This week we’re going to take a look at Scribo Grigio. I first tried this ink at a pen meetup and was instantly hooked. Once I started looking for it, it took a while to actually acquire because it seems to always be out of stock at the retailers who carry it. Eventually I was able to get a bottle of my own and have been using it for about a year or so. Is this an ink that you should try and grab once you find it in stock? Read on to find out.
To start, let’s take a look at the ink itself. It is described as a grey ink and grigio means grey in Italian. I’d agree that this is a grey ink, but it leans heavily towards blue and can even sometimes look a little green. If I didn’t know what color it was, I might even describe it as blue-black. Regardless of what you call it, it is an interesting color that had me hooked the first time I used it. It is a wet ink that has decent shading and no sheen.
When exposed to water, you’ll see the blues start to separate out. There is also some grey mixed in there. While not a very complex chromatography, it could make for some moody ink art. It is not a very waterproof ink. A lot of color came off of the page when it got wet.
Dry times are decent and I didn’t feel like I had to wait long before turning the page. Once dry, it didn’t really smear, making it a great option if you want a darker ink that won’t smear when it dries.
One thing I do want to mention is the packaging. The box that this ink comes in is definitely quite premium and offers great protection and storage. The bottle is also very large and is sure to make an impact with its significant clear base. I also like that the label and cap have a sample of the actual ink color on them. While it may not look like it, this bottle holds 90ml of ink. That is a great deal more than most ink bottles you’ll find today.
I did come across one drawback to the overall packaging and that is the bottle cap. It is very hard to get a good grip and unscrew it. At one point I must have put it on too tightly and had an extremely hard time getting it off. For anyone who doesn’t have a lot of hand strength or who has hand pain, you’ll probably want some sort of assistive device to open these bottles.
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:
Lamy Safari – F nib
This fine Lamy nib writes a littler dry, but it pairs nicely with this wetter ink. It looks a little lighter than in the other pens, but it is still dark and easily readable. For doodling, it looked quite dark and I really enjoyed this combo.
Parker Vacumatic (vintage) – M nib
This wet vintage nib pairs very nicely with this wet ink. It doesn’t offer much shading, but still looks great. I liked using it for doodles when I wanted a nice, dark line.
Waterman 92 (vintage) – M flex nib
This nib always gives some shading when used for writing. It is also a wet nib and it shows. Doodling with it was a lot of fun since I could lay down wet lines of ink, but also get some line variation if I wanted.
Skogsy Cholla – B nib
This is the first time I’ve inked up this pen, but #6 JoWo B nibs are not new to me. This broad, wet nib is a lot of fun to write with but almost too wet to use for doodling with this ink.
TWSBI Eco – 1.1 Stub
I wanted to use a drier nib with this ink and this TWSBI nib is fairly dry. It definitely makes a difference when writing or doodling and makes the ink look a lot lighter. I prefer it darker, but it’s good to know that if you prefer a lighter ink, a drier nib will give you that.
On cheap paper this ink bled through with all but the dry nibs. It also feathered with the very wet nibs. On fountain-pen-friendly paper I didn’t see any feathering or bleedthrough, even with the wettest nibs. Stick with good paper when using this ink and you should be fine.
Another thing to note is that thanks to the in-between nature of the color of this ink, the color of paper you write on will have an effect on how it looks. On yellow or cream-colored paper it definitely appears to be more green, while on neutral or white paper it looks a bit more blue-grey.
Cleaning The Ink Out Of Pens
Being a darker ink with low saturation, this ink is not particularly hard to clean out of pens. It does take a bit of time to rinse out, but it won’t linger. I wouldn’t hesitate to use it in any of my pens.
After finally getting a bottle of this ink and using it on many different occasions, it seems my initial attraction to it was justified. Scribo Grigio is more than just a neutral grey ink. It is dark and a little hard to categorize and probably would not be called a grey ink by some people. While not very waterproof, it does dry fairly quickly and doesn’t smear once dry. It also behaves well on good paper. I would imagine that people who don’t want a lot of color in their inks but want to branch out from black might be interested in this ink. Personally, I’m glad to have a bottle of it and, if you try to find a bottle of your own, hope you can find one with little effort.