(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
It's June in Texas, so I feel rather strange writing about an autumn-colored ink. But, today it's also overcast and rainy thanks to a tropical storm, so it seems fallish out there, despite the temperatures. Let's all pretend it's October!
Diamine Autumn Oak is aptly named. The color looks like the leaves at Lost Maples State Park, a place we visit every November.
The ink is a beautiful orange with stunning shading properties, ranging from a dark orange with hints of brown to a light orange, just like leaves.
I compared Autumn Oak with my other two orange inks, Pelikan Edelstein Amber and Iroshizuku Yu-Yake.
Amber also exhibits good shading, but it is more yellow in tone than Autumn Oak and doesn't have the range of colors. Yu-Yake is a flat orange and exhibits hardly any shading (I always crave an orange lollipop when I use Yu-Yake).
Chromatography indicates that Yu-Yake contains yellow, orange, and a slight amount of pink. Amber contains primarily yellow. Autumn Oak contains orange, yellow, and a good amount of pink (which is probably what gives it the gorgeous brown tones).
Autumn Oak, like other Diamine inks, has no odor. It flows well in all the pens I used. It shows little water resistance, and dry times depend on the size and wetness of your nib.
One concern I have about Autumn Oak is that it seems to darken after a day or two in a pen. Perhaps this is due to cross contamination between inks (i.e. my pen had some old ink in the feed and it mixed with the Autumn Oak) or maybe the ink darkens when it sits in a pen for a while.
After I experienced the color shift the first time, I thoroughly cleaned out my pens (water, pen flush, more water) and refilled with Autumn Oak. Even after the cleaning, I noted a slight amount of darkening. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this with Diamine Autumn Oak?
Regardless, this ink is a keeper. The shading alone makes it one of my favorite inks. Now I must have a Pilot Vanishing Point in orange just for this ink. I love it when an ink color requires a pen purchase, don't you?
I'm not the only one impressed by this ink (many reviews are available). I shipped a pen to Canada and used Autumn Oak to address the package. The recipient was happy to receive her new pen, but she wrote to me just to ask, "What was that ink you used?" If ink on an address label impresses someone, you know you have a winner!