This week we’re going to take a look at Ferris Wheel Press Adventurine. This ink was an impulse purchase at the 2022 Colorado Pen Show. I don’t usually buy shimmer inks, but the sample for this looked so amazing I just had to get a bottle. Fast forward a year and I think I’ve only used this ink once or twice. This week should give me a good opportunity to get to know it much better and see what it’s all about.
Ferris Wheel Press Adventurine
To start, let’s take a look at the ink itself. The base ink color is a light grey with reddish undertones and blue overtones, verging on looking like a multichromatic ink. It has fairly strong shading and no sheen. It also has rose gold shimmer that compliments the ink color very well.
When exposed to water, this ink has a very interesting chromatography. Reds and blues come out, making it a prime candidate for some ink and water art. If that’s how you’d like to use it, the shimmer complicates things a little. In my tests with water, all of the shimmer came out and stayed in one place, giving it a very lopsided look once dry. If this is a concern, I’m sure you could let the shimmer settle to the bottom of the bottle to minimize how much you get.
Speaking of the shimmer, this shimmer seems to be much finer than in other shimmer inks I’ve used. It also seems to be heavier. Getting it loose from the bottom of the bottle takes quite a bit of agitation. Once in your pen, I think it all sinks to the bottom and comes out all at once. This makes part of your writing or drawing very shimmery and the rest of it mostly shimmerless. I found the irregularity in when and where it comes out of the pen to be frustrating.
Dry times were quite fast. Once dry, I didn’t experience any ink smudging. The shimmer does tend to smudge on the paper, but at least it can be wiped away. The ink is not waterproof and mostly disappeared when I wet it after it had dried.
The packaging is something that can’t be ignored. I’m sure most of you have heard of Ferris Wheel Press and are familiar with their style, even if you haven’t actually seen one of their ink bottles in person. All of their packaging is fantastic. The box is beautiful and is the only ink box I’ve ever seen that has ink and shimmer color listed, along with sheen and shading info. Once you get the box open, the bottle is just as beautiful. The spherical shape of the bottle is charming and the hexagonal-metal lid is very satisfying. The screen printing on the bottle matches what’s on the box, making the overall packaging and branding some of the best around.
That’s not to say it is perfect. The box has a bunch of extra layers inside that makes getting the bottle out a lot more difficult than it should be. While it holds the bottle securely and shows off the lid through a hole in the top of the box, I could do without it if it meant the bottle was easier to get out. Also, the neck of the bottle is tiny. Half of my pens wouldn’t even fit inside the bottle and I had to fill the converter by itself and then put it into the pen. If you wanted to use this ink in a large pen that didn’t have a removable nib or converter, you would have to move the ink to a different container in order to fill it.
The Pens I Used
Each week I choose five different pens to fill with the ink I’m testing. My goal is to get a variety of nib sizes and styles, as well as a mix of modern and vintage pens. Here are the pens I chose this week and some writing samples from each:
Jinhao 599 – F nib
This was a really boring combination. The Jinhao nib is really dry and it made the ink look light and lifeless. It also hardly showed any shimmer. I had to check the converter just to make sure there was actually some shimmer in it. There was, it just didn’t come out of the pen. Blah.
Esterbrook SJ (vintage) – 2556 nib
What a difference! This vintage Esterbrook nib is about the same size as the Jinhao, but is much wetter. The ink looked a lot darker and also showed a lot more shimmer. I used this to draw the straight lines when I was doodling and the shimmer came out very irregularly, but thankfully it worked pretty well while writing.
Cross ATX – M nib
The first few lines of writing with this Cross nib had a lot of shimmer, but it eventually settled down to a nice, shady grey ink with hints of rose gold shimmer. Definitely a nice combo for both writing and doodling.
Bonecrusher Velma – B nib
This was a really fun pen to use. So much shimmer came out for the first few lines of writing! Once that stopped it was heavily shaded with good pops of shimmer here and there. I loved using it for doodling.
Pelikan M800 – custom grind B nib
This Pelikan nib is wet and fun to write with. When I first filled the pen all of the shimmer seemed to come out on a piece of paper I was scribbling on. For my writing, there was hardly any shimmer at all! Still, with or without shimmer, I liked the way this writing looked the most out of all of the pens this week.
On cheap paper, this ink did pretty well! It hardly bled through, even with the wettest pens. I didn’t see any feathering and the shimmer really showed up. On fountain-pen-friendly paper this ink did very well. I didn’t see any bleeding or feathering at all and the shading and shimmer looked great. I wouldn’t hesitate to use this ink on any type of paper.
Cleaning The Ink Out Of Pens
I love how easy light-colored inks like this are to clean out of pens, but can get really annoyed when cleaning shimmer out of pens. Surprisingly, this ink was not difficult to clean at all! The shimmer didn’t seem to stick around and the ink came right out. Still, just to be on the safe side I wouldn’t use this in any pens that don’t have removable nibs or converters for easy cleaning.
I applaud inks like Ferris Wheel Press Adventurine for mixing things up and combining interesting colors with contrasting colors of shimmer. Unfortunately, I feel like this particular shimmer is just too dense, both in amount and weight. The amount of shimmer that’s in the bottle seems excessive compared to other shimmers that I’ve used. Once in the pen, the shimmer particles seem to sink towards the nib and all come out at once. I do enjoy the ink and shimmer color combination and think that the ink would also be nice without the shimmer. Unfortunately, in use the shimmer lets this ink down and prevents me from wanting to use it.