About Van Dieman's Ink

About Van Dieman's Ink

We are a small family business in Launceston, Tasmania, that is passionate about the environment, and crafting quality inks that are inspired from nature, specifically here in Tasmania. Peter and Belinda Rix are the husband and wife duo that own and run Van Dieman's Ink. Both lovers of fountain pens and ink, we wanted to make this passion a full-time occupation. After retailing fountain pens in Australia together for some years, Belinda made the decision to develop our own fountain pen ink, taking inspiration from much of the beauty found here in Tasmania to design each ink, and to create the artwork for our boxes and labels. 

We design and mix our own bottles of fountain pen and shimmering inks here in Launceston Tasmania. These high-quality fountain pen inks have been tested for viscosity and flow quality and are suitable for all major brands of fountain pens, and are also suitable for dip pens and brushwork. 

Our Inks

The Original "Colours of Tasmania" Series

In line with our own love for this great state of Tasmania, Van Dieman's Original fourteen Colours of Tasmania try to encapsulate the natural beauty this land has to offer. Each ink is designed from and named after a location, natural aspect or product of Tasmania. From our best-selling "Devil Black", an aggressive little ink with an equally notorious namesake, to our majestic, cherished and protected "Styx Valley Forest Green", our chilled and serene "Freycinet Aquamarine" and our deliciously tempting "Tamar Pinot Noir Wine Red", Van Dieman's inks are both a cut above the rest and a step outside the norm.

Devil Black

 Van Dieman's Devil Black is a rich and decadent midnight black with royal purplish hues in bright light, just like our own Tassie Devil. This ink really bites the page and flows sumptuously from nib to paper. Guaranteed not to clog or clot, you will be very happy with this scary little bottle of attitude. 

 
Van Dieman's Bass Strait Cobalt Blue is a deep and stormy ink, with much to say about the treacherous waves that separate the two islands of this southern land. The Bass Strait, with a dark and tumultuous reputation, gives its hue to this ink, which is somewhat darker and deeper than most blues, with even a hint of indigo-violet. Guaranteed not to clog or clot, you will be very happy with this salty little bottle of turbulence.
 
Van Dieman's Bay of Fires Red is a hot furnace of colour. The Bay of Fires, in Tasmania's rugged north east, was named by Captain Tobias Furneaux, when he sailed the Adventure past in 1773 and noticed the great number of Aboriginal fires. Today, the bay is best known for its Orange-Red stained granite stone which decorate the pristine white sandy beaches and illuminate red in the sunset light. This ink, rather than imitating this colour, aims to encapsulate the adventurous spirit of Tasmania. It is more vivid than the average red, with subtle hints of tangerine and magenta. Guaranteed not to clog or clot, you will be very happy with this little bottle of adventure.
 
Van Dieman's Apple Island Green is a fresh and juicy ink that is bound to keep the doctor away. Taking a bite out of this ink will give you a taste of the cool crisp, pure air and fertile rolling countryside that Tasmania has in reserve. This ink will flavour your pages as sweetly as its namesake pleasures your palate. This is definitely a softer, lighter green. Guaranteed not to clog or clot, you will be very happy with this crunchy little bottle of local produce.
 
Van Dieman's Leatherwood Honey Amber takes its colour and name from, as any true Tasmanian Apiary will tell you, the best darn honey in the world. The blossoms of the leatherwood tree, which only grows in Tasmania, produce a honey rich in flavour and aroma, deep in colour and high in sticky viscosity. This ink's vibrant amber hue and smooth sumptuous writing feel match its namesake well. Guaranteed not to clog or clot, you will be very happy with this sweet little bottle of deliciousness.

West Coast Sunset Tangerine

Van Dieman's West Coast Sunset Tangerine is a stunning and outstandingly vibrant orange, with plenty of inspiration from the vibrant and dazzling hues one witnesses in the furthest western regions of Tasmania, on those wild and woolly beaches, in the late, late evening of a south sea summer. With subtle hints of magenta and mustard yellow, and guaranteed not to clog or clot, you will be very happy with this brightly hued little bottle of radiance.

 
Van Dieman's Tasmanian Robin Pink is a bubbly and effervescent ink, halfway between a hot pink and magenta. Named after the Pink Breasted Robin of Australia's Southern Regions, this ink takes on a more playful, lighthearted part in Van Dieman's otherwise more wild and majestic inspirations. Bound to stand out as boisterously on the page as its namesake does in the wild and guaranteed not to clog or clot, you will be very happy with this chirpy little bottle of vivacity.
 
Van Dieman's Pinot Noir Wine Red is a smooth, mellowed ink with flavours of plum and cherry and a touch of an oaky finish. Tasmanian Pinot Noir is renowned for its subtlety and delicate palate, owing to the cool, mild climate of the region and the high quality soil. The Tamar region, in particular, has some outstanding examples of this fine varietal. This ink takes its warmer, duskier red hue, with hints of royal blue and chocolate brown, from this pleasing local produce. Guaranteed not to clog or clot, you will be very happy with this luscious little bottle of intoxication.

Tasmania Vine Purple

Van Dieman's Tasmania Vine Purple is a deep and sumptuous purple, bordering on violet. The Tasmania Vine, which bears fruit of the same, deep rich purple hue, gives this ink its colour. This purple is dark enough to use even as a blue substitute. Guaranteed not to clog or clot, you will be very happy with this little bottle of royalty.

Freycinet Aquamarine

Van Dieman's Freycinet Aquamarine is a serene, tranquil blue, named after the mountainous, coastal national park on the far eastern coast of Tasmania. Freycinet beach, with its gentle azure waters, pure white sand and forested mountainous backdrop gives the impression of a tropical paradise to match any in the northern states. This ink takes its caerulean hue from this remote and untouched haven. Guaranteed not to clog or clot, you will be very happy with this colourful little bottle of tranquillity. 

 
Van Dieman's Styx Valley Forest Green is a deep, darkened ink, with a moss and foliage hue. The Styx River Valley, in south central Tasmania, is an old growth forest, often named The Valley of the Giants, as it is home to Australia's tallest trees and the tallest flowering trees in the world. The sense of ancient reverence that this hallowed place instils is the inspiration for this arboreal ink. Guaranteed not to clog or clot, you will be very happy with this organic little bottle of wilderness.

Wattle Yellow

Van Dieman's Wattle Yellow is a bright and vivid colour that gives a luster and freshness to the page in the same way our own national treasure colourfully livens up the bushland and street sides that is grows on. This is definitely on the brighter, whiter side of yellow and almost disappears in direct sunlight. Guaranteed not to clog or clot, you will be very happy with this sweet and delicate little bottle of Australian flora.

Oakwood Brown

Van Dieman's Oakwood Brown is a warm and nostalgic ink, which reminisces of Tasmania's Victorian heyday and the plethora of deciduous trees planted in her many pleasure gardens. These still decorate the city streets each Autumn with rich reds, golden yellows and luscious browns that make up this hue. Guaranteed not to clog or clot, you will be very happy with this crunchy little bottle of local produce.

Cradle Mountain Grey

Van Dieman's Cradle Mountain Grey is a wild and rugged ink, modelled on the hue of its namesake, high in Tasmania's northern wilderness, reflected in the serene waters of Lake St. Clair. With subtle hints of umber and mottled green upon its slopes, this imposing tone will dominate its surroundings. Guaranteed not to clog or clot, you will be very happy with this crunchy little bottle of local produce.

    The Hollywood Series

    The Hollywood Series, our second to come out, is three fountain pen inks and our first three shimmer inks, all inspired by iconic actresses and moments in film.

    Blonde Bombshell

    Blonde bombshell is the very essence of the ultimate 1950’s Hollywood starlet pin up. The iconic sex kittens of the fifties; Marilyn Monroe, Jane Mansfield, Bridget Bardot, oozed glamour and were care free, talented actresses and models of their time. Their sex appeal lit up the silver screen and they were known for being the most beautiful women in the world. This colour shows tribute to all these iconic beauties of their time and celebrates their femininity and beauty and not to shy from who you are, but to embrace it, show your true self and flaunt it.

    Diamonds are a Girl's BFF

    The beautiful dress that Marilyn Monroe wore in 1953 in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was the inspiration behind this colour. Marilyn, easily Hollywood’s most recognizable starlet, looked breathtaking in this dress and Van Dieman’s Inks celebrates Marilyn in this iconic performance in film history. This ink is a velvety, vibrant, cool but dazzling tone with silver shimmer like diamonds.

    Elizabeth's Violet Eyes

    Elizabeth Taylor was one of the most beautiful women in the world. Beginning her career in acting at a very young age, the gifted actor went on to star in films that were timeless classics, including Cleopatra in 1963, and Cat on a hot tin roof. Elizabeth’s grace and beauty was exquisite and she charmed audiences around the world with her amazing talent and her gorgeous violet eyes.

    My Fair Audrey

    Audrey Hepburn’s stunning charm and grace made her a film and fashion icon. Van Dieman’s Inks pays tribute to Audrey and is inspired by Audrey’s beautiful deep mahongany eyes and dark chestnut hair, in a cute sophisticated pixie cut which shows off Audrey’s flawless beauty.

    Rita Hayworth Locks

    Rita Hayworth was the top pin up girl for WW2 in the 1940s. Rita’s glamorous beauty and femininity gave her the nickname “the love goddess”. Rita’s popularity starred her in many films that the sultry siren contributed 37 years to the film industry. Van Diemans wanted to capture Rita’s fiery red locks that she was so well known for and still is to this day.

    Ruby Slippers

    Ruby Slippers was the birth of color TV in 1939. A very young Judy Garland captivated audiences worldwide staring as Dorothy in the Epic movie The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy and the ruby slippers left us all spellbound to the screen through her adventures in the land of OZ. To celebrate this magical movie Van Diemans Ink had to Praise Judy and the Ruby Slippers.

     

    The Midnight Series

    The Midnight Series  are three fountain pen inks and 5 shimmer inks, all inspired by the dark and somber hues that come our when the sun has gone away.

    Blackened Seas

    This blue-black ink has mottled green tones and a dark red sheen. Inspired by Louie and Claudia’s travels on the nocturnal Mediterranean, in the ‘94 film Interview with the Vampire.

    Enchanted Woods

    This is a dark and verdant green, with an earthy red sheen, illuminated by a silvery shimmer, suggestive of moonlight scattering on autumnal frost on the forest floor.

    Twilight Mist

    This ink is the effervescent glow of the ominous purple colour that transpires within darkened woods and lofty mountains in the earliest hours of the morning.

    Midnight Sky

    This is a jet black ink with a triple hit of shimmer in silver, gold and purple, embodying the polychromatic myriad of stars that pepper our skies at night.

    Bonfire Night

    This hot red ink is engulfed in a golden shimmer, like the licking flames of a bonfires, surrounded by dancing, merriment and celebration of the night.

    Eclipse

    Occurring once every few hundred years, this darker,, near perfect grey ink with a subtle hint of brown earthy undertones is inspired by the dreamlike “midnight in the day”.

    Sailor's Delight

    Inspired by the beautiful fire-lit sky at dusk over sea, giving good hopes of a calm night’s travels. A red sky at night is a Sailor’s Delight, but a red sky in the morning is a sailor’s warning.

    Howl at the Moon

    Howl at the moon is a silver shimmered dark yellow ink, inspired by the iconic image of a full yellow moon illuminating the night sky, silhouetting a lone alpha wolf, and uplifting the moods of everyone beneath.

    The Wilderness Series

    The Wilderness Series is ten fountain pen inks inspired by the majestic, beautiful and ofttimes humbling wonders that await in the Tasmanian wilds. As an extension of our original Van Dieman's Colours of Tasmania, and as a series unto itself, we created the Wilderness Series to encapsulate the natural colours of this awe-inspiring and untouched southern land.

    Azure Kingfisher

    The color was inspired by the stunningly beautiful Tasmanian Azure King Fisher, whose plumage is a remarkably entrancing blue with a unique deep red sheen, while his breast has golden fiery orange tones. This complex and multifaceted ink was built to replicate all the beauty in the kingfisher’s coat, with shades from light aqua, to teal green and dark royal blue, and a golden shimmer that plays with the light to create greenish tones, all bordered by a vibrant red sheen. This ink is decadent, eye-catching and a true delight to write with.

    Black Tongue Spider Orchid

    This color was inspired by the exotic and enticing Black tongue spider orchid (Caladenia caudata). Tasmania’s orchids are some of the most beautiful in the world this species is found only in Tasmania. The Black Tongue Spider Orchid, with a gorgeous shade from black to deep magenta, is under conservation and listed as vulnerable due to agricultural expansion and disturbance in burning in certain regions.

    Devil's Kitchen

    The Devil’s kitchen, where The Great Southern Ocean smashes into scattered inlets lining the Eagle Hawk Neck cliff face on the eastern side of the Tasman Peninsular, creating a violent churn and the rich vibrantly cool teal which inspires this colour. Tasmania’s wilderness of this caliber is breath taking.

    Eucalyptus Regnans

    This ink is based on the colour of the tallest flowering trees in the world. With a mottled kakhi green tone, the magnificant Tasmanian Mountain Ash, or Eucalyptus Regnans, grows up to lengths of 100 meters. Growing in such places as the "Valley of the Giants", these iconic Tasmanian Eucalyptus trees have a lustre and beauty within their own right and are a lost wilderness themselves.

    Federation Peak

    This ink is an ash dark grey based upon Federation Peak, a lone quartzite mountain possessing a menacing sharp spire on the Eastern most tip of the East Arthur ranges, overlooking Hanging Lake and 600m above Lake Geeves in the south west wilderness of Tasmania.

    Firetail Finch

    This ink is a unique and vivid red, inspired by the The Beautiful Firetail, a native bird species endemic to Tasmania and the neighbouring islands, standing out with his lustrous red tail. This finch, and many other of Tasmania’s fauna remain abundant, due to the vast stretches of wilderness left untouched.

    Hanging Lake

    Situated within the isolated east Arthur ranges of Tasmania’s South West Wilderness is Hanging Lake, one of the highest altitude melt-water tarns, a serene majestic dark blue lake hidden within the rugged back drop of Federation Peak. Van Dieman’s wanted to take our time with this colour to do this untouched wilderness justice. This ink is a dark blue-black ink with a strong mahogany sheen, and is an excellent everyday writing.

    Hastings Caves

    Tasmania is home to some of the deepest and longest cave systems in the world. When brightly lit, this huge complex of dolomite caves at the southern most tip of Tasmania shines a golden brown and glistens with its countless delicate stalactites. Hastings is also home to a natural hot spring that warms the nearby rivers year-round to 280C. We were inspired by the golden brown and honey tones this natural wonder possesses and wanted to illustrate its beautiful lustre. This ink shades from faintest yellow to dark amber, with greenish edging sheens and light silver shimmer.

    Huon Pine

    The Lagarostrobes Franklinii is an ancient yet threatened tree, living as long as 3,500 years, native only to Tasmania and found solely in the damp, subalpine southernmost regions of the island. The Huon is not a true pine, but the solitary member of its own family. This ink takes its colour from The Huon Pine’s rich green foliage and is inspired by its uniqueness. Darker than our Apple Island Green, yet not as deep as Styx Valley Forest Green, this ink is a perfectly balanced green for any writer.

    Spotted Sun Orchid

    This beautiful color is another edition to Van Dieman’s purple collection, close to a lilac tone with a soft bluish hue. Inspired by the native flower The Spotted Sun Orchid which, like its name shows colors on the flower that range from warm to cool, but with this gorgeous flower it has spots of a darker tones closer to it’s pistil. This excellently shading ink ranges from very light soft blue-lilac to a strong muted lavender.

    Tassie Seasons

    Tassie Seasons is our fifth series in Van Dieman's  collection of Tasmanian Fountain Pen Inks. These sixteen inks encapsulate the changing colours of Tasmania's seasons, with four inks dedicated to each season. Tassie Seasons is a mix of dark and light, warm and cool, every-day writing worthy and artistically minded colours, including two shimmer inks.

    Tasmania is the only state in Australia with a truly temperate climate. Winter exhibits colourful festivals in the south, generous snowfalls in the central highlands, and foggy days in Launceston from July through to September. Cool and breezy spring days unveil a kaleidoscope of native flowers, vibrantly plumed birds and stunning butterflies. An abundance of local produce arrives in the summer, to be enjoyed with a day at the many beaches, and followed by the ominous summer storm. In Autumn enjoy late seasons figs and pepperberries and marvel at Australia's only native deciduous tree at the turning of the fagus.

    Tiger Snake

    Tiger Snake is an ink that was as close as possible to the golden yellow-brown stripes that give the Tasmanian Tiger Snake its name. Just as how this colour allows its namesake to camouflage perfectly with the dry foliage of the summer wilds and swamps, this colour is perfectly used in drawing and painting leaves, grasses and a wide variety of elements in landscape. Darker than the average yellow, lighter than any brown, and more dynamic than the average olive or khaki shade, we were inspired by this beautiful creature to create an ink that is a beautiful golden rich brown, bordering on yellow. It is a versatile colour, muted, soft and androgynous, with more dimension than other secular light brown inks, and was used to great extent in the artwork for the Tassie Seasons. It mimics the Tasmanian Tiger Snake's distinct yellow/brown stripes, which embodies Tasmania.

    Wineglass Bay

    Wineglass bay holds a special place in the heart of any Tasmanian, or anyone for that matter, who has visited there. Nestled between sea, sand, forest and mountains, taking 2 hours to walk from the nearest road, this enchanted cove is one of earth's last remaining truly pristine locations. Its still, azure waters lap at the snow white beaches with serene nonchalance. This blue ink is lighter than any blue from the previous Van Dieman's Series, save for Pixie Parasols. It shades beautifully to a pale cyan, and holds a fine red sheen on certain paper types.

    Tassie Salmon

    Nowhere in the world is Salmon farmed in such extreme conditions, as the southern seas off the coast of Tasmania. With nothing but open ocean for a thousand miles to Antarctica, and a global circumnavigation on either side, one feels like they have stepped off the edge of the world. These rough and tumultuous, yet extraordinarily fertile seas produce the most incredibly delicious salmon in the world. We want to pay tribute to this amazing produce that Tasmania cultivates. This ink is a pinky red with amazing shading qualities, designed with artists in mind, but beautiful in a medium to broad nibbed pen.

    Hailstorm

    The menacing and imposing grey of a thunderstorm approaching is enough on its own to send a shudder down one's spine, but is all the more foreboding when it is accompanied by an ominous green hue. This ink pays homage to this awe-inspiring site in nature, which is all too common in the late afternoon of a Tasmanian Summer. This ink shades from a light khaki green to a deep, dark, near black, perfectly matched to any wet writing pen for a dark alternative to an everyday writer, and beautifully utilized in brushwork and ink washing.

    Pepperberry

    Tassie Seasons' Pepperberry is a deeply dark black-blue ink, with a slight violet hue, named and based on the native Tasmannia lanceolata, commonly known as the Tasmanian Pepperberry. Used as a traditional medicine and as a pepper substitute by early colonials, it is now sought after as an Australian bushfood condiment.

    Pepperberry is Van Dieman's darkest blue ink to date, bordering on jet black with broad and wet-writing pens, but exhibiting blue and violet hues under light and a dark red sheen.

    Sweet Fig

    Tasmanian produce is among the richest and most delicious in the world, and Autumn is in no way lacking. Decadent, dark figs are an easy find in the backyards of Tasmanian homes, as well as the orchards that pepper the state. 
    This ink, which is a deep, dark mahogany red with purplish tones and a near black sheen, is an excellent alternative as an everyday writer, appearing nearly black in wet writing pens, but with a warm, velvety hue. 

    Deciduous Beech

    Situated within the isolated east Arthur ranges of Tasmania’s South West Wilderness is Hanging Lake, one of the highest altitude melt-water tarns, a serene majestic dark blue lake hidden within the rugged back drop of Federation Peak. Van Dieman’s wanted to take our time with this colour to do this untouched wilderness justice. This ink is a dark blue-black ink with a strong mahogany sheen, and is an excellent everyday writing.

    Pixie Parasols

    Mycena Interrupta are tiny, fragile, translucent mushrooms, growing in clusters on rotting wet wood in the Autumn months of Tasmania. They earn their cute, catchy name from their diminutive size and their white gills, which show through their translucent caps, giving the illusion of parasol structures, while their colour is a bright, brilliant cyan. These beautiful and delicate little mushrooms lend their name and colour to this ink, which is easily the lightest blue in the Van Dieman's Range. This inks shades very well, and is perfectly suited for artistic brushwork and inkwashing, but also beautiful in medium to broad nibbed pens.

    Black Truffle

    Australia is the world's largest producer of truffles outside of Europe, and Tasmania was the birthplace of Australian truffles, when Tim Terry unearthed the first Tasmanian truffle in the winter of 1999, the result of 8 years work. Along with fine wine, south seas salmon, an array of stone fruits, berries and exotic herbs, truffles make up a part of Tasmania's extraordinarily high quality culinary produce. This ink is the second black in the Van Dieman's Range, and has a noticeably brown hue when shading, with an oily black sheen on certain papers.

    Launceston Fog

    Every winter, the city of Launceston, nestled in the valleys between the North Esk and South, becomes enshrouded in a fog so thick in regularly stops traffic and puts the city in a standstill. This ink, with its incredible shading variation between near black and the lightest grey in the Van Dieman Range, mimics the same variations in light and dark that Launceston experiences during the winter months of fog. This ink has an extremely slight brownish hue, and is an excellent ink for drawing, sketching and ink washing where a wide range of depth and texture is desired, but flows smoothly with great effect from any medium or broad nibbed pen.

    Morning Frost

    Winters in Tasmania are cold, bitter and moist and, although snowfall is regular in the high country, much of the state wakes each morning to a thick blanket of crisp, crunching ice on every blade of grass, fallen leaf and car windscreen. This ink starts with a bitter cold blue grey, and dries to a shining shimmering silver, which blends with the underlying ink colour to become almost metallic, resembling the dewy sheen on blades of grass in early winter mornings that crunch under your feet.

    Huon Midwinter Festival

    We created this particular colour to resemble and sum up the feeling of a time in your youth, at a festival at night in the cold midwinter. Your senses are tingling at the taste of hot chocolate that warms you up, the chorus of music echoing in the dark, the smell of hot food cooking at stalls, and the shimmering colours and bright luminescence of fairy lights, tea lights and bonfire.

    Native Cornflower

    The Brunonia Australis, also known as the blue pincushion, is a native Australian herb, creating beautiful clusters of blue flowers in the springtime. This light blue ink is a true cornflower blue, with good shading and a very light sheen, noticeable solely on high quality acid-free papers. This ink is an excellent everyday writer when an understated blue is desirable, and is wonderful for bush work and ink washing, as it was in the artwork for the Tassie Seasons labels.

    Pink Fairy Orchid

    Caladenia latifolia are commonly known as Pink Fairy Orchids, and produce gorgeous pale blushing pink petals in the early spring in Tasmania. The pink of these flowers is an absolute delight to behold and was the inspiration for this ink, being the lightest, fairest pink in the Van Dieman's Range. Shading beautifully, this ink is excellent for artwork, be it brush work, line work or ink washing, and performs well in medium or broad nibbed pens.

    Cloudburst

    The cloudburst is one of Tasmania's significant weather patterns that engulfs the mountainous terrain. The dark, rich blue signifies the darkened clouds that appear out of nowhere on a clear sunny day, which gives the illusion of the darkened and yet somehow bright blue that drenches pockets across the region in short but powerful downpours, seeming like water bursting out of the cloud. These spectacular occurrences usually appear throughout spring, and when it does the color from the cloud can be stunning.

    Macleay's Swallowtail Butterfly

    Graphium macleayanus moggana is the only swallowtail butterfly found in Tasmania. They have brilliant green wings that can be seen throughout Tasmania's wilderness from their first metamorphosis in August, feeding on the nectar of wild native flowers and circling the tops of trees. This ink is by far the lightest green in the Van Dieman's Range, and was used to great effect on the artwork of the Tassie Season's labels. This ink is excellently used in brush work and ink washing, but also creates a light, near fluorescent line in medium to broad nibbed pens.