Olive & Reid Studio


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Dr Ph Martin's Iridescent Calligraphy Colours available in the UK


Just over a week ago, I received surprise exciting news that Scribblers is now stocking Dr Ph Martin's Iridescent Calligraphy Colours for the UK market. 

Buy online from Scribblers (£8.95 / 30ml) 

What are Iridescent Calligraphy Colours?

Scribblers tell it best:

Dr. Ph. Martin's Iridescent Calligraphy Colours are shimmering, highly reflective colours that are lightfast, waterproof, archival, and permanent. Made from the finest ground pigments, the colour intensity of Dr. Ph. Martin's Iridescent Calligraphy Colours gives you the ability to cover dark surfaces with a dynamic metallic colour.
Great for use on paper and board. Dr. Ph. Martin’s Iridescent Calligraphy Colours dries smooth with no start and stop marks. Great for use with dip pens and brushes. Designed especially for calligraphy, to accent watercolour work, or anywhere where you need to add a magical shine and shimmer that only pigment-based iridescent colour can provide.
Scribblers Copperplate Gold product description

What's the big deal about these metallic calligraphy inks?

In short, you're dealing with:

  • a brand you can trust in Dr Ph Martin (see also my post about white inks)
  • a highly regarded product by calligraphers
  • fuss-free flow
  • exceptional coverage
  • waterproof and lightfast ink

I have been hearing about Dr Ph Martin's Iridescent Inks since I first started calligraphy in 2014. At that time, artists in the United States would rave about these inks on blogs, on Instagram and on (my short tenure on) Periscope — basically all over the calligraphy Internet. Every time, I'd go on the hunt on Amazon and around the UK for these inks without success. I eventually stopped looking. To be fair, I've been using the exceptional Finetec metallic watercolours all this time, and was extremely satisfied with the results. 

As much as I love my Finetecs, it took only five minutes from the time I read the Scribblers email before I headed over and bought the much talked about Copperplate Gold colour. 

Dr Ph Martin's or Finetec? 


If, like me, you've been using the wonderful Finetec metallic palettes, you might be wondering if it's worth coughing up the cash for a different metallic ink. The biggest pros for me is that Dr Ph Martin Iridescent Inks are waterproof, and don't require the same time and effort to get the right consistency as Finetec (which can be a fine art in itself). However, it is worth noting that:

  • the heavy metal pigment does settle quickly and requires a good shake regularly
  • as an acrylic ink, you need to clean your nib more frequently.

The finish, when compared side by side to Finetec is a flatter, matter gold. It doesn't have quite the same texture, but, on its own, Dr Ph Martin's is certainly a worthy metallic ink contender.

Dr Ph Martin's Copper Plate Gold Iridescent Ink on black A6 envelope

Dr Ph Martin's Copper Plate Gold Iridescent Ink on black A6 envelope

Close up of Dr Ph Martin's Copper Plate Gold Iridescent Ink on black A6 envelope

Close up of Dr Ph Martin's Copper Plate Gold Iridescent Ink on black A6 envelope

Over on Bien Fait Calligraphy's blog, Joi Hunt gives a great run down in her post Dr. Ph. Martin Copperplate Gold + Rose Gold Pearl Ex on why she likes Copperplate Gold (and how beautifully it can combine with Pearl Ex to create a stunning rose gold):

Copperplate Gold is a great gold ink option.  It flows wonderfully from most nibs, and as with any acrylic based ink, it stands up very well to postal service processing machines and water.  It does require frequent stirring, because the metallic pigment particles are heavier than the medium (they will settle to the bottom of the jar), which can be tedious on larger envelope projects.

Let's not forget, though, that Finetec metallic watercolours come in SO MANY GORGEOUS COLOURS, it would be remiss to steer you away from them. As my bottom drawer will attest, in a calligraphy studio, there is no such thing as too many metallic inks. (These are available in the UK from Scribblers, Penman Direct, Calligraphy Arts, Quill London).

Troubleshooting tips for Dr Ph Martin's Iridescent Inks

While I'm pretty new to the game with these inks, like I said, a lot of others have been working with them for years. You'll find excellent tips for this ink (among many things) over on The Flourish Forum.

  • Dilute your bottle with a couple of drops of rubbing alcohol/surgical spirit/isoproponal
  • For fine hairlines, switch to a more flexible, fine nib such as Leonardt Principal EF, Hunt 22, Brause 76.

What metallic ink colours can you buy from Scribblers? 

Scribblers currently has six colours available:

UK Stockists of Dr Ph Martin's Iridescent Inks

Share your feedback

Have you tried Dr Ph Martin's Iridescent Inks? I'd love to hear your experience, and how they're working for you.

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I'm a Scribblers and Amazon affiliate, which means that if you click a link here and purchase something from those websites, a small percentage of your purchase is attributed to me. I don't recommend anything I haven't tried (or I'll specify otherwise), and, where possible, I support all local suppliers who stock these products.