Tools: Birmingham Inks

Over Christmas I took advantage of a huge sale on
Birmingham’s own line of inks, scoring 30ml bottles for the price of samples!
*btw i am sending you to their ink page site as they are a small company
that makes their own and sometimes inks disappear for a short time*

They have a free shipping at $40;
I appreciate free shipping and am happy to buy a couple
more things than I normally would and spend that money on product,
in this case, buying colors I would NEVER purchase, seen bottom!
I’ve been playing with a few inks for a month now…
Time for the first review… the second will be as they stack against all-time favorites…

And BTW, they win for best names
of any ink company ever!

I had to have Railroad Strike Riot Ember
*gads the name alone made me want to buy it — do you do that too?*
It is in a line with another favorite ink of mine and
right off I will say that in the pen it is not as bright as the swatch,
however, the shading is excellent even on paper that is not meant for wet washes…
I love it!

Homestead Steel Works Slag Grey was the first ink I put into a pen, and
wow wow wowwee!
It joins a number of great greys (post coming later this month)
on how I love grey inks and what I do with them…
and I am literally putting it off so I can play with this ink more before posting.
Above, you can see it with Riot Ember in a post, and then look at the colors it gives off when wet!  Water-resistant, shades beautifully, and then moves into blues and pinks.

*i love this ink!*

I also bought Jonas Salk’s Serum Umber.
Mine is not as lovely as their image, so a bit disappointed,
and yet it is nicer than several other sepias and umbers
I’ve sampled from other well-known companies and not bought…
I’ve wanted a rich umber ink …
We’ll see how it plays when I ink a pen!

*ps remember the dot in the middle shows how well the color lifts when
water is placed onto a dry swatch… several of these show water-resistance*

I tried two blues, purchasing the Pennsylvania Railroad Boiler Steam first,
then in a second order going back for the Andrew Carnegie Steel Blue.

The Boiler Steam I played right away, as it is a grey-blue…
It is a nice blue to sketch with as it has some water-resistant properties
but also moves and allows shading with a wet brush.
I’ve not found it to shade as well in a pen,
but then I don’t have it in a wide-nibbed pen YET!

I love this blue-grey!

The Andrew Carnegie is bluer, from a second shipment.
It also has water-resistant qualities and may shade beautifully.
I am holding off on a blue ink review until I can play with this one as well!

 Fred Rodgers Red Cardigan is what drove me to their site —
a gift for Mitchell, who loves Fred Rodgers.  I had the wrong shade, and Nick sent me a replacement. The ink is very pretty, a deep woolly red.
I haven’t played with it nor has Mitchell, who is running a pen cartridge down so he can use it in his Lamy. However, one caution about Birmingham’s site: assume that all their colors are a bit greyer, grittier than their swatches.  Fred Rodgers looks  bright red on their site… NOT!

 George Westinghouse Alternator Crimson is only red in name…
I will play with it as a taupe-grey.  Unfortunately, I had to work hard with a watercolor brush and layer to get the shading, so I don’t think it is a good shade color.
Because it is water-resistant, I was able to layer the colors and that was interesting.
Thankfully their image is good for this color so I was not totally surprised when it arrived!
The more I play with it the more I like this strange color…

Colors I would never normally purchase!
*i’m not a purpley-pink gurl, but !!sale!! pulled me to try!*

Gulf Tower Gerbera Pink is all over the place in my testing.
I guess this will have to land it in the mauve-pinky-purpley range.
I doubt I will keep it unless I decide ink-paint flowers…
Not bad if you like this sort of thing, but I’m likely to give it a good home.
Shows water-resistant qualities.

The Phipps Conservatory Verbena is so beautiful I need to get it a pen of its own!
Not quite what I saw on my monitor, greyer — but not a disappointment.
The purple shades nicely, and I can get away with using this color to write with at work.  Not water-resistant.

This sale led me down a path with
Birmingham inks that I am happy about!

Anyone else have input on this small company?

To hear about classes, follow me on Facebook
or check out my new, improved

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in art journal, creativity, drawing, ink painting, journal, painting, pen & ink, process, sketchbook, watercolor, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Tools: Birmingham Inks

  1. informative as always – thanks katie


  2. loisajay says:

    The colors are very pretty, but the names are phenomenal.


  3. Pingback: Tuesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways – Life Imitates Doodles

I love hearing from visitors!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.