the line, and the edges show off a bit of red sheen that stands out the more characters there are on the page. In pictures and swabs I thought it would be similar to Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki and Sailor Sky High, but in use it is lighter and greener, despite what my premier photography skills show in these images.

Robert Oster Blue Water Ice

Because of that lightness, it is the perfect stub nib Bright Blue ink. It would be difficult for me to choose Blue Water Ice over Kon-Peki, for example, in something like my Pilot Custom Heritage 912 with PO nib. It would work just fine, but it wouldn’t be the best experience for me.

And that’s what fountain pen inks are for me: An experience. Finding that perfect match of ink color, nib, pen, and paper is something all of us fountain pen fans strive towards. That’s why we obsess over the little things, such as one ink being perfect for a fine nib, but not necessarily a medium nib. That’s why when we find that combination we go to it over and over again. And that’s what I find so fun about this crazy little hobby of ours.

(I'm fairly certain I bought this ink from Vanness Pens at a pen show in 2018 but I honestly can't recall the specifics. Maybe I got it for free.)


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, for which I am very grateful.

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

Robert Oster Blue Water Ice Writing
Posted on April 1, 2019 and filed under Robert Oster, Ink Reviews.