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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pilot Iroshizuku Ama-Iro



Pilot Iroshizuku Ama-Iro is one of the three inks to have come out recently to complete the Pilot Iroshizuku line of 24 inks. The inks, aside from looking great in the bottle, have typically be renown for smooth flow, not drying on the nib, pleasant colors, easy of cleaning, and fast dry-time.

Ama-Iro (Sky Blue) is a medium blue/turquoise with no green or purple in it, it's a very 'pure' blue color. You can see how and why I do my reviews in this format here. I did the review with a Lamy Al-Star with a medium steel nib, mainly because I enjoy it and I know it's a pen that you're likely familiar with, if you don't already have one.


Here's my full Ama-Iro review:


I didn't have the highest of expectations for this particular color, mainly because I already have some great blues in my lineup that are close to this (Kon-Peki and Liberty's Elysium). I was pleasantly surprised in some areas, and only disappointed in one…the dry time. The dry time is 'normal', about 25-30 seconds on Rhodia, 10 seconds on my HP 24lb Laserjet, and that's where most inks fall. But most of the other Iroshizukus I've used dried a lot faster, so I had that expectation in mind. Oh well! It's still a great ink, it flows amazingly well as all Iroshizukus do, and even though the water-resistance isn't great, it's better than I thought it might be. 


Turquoises in this medium blue range are a dime-a-dozen, but this is the only one I was able to find that's without green or purple in it. See how other inks compare: 




So while I'm not blown away by Ama-Iro, I do find it to be a rather pleasant color. The packaging and presentation of the Iroshizuku inks are second-to-none, and I'll happily display a bottle of this on my desk for a while. If you're interested in a smooth, true blue turquoise/sky blue ink, then I think you should give Ama-Iro a look. At $28 a bottle ($35 list!) it's not exactly an impulse purchase, but at least now you should have a little more information. I'd love to hear what you think! Just leave me a comment below.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

10 comments:

  1. Brian, can you tell us more about what you think about the shading of this ink? I just ordered it yesterday and cannot wait to receive it.

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  2. It shades really well. It definitely shades better on the Rhodia and HP paper, not so much on the absorbent Mead I used, but that's no surprise. I gave it a 'high' shading rating, because it has those nice crisp distinctions between light and dark ink within the same letter, that just makes me happy :)

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  3. Thanks! Shading makes me happy as well. I have some Tomoe River paper that cannot wait for some more nice shading inks! 8^)

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  4. Hi Brian, I'm sure you've gotten this question a thousand times (now a thousand and one), but how much does temperature and humidity effect dry times? If you were to do a comparison between e.g. Iroshizuki Kon-peki and Ama-iro at this time of the year, would you expect to see the Kon-peki perform as it did when you first checked Kon-peki?

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  5. Wanted to see if you noticed any sheen with the Ama iro

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  6. Nice! I've heard pretty good things about that paper, and someone was nice enough to send me a sample of it. Good stuff!

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  7. A little bit, but only with heavy swabs of the ink. I doubt that you'd notice any sheen with normal writing.

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  8. Temperature is somewhat a factor, but usually only in extremes. Humidity is a bigger factor, and that's mainly due to the paper. The more humid your environment, the more moisture is already in your paper, so it will absorb your ink slower and extend your ink's dry time. This is less of a factor with ink-resistant papers like Rhodia and CF, it's a bigger deal for more absorbent papers (the more absorbent they are, the more moisture they can absorb from the air). I actually did my Kon-Peki review around this time last year, so I would expect that wouldn't be much of a factor.

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  9. Hmmm... addendum: I just checked the swab shop, and Jentle Sky High looks a good bit darker...

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  10. In retrospect, I should have compared it to Sky High, just because of the similar name if nothing else. But the reason I left it out is because it's really not that close of a color, if you are picky at all about blues.

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