Birmingham Polar Bear ink is named in honor
of the Polar Bears at the Highland Park Zoo in Pittsburgh.
I am disappointed that they do nto put this on the bottles anymore as they used to…
It was a distinctive touch!
Remember that others review these inks just for writing;
I am also interested in how they are used for ink-painting!
Note the many blues compared to Polar Bear, above.
Properties of Birmingham Polar Bear ink:
It is a well behaved ink which dries relatively quickly. It found no feathering on the various papers I tested, including my daily work journal/datebook. When I scrubbed it, top, it showed almost no water resistance. It has no sheen that I could produce It is a moderate shader with my 1.1 stub nib, but when ink painting the polar bear, below, I was able to move various blues out of the ink!
The paper towel test shows all the colors of a clear clean ocean.
*Above, watercolors, from Daniel Smith.*
MOST water soluble ink companies do not pay attention to lightfast qualities
and Birmingham is no different in this line of inks.
Most artists who use ink are making prints of their work —
But ink-painting is becoming more interesting so maybe it is time!
Of course I had to sketch a polar bear, and I am happy with how s/he turned out!
Drew on cold press watercolor paper and touched the lines with water
using a Pentel Aquash waterbrush… lines disappeared.
This was a 60 minute sketch with water movement…
The ink changes color under various lights,
more than other inks.
It has found what may be a permanent home in my Woodshed Pen,
a perfect match and the pen likes this ink!
I like what Birmingham says on their 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.
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!
I bought this Birmingham Polar Bear ink from Birmingham.
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“Memory is more indelible than ink.”
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Me… why I journal!
Hahnemühle journal, Pentel Aquash waterbrush,
Woodshed Custom pen with 1.1 stub nib with Birmingham Polar Bear ink.
©D. Katie Powell.
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I teach architectural sketching,
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i love your ink reviews and learning about a new-to-me pen company is a bonus. blue is my favorite and the comparisons are lovely. your polar bear inspires me.
Birmingham is a good pen and ink company… They are having a sale right now on their new inks!
This is such a good painting, Katie! It should be on the label. How cute that would be.
I’d love that…. their labels are pretty plain!
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