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3 Oysters Doldam


I have a few of these 3Oysters inks from South Korea to review (most of them sent out for review by the company), and this one is a strange one. As you'll see below, the color is awesome. As you'll also see below, it's got a couple of behavioral issues that might put you off. Check it out below and let me know what you think of this rocky grey.

Written Review:
As I hear it, Doldam is the name of a district in Seoul that is known for these stone walls. In the pictures I saw online, this color looks pretty consistent with the old, stone walls. It's a good match.


Lots of color depth in this swatch of ink. And an eyelash on the page below.

It's a bit thin, this ink. You can see the dark-to-light shading in these writing samples, and that's because the ink sort of follows the nib across the coated paper before pooling where the nib stops. You can sort of see how I form my letters, if you look at where it's lightest.

This one isn't great at resisting water, but it does leave behind a mustardy yellow where the lines were.


This is pretty special. Look at all of the colors in that strip! It's a grey ink with brown tones, and there's no brown or grey in this chromatography. Crazy, right?

Staples 20lb Copy Paper

This is where it starts to go wrong. It's bleedy. It's feathery. It spreads. It's doing all of the bad things on this (admittedly terrible) paper.

Wheat Straw Paper:

It does okay here even though this paper is uncoated.

Ink Journal Tomoe River Paper:

Of course, it's fine on Tomoe River. Everything is.

Some Staples Sugarcane Paper:

This paper is usually pretty good at handling fountain pen inks, but Doldam feathers and spreads and bleeds on it. It does this on several other uncoated papers of good quality, too.

Color Comparisons:

Video Review: 

** 3 Oysters sent this ink over from South Korea for review. No promises were made, and no guarantees given. Just my honest review. YMMV, etc. **

Krishna Lyrebird Blue Black


  Braden over at Pen Chalet saw someone ask me about this ink on a live chat, and I'd not heard of it so he sent out both the Blue and the Blue Black inks for me to try. They're reasonably priced, and meant to be used day-to-day. No crazy colors or anything. Just solid inks. Check this one out below, and I'll have the other ink reviewed in the near future.

Full-Page Review:


You find some nice sheen and shading in the close-ups on Rhodia. You won't really find this kind of thing on lesser papers, but it can show off pretty well when you give it a chance.

Tomoe River Ink Journal:

Inky Fingers Wheat Straw Paper:

This wheat paper is closer to what you'll see on non-coated papers. A touch of sheen, a little shading, but some really nice coloration.

30% Recycled 20lb Crappy Copy Paper:

This paper shows some bleed and just a little feathering here and there. It's not good paper. It's pretty bad, actually.

Color Comparisons!

These are just some vanity shots of that sheen. Lyrebird can't compete with Quasar or Tchaikovsky, but that's not really its goal, anyway.

Video Review:

Water Test Results!

Not bad! Not great, but it's something.

**This bottle of ink was sent out for review by Pen Chalet. I don't let such things color my reviews, and what you see is that you get. YMMV, etc.**

The 22pen: A Multipen for your Notebook


The 22pen is a unique thing. It's a multipen that is meant to live inside of your favorite notebook. Let's take a look at the prototype that Mario sent me for review. 

It feels really small in the hand, but the 22pen is about the same length (4.5") as other pocket pens. You'll see it above with a Lamy Pico and a Schon DSGN pen. Both of those are more substantial in the hand. Unlike those two, the 22pen is flat, and it isn't capped. Mario tells me that he's working on a solution for those of us who like to carry pens in our pockets, but I'm not sure what form that will take.

The 22pen uses a pair of D1 refills, and those come in a variety of tip sizes and ink colors from many different makers. My favorites come from Uniball's Jetstream and Monteverde.

This two refill system is pretty great. I love a multipen, but you have to do some twiggling to get a standard multi pen to switch refills. The 22pen just sort of flips over in your grip. It's quick, easy, and intuitive. Very useful when you're taking quick notes and notes about those notes. I do that sort of thing all the time, and this has been a neat pen in a couple of meetings where I needed to work quickly and use multiple colors.

The little color bands at the bottom of the refill do tend to wear off, but that's a really minor issue, I think.

You'll also notice that the clip of the 22pen is quite small. That clip is plenty strong to hold on to your paper, your notebook cover, or your pocket (if you're a little brave). It's attached with spring tension, so you can remove it and tighten it if you need to. I did, and it wasn't difficult at all.

As you can see below, it's just a little short in my hand. Keep in mind that I have large hands, but Mario assures me that he's going to work up a long version to compensate for those of us with big ol' mitts. I can write with this pen fairly comfortably, but a little extra length would keep it from slipping while I write.

So, this is the intended use of the pen. It's meant to go inside your pocket- or passport-sized notebooks so you can keep them in your pocket with a convenient pen for notes or drawing.

Alright: Time for some stats:

So, I was dubious about this pen when I first saw it online. It's a bit weird. It's small. And it's a little expensive. Once I got it in my hands, though, it turns out to be a really good idea that just needs a couple of tweaks to be a really useful tool.

Check out the video:

**This pen was provided as a prototype for review. There might be changes before the Kickstarter is over, but that's the nature of prototypes. Free testers don't sway my reviews. I'm as honest as possible in these things.**

Blank Slate Paper!


Blank Slate Paper Co is one of my very favorite new projects to hit the web. David and his wife designed a web tool to build almost any design you'd like, they print it and bind it into pads of great paper, and ship your custom pads of paper to your house.

It's pretty awesome, and it's getting better. Check out the video, and then go play with their design tool yourself!

**I bought the pads shown here, at a discount, during their beta run of the site. No promises or considerations were given beyond a chance to get this paper into my hands early and I reviewed it because it's great.**