Aaahhh, INK! As the lifeblood of our pens, it is that one element of the trifecta that seems to offer endless possibilities. Speaking for myself, the dynamics between pen, paper, and ink has always interested me. That constant consideration of what ink pairs best with a particular pen might be a bane to some; but for me, it is an enjoyable process of discovery. It is bliss when I’ve found the partnership that works well for my needs.
So pardon my frisson of excitement when I get to try a new ink today: Ferris Wheel Press’ Grape Ice Pop.
In their own words: Ferris Wheel Press “is a stationery lifestyle brand where the whimsical sights, sounds, and nostalgia of the carnival dances with the rat-tat-tat of a traditional print shop. We exist to share our love for printing and stationery, and do so by being creative and artful, deliberately tactile, and deeply personal.” I find that, with this particular ink and all its aspects, they have fulfilled what they aspired to.
The packaging is lovely. The ink is encased in a sturdy cardboard container that is reminiscent of perfume or hat boxes. The printed design of the box showcases the aesthetics that the company is known for. The bottle is further protected by a velvet drawstring pouch that adds a luxurious touch. Spherically shaped and with a heavy brass cap, the bottle looks like it was made for potions. I think it is heavy-bottomed enough, but some care might still be needed when inking from it. Receiving an ink package like this would feel like you’re getting a gift.
Grape Ice Pop is a rich purple ink with red undertones. Paper-towel chromatography reveals a bit of cyan mixed in.
Using a Sailor Profit Jr. with MF nib, the ink had an average flow. There was some shading, but no sheen or shimmer. Water resistance is low. On Tomoe River Paper 52 gsm, dry time is about 20 seconds.There was no feathering. Some ghosting was seen; but no bleedthrough was noted. Same behaviour was observed using MD paper from Midori.
All in all, I like this ink. Grape Ice Pop is saturated, and has flow that adjusts well to the size of the nib. Even though it isn’t water-resistant; it plays well with water, making it a wonderful medium for art. I also appreciate the thought and care that have been put into the design of the total package. It is both an attractive and useful product to add to your collection.
Written by Lekz Umali
Check out her art on Instagram!