(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
Robert Oster inks are made in Australia and inspired by the colors of that continent. Oster became interested in fountain pens in 1989, and from that he developed a desire to produce inks that reflect the rich culture and colors of the wine region of Coonawarra (Robert Oster Home Page). Nature friendly and beautiful, these inks claim to have a little "certain something" that will inspire your creative endeavors (from the label on the bottle).
I finally had the opportunity to order some Robert Oster Signature inks from Vanness Pens. There were two colors I knew I wanted full bottles of: Torquay and Tranquility. I got samples of several others, and I'll be reviewing them over the next few months.
Torquay is a lovely, bright turquoise ink with excellent shading properties. Even with a medium Sailor nib (which is actually like a fine) and the medium Franklin-Christoph SIG nib, you can see shading. It really is something when you get shading even with finer nibs. It's even better with wider or flex nibs.
Unlike the KWZ ink I reviewed a few weeks ago, the Robert Oster ink has no noticeable odor. It comes in a 50ml plastic bottle that is tall enough to accommodate larger pens.
This is a very wet ink, and dry times (at least in my testing on Maruman white paper) were long. The ink is not waterproof, nevertheless, it is wonderfully saturated even though it is a light shade.
Sometimes lighter colors absorb into the paper. Not this ink. It stands out nicely on white paper and on Tomoe River Paper.
Chromatography indicates that the ink has more blue than green, even though the ink appears turquoise.
With a flex nib, the shading is even more obvious and the ink is darker (because the flex nib puts out a thicker line of ink).
Torquay also exhibits beautiful red and gold sheen as shown in these ink splatters:
If you're looking for a rich turquoise ink with great shading and sheening properties, Torquay is a great choice. It really does have that little "certain something" that makes it stand out from other inks. Robert Oster inks are available at Vanness Pens and are reasonably priced at $16.00 for a 50ml bottle or $2.00 for a 4ml sample. I chose several blue samples from the Robert Oster line. They are all gorgeous, but the one that really stands out is Bondi Blue. Oh my! That one is next on my list for review.
I purchased these Robert Oster Inks with my own funds from Vanness Pens.
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