review: troublemaker inks kelp tea - ink between the teeth

Jul 27, 2020

review: troublemaker inks kelp tea

Let's take a look at a Troublemaker ink! I've been sitting on this review for quite a while, oops.

Troublemaker inks gained a huge spike in popularity last year thanks to their focus on sheening and double-shading inks. They were out of stock a lot, and I managed to snap up an order. Thankfully Troublemaker's inks are easier to get now than they were previously.

But hold on, what's double-shading anyway? Double shading (or dual shading) is the characteristic that appears in some inks, where an underlying color appears when the ink is dry. Double shading is not sheen, though they are both usually a different color than the ink's "base" color. Sheen is metallic, while double shading is matte. From what I understand double shading and sheen mostly show up the same in the same color family: blue inks sheen red and red inks sheen green/gold. Light blue inks double shade purple, while green inks double shade pink. It's a really cool effect.

Troublemaker Kelp Tea is a green-gray with pink-purple shading.
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This ink has a little bit of water resistance, though the color that manages to stick around is the pink double shade rather than the green color. I wonder if this is true for all double shading inks?

On Kokuyo MIO paper, this ink was dry to the touch before the 30 second mark. MIO paper is a little more absorbent than Rhodia with very little bleedthrough or showthrough. This ink takes quite a bit longer to dry on papers like Tomoe River.

There's beautiful double shading in both the fine and broad nibs. The ink is a little lighter in the fine nib though it is still readable. When you've had this ink in a pen for a while it comes out quite a bit darker.
On Tomoe River paper there's still plenty of that lovely double shading.
Unsurprisingly, I have almost nothing that comes close to Kelp Tea. i just threw in Colorverse Valles Marineris because, although it's much darker and more olive, it does have a little of that pinkish shading.

I had this ink in my PenBBS 309 with a Nemosine broad nib. The nice part about Kelp Tea is that it doesn't need a broad nib to show off the double shading, so anyone who wants to see the effect can use whatever nib they like. I personally prefer the appearance of the gray-green color in a broader nib. Kelp Tea had nice flow and I didn't see any issues with my PenBBS.

I'm a big fan of the color (it reminds me a bit of J. Herbin Vert Empire) so I'm definitely going to enjoy using Kelp Tea while I have it. This sort of dusty, algae-like green color definitely won't be for everyone.

You can now get Troublemaker inks at some other stores, though I haven't shopped with them before. If you have the opportunity to pick up a Troublemaker ink I highly recommend it. They're handcrafted with love by passionate fountain pen enthusiasts, and you could do much worse than supporting some great people in the community!

Where to buy

I purchased this ink with my own funds.

1 comment:

  1. Just love it...
    Haven't got my hands on a bottle of it. Yet!... :)