KWZ Ink – Grey Plum is a dark and very intense dusty purple ink, and indeed reminiscences ripe grey plums, which unfortunately are not that common in the UK but very popular in Poland and always remind me traditional dumplings which I love. The name of this ink is adequate.
The composition of this ink seems to be pretty complex. The base colour is dark purple, but there are also maroon like tones and hint of blue. Light turquoise blue tones are very prominent too and they give very specific character to this ink, which is definitely more visible with pens which are not too wet. The line produced by juicy pens (especially with flexible nibs) is so intense and saturated that ink looks almost black, so in my opinion KWZ – Grey Plum definitely looks the best when used with more like ‘standard’ pens.
Colour looks quite flat (or matt) on the paper, but in this case this is actually a good thing, since I prefer flat purples over these very bright ones. The shading is rather subtle, but showing decent tone graduation. Colour wise, the closest ink I can think of is Robert Oster’s – Barossa Grape. Next to another awesome KWZ ink – Brown Pink, Grey Plum looks much darker and less vivid.
Drying time is moderate and consistent with other KWZ inks I tried so far. Of course it depends greatly on paper . As expected with more absorbing papers drying time is definitely quicker about 2-3 seconds, whereas on paper like Rhodia, ClaireFontaine it takes about 15 seconds or more. Having in mind how intense this ink is, once is completely dry it does not smudge, even on smooth paper, which is good.
KWZ inks have reputation of having great properties. Here is no exception. The writing experience is very good indeed. Ink flows nicely and writing is pleasantly smooth. Good lubrication too. I tested it using various nibs including steel semiflex nib as well as 1.1 italic, broad and medium and I have not noticed any skipping or whatsoever . It was reported by many other users, that with absorbing copy paper it works fairly well, but some spots my be seen on the reverse page. At normal circumstances I trying not to use copy paper for fountain pens. I tested it on better quality paper I have in my test notebooks and on none of them KWZ – Grey Plum bleeds or shows through nor feather. Because this is such intense ink on thin Tomoe River paper some ghosting my be noticed.
This is water based ink, so there in no big surprise, that KWZ – Grey Plum is not water resistant at all. This never bothers me and from my experience water based inks provide nicer tonal graduation over permanent inks. It may be interesting to dilute Plum Grey with small amount of distilled water, and I am pretty sure shading will be greater and purples and fascinating blue undertones will become more apparent. Accidentally I, wrote a bit for a while with pen which was just washed though, so some residual water left in the feeder gills. It was enough to dilute slightly the inks and exhibit undertones better.
Overall, KWZ – Grey Plum is a nice looking dusty, dark purple ink which performs very well. If you like this colour range and you do not mind characteristic to KWZ inks scent, then you will not be disappointed.
KWZ inks are not as widely available compared to bigger, well established brands but hopefully more and more retailers start to distribute them. The price (around £ 13.0 UK, $ 13.0 Canada or 10.0 Eur) seems to be fair for 60 ml bottle of very good ink. In the UK KWZ inks are available from BureauDirect and recently from PurePens. You can buy them also from Appelboom and Fontoplumo in Netherlands. In the US KWZ inks are available from Vanness Pen Shop. They may be ordered directly form KWZ Inks too.
(*) Disclaimer/ I have no affiliation with the all brands and companies mentioned above and this short review reflects only my personal views and findings about the product.