Above, Kentucky Bluegrass ink on
two different watercolor papers; right,
in a Hahnemühle Nostalgie
Sketchbook. Writing samples on a
Post-it and on fountain-pen friendly paper in my Moo Journal, below
Birmingham Kentucky Bluegrass ink is from the Crisp Formula ink line. Crisp Formula inks are formulated to perform well on many types of papers: premium fountain-pen friendly to discount papers. Here I show the ink on five papers…
Remember that others review these inks just for writing; I am also interested in how they are used for ink-painting!
Birmingham Kentucky Bluegrass ink
is a well behaved ink. It dries relatively quickly, and while it feathers on Post-its, left, is lovely on fountain-pen friendly paper, such as in my Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook or my Moo Journal, above right and detail left. It performs well on Hahnemuehle watercolor paper, top and also second tier. When scrubbed, above, it showed water resistance, and in the test sketch below (detail image) when water was applied to move the ink.
No visible sheen, and not a strong shader.
Note: I am a novice on a dip pen so please do not judge the ink on my writing!
Above, the chromatography tests in the Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook
and on a paper towel. The colors that pull out of the
Birmingham Kentucky Bluegrass ink are not wildly varied.
The paper towel test best shows the colors lay in the ink.
Looking at watercolor comparisons, I offer these colors:
*Above, watercolors, from Daniel Smith and Sennelier.*
I drew my glass pen/brush holder with a #6 long round in a Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook. This was a 10 minute sketch and one thing I noticed was that the Birmingham Kentucky Bluegrass ink lines stayed put and did not move when I brushed a second layer over the top, so there is some water resistance. After the ink was fully dry I did a water movement test on this image, right. There was some movement, but also great resistance and staying power.
Birmingham tells us their story (edited): “We started Birmingham Pen Co. in 2012 in the Southside of Pittsburgh, PA., in a region of Pittsburgh 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 & 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 and now that
I’ve emptied one, I can repurpose them!
I have reviewed many other Birmingham inks;
you can find them here.
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.
Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook, Hahnemuehle watercolor books,
Moo Journal. Birmingham Kentucky Bluegrass ink was applied using dip pens,
a Pentel Aquash waterbrush and Princeton brush dedicated to inks.
©D. Katie Powell.
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