Ink Of The Month – September ’20 – Mabie Todd’s Magpie Blue/Black

As this time of year is ‘back to school’ time I thought this month I would choose a school (or work) appropriate ink but still one with a bit of a difference.

A while ago I reviewed some Mabie Todd Blackbird Inks and I liked them so when they sent me an email with some new colours, I ordered a couple of them and this is one of them.

The ink comes packaged in a small red cardboard box with white text and bird designs and with the Mabie Todd Blackbird Ink logo on the front and the lid. Inside the box is a small 30ml round glass bottle with a black cap on which the ink type is printed in very small white text. Normally the bottles have a label on them, but my bottle hasn’t got one and oddly enough I prefer it without the label. The one thing I am grateful for is that they have stopped sealing their bottles with sticky tape and now use the plastic film everyone else does.

So, anyone who has seen Magpies in their garden, or the local park will easily recognise these black and white birds. What you don’t see, unless you take the a moment and wait for the light catch them just right, is the blue sheen on their black feathers and this is what Mabie Todd have set out to capture.

What they have achieved is pretty close and you really see the blue sheen when the ink is wet but when it has dried what you get is a nice blue/black in which the blue is dominant and the black darkens it and gives it some depth of colour.


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The only sheen I noticed was looking close-up at the text it was possible to see a reddish brown edge to the lettering.


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The Q-Tip swab test is a good dark blue and the stripes, particularly after the third pass, lean towards a navy blue, the text test produced good a dark blue, not dissimilar to Diamine’s Oxford Blue.

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Drying time was a little longer than I had anticipated with the ink taking approximately 35 seconds to dry fully, I was using a Muji sketching book so you may get different results dependent upon the paper you are using.

06 Drying Times Web 300px.jpg

I didn’t experience any anomalies when writing with the ink, the flow was very consistent and it didn’t skip or hard start at any point, neither did I think it was a particularly wet ink; in use it reminded me of some of my Diamine inks.

If you shop around this ink is available for as little as £3.99GBP for a 30ml bottle and at that price I think it’s an absolute steal and well your pennies; if you do decide to place an order just remember Mabie Todd do special offer packs so you sometimes do better ordering the pack rather than the odd bottle.

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Disclaimer: The ink was purchased with my own funds at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.


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