Short-and-Sweet-Five-New-Inks Pen Boutique Ltd

Short and Sweet: Five New Inks!

Since I devoted a lot of extra time to researching and writing last week's extensive blog article about Pilot's flexible nibs, I'm hoping to make this one short and sweet!  We've recently started carrying two new ink brands, Wearingeul and Endless Alchemy, and I've never used either brand before, so I thought it would be fun and interesting to try the colors I'm most intrigued by from each brand, along with some other new ink releases from MontblancRobert Oster, and Pelikan Edelstein that I'm excited about.

Although I love ink, I often stick to my old favorites over and over. While there is definitely value to finding your tried and true inks that you know you can always rely on, I also think it's important to explore new things and not get stuck in a rut, so I put these five inks in my own pens and used them for a week.


Wearingeul - Dracula

Wearingeul is a fascinating brand from South Korea whose mission is to "Visualize the Invisible."  Their main sources of inspiration are artworks such as literature and music which are "visually amorphous and vague," and therefore open to creative interpretation.  Wearingeul doesn't simply imitate the original artworks, but expresses each one with their own modern design approach.  Some ink colors illustrate specific scenes or the atmosphere from poems or novels, or represent individual characters in a story. Their collections include Korean Literature Inks, World Literature Inks, and World Myth Inks, and they also make "glitter potions" that can be added to any brand's non-shimmering inks.  We are carrying ink swatch cards and notebooks from Wearingeul as well. Both Pen Boutique owner Leena and my For Your Penjoyment co-host Leila are using these and love them!

Wearingeul's choice of World Literature Ink sources ranges from Shakespeare characters to characters in Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and The Wizard of Oz, and authors as diverse as Hermann Hesse, Natsume Soseki, Franz Kafka, Ernest Hemingway, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Miguel de Cervantes, Jane Austen, Osamu Dazai, Johan Ibsen, Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Bram Stoker, Gaston Leroux, Herman Melville, Jules Verne, Albert Camus, Carlo Collodi, Yi Sang, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Mary Shelley, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and more, with new and surprising additions being added regularly. 

The story behind adding Wearingeul to our Pen Boutique ink arsenal is also an interesting one.  We are carrying this brand thanks to the efforts of Amber, whose voice you may know if you've called our customer support line.  Amber will be leaving us at the end of this week to go on to new adventures, but she's worked at Pen Boutique for about five years, and has been into pens and inks for almost ten years.  She started out working in the store, but joined Joy behind the scenes in our Customer Service department during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, and continued in that role after we were able to reopen our physical store to the public.  When I asked her how she got into fountain pens in the first place, she told me she once dated someone who worked in the warehouse at Goulet Pens, and he introduced her to the fountain pen world.  Wow!

Amber was an English major, so Wearingeul's whole concept really appeals to her, and she first reached out to them last fall to discuss adding their inks to our collection. Wearingeul is a hot brand, and we were all excited about the possibility. She also thinks their colors are just really vibrant and different, and thought it was very cool to see some of her favorite characters represented as ink colors.  The idea of ordering Wearingeul went on hiatus when we got too busy during the holiday season, but Pen Boutique owner Leena approached Amber about it again in February and asked her to make a list of Wearingeul inks she thought we should carry.  Amber consulted their huge catalogue and chose well known characters to start out with, while making sure there was enough color variation in our selections.  We have started with 20 different inks, and are open to input about which additional inks you'd like to see us add to our collection!  Just email with requests if there are any you'd really like to buy that you don't see listed on our site yet. You can see all the possibilities on Wearingeul's website.  We currently have PersephoneSoyoungwijeHades20000 Leagues Under the Sea, and For Whom the Bell Tolls on order thanks to customer requests, and those will be coming in our second shipment, which will probably have arrived by the time I publish this article. [Update:  It did, while I was still editing!  Look at all those inks!]

I haven't worked very closely with Amber, but we've gotten friendly over the past five months or so, and I'm very sorry to see her go!  I love stopping by her desk to try the interesting treats she brings in and generously shares, to bounce YouTube show and Instagram ideas off of her, or to get gently teased about my quirks (such as my ongoing struggles with our timeclock).  She's also a great person to sit next to at staff dinners!  Amber drives almost an hour to come to work, so I'm sure she won't miss the commute, but we will definitely miss her.  I guess I'll always think of her when I use Wearingeul inks now!

As I said above, I've never used Wearingeul inks before, so I can't wait to try these exciting colors, especially the ones inspired by my favorite literary characters. (Like Amber, I was also an English major, and my concentration was on creative writing.) There are so many interesting choices, but the one that I was most attracted to right away was the "Dracula" ink from their World Literature collection. I don't usually use red ink in my pens, but I've loved Dracula and other vampires for a long time, so I couldn't resist inking up my Lamy Safari with Dracula.  My pale white Safari with bright red trim has always reminded me of a vampire, especially with the black Cursive nib I added.  (Okay, I have a weird and creative imagination.)

Despite my trepidation about using red ink in a pen, Dracula did not disappoint!  I've had a few problems in the past with red inks clogging my pens, as the dye saturation can be especially intense in reds, but I have not had any problems with Dracula, even though it's a shimmer ink.  It was a dream to write with in my Safari, and the vibrancy of the red color makes me very happy.  This isn't a brooding and dark red ink like Diamine Writer's Blood or Oxblood... it's an exuberent and--dare I say it--campy vampire red, that embraces the over the top and fun parts of being a vampire. It reminds me a lot of one of my all-time favorite obscure TV shows, Dracula: the Series. 

It was hard to capture in a photo how intense the shimmer can look in the right lighting.  My notebook was sitting on the floor of my room on a partly sunny day, and whenever the sun broke through from the clouds and illuminated the page, the glamour of the glistening writing caught my eye and distracted me from trying to compose this article!

The shade is as vivid as Diamine's Wild Strawberry or Scarlet, but with the addition of an interesting blue-violet shimmer that pairs wonderfully with the pinky-red tone of this ink and implies the cold skin of a vampire and Count Dracula's "blood-blooded" nature as a member of the nobility. I love how it reminds me of the blue of veins and makes the color look more mysterious and hypnotic.

I would say the ink has medium flow (neither wet nor dry), and the shimmer particles are a nice smaller size that are less likely to clog your pen.  I didn't have any problems whatsoever with the flow in my Safari with the cursive nib, and I think it would do pretty well in a wet-writing medium nib as well, but I would recommend using a broad, double broad, stub, or cursive nib to get the best results out of any shimmer ink.  I really like how the shimmer doesn't overpower the underlying red color of this ink, but just enhances it.

There's a lot of shimmer, but on many of the letters it acts almost like shading, where you see the shimmer coloration only on certain parts of the letters or at certain angles.  This adds visual interest to the writing and reminds me of the look of shadowing, which feels appropriate for an ink inspired by a denizen of the shadows. It was tricky to get photos of the shimmer's effects, but look at the words "Lamy cursive" in this photo, compared to the rest of the writing.  The bluish tinged words constantly changed as I viewed the page from different angles.

One last note:  when I was trying to take photos of my notebook outside, a gust of wind blew the page, and splattered a large drop of wet ink all over my hand.  Dracula definitely looks like blood if it gets on your skin, an effect I thought was pretty cool! 


Endless Alchemy - Wizard's Pencil

Endless Stationery is another brand that's completely new to us and offers an inventive and fun twist.  Their motto is "Where imagination meets paper!" and their inks are themed as "portals to a world of creative alchemy."

They come in unique bottles that seem to be a cross between an alchemist's flask and a spinning top, which are fun to play with but actually quite practical for filling your pen, because the tilted position and bulge on the bottom that makes the bottles unstable also enables you to more easily reach that last drop when the ink level is low.  These clever bottles are individually handcrafted by glassblowing, so each one is unique and behaves a little differently when you place it on a flat surface and give it a spin.

Also provided in the box is a swatch card to use with your ink, and a dual-sided cork coaster to put under your bottle if you don't want to put it directly on your desk or counter.  One side has an indentation to keep the bottle anchored, while the other has a flat surface and allows you to play with the bottle and have fun with its instability. The bottle comes with a removable rubber travel seal to guard against any leaks in transit, along with a regular screw-on cap that you can replace it with once you open the bottle and start using the ink.  If you wish to, you can keep the original rubber stopper to use if you travel with the bottle in the future.  Endless even provides a small square napkin branded with their name and logo, to help you when you remove the stopper. It's pretty cute!  Sure, the bottle design and accessories are a little gimmicky, but they are also creative and playful, something I definitely appreciate.

Endless Stationery is a fairly new Indian brand, and when I mentioned how cool this is to Raj, our COO (Chief Operating Officer) and husband of Pen Boutique owner, Leena, he told me that Endless was founded with help from another Indian brand you may be familiar with, Krishna Inks.  The owner of Krishna Inks is a doctor, and he's very busy and doesn't have much time for his ink-making hobby, so a young group of ink enthusiasts who can focus more on the business founded Endless. 

Endless' inks are formulated to be gentle on nibs, and when I tried all four colors using the Pilot Iro-Utsushi dip pen, I was extremely impressed by how smoothly and easily they wrote.  I often have trouble writing with dip pens and getting inks to look nice when I do swatches for the store, but my writing on my Endless swatches all turned out great!

There are only four Endless Alchemy ink colors so far, but they are all good ones that show up well on paper and are nicely behaved. Candy Sea, the blue color, has pretty sheen, and the rest are standard inks. None have shimmer.

I decided to try Wizard's Pencil, an interesting and complex grey with a slight greenish tinge.  The ink actually looks green when wet on your paper, but dries to grey with just an intriguing hint of green.  The Saturday that we started carrying these inks, a customer came from several hours away just to buy them, and was very excited to find out that we had Wizard's Pencil in stock, because it was sold out everywhere else.  They bought three bottles of Endless, and made me think Wizard's Pencil must be pretty special.

First I tried this ink in my medium nib Diplomat Elox, which is a very wet writer.  It felt great and didn't feather at all, but I thought it looked too dark--almost black--in such a wet pen, and that its subtleties were masked.  When I switched it to the Estie that nibmeister Kirk Speer from Pen Realm had custom ground to a fude nib for me, it really started to shine.  Kirk will be visiting our store again next month, from May 30 to June 1!  You can sign up on his website for an appointment to get your own nib custom ground, tuned, or repaired.  I am very excited about this event and really looking forward to seeing him again!

You don't need a fude nib to get great results out of Wizard's pencil, but I enjoyed the benefit of being able to see what this ink can do in a variety of different nib sizes, from an extra fine to a wide, brush-like one, depending on the angle at which I held the pen.  It looked pretty great in all of them!

As I wrote with this ink more fluidly, using the pen at my natural angle, I observed, "I love the feeling of this ink and that it does have a pencil-like look to it.  It flows beautifully and has interesting shading and a richness to it that adds depth and beauty.  I know this will sound disingenuous after what I said about Dracula being my new favorite red ink, but I think this is my new favorite GREY ink!!!

I really like that it's fairly dark, so it's easy to read, but it's without question a grey

It feels weird to be excited about a grey.  I am usually all about color.  But, the more I write with it, the more I love it, and the more I enjoy looking at the words I have written.  It's not like I am writing especially neatly or beautifully, but I just like it.  I can't really explain why."

The slight hint of green is just intriguing and cool. I love how elusive it is.

I was also delighted to see that, although this ink doesn't have a contrasting metallic sheen like a traditional sheening ink, it does dry to a glossy black reflective sheen when it pools in high concentration. It's quite beautiful!  I really enjoyed using Wizard's Pencil, and I think there is definitely something special about it.


Pelikan Edelstein - Golden Lapis

Newly arrived this past week is Pelikan's 2024 Edelstein Ink of the Year, Golden Lapis.  This limited edition ink was announced in February and highly anticipated by Pelikan ink fans who started clamoring for it as soon as they saw photos and realized that it's another golden shimmering ink like the very popular Golden Beryl, 2021 Ink of the Year, which sold out and is now being listed at highly inflated prices on places like eBay.  Golden Lapis, rather than being pure gold like Golden Beryl, is a deep cobalt blue laced through with gold shimmer particles, so it's extremely pretty like Golden Beryl, but more usable as an everyday writing color.  Golden Lapis was late arriving because it was held up in customs, so I had to field a lot of questions from customers who kept asking me when we were going to get it!  When the bottles finally arrived, only a few stores got them, but we were one of the lucky ones!  In honor of this ink's arrival, I immediately made a "splat" in the store, something I haven't done in almost a year because I am usually too busy.  The beautiful azure, with a little red sheen and lots of dazzling gold shimmer, definitely looked like a new twist on Golden Beryl for blue lovers!

When I decided to write this article, I texted our Pelikan rep (and National Sales Director for Chartpak / Pelikan Brand Manager) Gary to ask him what nib size he thought I should use with the ink.  Gary has been using Golden Lapis in his medium nib M800 since February, and told me that he's never cleaned the pen and has never had a problem with it clogging. He sent me this great photo to show me how beautifully his pen is writing.  See the gold?

Gary urged me to try putting it in a fine nib pen to test it, and I was pretty nervous about doing this, but eventually decided to yield and put it in my Caran d'Ache 849. I love the deep shade of blue with the fine nib, and how the gold shimmer appears on some letters more than others.  If I shine my phone's flashlight on the letters, they all look super gold, but, in normal lighting, the shimmer reflects differently on each letter.  I also love how the gold shimmer doesn’t overpower the blue color, like shimmer often does. It looks blue unless the light catches it, and then it’s very gold.  Gary and I both used Maruman Mnemosyne notebooks.

Pelikan's Edelstein inks are its premium line, and are all inspired by gemstones. "Edelstein" means "noble stone" in German, and is pronounced like the edelweiss ("noble white") flower sung about in The Sound of Music. (I.e., edel rhymes with "dreidel" and stein is like a beer stein.) I was amazed by how well Golden Lapis manages to capture Lapis lazulithe intensely colored semi-precious stone that was its inspiration.

Here's how the ink looks in longer writing, without being illuminated at an angle to bring out the gold reflections.  It's very readable and beautiful!   

Of all the inks in this article, Edelstein Golden Lapis is actually the one I've written with most, not necessarily because it's my favorite, but because I used it to write all my notes for Episode 13 of For Your Penjoyment when we filmed on Monday.  It wrote beautifully in my Write Meeting Notebook and was a joy to use!


Robert Oster - Silver Dawn

Honestly, I don't normally use shimmer inks this much, so I apologize for three of the inks I chose being shimmery!  But, they are all beautiful and different, and I chose these five inks because they were the five that I was most attracted to from all the new releases.  

Robert Oster is a popular brand from Australia, but it's one I haven't used very much in my pens. I love its beautiful colors when I'm painting, but haven't gravitated to it much for writing.  I did try a few of Robert Oster's "Shake 'n' Shimmy" shimmer inks once or twice, years ago, but they weren't compatible with the pens I put them in, so I started focusing on other brands instead.  However, the new Silver Dawn color that we recently received really caught my eye when I saw Shirya's swatch of it.

This is one of my absolute favorite shades of mauve, and I couldn't stop dreaming about it!  Even though I was still a little nervous about using a Robert Oster shimmer ink because I know the particles are a little larger than some other brands' are, I decided to clean out my broad grape TWSBI Diamond Mini AL, which is normally filled with Colorverse Hayabusa Glistening.  I mean, the pen is purple, I know it can handle shimmer inks, and the idea of that beautiful mauve sloshing around in the diamond-faceted transparent barrel was just too good to pass up.

I started using it in the store this past Saturday, and every customer I showed it to swooned over the beautiful combination!  One even loved it so much that he was inspired to buy a bottle of Silver Dawn and a stub nib Diamond Mini to put it in!  (Hi, Logan!) 

I love this ink color. It's extremely silvery, but the silver doesn't overpower the underlying violet mauve color, and it's dark enough to be very readable, unlike some other mauve-y colored inks I love.

At certain angles, this ink is almost mirror-like, while, straight on, it's a sumptuous lilac.  I love seeing the darker color go down on the paper, then watching the shine come out as it dries.

I have to admit, this ink wasn't perfect.  It did clog my pen a few times, but it was pretty easy to get it flowing again.  All I had to do was twist the piston knob slightly to force a little ink out of the nib and clear the blockage, or dip the nib in a little water to do the same thing.  I would still recommend Silver Dawn, depending on your tolerance for an ink that you have to fiddle with a little bit.  For me, the exceptionally beautiful color is worth it, and I would also definitely use this ink to paint with.  In fact, it's partly to blame for my tiredness last week, because I kept dreaming about it (literally) all night long and woke up feeling like I hadn't had enough time for my brain to simply rest.  I guess that sounds kind of bad, but it isn't often that a color excites me this much and won't leave my imagination.  I'm sure my subconscious will settle down and relax once I buy a bottle and start using it to express the ideas that are trying to get out.


Montblanc - Gustav Klimt

Montblanc's rich and complex new Masters of Art Homage to Gustav Klimt ink is the one out of these five that I've used the least, but not because I don't like it.  When we received our initial shipment, it sold out almost immediately, and I didn't get to sample the ink until later than the others.  I debated whether or not I should include another blue, since I'd already begun using Golden Lapis, but it's such a different color, and blue inks are so beloved, that I decided to go for it. Aurora's swatch, made on a day I was home working on my previous blog article, is such a perfect shade, similar to the colors in the Austrian Art Nouveau and Symbolist painter's famous blue portrait of Emilie Flögelife companion of Klimt.

Pictured:  Aurora's ink swatch with the newly released matching Montblanc Master of Arts Homage Gustav Klimt Limited Edition 4810 fountain pen. 

I put this opulent blue ink in my wet-writing medium nib Diplomat Elox, and writing with it feels dreamy.  

Even the box is beautiful. Using it makes my mind wander to visits to the Neue Galerie in New York, where I saw Klimt's paintings and often enjoyed a relaxing lunch at Café Sabarsky, one of my favorite restaurants in the city.  

I think it would write even more beautifully in a broad nib, or, better yet, my favorite Montblanc, the Blue Hour Legrande Solitaire! I probably won't be back to the Neue Galerie anytime soon, but, using this ink, even if I don't own a Montblanc to put it in, is pretty special just on its own.  

What inks evoke special memories or feelings for you?  What new inks are you most excited to try?  Do you think I am actually capable of writing a short article?  I'd love to hear from you, and maybe I'll try your ink suggestion in a future article!

-Laura P.

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