If there’s one thing I know about, living on the edge of the lake district as I do, it is the colour grey. In fact the sky varies in its tone of grey for most of the year . Ironically as I look out of my skylight today it is bright blue, not that I’m complaining… So I’m something of an expert on greys.. especially the grey of our plentiful autumn showers ( Japanese: Kiri-same) so when I received some of this ink it seemed an absolute natural to review.
Presentation: This is a Pilot Iroshizuku ink and so comes immaculately packed and bottled. Thus far in my experience of buying ink the Pilot Iroshizuku’s rank very highly in terms of their presentation. They have that touch of Japanese styling and proportion that is so pleasing to the eye.
On Test: This ink is a true silvery grey. There are no hints of green here, which is a common flaw in some other grey inks, so that is to this ink producer’s credit. There may be a slight purple tint to this ink , but to be honest it’s not a major turn off. In terms of its hue I must mention that one of the nibs I use on test is a vintage gold nib on a Mentmore fountain pen. This is a very soft nib and using Kiri-same with this pen the ink varied from a serene silver-grey to a deep dark charcoal colour. Using a different nib meant a return to the medium silver-grey tones.
As you would expect the ink behaves very well. No visible feathering and good flow along with a respectable drying time on the stock Rhodia dot grid test paper. I can imagine in a very dry pen this colour looking a tad washed out, but in the type of pen I would use for this ink it is very classy. I imagine it can be used in a variety of settings, from the formal everyday business user to the arty and poetic fringe of fountain pen use.
Summary: I like this ink, I seem to be growing in my appreciation for classy grey inks as a whole. I don’t know whether it’s an age thing or whether these tones just resonate deeply into my slate gray northern soul. Either way they are slowly moving up the chart in terms of the inks which I commonly use. The main question that always hangs over the high-priced inks like these particular Iroshizuku’s is the obvious, ‘Are they really worth it?’ To be fair it is the one question I can’t honestly answer for you. They may or may not be worth the money depending on your taste, circumstances and value judgement. But are they beautiful? That’s easy, yes they are!