Mini Series

Mini Series: Sailor Yama Dori Ink Review

This will be the final review in the Sailor ink mini series. To see the other reviews that make up this mini series click on the links below:

Sailor Jentle Kin-Mokusei

Sailor Fuji-Musume

Sailor Blue Black

Sailor Yama-Dori is a widely loved teal ink famed for its shading and sheen. When searching for a teal ink recommendations usually point to Sailor Yama-Dori.

I have a couple of teal inks that I enjoy so I haven’t really needed to try an alternative. Strangely hearing so much praise for Yama-Dori put me off a little. The high expectations I had probably wouldn’t meet the hype. This is where sample inks are perfect. If you’re disappointed you haven’t wasted money. Therefore with little risk, and as I was ordering other samples, I thought it was the perfect time to give this ink a test run.


I have been using this ink in my broad nib TWSBI 580. A broad nib gives me a great view of the ink showing off its shading and sheen.

The shading is good. The teal tones from this Sailor ink give you some real variances in the depth of the colour on the page. The colour is very pretty with the light shades looking really quite green.


And then there is that red sheen that shines on the page. That’s what really makes this ink colour pop. When you look at the ink in the light you see another element of the ink that is striking and very pretty.

Like the other Sailor inks I have used in this mini series the flow of this ink is great. It’s smooth on the page, wet and feels dreamy to write with. I have enjoyed this ink more than I expected, the hype is totally justified. Anyone who enjoys dark inks, or teal inks or fun and quirky inks will really get a kick out of Sailor Yama-Dori.

Final mini series thoughts.

What this mini series has taught me is that Sailor has some great quality inks. Some of the colours perform better than others and have more to show off to the customer. The hype around some of their ink colours is completely justified. I enjoyed the Blue Black ink so much I snapped up a bottle and this has become an ink I use regularly. Now if only Sailor expanded heir offering in the UK and Europe and offer their full range of Jentle inks.

Mini Series: Sailor Jentle Kin-Mokusei

Todays review is the third in my Sailor ink mini series and it’s a good one because I think the Sailor Kin-Mokusei is my favourite Sailor ink so far. I was intrigued by an orange Sailor ink because of the adoration that Sailor Apricot received and thought that Kin-Mokusei could be overshadowed. I have never used Sailor Apricot so cannot offer any sort of comparison but the Kin-Mokusei is a very very good orange ink.

Kin-Mokusei is a light orange ink that really reminds me of a summers sunset. It has some lovely shading adding something special to this ink. The lighter shades of this ink show yellow tones that give this ink its light colour.

Before I started using this ink I was concerned it wasn't going to be an ink for writing; that the light colour would be more pretty than practical. I was wrong. This ink is very light but it’s perfectly legible in my notebooks and I haven’t struggled at all. In my journaling it looks great and for long form writing it makes a really nice change adding a great pop of colour.

A week of Kin-Mokusei in my Travelers Notebook

A week of Kin-Mokusei in my Travelers Notebook

Sailor’s Kin-Mokusei was a happy surprise. I tend to use dark ink colours so orange inks aren’t normally a colour I pay too much attention to. I am really pleased that I gave this colour a punt because it’s lovely. I think some time in the near future I will be buying a full bottle.

I have two previous reviews within this mini series, Sailor Blue Black and Sailor Jentle Fuji-Musume, if you have some more time why not take a look.

Mini Series: Sailor Fuji-Musume Ink Review

The second review in my Sailor ink mini series is the new Sailor Jentle Four Seasons ink, Fuji-Musume.

Fuji-Musume is a pretty light purple colour. I have not tried such a light shade of purple ink before and apart from Pilot Iroshizuku’s Murasaki-shikibu and perhaps J.Herbins Violette Pensee I don’t think the colour is that common. I think it’s the perfect summer ink colour reminding me of flowers such as lavender, clematis and crocuses.

A comparison against my other purple ink, Diamines Amazing Amethyst

A comparison against my other purple ink, Diamines Amazing Amethyst

When I used this ink for a period of time I found the colour very flat. I played around with some inks drops on tomoe river paper to see if there was any depth and shading but it didn’t show up anything interesting.

Ink spots in my Hobonichi Techo

Ink spots in my Hobonichi Techo

I have been using this ink in my fine nib Kaweco AL Sport and overall I found the ink similar to the Sailor Blue Black. The ink is wet and flows nicely, I didn’t experience any skipping. The only niggle I did find was after days of not using this ink I did have to work at getting it to flow properly again. It’s not an issue I have had in the past with this particular fountain pen so I can only put it down to the ink drying out in my fountain pen.

Finally the other major thing I noticed with this colour is it’s not in the slightest bit water resistant. Drip any water on this ink and your words are lost forever.

Of all the inks I could use, this ink hasn’t been tempting enough because I don’t get enough enjoyment from it. I think the colour is very pretty and I could see uses for it for creative tasks but for general use and everyday writing I don’t find this ink exciting enough.

To see the first Sailor ink review in this mini series, click here.

1 Week, 1 Pen/Pencil: Week 7 Review and Final Thoughts

This week was my final one in the 1 week, 1 pen/pencil mini series. For the complete duration of this week I have been on holiday and unfortunately I have not managed to write the usual amount and so I don’t feel like I have given this weeks fountain pen and ink combination as much attention as I have done with previous weeks. To top this off it has also meant I have chosen to cheat this week. Alongside my designated fountain pen and ink I have been using a Blackwing Pearl and the Uni Pin drawing pen to sketch. This was a conscious decision as it’s not often I am in this scenic part of the world and I didn’t want this mini series to get in the way of my desire to paint. Now with these small asides explained, on with my thoughts for this week.

My feelings on the Tactile Turn Gist

The time I have managed to get with the Tactile Turn Gist fountain pen has been enjoyable. After a full weeks use I have found the brass grip section and finial the nicest parts of this pen. These brass accents make the weight pretty damn good balancing out the lightweight body to give you a comfortable writing experience. Too much brass could be overwhelming and heavy, but the Gist has struck the right balance.

The tarnishing on my brass grip section

The tarnishing on my brass grip section

The brass grip section has also started to tarnish nicely. This is one of the benefits of a brass pen and having this on the grip means guaranteed tarnishing, as long as you use it. My Gist is coming along nicely now. I’ve also thought that this pen could be considered a little understated. From an initial view and from the outside you have a plain looking black pen with a small brass finial, but then remove the cap and you get a real pop. It’s an understated look with the cool shiny parts hidden under the cap.

The one thing that bugs me with this fountain pen is the proportion of nib to pen. The Bock nib looks huge. I did point this out in my full review of this fountain pen initially but it doesn’t feel like I can shake this annoyance. Every time I use this pen it catches my eye and feels too overpowering in comparison to the fountain pens size overall.

Onto the ink…

I still love the Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai. The colour is gorgeous and paired with a fine Bock nib it works really well. You get to see a nice line width on the page and can appreciate some of the inks shading. The ink flow is brilliant and it just writes so well. I have on the whole been using a good range of paper this week, tomoe river paper and Midori refills and as such haven’t had any issues of feathering or bleed through.

It feels a bit conformist loving a blue-black ink so much when there are so many different colours out there and I have no restrictions on what colours of ink I can use. However, the Iroshizuku Shin-Kai is just utterly lovely. The tone of this ink is just right. Its not too blue, or too black, it really does remind me of a deep sea blue. I also adore the Iroshizuku line of inks and I have several of their colours that I really like using for all the same reasons, good flow, wet inks and lovely colours. However with all my other inks colours I have situations or times of year when I think they work the best, with Shin-Kai it just works all the time. I can’t get enough of it.

Overall thoughts

I think I may keep this fountain pen and ink combination for a while as I have enjoyed the pairing. My initial thoughts on the Gist may have been a little harsh. I have found over the course of this week that I have warmed to this fountain pen a lot. It’s a great size and is a fountain pen I can use without worrying about damage too much. The Shin-Kai ink is still a real favourite of mine. I had gone for a period of not using it, and now I am not quite sure why. It’s safe to say that this will probably be an ink I use all the time moving forward and could be the first full bottle of ink that I actually finish.

Mini series final thoughts

All the mini series writing tools

All the mini series writing tools

I have really enjoyed planning and writing about this mini series. It has only involved a small collection of writing instruments that I use regularly but dedicating time to using them has reminded me what I do and don’t like about each one.

From this exercise I have learnt that I definitely couldn’t commit myself to one writing instrument. In itself this is a silly statement as I don’t think I will ever have to choose just one, but despite that this mini series has taught me a number of things.

Firstly I really do love using fountain pens. For longer form writing nothing beats the glide of a fountain pen nib on nice paper and watching ink settle on the page. It’s extremely satisfying. I get excited about fountain pens and enjoy using them. It’s the first choice for me and I have found my paper choices changing over time to allow me to use fountain pens more often.

I haven’t committed enough time to gel pens during this exercise but I have found that they work really well on the move and for general note taking purposes. I think this is the best option for that sort of task. They are fun to use and write smoothly and I feel like I should use them a lot more than I currently do. I haven’t found the right pen body to use with my gel refills. The Karas Kustoms Retrakt just didn’t fit the bill. I need something a lot lighter.

Finally I learnt some things about my pencil use. Pencils have always been a bit of an anomaly for me. I like using them and I now think I have liked the idea of the simplicity of a pencil probably more than using them. The weeks I found the most difficult during this experiment were the pencil weeks. I found I was getting bored and wanting to see a bit of colour on the page. I had to choose a Blackwing for this experiment as they are such an iconic pencil and a real presence in the pencil market. Overall I do enjoy these pencils but what I have found is that it cannot beat the Staedtler Mars Lumograph for me. This is a wonderful pencil that I really enjoyed using. I actually think I could put a stake in the ground and say this is my favourite pencil. Pencils definitely have their place for me but they are never a writing tool that I could use all the time on their own. The are the understudy in my writing arsenal.

What next?

I think this mini series has been useful and perhaps should be replicated semi regularly. I have found several benefits with using writing tools in this way rather than flitting from one thing to another. It reminds you what you like about a specific pen or pencil. Sometimes its nice to use one of the many pens or pencils I have for a full week and just enjoy it not worrying about what pen to use next. Most of the time I buy these things because I enjoy them and this exercise has reminded me of that simple fact. Therefore I am not annoyed at the times when I had to use a different pen for a specific task. Overall I think I completed this series pretty well.

If you have missed previous weeks in this mini series and would like to catch up, simply click here to check them out.