Recently, Jet Pens offered the opportunity to review Rohrer & Klingner Cassia. Several R&K inks make it into my rotation on a regular basis, but not even so much as a sample of Cassia has landed on my desk before now. Would it be as memorable as its better-known siblings Alt-Goldgrun and Verdigris?
At the price point and volume of $12.50 for 50ml, R&K is good value on the ink market. The quality and color range make it an Inkophile favorite. Solferino gets the pink slot and Morinda the red in my rotation more often than other inks. Neither has met a pen it didn’t like and that makes them especially easy to use.
Then there is Cassia. It is vaguely violet under artificial light, but decidedly purple in sunlight. Waterman Purple is quite similar but doesn’t shade as well. It is not a muted color, but neither does it demand attention. This is an all-purpose purple should you only allow one or two in your collection.
Flow is good, but not lubricated enough to glide like some of the Iroshizuku inks. Paper texture communicates through the nib which is a normal part of the fountain pen experience. In my test, pens with copious flow produced feathering or at least uneven outlines. It won’t tame that beast, but will prove a good match for an average to slightly free-flowing pen.
Mild shading and outlining with the Namiki Falcon were unexpected treats. Cassia reduced the flow of the Pilot Elite Pocket Pen to a neat fine line, and produced bold color with the Levenger True Writer medium nib. The stronger the flow, the more violet the color.
There was some show-through on Rhodia with a couple of minor dots of bleed-through from more free-flowing nibs. There were no issues on Apica 6A10 journal paper. Performance on Moleskine Volant paper was typical with feathering, irregular outlines and bleed-through. Look elsewhere if Moleskine is your vice.
I like it best with the True Writer medium nib, but then I am fond of a wider nib. The color is useful and attractive for sketching when black or brown would be too sedate. It may seem quirky, but for sketching I do prefer inks that let the paper texture participate rather than inks that make nibs skate over the surface. Cassia does not tend to glide so it works well at providing a tiny bit of feedback.
Rohrer & Klingner Cassia has made friends with the three test pens, but has yet to find her soul mate. The Pelikan M215 with the fetching silver rings and a custom italic nib is promising, but for now otherwise engaged. When he becomes available, he might be just the one to charm pretty Cassia into a lasting relationship. We shall see…
Water reveals the red violet component in Cassia.