I discovered Vinta inks through an IG friend. They are based in the Philippines and until recently could only be bought from there. The inks are handmade and through the Vinta website the inks range from US$8.50 to $10.50 for the 30ml bottles. They seem to be completely sold out of 45ml bottles at the time of writing this so I have no idea of the price. Postage is not cheap but if you are buying 3 or more inks it makes it worthwhile and service is fantastic.
An important thing to mention is that for every bottle of ink sold Vinta donate money to Teach for the Philippines Inc. the goal is to provide access to quality ediucation for all Filipino children.
Recently Vinta inks became available through Strine and Co in Australia, AUD$2 for a sample and AUD$18 for 30ml of the regular inks, AUD$2.20 and $20 for the shimmer inks. Vinta make some pretty pastel coloured inks which seem to have been a huge hit with instagrammers, I found the colours too pale, I ended up buying two shimmer inks and two sheening inks.
The first ink I am going to review is pinks sands. Pink sands can be found on Great Santa Cruz Island, a small inhabited island just off the coast from Zamboanga City in the Southern Philippines. It has the only pink sand beach in the Philippines, the colour coming from red organ pipe coral that has been pulverised by surf erosion, it is washed up and mixes with white sand.
This is the only pink sand beach in Asia and as you can imagine it is now being overrun by tourism. The reefs are also being destroyed by illegal coral mining, luckily this is not being ignored by the city government of Zamboanga there is work underway to reverse this and also develop the island for ecotourism and not masses of day trippers.
The packaging of the inks is simple and I like the simplicity. The inks come in amber bottles contained within a cardboard box. Everything recyclable or re-useable.
On opening the bottle the ink is orange not pink! That was a surprise
It is not that easy to fill a converter from these bottles, they are wide necked so that is not the issue its just where the ink level is in relation to the neck of the bottle and it going to get worse as the level drops with ink use.
I found my Pineider pen snorkel very handy here, I thought the snorkel would be a bit of a gimmick but still bought one in the USA earlier this year. It sat on my desk for a couple of months and then I started using it and haven’t looked back, it fits most converters. I highly recommend people consider purchasing one.
As I said the ink is not pink but from the Vinta web site –
“This gorgeous shimmering ink uses a base of yellow and pink gold shimmer to produce an image of a sun drenched beach at dusk”
Let us see if that is the case…….
I started with chromatography. The shimmer settled at the bottom and to me it is gold not pink. I have just gone back and looked at the chromatography and even in the midday sun it is gold. The fact the shimmer is gold is not a problem for me its just the ink was called pink sands and it’s an orange shimmer. The base ink is orange with no evidence or hint of any other colour.
Swatch on my col-o-ring and it looked like an orange ink you could pick up anywhere.
However, turn the pink sands swatch a little in the light and the shimmer just sparkles, its nothing like the Lamy ink.
The Tomoe swatch was like the col-o-ring a fairly non-descript orange but again a slight change in the angle of the paper and it just glistens.
For the writing I used a Pineider pen with a medium nib, for paper it was cheap copy, rhodia and Midori papers.
Despite what I wrote on the copy paper I think this is an orange ink not yellow. For a shimmer ink the base colour had some nice shading, it didn’t feather or show through the paper but it wasn’t particularly quick drying.
On Rhodia the shimmer wasn’t very well seen until I moved the paper around, the ink behaved well, had good flow and there was some really lovely shading apparent in the base colour. Still not that quick drying.
Lastly Midori cotton paper. The shading properties of this ink where not so apparent here but the shimmer was. I have tried taking photos to convey the shimmer of this ink on the Midori paper but it is very hard to capture. On the cheap paper and Rhodia depending on the angle you looked at the writing there was shimmer, here the shimmer makes the ink look metallic. As I move the paper around in the light it changes from an ordinary orange ink to a metallic orange ink. The only ink I have come across before that was capable of making an ink look metallic is Hypercolors copper.
This ink is very reasonably priced, the packaging is nice but the bottle is going to become increasingly impractical as it empties. The ink flows well, there was no hard start but it doesn’t dry very quickly. There is some shading and a surprisingly inconsistent look to the shimmer component of the ink.
Initially I said I would buy this again as I like shimmer inks but after seeing the nib after two days (see photos below) maybe not.
In summary –
Saturation – high
Shading – reasonable on the better quality papers, nil on cheap paper.
Sheen - no
Flow - good
Nib dry-out - none
Nib creep – a little apparent on day two of pen use and see photo below for what happened when I didn't use the pen for another two days Lesson learned use the ink then clean the pen immediately.
Start-up – immediate
Feathering – nil on any of the papers used
Drying – slow
Cleaning – Better than I thought it would considering how the nib looked but I will admit I have had to put the nib back into soak, I had clear return with a bulb syringe but could still get ink out of the nib when I put it on absorbent paper. I might have to come back write an addendum.
Water resistance – not sold as waterproof and quite rightly so, I think I could have washed it all out of the paper if I had run water over it long enough