Ink Snippet: Robert Oster Deep Sea

Robert Oster Deep Sea writing sample

I don’t love teal, or aqua, or the blue-green range in general, but I don’t dislike it. It’s just that the proof of the pudding is in the eating: I have owned many teal inks, but I rarely reach for one.

It’s a popular color range, however. Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine is a good one, now in the regular line. And let’s not ignore the new ink everyone, including me, wants: Lamy Petrol.

But I wasn’t excited to see yet another teal when I swabbed Deep Sea. I put it into my Montblanc 146 with a broad nib without any expectations.

Except a tiny bit of irritation, by association, at the name. Before “Let It Go,” the song that drove parents insane was “Under the Sea,” from The Little Mermaid. The name Deep Sea, unfortunately, reminds me of that impossibly catchy calypso ditty, which I hum every time I write the words “Deep Sea.”


And, hold it right there. Does Ariel’s tail remind anyone else of Deep Sea? Was this all on purpose?!

No, phew. Deep Sea is bluer.

Be that as it may, despite my initial “meh” at another teal, and then my “ugh” at the name, the actual ink turns out to be gorgeous, and special.

Deep Sea is on cream-colored Tomoe River in the photo at the top of the page, and it’s so nice. But allow me to indulge in my favorite thing, an extreme closeup.

Robert Oster Deep Sea writing sample

Deep Sea has shading to die for, and red sheen that makes even a sheen agnostic like me smile.

Not to mention how gorgeous it is on white paper. Here on Rhodia.

Robert Oster Deep Sea writing sample

I heart this ink. That’s two (very different) blue-green inks in a week or so I really love. The other being Lake Michigan Summer from Papier Plume. Wow.

And how is Deep Sea on poor paper? Really good! Here’s an extreme closeup of Deep Sea in the Montblanc with broad nib on my everyday Staples Sustainable Earth legal pad paper.

Robert Oster Deep Sea writing sample

Two extreme closeups, plus a beautiful ink. Oh happy day.

Deep Sea is a teal or aqua ink but not really matched by any ink I know. Here are two inks I picked for comparison.

Robert Oster Deep Sea swabs comparison

On the left is Diamine Schubert, which has a similar color, although not as green as Deep See. But Schubert, and while perfectly nice, compares only in hue: Schubert is flatter, doesn’t shade as much, and I can’t remember any sheen.

In the middle is KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise, which is bluer than Deep Sea, but which has the same “wow” factor, since it features gorgeous shading, although probably not the same level of sheen.

I feel the same way about Robert Oster Deep Sea as I did about KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise. And that is: wow. These are both special inks. I got my sample from a generous friend. But Oster’s Deep Sea will be at the Ink Testing Station for anyone going to the Chicago Pen Show, as in fact will KWZ Iron Gall Turquoise.


Ariel image from Wikipedia, Fair use, Link


12 thoughts on “Ink Snippet: Robert Oster Deep Sea

  1. I got a sample of this thinking that it was going to be perfect for my TWSBI mini with a fine nib, but I couldn’t get any blue out of it. it just looked like a really dark green in my pen, no tealyness at all. I might have to ink it up again in something with a broader or wetter nib. I was actually really disappointed in this color and blown away by Tranquility

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well I have a sample of Tranquility. I will test it before long. Do you always use a fine nib? The nib and paper can make all the difference in inks. What may be ho hum in a fine, can be outstanding in a medium nib. (especially a wet nib) I find Akkerman-Zuiderpark Blaw Groen to be a lovely color, even in a fine nib bordering XF. Plus it shades wonderfully for me as well. It is going to be hard to top Deep Sea for me though!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. That’s a really great comment. I’ve only used it in this one pen, and loved it, but it’s good to know it wouldn’t be suited for a pen like my my dry Lamy 2000 extra-fine. I’ll check the spreadsheet to see if Tranquillity is one of our Ink Testing Station inks. 😊 Have you tried Oster Aqua? A friend had it and I liked how it looked — might be too blue for some, though.


    3. Alas the spreadsheet confirms it: the Chicago Pen Show Ink Testing Station will be without Tranquility. We have 26 Osters as of now, from Deep Sea to Direct Sun. We will be blasted by Fire and Ice during a Summer Storm under the Australian Sky on Bondi Beach. If there were an Oster ink titled “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough,” you’d bet we’d have that. But Tranquility, alas, has no place. It’s non–stop-party Robert Oster inks only for the Chicago Pen Show.

      It’s a bummer. But at least I’ll get to say “Fire and Ice” a lot. I’ll enjoy that.


      1. Laura you are lucky to have so many Oster inks to try. I think you may really enjoy Tranquility. I put it in a stub this afternoon, and it is delightful. It is brighter and lighter than Deep Sea. I have seen some varieties of real turquoise in this color, or close to it. I found a very limited amount of sheen with the pen I used. However the shading was dramatic, and it had a halo effect for me somewhat too. I have tried 3 Oster inks so far, the 2nd was Melon Tea. All 3 of those inks were just heavenly for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We do have Melon Tea for the Pen Show! Yay! And I am very lucky! I remind myself of that every single day, usually when I need reminding. 🙂

          But the inks … to be honest, that may sound really great, but putting together 300 inks, and filling most of them, is just a lot of work. I won’t have time to use any that I don’t have time to preview. Which at this point, isn’t going to be very many. 🙂

          However, the Ink Testing Station is great for the Chicago Pen Show visitors, who actually can try 300 inks, and that’s why we do it. So that makes me happy. And we’re back to lucky! Just for a different reason. 🙂


          1. That does sound like a lot of hard work. If you are getting the ink straight from the manufacturer, I think those who do the work on that ink testing station should get a SAMPLE of anything they want to try, since they are too busy themselves to test them during the show. The only ink testing station I saw at the Dallas show was from Franklin-Christoph. No other ink name brands had free testing that I was aware of. (that might be a good thing in a way…now that I think about it 🙂 ) I hope you have a great time at the show. I think you will love it.

            Liked by 1 person

    4. The Tranquility is a beautiful color, no doubt about that. I have it in a pen, and I’ve been testing it. I can see why you were blown away by this color. I have it in a stub right now, but haven’t tried it in a finer nib yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a special ink alright. It was the first and only Oster ink I have at the time. I think it is gorgeous. I do however love teal/aqua ink. So this was a bonus for me. The “right pen” makes a lot of difference in which pen shows off the beauty more than others. It isn’t finicky about which pen, but it releases the beauty more in some pens than others.
    When I first tried this color I thought of Emerald of Chivor, without the clogging particles to deal with. I’ve never tried the KWZ comparison you have. Although Schubert is a lovely color too, especially in a flex pen, it just does not come close to the beauty of Robert Oster-Deep Sea to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, it seems a little on the dry side, or at least not wet, so it’s a good match for a wetter pen.

      I agree on Schubert: it’s perfectly fine, but it didn’t make my heart race. Fans of the color, however, may find it perfect.

      That’s the hardest thing to explain, I think. Most inks are “just fine,” so good choices abound in every single color range. Want an unusual black? We can find that. Or a black that shades and is on the lighter side? Yes, many. But the special inks are fewer, and you can’t really explain what sets them apart. Nor is it necessary. It’s like grading, I imagine. It probably takes a lot of time to differentiate between B, B+ and A- papers. And next week maybe you’d feel differently. But when you see an A+, you know it. Something special stands out.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.