Just in time for Christmas, two new special edition inks from Kyo No Oto – also, coincidentally, these are beautiful, subtle colours that are perfect for the season as well – Christmas, winter, something a little frosty and soft. Urahairo is a pale, mossy green and Keshimurasaki is a muted purplish grey.
The last special edition inks from Kyo No Oto, Hisoku and Adzuikiiro, were so popular that Kyo No Oto brought them into their regular line. I’m not sure if that will happen again, but here’s hoping. These are both subtle, unique colours, which is great to have on the shelf amidst so many new inks that seem to be more saturated or brighter.
I also have to admit that I love the packaging, the box and the bottle, as much as I love the ink. I’m trying to focus a little more on the inside than the out (a life lesson if there ever was one), but the textured box material, the unique markings for each colour, the watercolour shading – it’s all gorgeous.
Urahairo is a soft, pale green, inspired by the green underside of leaves, and is indeed a lighter ink. While still legible, I might recommend a wetter or wider nib to get the most out of it. The nib in the writing sample was an Edison fine, which writes on the wetter side.
And Keshimurasaki – a beautiful, muted purplish grey. This ink is right up my alley, and just what I need for the few months ahead – mid-winter months that tend to slow down a little after the holiday rush. A calm, peaceful colour to go with the snow and cold.
One of my favourite parts about working in a pen shop is seeing all the new releases, and picking and choosing my favourites to join my growing (groaning?) cupboards and shelves. Ah! The deliberating.
But also, I’m finding as time passes that I’m also looking back and appreciating how these special editions have become markers of seasons or events or changes in my life. When I ink up with Stormy Grey, I remember those first shipments and how exciting it was in our shop, just rolling into Christmas; I remember the spring we moved into the new shop, and all the emotions of leaving our Carlaw location, just as we got in the new Kobe inks – Hirano Gion Romance Grey is still a real favourite of mine.
And now here we are with a new, lighter, Keshimurasaki grey: our first Christmas home in our studio shop, babies crawling, Chicken trying to escape, some new faces, some long-time friends.
In other news, we’re barrelling into the last few days before Christmas, which has seemed to come upon me rather quickly. It’s already Caleb’s last week of school! I seem to hardly be able to recall October and November.
It’s been a good, busy season, and we’re always grateful to see so many people in the shop. These days, I’m in the studio shop a bit more, especially now with Caleb in school most of the day, and Naomi a bit older, toddling around underneath the tables, and it’s been wonderful to meet some customers that have been coming for maybe a little while but I just never actually met since I’ve been out of the shop with babies, or to have a chance to catch up with others.
The final week and a bit or so is actually my favourite part of the season: all the ordering and decisions about lighting and prep and unpacking and counting shipments is mostly done, so we can just enjoy the bustle inside the shop.