Posts filed under Robert Oster

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.)


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

Robert Oster Thunderstorm Ink Review

Robert Oster Thunderstorm 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 an ink wizard. Thunderstom is a newer offering in his lineup of enchanted and enchanting inks. At first glance, it looks black. Just plain old black. But when the light hits it, Ah! Maybe it's navy! Then, do I see teal? Purple? What is happening???

Robert Oster Thunderstorm Ink

If I had to classify the color, I'd call it a blue-black. It's subtle enough to be a good work ink, but has the complexity to bring some fun to your desk. Fine layers of it show up as a smoky grey-blue and concentrated areas look anywhere from navy blue to black. The color is almost impossible to photograph. Its closest color relatives that I've encountered are Aurora Blue-Black and Kobe 7, though both of those have crazy sheen and Thunderstom has none. Even where it pools it looks like it has a matte finish, which adds to its deep color complexity.

Robert Oster Thunderstorm Ink Water Resistance

It's very well lubricated and flows out of the pen nicely, but also dries quickly. It has no water resistance--the drip test pretty much erased it all. It doesn't bleed or feather on Rhodia paper or on the ink sample card. It does on regular printer paper, but that's expected.

Robert Oster Thunderstorm Ink Chromatography

The most surprising thing about this ink was the chromatography test. I mean... Pink? I did not see that coming! How does blue and grey come from pink? With magic, I guess. But the colors that split were cobalt blue and pink, and somehow they make this awesome, subtle color.

Robert Oster Thunderstorm Ink Comparison

This isn't one of those colors that leaps out at you from first sight, but it gradually makes its character known the more you see it. If you're looking for an ink that can subtly liven up some boring paperwork that still has to appear businesslike, this is a great choice. It's $17 for 50 ml at JetPens, which is fantastic value for ink these days. It's one color I'll always have a use for.

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


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Robert Oster Thunderstorm Ink Test
Posted on February 21, 2019 and filed under Robert Oster, Ink Reviews.

Robert Oster Honey Bee Ink Review

Robert Oster Honey Bee Ink Review

2018 was an ink desert for me. The inky landscape exploded, and I was overwhelmed. That feeling made me slow way, way down on ink acquisitions, but in 2019 I am getting back into the ink game. I am interested in testing out new colors and types of inks, and, primarily, things outside of my wheelhouse. It’s time for me to mix it up!

While Robert Oster Honey Bee wouldn’t be considered a stretch for many people, this is not a color normally found on my ink shelf. I’ve had similar shades pass through some of my pens for a single fill here and there, but nothing I’ve been committed to using on the regular. I think Honey Bee might change that.

If you look closely at the online samples you will see a lot of the orange that drew me in to choosing it, but in actual use, you see more of the brown and yellow that you would expect from an ink called Honey Bee.

Robert Oster Honey Bee Ink

With my new focus on inks, I will also need to use wider nibs to really see what the inks are all about. My blue black, orange, and turquoise inks work well in my favorite extra fine nibs, but to see what an ink like Honey Bee is all about, I need to break out the stubs. Plus, I jumped at the chance to go matchy-matchy with my beautiful Stylo-Art Kinpaku and Pilot SU nib. Swoon indeed.

On the page, Honey Bee reminds me of the color of raw honeycomb. It has light browns and deep yellows and golds. It’s almost more of a light caramel, blonde roast coffee color. And I like it. I’m getting a good amount of shading too, which is what I want from my inks more than anything. The shading characteristic is not something a gel or rollerball ink pen can output on to the page.

Robert Oster Honey Bee Ink Sample

Like some of my other favorite inks (Sailor, Pilot, Diamine, etc.) Robert Oster inks always perform well, and Honey Bee is no exception. It is the perfect combination of flow, wetness, lubrication, and saturation. It’s right in the middle across the board, and that is what I want in an every day writing ink.

Choosing an ink is always a challenge. Over the years, I’ve learned what I liked, and resisted branching out to try new things. That could mean a new brand, a new category, or even, like Honey Bee, something as simple as a new color. I’m going to keep experimenting, and when I find something interesting, you can bet I will be sharing it with you.

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


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 Honey Bee Ink Writing
Posted on January 14, 2019 and filed under Robert Oster, Ink Reviews.