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?

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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

    Like

  2. loisajay says:

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

    Like

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

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