Birmingham Inks

Beautiful inks in a tall narrow bottle

The Brand's Ink Bottle

Birmington Pen Co Ink

About the ink

Birmingham

The ink is made by hand, in house by the Birmingham Pen Company. They make the ink from raw ingredients at the factory, fill and label the bottles and ship it out. This is not a case of a company having a manufacturer produce ink under a house label. Birmingham says they use seven ingredients to make their ink. A diluent in the form of highly purified laboratory grade water to ensure consistency. A thickener to control feathering. Humectants which influences the time to dry. Lubricants and surfactants for flow and ink performance, a preservative to provide shelf life for safe long-term use and storage Finally, colorants in the form of powder dyes to colour the ink.

The colours of the ink are shown on the web site, however, broad swabs never really represent what the ink will look like when it flows from the nib of the pen.

The inks come in a 30 ml,60 ml and 120 ml bottle (with an eyedropper). I have selected the 60 ml as it is a good tall bottle and will be easy to fill large pens with large nibs.

There are different groupings of ink.

Crisp - The Crisp Formula fountain pen inks are manufactured and bottled by hand in-house. These inks are formulated to perform well with a variety of premium, mid range, and discount papers.

Swift - The Swift Formula fountain pen inks are manufactured & bottled by hand in-house. Swift Formula inks are designed to start quickly, write wet, and operate easily within a wide variety of fountain pens.

Rich - The Rich Formula fountain pen inks have been formulated and refined to output a higher concentration of colorant with each pen stroke.

Everlasting - The Everlasting Inks are permanent and highly water resistant, manufactured by hand in our workshop.

Twinkle - The Twinkle inks are manufactured & bottled by hand in-house with a unique blend of proprietary fountain pen ink formulas and iridescent pigment carefully calibrated for optimal luster and performance.

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Rolled Steel

Hot Rolled Steel - Birmingham Ink

 

Hot Rolled Steel

In 2021 I was focusing on grey inks. I think I tried just about every colour available. So far my SCRIBO Grigio is one of my favorite grey inks, although there are others that I also like . The colour samples shown on the Birmingham Pen web site portrayed this ink as what I would call a dark grey/black ink but with some variation.

It arrived, I loaded up a couple pf pens with the colour and started to use the ink. The performance of the ink is very good. I like the flow. There is next to none feathering. It is a lush ink in what Birmingham calls their Crisp Collection - a group of inks to perform well with a variety of pens and discount paper.

It has great flow. I noticed that as I made entries into my Leuchtturm 1917 Journal, the ink out of a 1.1 Stub nib flowed and stayed wet on the paper for a couple of minutes. As checked the page there was no bleed through.

I have also used the ink on sheets of sketchbook paper and the ink also performed well on that much heavier paper. It was easily absorbed into the paper.

I like the colour. It looks like a black, or a very dark grey/black but I would not group this ink with my greys. There is a bit of a green look to the link so it has more character than say a true dark black ink.

After a day or so of using the ink, I just admit I like it.

Weatheered Brick

Weathered Brick byu Birningham Pen Company

Of the first three inks that I ordered to try out this line, this is my second favorite. I thought it may be yet another red, and I do have a lot of red ink so I was concerned if they would male it into my top list. Well it ranks up there because it is not really a red ink at all. It is really a beautiful interesting brown ink, with a bit a a red tone.

This is one of the all purpose inks that can be used for business and personal writing. The ink leaves a good strong visual presence on the page.

Writing characteristics are good. I have used the ink a number of pens, and flow and dry times are very good.

Hydrangea

Hydrangea

This is an interesting ink, and one that I do not think I am going to use that often as the colour is too delicate for my preference. When the ink hits the paper it is actually almost a light blue, but then as it tries, to takes over the hydrangea blue-mauve tone. The final result is beautiful. It truly looks quite attractive on the page. I could see myself signing some cards and writing a short note the with ink.

It is a good performing ink. It worked well in an Leonardo Momento Zero, a Laban and an OMAS fountain pen. Flow was good and dry time very reasonable.

In my view it does not look like the ink sample on the company web site. Then again, I have been surprised. So one of the reasons there are so many colours of ink to choose is for personal preference. This one just won't be for me.

 

Mulberry Silk

Mulberry Silk

 

 

Mulberry Silk

I was looking for a group of dark inks. Bold colours that will hold their presence especially when I am writing with a broad nib. I find that weak colours do not come our the way I want them to look when the nib strokes are too wide.

Mulberry Silk is one of the colours in the Swift Line of Inks. This line are designed to start quickly, write wet and operate easily with a wide range of fountain pens.

It writes as soon as the nib hits the paper, and is wet. No pushing hard on the nib to get the ink flowing. When Mulberry ink leaves the nib and hits the paper it almost looks like a black. As it dries on the paper, a more interesting slate grey tone results. So far I have liked the ink although I thought there may have been blue tones in the ink. Don't see it. The ink swab on the company's web site have a dark blue tone. That is part of the problem with swabs making ink samples versus a line from a nib.

In terms of performance this ink shares the solid performance characteristics that I found in most of the Birmingham Pen Company inks.

Aluminum Oxide

 

 

Aluminum Oxide

Aluminum Oxide

This is another ink in the Swift Line of colours, inks that are designed to start quickly and write wet. Yes, it met both of those characteristics. The ink has a good flow and so nicely leaves a rick line of colour as the ink hits the paper.

When I saw the sample I thought I would be setting a black grey with a bit of a green tone. It has a bit of that characteristic. As I have already mentioned with my comments on Birmingham ink, I am not a fan of ink swabs. I like to see what the colour looks like when ink is delivered by an actual nib.

It is dark and rich, that is what I was wanting. Has very good writing characteristics. One of those inks you can just enjoy.