Inky Thots: Birmingham Independence Grey

Birmingham Pen Company Independence Grey ink is named in honor of the Liberty Bell, housed in Philadelphia, PA.  I drew the Liberty Bell on my test page with a PENBB pen on cold press watercolor paper and touched the lines with water using a Pentel Aquash waterbrush.  This was a 30 minute layered sketch with water movement… The lines stay visible but also release ink; which means the ink has water resistance.

I was able to layer inks for shadow which is not possible with highly soluble inks.

I show several greyed and blue inks, above, sent to me by Birmingham for review.

I am a lover of grey inks,
and tend to use them often
in my calendar for work.  Independence Grey is the
most like a graphite grey of
this batch of inks, leaning just slightly blue, and behaves
well on Post-its and in my
daily journal, left,
without feathering.

I also have reviewed Slag Grey, and Coking Coal.

Remember that others review these inks just for writing;
I am also interested in how they are used for ink-painting!

Properties of with Birmingham Independence Grey ink:

 It is a well behaved ink which dries relatively quickly. It performs well in my Hahnemühle Nostalgie journal, and on watercolor paper with a dip pen, right.  When scrubbed, right and above, it shows quite a lot water resistance; further test sketches in my journals show it to leave a good imprint of water resistant ink lines when the waterbrush moves the color.

It has no sheen, nor is it  a strong shader.

The hue online is true
to my experience of the ink,
above left.

On the paper towel you can
see carbon and blue pigments
that pull out of the dark
writing ink.  Looking at
watercolor comparisons,
I offer colors below.

MOST water soluble ink companies do not pay attention to lightfast qualities and at this time Birmingham makes no claims.

 From Birmingham Pen Co’s website:
We started Birmingham Pen Co. in 2012 in
the Southside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The region of Pittsburgh where we began once  called “Little Birmingham” due to the area’s prolific manufacturing industry in the early 1900’s. The Birmingham moniker was derived from Birmingham, UK – a manufacturing hub that specialized in, among other things, pen and nib manufacturing with thousands of craftspeople employed in the industry. 
We chose the name Birmingham Pen Company  to share this little known piece of history and continue in the traditions behind the name.”

Birmingham’s bottles are glass, and functional
even in the small sizes.  I like glass bottles;
they feel like they will last longer.

Birmingham also turns their own pens,
which I’ve noticed often sell out as fast as they make them!
*I LOVE my Model-A Demonstrator, Violet Beauregarde!*

This is a small family business run by four people!  The brothers, Nick and Josh;
Dad is the chief pen machinist;  and Mom does one of the coolest things about Birmingham, which is their amazing historic names!

Disclosure, I was gifted with this sample ink from Birmingham.

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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, review, sketchbook, virtual sketching, watercolor, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Inky Thots: Birmingham Independence Grey

  1. lois says:

    They should gift you so much more, Katie! Your reviews are wonderful.


  2. esefesco says:

    I love Birmingham inks. I have several of their inks – Henry P. Ford Arugula, Duquesne Incline Station Red, Herbert Simon Cranberry Nobel, Rodman Gun Gunpowder Tea… I need to check out this one. Can’t have too many inks 🙂


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