Towards the end of last year whilst walking around a pen show I stopped to speak to Derek from Stonecott Fine Writing Supplies Ltd and we chatted for a few minutes and I left his table with three bottles of Venvstasink:
- Mirtillo – Navy Blue
- Mare Aperto – Sapphire Blue
- Rosa Canina – Red
And a promise that I would review them, well that was a while ago and I’ve now, finally, got around to testing the inks out and had time to form an opinion.
To start with the inks come in a very nice hexagonal black card box with the company logo, in silver, on the lid and the word ‘INK’ vertically printed on one side of the hexagon and below this Venvstas’s web address so when the lid is raised all of the silver text is vertically aligned and on the base of the box is an ink colour sticker.
Now a box is a box is a box but when someone has gone to this much trouble you tend to take notice because this level of attention to detail tells you that Venvstas are committed to giving their customers something beyond the everyday. And part of this is the 50ml hexagonal bottle and aluminium cap complete with a colour sticker to show you what is in the bottle.
All inn all Venvstas have done a very nice job on their packaging, which is 100% recyclable, bottle and cap, designed to reduce the reliance upon pastics, you really do feel like you have bought something special.
Now moving on to the ink; as I said I left Derek with three bottles (the range consists of ten different colours) listed above and over the intervening time I have had the opportunity to test them out.
Starting with Rosa Canina. This is a bright red with an underlying hint of orange, I got no sheen when testing it on a cream-coloured sketchbook page. It’s a nice reasonably wet ink that flowed well and producing a good colour when used for text.
Next, I tried Mare Aperto which is a very nice sapphire blue which is currently loaded in one of my everyday pens; like the Rosa Canina it is a well saturated medium wet ink that flows nicely and dries in around 10 seconds in a moderately warm room on regular paper. It too does not have any sheen but on both Q-Tip and text testing you get a very nice consistent blue.
Finally, Mirtillo. Originally, I thought this was a blue/black ink but after living with it for a while I would say it is more of a Navy Blue; whilst it gives a nice dark blue line in a text test it also gives a strong dark blue when tested with a Q-Tip. This ink, like the other two, is well saturated, medium wet and dries quickly.
In summary, all of the inks are very smooth in use even when tested on a sketchbook page, well saturated delivering a good consistent colour, I had no problems with skipping or hard starts which was a pleasant surprise when using a dip pen and not being overly careful of how long the pen was not in use.
I have to say that I like all of the inks I’ve tested, and I don’t have a favourite. They are good quality inks, well presented and I am happy to recommend them and I definitely want to buy more.
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.