- Where to buy: Blackbird Inks [Here]
- Price: £5.95
- Bottle size: 30ml
- Price/ml: £0.20 (2dp)
- Colour: Brown
- Shading: Some
- Sheening: No
- Recommend?: A nice functional brown!
Recently I have found myself down another rabbit hole, still in the pen hobby, but more niche. Mabie Todd fountain pens. Unfortunately, Mabie Todd ceased production, but now the brand has been resurrected and this begins with a line of inks: Blackbird Inks (to pay homage to Mabie Todd’s previous line of inks, Swan Inks). So to say I am really excited about this is an understatement as it brings new inks and new pens. I have an offering of six inks to review for you. These inks are made in England – operating in the same way Mabie Todd did back in the 20th century. The pens will also be made in England, which is why the release will be a bit later on because it’ll take longer to manufacture than outsourcing. Though, well worth the wait and stays true to the Mabie Todd brand that brought us the pen of the British Empire.
All the inks are named after birds, which is a great theme. You can buy the inks here directly. Links to independent reviews will be uploaded as and when they’re made – all links open in a separate tab. You can find the reviews here (all links open to a separate tab)-
- Kingfisher Blue
- Mallard Green
- Sand Martin Brown (this review)
- Blackbird Black
- Robin Red
- Starling Purple
I think brown inks are overlooked in quite a lot of cases. The only time I’ve really seen people talk about brown inks was back in 2017 when Pelikan came out with their Smoky Quartz as part of their Edelstein Ink of the Year range.
I think the lack of talk about brown inks is a bit silly because they can be a very nice colour family to use. In particularly, I love blue as a main colour with brown as a complementary colour. I mentioned this in my KWZ Cappuccino review, where I used it with Diamine Blue Velvet. Browns can lie on a spectrum from earthy browns (Caran d’Ache Organic Brown or Pelikan Smoky Quartz for example) to a chocolatey, deeper brown (Montblanc Toffee Brown or, Diamine Chocolate Brown). Sand Martin Brown would sit close to the centre, but still has an earthy feel to it. There seems to be a subtle hint of a pink? I also didn’t know what a sand martin was before doing these reviews – I recommend searching them up because they look quite cute. Like sky otters. Sand Martin Brown is an ink that you could use in a number of circumstances as it’s quite muted and toned down but still very fun to use.
Here are a few colour comparisons.
The pen I used this in lays down a very wet line. Feathering was to be expected, but the bleed was quite minimal. There is show through however. I find these inks to be very well behaved, actually.
Don’t mix water and sand!
All in all, I wish brown inks would get a bit more exposure because I do think they’re a cool group. That being said.. More for me, no?! Sand Martin Brown is a nice earthy, toned down brown that could be used in a number of circumstances.
Disclaimer: I was sent this ink in exchange for an honest review. All views expressed are my own.