A while ago, Sailor discontinued the colours of their standard line, except for Black, Blue and Blue-Black to re-release eight of their sixteen “Four Seasons” ink colours. We’ve had these inks for a while, and they’re some of our most popular – Yama-Dori (teal), Souten (bright blue), Tokiwa-Matsu (warm green) and Oku-yama (dark red) in particular.
Sailor has just released, for a limited time, the remaining eight of the sixteen Four Seasons inks, and they are beautiful. You can see all of our Sailor inks, including the new ones, here on the website, or of course come and visit us in the shop.
Sailor Chu-Shu: grey purple
Sailor Kin-Mokusei: orange
Sailor Sakura-Mori: pink
Sailor Irori: red
Sailor Fuji-Musume: purple
Sailor Yuki-Akari: blue/turquoise
Sailor Waka-Uguisu: green
Sailor Rikyu-Cha: brown
Chu-Shu: dark + dusky greyish purple
One of my favourites of the eight – I’m normally not a grey ink person unless it has something else to it, and I don’t especially like it when the greys are light, like Gris Nuage, because I can only use them in very broad nibs.
Chu-Shu is a lovely, charcoal, purply grey ink that writes wet and smooth onto the page.
Kin-Mokusei: bright orange
It’s truly a very bright orange, not quite a match for the discontinued Apricot, but not far off. Kin-Mokusei has some great shading, which isn’t particularly clear here because my Konrad is very wet – it pools ink onto the page, which is sort of how I like it because I want to be able to flex shamelessly, but it’s not great for showing off shading – and it also has a very subtle pink sheen if it’s wet enough.
Sakura-Mori: warm + dusky pink
I know I describe it as warm and dusky, and it looks a bit bright in the swab, but I think that’s more because of the light sheen that comes off of it at an angle.
When it comes out of a pen, though, this ink really surprised me. I am definitely not really a pink ink person, but this ink has a really nice matte quality to it, with just a hint of a crisp darker and slightly shining edge around it. I used a TWSBI Mini Broad which is also a bit on the wet side, so that might have something to do it with it.
Irori: cheerful + fun red, with hints of pink + orange
I thought Irori, the bright red ink, might be one of my least favourites (even less than pink, since red sometimes comes across as a bit angry), but it was another surprise with how bright and cheerful it was as a red.
It could also be the Platinum nib: I had swapped out my gold-coloured broad nib with a customer for a silver-coloured medium – at the time I said it wouldn’t bother me that my pen and nib colour don’t match, but it turns out I’m a bit more shallow than I thought, and I haven’t inked it up too much. But every time I do, I remember how nice Platinum nibs are – or maybe it’s the ink??
What really makes it a beautiful ink, though, is its sheen – it’s crazy! I wish I had known this before I selected my relatively fine Platinum nib. If you try really, really hard, you can see a hint of the sheening in the writing sample, but I think for it to be really apparent, you need a broader nib.
A bit of a dusky purple, a bit of a good match against the pink Sakura-Mori. The swab also looks a bit brighter, I think because of the angle, and because of how wet the swab laid down is.
Yuri-Akari: bright, light peacock blue
This another fun and bright and friendly blue ink. At first I thought it was a spring ink, but it’s actually aligned with the winter season, and the more I think about it, it’s a bit wintry too.
Wake-Uguisu: warm green
I am a big fan of earthy and warm colours, and this one is right there – and the shading! How can I resist an ink that shades like this. How beautiful and inky and vintage-y it looks on the page.
I used my Franklin-Christoph Fine nib, which is another fairly wet nib.
Rikyu-Cha: goes on green but turns into a dark greenish brown
This is my favourite of the eight. It’s brown! But it’s such a wonderful, deep, rich, complex brown. It actually goes on green, and then dries to this brown with a hint of the richness of the green, and if you look really carefully, a bit of gold sheen in it. I love these sorts of secret things that happen when you write.
It’s not a greenish brown that looks kind of unappealing, it’s a rich brown that has undertones of green and shades of brown.
We just got these inks in the shop this past week, and already I am debating with Jon over what exactly the advantages of opening an ink stop are if you can’t shore up enough ink to last you through any future ink apocalypses. Jon is debating with me over the fiscal responsibilities of running a business, and also the definition of hoarding. These inks are only around for a limited time, which only adds to my angst.
This is one of those times when my fingers are heavenward in the air and my face looks like an emoticon (the one with tears streaming down), but I’m going to tough it out.
I think I might be biased because Sailor inks are some of my absolute favourite – their old Sky High, Tokiwa-Matsu, Do-You are all regulars in my rotation. Their colours are so unique – rather than having ten shades of red, they just have the one or two really beautiful ones. But I think more so because the inks tend to all be so smooth and wet but also have a tactile feel to them, enough to not be glassy but to feel just right across a page. This is going to sound crazy, but I even sort of like that distinctive Sailor ink smell that they have.
It’s funny because a customer came into the shop the day we first day we had them out and took a look at all the swabs. He ended up picking six of the inks: all of the inks minus Chu-Shu (the dark grey) and Rikyu-Cha (the brown), which are my favourite two of the whole batch.
I didn’t think too much about it at the time, but upon reflection, I feel a bit as though all of those bright and vibrant inks might be a reflection of his bright and cheerful nature – and conversely, my soul might be a bit dark and twisty, with my favourite inks among such bright and beautiful colours being the green that turns into brown, and a dark purplish grey. I guess I did also like the pink one.
Anyone else have any favourites from this new line?