Rohrer & Klingner Inks, Part 2

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I hope you liked the first part of the Rohrer & Klingner Ink series. Today we have the next 3 inks in alphabetical order, being Blu Mare, Cassia, and Fernambuk.

Rohrer & Klingner ink bottles are made of amber-coloured glass with an aluminium screw cap. The reason why some ink suppliers like to fill their inks in amber glass is that some inks may be photosensitive, which means that they might degrade or change in colour over time, when exposed to light. It usually isn’t as bad as it sounds, but if you are very particular about it, just don’t store your inks under bright sunlight and you would do just fine.


R&K-Blu-Mare-swabBlu Mare • Sea Bluish • Bleu Marin • Blu Mare

I get a little confused over the naming of the Rohrer & Klingner inks at times. Here we have Blu Mare, which sounds like Italian for “blue sea”. But maybe a name is just a name.

Blu Mare is a delightful cyan, a very bright and attention-grabbing colour. I would associate the colour to some of the gel pens we used during high school days to write girly notes to one another. In a more picturesque manner, I might just associate this blue with the colour of the sea in Sardinia, a beautiful Italian island that I would love to visit. Not so much of turquoise as the waters there might be, but close enough. In terms of sea blues, this is very far from the Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-kai which is a deep, greyish blue of the inner depths of a rocky sea. Blu Mare looks more like the shallower areas of a sea that has pristine white sand. What different blues the sea can give!

Blu Mare is a medium wet ink that seems to give some shading, but low to moderate. It flows well but has very little water resistance. The blue colour disappears easily after contact with water.



Cassia • Cassia • Cassia • Cassia

It is interesting that “Cassia” is spelt the same in English, German, French and Italian. I looked it up and the word seemed to have originated from Hebrew. Knowing that the Cassia is a flower, I looked it up again in image searches, and could only find the yellow version. I was confused, so I searched “purple cassia”, and what a wonderful picture of a tree with purple flowers I saw! But I am not completely sure that it is cassia, so I have no idea what this purple ink is pointing to. It is not always clear where the colours of the inks in the R&K series are pointing to, unlike those in the Iroshizuku series.

Nevertheless, it is the colour of a deep, royal purple. Rohrer & Klingner Cassia is a wet ink that flows generously, very saturated, very solid. It is unfortunate that it has such low resistance to water, seeing how the ink spot spreads out and away after touching water.


R&K-Fernambuk-swabFernambuk • Pernambuco • Pernambouque • Pernambuco

This is a red ink which calls to the mind jellybeans, so I secretly name it “jellybean red” in my own head. It is red with a touch of hot pink, making it look very sweet. Fernambuk, or pernambuco, is actually a type of wood from the tree that bears the name of an entire state in Brazil (Pernambuco). The wood itself is sometimes called “Brazilwood”. Pernambuco wood is a reddish-brown wood commonly used to make the bows of stringed instruments such as violins and cellos. The colour of the wood is far from this sweet colour of the Fernambuk ink, so in order to understand why Fernambuk ink is red, I have dug a little deeper.

According to the Wood Database, the Portuguese who discovered the pernambuco tree in South America also found out that the wood yields a red dye. The red dye, I found out later, can be used to dye fabrics and yarn to yield a variety of colours. I read on Wild Colours that:

Brazilwood is sensitive to the pH of the water; acids (vinegar or citric acid) will make the colour more orange and alkalis (soda ash) will give you blue reds and purples. Brazilwood is also sensitive to iron; a pinch of iron will turn brazilwood towards lavender.

Being a chemist, that interested me quite a bit too. Now I am wondering if R&K made Fernambuk with the dye of the trees themselves or not!

Fernambuk is another inks that flows very well, but not quite as wet as the previous inks. It isn’t that much on the dry side, either. There is no sheen and water resistance is very low, just like Blu Mare, where the ink spot virtually disappears after mixing with water.

R&K-ad-FHI hope you liked the post! Once again, this Rohrer & Klingner ink series and giveaway is possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of Fook Hing Trading Co. All opinions are mine.

To join in the giveaway, I’ll make it simpler this time (since I’m a lazy person myself) and just request that you leave a comment on your thoughts about the above 3 inks. However, please still use the Rafflecopter widget to join, as it would help me to contact you if you win the inks!

This giveaway ends at the end of 20 December 2015, Singapore time (GMT+8). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

34 Responses

  1. Jay Tobia 21 December 2015 / 12:12 AM

    The royal purple, cassia, looks great!

  2. Ryan Elijah Martin Ang 21 December 2015 / 12:00 AM

    I think the pink would be fun, but generally think these are secondary inks – not daily writers. Still, they are lovely, and probably very usable.

  3. Miranda Gong 20 December 2015 / 11:51 PM

    All of these are so rich in tone! I have to say that Cassia appeals to me the most.

  4. Michelle Suratos 20 December 2015 / 11:02 PM

    I love this set of 3 inks! They’re all quite vibrant!

  5. Tiffany 20 December 2015 / 10:44 PM

    Blu Mare reminds me of Kon-Peki. I love how vibrant Fernambuk is!

  6. Jamie E. 20 December 2015 / 10:08 PM

    Cassia is such a beautiful color!

  7. Michael 20 December 2015 / 8:49 PM

    The purple ink is amazing. It’s not purple plus another color. It’s just a very strong purple.

    You’re also spot on about the hot pink in the red.

  8. hari 20 December 2015 / 8:17 PM

    Cassia looks really nice (I like purple inks.)

  9. Zain Sharif 20 December 2015 / 7:09 PM

    Blue mare would be my favourite of these inks. It has sme very nice shading.Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. BMK 20 December 2015 / 7:00 PM

    You’re definitely right about jellybean read, maybe even a little bit candy stripe

    The purple I could take or leave, I prefer a more subdued darker shade like Franklin Christoph’s Tenebris

    The blue is probably my favourite out of the 3 here, it definitely brings to mind memories of holidays on pristine quiet beaches

  11. Nai Calus 20 December 2015 / 6:46 PM

    I like the Blu Mare, because I’m a sucker for sky blues. Cassia’s pretty too. The red is kind of nice as well but not my favorite.

  12. François-javier Valdés 20 December 2015 / 6:41 PM

    I really like blu mare!

  13. Mattia Miani 20 December 2015 / 1:19 PM

    I never tried these inks. These reviews are very useful to select one to test.

  14. Wee How 20 December 2015 / 11:30 AM

    Blu Mare really look great

  15. fehim 20 December 2015 / 9:11 AM

    Thank you for the giveaway. I like the Blu Bare and Fernambuk the most.

  16. SanYong 20 December 2015 / 8:37 AM

    Blu Mare would still be my favourite :D! Love the light shade of blue

  17. rdcalhoon 20 December 2015 / 8:07 AM

    The Cassia is my favored ink of these three. Thanks for the chance.

  18. Chia Jin Wen Zachary 20 December 2015 / 7:31 AM

    oh no, another purple ink I don’t have the resources to get right now 🙁

  19. stu elman 20 December 2015 / 6:28 AM

    I like the Seafoam green. It’s a great looking color. For me, that’d be my next purchase. Most of my current inks are either blues, blacks and reds. I need to balance it out with a nice green. This would fit the bill.

  20. katelynomeara 20 December 2015 / 5:09 AM

    I especially like the cassia out of these three!

  21. jmccarty3 20 December 2015 / 4:54 AM

    Thank you for reviewing the R&K inks, which are some of my favorites. Just as the Permanent Blue reminded you of Iroshizuku Tsuyu-kusa, the Blue Mare reminds me a bit of Kon-Peki. Blue Mare is more of a fun ink, rather than for business.

    I have liked Cassia for a long time. There is enough blue in it for more formal writing.

    Fernambuk appeals to me because of its association with Pernambuco. Those who love the stories of Sherlock Holmes will recall the story of the Three Gables, wherein Holmes says of the villainess: “Her people have been leaders in Pernambuco for generations.” A few months ago, I was lucky enough to find a Graf von Faber-Castell Intuition Platino Wood in Pernambuco, a pen that has been discontinued and is hard to locate. Your explanation of the dye derived from the wood makes me want to try Fernambuk in this pen.

  22. Cody H 20 December 2015 / 3:10 AM

    These are fun inks! I am looking for a good purple and Cassia might be perfect!

  23. Eleven (@Final_Eleven) 20 December 2015 / 2:42 AM

    I really like the cassia ink the most, but maybe it’s because I’m incredibly partial to purple. The other inks looks really nice though

  24. J.A.M. 20 December 2015 / 2:27 AM

    I love the cyan color! Blu Mare is by far the most fascinating. Many claim this is their favorite turquoise color. I do enjoy royal purples but blues and greens have a special place in my heart.

  25. George 20 December 2015 / 2:08 AM

    Cassia looks interesting. Blu Mare looks boring too me, many much more interesting inks like it out there.

  26. Peveril 20 December 2015 / 1:51 AM

    I love the brightness of that red, though I’m not sure what I’d use it for i wouldn’t mind experimenting to find out

  27. buntyw 20 December 2015 / 12:15 AM

    I like all 3 but if I had to choose one it would probably be Blu Mare

  28. JW 19 December 2015 / 11:56 PM

    I like the Fernambuk red ink a lot! it’s like a less saturated of the more blazing red inks out on the market, and feels like a deeper and slightly darker salmon color. looks pretty cool (the swatch caught my attention right away)

  29. Joy C. 19 December 2015 / 11:34 PM

    Those are beautiful ink colors. Thanks for sharing more about them.

  30. Michael Simon 19 December 2015 / 11:23 PM

    I am fascinated by your thorough descriptions of the ink colors and the history of their pigments and names. These are colors I would find particularly useful.

  31. Chris Pearson (@maninsuitcase) 19 December 2015 / 11:21 PM

    I’m not over fussed by that blue, I prefer the darker blues myself. Though the red and the purple both look very interesting. I’m currently looking for a good red and this one looks pretty good.

I would love to hear your thoughts!