Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Paper is the best!

My friend Sam sent me this blog from LifeHacker High Five that was an online vote for the best to-do list manager. And what came out on top? Paper. And this is with the extremely hip and online savvy LifeHacker crowd! Why? Paper has no sync problems, never crashes, no mal-ware, viruses, spamming, identity theft, updates, or cookies. Paper rocks! (but I don't have to tell YOU that)

http://lifehacker.com/5575748/best-to+do-list-manager-paper

Write Time at 9: June 29, 2010

Join us live every Tuesday night at 9pm EST for Write Time at 9! We talk pens, paper, ink, and random other things (writing related usually).




Link to Ustream for the recorded broadcast.

Fun Broadcast!!! I had a blast during this one (again!). Hot topics I covered: Clariefontaine special orders for French-only products, DC Fountain Pen Supershow, Caran d'Ache ink bottles, my new flex-nib pens I have coming, ink swab color profiling, backordered Diamine inks, ETA on J. Herbin 100ml bottles, Weekend Reads blog posts, and various other things!

Congratulations to Mike (s/n MTruppi) for being the one to win this week's giveaway. This week I gave out a Clairefontaine Life. Unplugged. Staplebound Duo, small pack of red and GREEN (I kept saying red and TAN during the broadcast, unknowingly!).

Some thoughts for next week's broadcast: What do you want to see me bring to the DC Pen Show? How do you like the Weekend Reads blogs?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

J. Herbin 100ml bottles are almost here!

It's no secret that J. Herbin has been coming out with 100ml bottles to make the most popular inks more economical. They are offering 6 colors:



The update is that Exaclair has the 100ml bottles in transit, they are expected to arrive in mid-July, about two weeks from now. The list price is going to be $19 per bottle, I'll be selling them for $18 at GouletPens.com.

The bottles themselves are not spectacular, they're plastic and will not be ideal for those who use the fat ol' fountain pens. The openings are the same size as the current 30ml bottles. So okay, the bottles aren't fantastic, but the price per ml is pretty good! The (list) price per ml for the 30ml bottles is $0.33, and for the new 100ml bottles will be only $0.19! No doubt the plastic bottles were a compromise for the sake of keeping the price for the 100ml bottles lower.

So what do you think? 





Herbin 100 ml new!nouveau! from paperandco on Vimeo.

Monday, June 28, 2010

10 discontinued J. Herbin ink cartridge colors....??



Rumor has it that J. Herbin is going to discontinue 10 of their 30 colors in cartridge form (all 30 colors will still be offered in 30ml bottle form). It's not a HUGE shocker, as many other pen companies only have a partial color list in their cartridges, if they have any at all! Carts are not a huge seller, their bottled counterparts are much more popular (and economical). Here's the 10 carts they're looking to axe:

Bouquet d'antan
Rose tendresse
Rouille d'ancre
Bouton d'or
Café des iles
Cacao du Brésil
Ambre de Birmanie
Vert Réséda
Bleu Azur
Rouge Bourgogne

This is not 'official' word I have from anyone at J. Herbin, but has come from a fairly reliable source, Jean-Elie Sobolevicious, owner of Penandco.com. He is located in Paris and has close ties with the folks at J. Herbin, dishing all of the latest updates and info of the latest Herbin happenings on the Fountain Pen Network. Check out the original thread where he listed the ink names to be slashed (entry #21).

Café des Îles and Cacao du Brésil are some of their more popular colors, which is interesting to me....I suppose the more popular colors are used more often, therefore sell more in bottle form? It's hard to say, I haven't been carrying cartridges long enough to have any reliable data on comparison between cart and bottle sales. The rest of the colors aren't huge shockers for me though. Though I have to admit, I had suspected Diabolo Menthe and Gris Nuage might be on the chopping block, but I guess they're safe for now!

So what do you think of this news? Break your heart? You couldn't care less?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Okami Whatever Guest Blog: Diamine Imperial Purple Review

Julie Bynum is the blogger behind Okami Whatever, and she was kind enough to do her first review for me. Enjoy! ~Brian Goulet

Diamine Imperial Purple is available in 2ml samples for $1.25 and 80ml bottles for $12.50 at The Goulet Pen Company.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Weekend Reads

 I'm trying out something new called Weekend Reads. Every weekend (Saturdays, probably) I'll post links to some of my favorite writing-related blogs that have been published that week. If you like the format, I'll make it a weekly thing!

Ink:

The Orchard: J. Herbin Redux

Spiritual Evolution of the Bean- Similar Inks: Herbin Orange Indien and Diamine Blaze Orange
DizzyPen: Iroshizuku Substitutes

PocketBlonde: Diamine NC Flamingo Pink

Lady Dandelion: Leaning Towards Red- 15 inks

Lady Dandelion: 16 Inks with the Blues


Paper:

The Orchard: Blank Book Showdown, Habana vs. Rhodia

Spiritual Evolution of the Bean- Rhodia LeCarré review

The Orchard: DCP, GrafIt, Kalligraphe, and Exacompta Sketchbook Comparison

Unposted: Back to the Classics (Clairefontaine)

Unposted: Clairefontaine Roadbook


Pens:

Lady Dandelion: Mont-Blanc 144 from the 1950's

Lady Dandelion: Pilot M90's revisited

InkyJournal: Lamy Al-Star Coffee Brown (Broad)

Inkophile- Tips for Buying from a Pen Board


Friday, June 25, 2010

Ink Swabs: My Color Management Quest!

I spent the better part of last week doing ink swabs, but to be honest I've been a little frustrated with certain colors not turning up accurately in either scans or pictures. My friend and fellow Technoscribe Sam is a photographer and quite technically savvy, and he's been entertaining my quest for accurate ink scans! What I aim to do is go beyond simply scanning and posting ink swabs....that's easy to do. What I want to do is post ACCURATE ink swabs that actually reflect the true colors of the ink! It's most certainly easier said than done.

In an hour-long conversation with Sam about 'profiling' my devices, I think I have a game plan about how to make swabs as accurately represented as possible. The main problem that we all face with trying to view accurate colors on a computer is that every device that is used in the process has different physical properties that are not in sync. My scanner has its properties, my computer monitor has different properties, and your computer monitor has different properties. Even if we set the same brightness and color contrast, the physical makeup of the devices will show colors slightly different. It's not necessarily something that would be noticeable 98% of the time, but when we're 'pushing the boundaries' of color management like with ink swabs, the difference can be severe. The key to getting all of the physical devices to be in sync is with something called profiling.

Profiling is basically setting all of the physical devices to one standard so you know the colors you're seeing are actually what they are intended to be! Photographers do this with 18% grey cards and setting their white balance. If using a scanner, then you scan a lab-tested standardized color card and a computer program interprets exactly how the scanner 'views' colors. The program then tells you what settings to adjust in your photo editing program to adjust the scanner's reading to reflect the 'true' colors. Monitors are different, they require physical devices to be profiled, and that's about all I understand about that so far!

Now I'm really pushing the limits of my understanding of color management, which is a topic upon which most professional photographers likely overlook! But here's a simple example of the differences in color profiles. Here's a picture of my Caran d'Ache ink swabs as I scanned them in:


Now here's the exact same picture but converted to an RGB profile:

You may notice a subtle difference between the two pics, especially with the Blue Sky and Saffron. That's no surprise, yellows, oranges, and blue are more affected by color profiling. Though this difference is subtle (and this is a very conservative example), it can make or break the difference between an ink you'll love and an ink you'll hate! Proper coloration as I see it is important enough for me to investigate further. It's a topic well outside my area of expertise, though, so I'm going to take my time to figure it all out. If you know about color management and scanner/monitor profiling, please, help! ;)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ink Blot #15: G. Lalo Vergé de France Sampler Pack

As a part of my effort to offer samples of as many products as possible, I've assembled the G. Lalo Vergé de France stationery sampler at GouletPens.com. Check out my full review of the Vergé de France line.

Verge paper has the look and feel of handmade paper. It even has the grid of parallel translucent lines (“vergeures”) made as the paper was laid to dry. These grids are very helpful as guides for handwriting. There are vertical watermark lines running down the paper that you can see when you hold it up to the light. On the large White and Ivory sheet, there is even a G. Lalo logo watermark in the center of the sheet (only visible if held up to the light).

It is 100g weight, which is short for 100gsm, grams per square meter. One square meter of the paper weighs 100 grams, which is on the thicker end of most papers. The higher the 'g', the thicker the paper. Though this doesn't necessarily mean it will prevent bleedthrough, it's generally a pretty good place to start. The Vergé paper performs wonderfully, I haven't yet been able to induce feathering or bleedthrough of any kind.

I offer 4 different colors of Vergé de France regularly: White, Ivory, Champagne, and Lavender. There are 12 colors in all, but these four are the only ones I have on hand. They're offered in A4 and A5 sizes, with corresponding envelopes. The packs I've put together include 4 A4 sheet, 4 A5 sheet, and 2 of each size envelope, for $5. It's more expensive per sheet to get your paper this way, but it's not a bad deal for testing out if you consider the full tablets and envelope packs would cost you over $50! I also offer two Multicolor sampler packs, separated out into an A4 pack and A5 pack. Each pack includes 2 sheets of each color, and one envelope of each color. The A4 multicolor pack is $6, the A5 pack is $5.

***Update as of 1/9/11- GouletPens.com has discontinued carrying the lavender G. lalo, so the new sampler pack includes white, ivory, and champagne only. The prices have been lowered accordingly.

Link to YouTube for iPhones and full-screen viewing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Write Time at 9: June 22, 2010

Join us live every Tuesday night at 9pm EST for Write Time at 9! We talk pens, paper, ink, and random other things (writing related usually).



Link to Ustream for the recorded broadcast.

I have been working like CRAZY since last week to get all of my ink samples made up, as well as ink swabs. You can see how busy I was with the swabs here. I had them all made up at the start of the broadcast, and I was able to pull and compare a bunch of different colors that members in the 'chat' requested.

I'm introducing a new incentive to tune in live to my weekly broadcast....and what better way than FREE STUFF! Congratulations to Scott (s/n Jestre) who was the first to email me during the broadcast with an answer to my trivia question: "When was my first Ink Nouveau blog post?" The answer was January 15, 2010 with Episode #01: Ink Nouveau Intro. Scott won a 30ml bottle of J. Herbin scented ink, shipped free from yours truly ;) I'll be doing some sort of giveaway every week to bribe coax trick encourage everyone to join me live for my broadcasts! I won't announce what the item is or when during the broadcast the giveaway will happen, so you have to be alert ;)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mike Truppi Guest Blog: Diamine Mediterranean Blue

Mike is one of the few who have been with me since the beginning of my blog. He and I are very similar in some respects, both married, in our mid-twenties, performing arts backgrounds, and discovering fountain pens and fine writing for the first time without prior exposure to it growing up. He is a good example of the 'newer' generation of fountain pen users, using the internet to discover a seemingly lost passion. ~Brian Goulet

I’m a relative newcomer to the world of fountain pens. My background is in the performing arts. As both an actor and director I make heavy use of both pen and paper to make notes on scripts, analyze characters, breakdown scenes, and to generally work out difficult bits of a play somewhere other than in my head. I’m also an avid reader and frustrated wannabe writer, so I began carrying around a small Moleskine notebook to keep track of all of the interesting tidbits, factoids, quotes, and scraps of ideas that I came across every day. Since I tend to obsess over small things sometimes I began the hunt for the perfect pen to carry around with me to keep track of my thoughts. Pilot G-2s had long been my pen of choice and after discovering the world of pen blogs I started accumulating Japanese gel pens with microscopic points in a mind boggling array of colors. It was only a matter of time before I bought my first disposable fountain pen and a Rhodia pad. My desk is now splattered with numerous colors of ink, my hands perpetually stained, and I will soon need a shelf dedicated to all of the paper I have started stockpiling.

I stumbled upon Ink Nouveau last fall. I think it was the first fountain pen blog I started to regularly read. Brian was on his third entry or so and my obsession for pen, ink, and paper has steadily grown, largely because of blogs like this and the FPN. I’m very excited to be writing my first ever review as a guest blogger for Ink Nouveau! I hope you find it helpful.

Diamine Mediterranean Blue is an absolutely gorgeous shade of light blue. It is bright, fun, and vibrant but still very readable on both white and ivory paper.
From everything I have read, and from the few samples I have used, Diamine inks seem to be very well-behaved. Mediterranean Blue flowed nicely in my Lamy Vista which is normally a bit of a dry writer. Mediterranean Blue doesn’t have any skipping trouble and I never have trouble with the pen starting right up with this ink. There is no nib creep and I have no trouble rinsing it out of my pens or off of my fingers.

I am a big fan of highly saturated inks, vibrant colors, and inks that show off a lot of shading. What surprised me most about Mediterranean Blue was the amazing shading even with an extra fine nib. The color variation that I get when I write with this ink keeps me coming back for more. I was very impressed that I was able to get such great line variation without a broader nib.




The one draw back to the lovely line variation is that the ink takes longer to dry in spots. I have adapted to it when I use this pen and ink combo and can avoid smudging pretty easy. I think that a lot of this has to do with the pen and the absorbency of the paper so YMMV. For the most part it dries fast enough for my purposes.


I have had no problem with bleedthrough or feathering with Mediterranean Blue. This is no surprise since I use Clairefontaine  paper 90% of the time. But when I do write on cheap paper at work I still find this ink to be very well-behaved. It is one of the only inks I own that writes well on post-it notes so that’s a big plus as well. I know the pen plays a part in this but I haven’t had post-it success with other inks in this same pen. (I wish Clairefontaine made sticky notes...)

I don’t have many other blue inks to compare this to so I used Herbin’s Eclat de Saphir to help show how light of a blue the Mediterranean is. I used three papers for this review: Lined Rhodia 80g from a No. 18 pad, Clairefontaine Triomphe lined stationary, and Ivory G. Lalo Verge de France. The writing was done with a Lamy Vista EF Nib and a glass dip pen. I used the lyrics from a Tom Waits song in the writing sample.

-Mike Truppi



Diamine Mediterranean Blue is available in 2ml ink samples for $1.25 as well as 80ml bottles for $12.50 from The Goulet Pen Company, where you can also find a huge assortment of Clairefontaine, Rhodia, and G. Lalo fine papers.

Monday, June 21, 2010

inkswabsinkswabsINKSWABS!!!!



While most dads were watching the US Open or drinking beer while manning the grill, I was doing ink swabs for every ink I have on hand. That's right, over 170 ink swabs on both white and ivory paper. Technically, it was over 400 swabs. Whew! But I did it for you all, because I want to try to bridge the gap as much as possible from the ink in my hands to what you see with your eyes.



Since inks look differently on white and ivory paper, I decided to do a swab on both colors of paper, to give you an idea of what each ink will look like on your own preference of paper. The paper than I standardized for these swabs is Clairefontaine Pollen 210g cards. Why? Because the pure color of the paper will show true representations of the ink, and the thicker cardstock will be durable enough to withstand an ink swab without puckering, as well as all of the handling I'll be doing for each of my ink reviews ongoing. This Pollen cardstock is not something I regularly carry, but is something Exaclair regularly imports that I can special order anytime. I bought full size sheets and cut them down to cards about 2"x2.25".



I have 6 brands of ink in all: J. Herbin, Caran d'Ache, Diamine, Sheaffer, Pelikan, and Private Reserve. Since I like to have the full line, this comes to over 170 different colors across the brands. There are a lot of similar colors across brands, so having the swabs makes it very easy to show a quick and dirty comparison. Some brands have more colors than others, as you can see from the size of their stacks!



I know that Q-tip swabs are not always very accurate to how an ink is going to look in a pen. However, inking up my pen 170 times is going to take a while for me to accomplish! Just check out all of the severed Q-tip heads I went through!!!



So what I decided to do was make a compromise, and use my J. Herbin Glass Dip Pen to write the brand and name of the ink on each swab. This shows what the ink looks like in writing form (much like a wet-writing broad nib would do) next to the swab.



These swabs are not the ultimate end-all-be-all for my ink comparisons, but they will certainly help to give you an idea of colors, especially because some of them REALLY don't look like what I thought they would by the names alone! Look for a lot of comparisons over the next couple of weeks. Not only will I be focusing a lot on doing different ink reviews, but I'll be assembling packages of ink samplers based on colors, too! Be sure to check back here frequently!

All inks brands you see here available at The Goulet Pen Company, in full-size bottles and 2ml sample bottles.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sheaffer Skrip Ink Swabs

I've had a lot of requests for Sheaffer Skrip swabs, so here you go!


The swabs were done on Clairefontaine 100g DCP paper. I haven't had a chance to ink these up in my pens yet, so I'll have to give some brief descriptions of what they look like based on the swabs and my opinion seeing them with my glass dip pen. Whenever I'm doing a scan with multiple colors at once, inevitably a few of the colors will look off, no matter what I try to do to correct them!

The Sheaffer Skrip inks come in 50ml bottles, and retail for $8 at The Goulet Pen Company. 2ml Samples are also available for $1.25.



Black: Not as saturated as Caran d'Ache Carbon or J. Herbin Perle Noir, it's very similar to Pelikan Brilliant Black. Some shading. Not too much to say here, it's black!

Blue: Royal blue, very similar to Caran d'Ache Blue Sky and Pelikan Royal Blue. It has a bit of a purplish hue to it, more than it shows in the scan.

Blue-Black: Less grey than the scan shows. It's not as saturated as Pelikan Blue-Black. A bit lighter version than Caran d'Ache Blue Night.

Brown: Not very saturated, very noticeable reddish hue (much more than the scan shows).

Green: This is really more of a sea foam green than a true green. It has a very bluish tone to it.

Purple: Vibrant, more so than the scan shows. Comparable to J. Herbin Violette Pensée.

Red: This is a nice bright red. The scan makes it look darker than it is, but it is just a bright, solid red.

Turquoise: In my opinion the nicest of the Sheaffer Skrips. Bright, beautiful, with some shading. A vibrant color.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Caran d'Ache Ink Swabs

I recently started carrying Caran d'Ache bottled ink (I'm a big fan, too), and noticed there were no readily available swabs of the inks! I plan to do more in depth analysis of each of the inks, but until then, this swab should at least give an idea of each of the colors:



The swab was done on a sheet of Clairefontaine DCP paper. The bottles are just amazing. The bottom half of the ink well is solid glass, and you will definitely want to hang on to these and reuse them for other inks down the road. They aren't cheap, selling for $17.50 per 30ml bottle at The Goulet Pen Company, but remember that a large portion of what you're buying is the ink well. You can also get 2ml samples of each color to try before you buy. Here's my take on each of the inks.

Firstly, a little disclaimer. I've noticed whenever I try to scan a host of different colors, some of them are more accurate to real life than others. For whatever reason, no matter how I adjust the colors, a few of them look different. I'll try to clarify which vary a bit!

Amazon: A wonderful green. I've been using this one in my Pelikan Script 1.0 lately, and it is a bright an vibrant green, like a J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage that's showing off for it's girlfriend.
Blue Night: A solid blue-black. It's very, very close to Sheaffer blue-black. Nice shading.
Blue Sky: A little different than I thought it would be by the name, it's more of a royal blue than a sky blue. Very close to Sheaffer blue.
Carbon: BLACK! What a dark, saturated black. Carbon is the perfect name for it. It has to be one of the blackest black inks I've seen. I want to load this one up in a pen and see how black it still is, though it seems pretty darn black!
Caribbean Sea: Wow, what a nice teal blue. I have been to the Caribbean once, and this color reminds me exactly of a local shop that was filled with Larimar artwork.
Grand Canyon: An earthy brown with a hiiiint of green, wonderful shading.
Saffron: WOW! Orange! The actual color is slightly lighter than it appears in the picture.
Storm: Nice wine color, very close to J. Herbin Poussière de Lune but with a tiny bit more purple to it.
Sunset: A vibrant crimson red, with just a pinkish hue. It definitely pops.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tracy King-Sanchez Guest Blog: Rhodia paper and MANY inks

Tracy King-Sanchez is a loyal customer of mine who has an interesting and inspiring story about her discovery of Clairefontaine. I'm incredibly thrilled that the products I carry have helped to reignite her passion for writing, that's what I strive to do with my customers and blog readers every day. She's done a wide assortment of ink samples on several different papers, utilizing one of the most fun and efficient ways to test ink colors: the glass pen. Be sure to also stop by Tracy's blog, It Is What It Is. Ink samples are available at GouletPens.com~ Brian Goulet

About 3 years ago, I had begun noticing a mild reaction to the paper in the new notebooks I was purchasing (itching, watery eyes, sinus problems). Even my joy for books had to be shelved due to this same reaction. In addition to loving pens and paper (and everything Mac), I'm a bibliophile. I own over 500 physical books (as well as an ever-growing eBook collection - I love my Kindle). I believe that the new efforts at recycling paper may have caused an unforeseen problem in the possible chemical or processing being used. I have searched the internet for facts to back my assertion; however, to date I have not found one stitch of evidence. At first, I thought it was just in my head, but it got so bad that I could not go long periods of time without having to get up and wash my hands and face, sometimes even turning to Sudafed. That's when my Macbook Pro and, later, Kindle became my best friends.

A few weeks ago I was strolling through my favorite little neighborhood down port - right on the Long Island Sound, and I came across a stationery store - of course, a beautifully bound journal caught my eye, and I just had to have it. That's when I saw these two small plastic wrapped books and the words "Life. unplugged" screaming out to me. I purchased them (and oddly enough, not the journal), not really realizing how much joy they would return to me. It was a few days before I sat down to rip open the plastic and discover the gems within. I'm in love!!!!! Clairefontaine, I wish I had known you sooner. I am halfway through one of the books and have been holding back, but now with the arrival of my treasure trove of Clairefontaine goodies, pen will go to paper once again, reawakening a part of me that had been lulled to sleep.

As a writer and aspiring filmmaker, writing is essential for me - pretty much like breathing. I originally wrote all my scripts with pen and paper, but I had to sadly abandon that approach until I met my new love - Clairefontaine. My favorite Clairfontaine product is Life. Unplugged Duos; I've gone through them like water. I can't wait to use the Loose Paper I just purchased.  While I love technology, there is nothing like pen and paper. I can't pass a beautiful bound journal without scraping the bottom of my purse for loose change in order to add to my ever growing journal collection. Yes, collection, as I have been unable to actually write in many of these journals due to my unexplained (un-collaborated) reaction to the paper. 
 
This is my first paper/ink review, so forgive me if I leave anything of importance out.
Also, ironically, this review was typed on my iPad using the Pages App - I love the
juxtaposition between old and new.

Anyway...

I really love Clairefontaine paper and was excited to try out the $3 Rhodia No. 16 Sampler
Pack from The Goulet Pen Company. The packet includes four types of paper (wideruled,
dot, graph and blank).

I started with the graph paper and immediately fell in love with the smooth Clairfontaine
Paper.



I tried a few different fountain pens (mostly Lamys) and inks and they all performed as
expected.

Next I tried the wide- ruled margin paper. At first glance, I was not a particular fan of the
wide margins - not something I would use daily. I do see how this could be extremely
accommodating for budgeting and/or record keeping.


Please forgive the horrible writing samples as I am extremely new to glass pens and
have yet to master the art of writing with one (I'll keep practicing).

Next up was the dotted paper. I have to admit, I am not a fan of dotted paper. This was
my first time using it, and I doubt I'll be purchasing more. I'm really glad I was able to
purchase a sample of it before committing to an entire pad/book.

Again, I ran into issues using the glass pens, but I did notice, even with all the
scratching my way through (and believe me I did a lot of scratching on the paper), the
paper held up. The paper is very strong and sturdy, and takes the heavy ink well.


I don't think the true ink colors are coming through in this review. I scanned the pages
using Fujitsu Photo Scan, I then saved it into iPhoto and emailed it to myself opening it
using my iPad. It's always interesting finding new ways to use technology. However,
these photos do a poor job getting across the look - and especially feel- of the paper
and ink.

Lastly, I used the blank paper. Let me state for the record, I do not do blank paper well. I
need lines - and even then, I'm all over the place. For me, I use paper for first drafts,
and am so thankful for computers for polishing up my act.

Anyway, as expected, the paper performed well, while my glass pen writing failed
miserably.


In terms of the ink, I am a fan of the J. Herbin line of inks - even when trying horribly to
use glass pens. I love the rich, deep color of the Caran inks - I will be purchasing more.
The jury is still out on Diamine, they may be a bit too saturated for me to appreciate the
color and shading - I'll have to see how they perform in fountain pens before I rule them
completely out (my guess is that they will probably do best in an extra-fine and/or fine
nib).

A side note - I must confess that my favorite ink is the Levenger Shiraz. I love, love, love
the rich color and am looking for something comparable in one of the other brands. I
use the Shiraz daily in my Rhodia Blank "Webbie" (as expected my hand writing is all
over the place - lines are a guideline and not a rule - no matter what the pun says).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dujuan Jackson Guest Blog: J. Herbin Violette Pensée, Rose Cyclamen, and Lierre Sauvage

This review is done by Dujuan Jackson, who is the blogger behind Inkthusiam. He asked me for samples of 'bright and saturated J. Herbin inks', and I chose 3 that I thought would be interesting for him to try: Lierre Sauvage, Violette Pensée, and Rose Cyclamen. ~ Brian Goulet


I'm new to the game, but whether it is gel ink or fountain pen ink, I like to play the same way. I like to play with LOTS of color. Deep, rich, vibrant colors. When Brian offered some samples up in exchange for some reviews, I couldn't type my email to him fast enough! I have my own blog that sort of fell by the wayside due to life, but that did not take away my desire to write, or try out new pens and inks. Brian did a great job with the trio of ink samples.

Being a lefty makes medium nibs a blessing and a curse. I love the ink that is laid down, it makes my brights brighter (and my whites whiter?) I can get a sense of the shading of the ink but I also need to worry about the actual amount of ink I'm laying down because my hand will trudge its way through and push and plop ink all over the page. To even out the mess I normally make with my Pelikano Junior medium nib, I thought I'd ink up my fine nib Lamy Vista.

Clairefontaine Wirebound:





Rhodia Graph Pad:





The pictures speak for themselves as far as colors are concerned. I will take this time to dish out my thoughts on what I saw in each of these inks. I am posting the swatch print that Karen from Exaclair sent me so you can get some sort of baseline of color.



J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage:



When I first glanced at the inks out of the package I was certain this would be my favorite. I was wrong. This isn't a bad thing but I did manage to surprise myself. This is also the only one of the three that I preferred in the fine nib. The green lays down pretty dark and that is my problem with it. Personally I like my greens lighter. Now please understand that I say this only from my experience from gel pen colors. The way the Lamy put a line down made the green lighter and was more enjoyable to me.

J. Herbin Violette Pensee:



A very smooth purple. This is the color I'm most likely to add to my collection. It is unique and soft but pops off the page very well. I adore how each nib brings out a different side of this color as well. Medium nib gives you a powerful deep purple and the fine nib delivers a softer side, both of which I like.

J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen:



Real men use pink! Okay, maybe not everyday but this is a very vibrant color. It comes off as a neon pink to me. The way the Pelikano Junior handled this ink was awesome! Tremendously bold and despite my initial thoughts of it out of the package, this turned out to be my favorite of the bunch. I simply wouldn't use it enough to justify purchasing a bottle, but I will enjoy the sample as long as it lasts.

Drying times:



I did this test for each color despite the fact that each ink came from the same company. I did this to keep a baseline for myself as I (hopefully) continue to review different inks. Some of the dry times varied, which I can't really explain but I did find it interesting. I also did this to emphasize the importance of quick drying to a lefty over-writer.

Lefty Bottom Line: I enjoyed these colors, especially the Violette and the Rose. Despite the awesome coloring J. Herbin tends to be on the page awhile before drying. This is negligible with a fine nib at a decent pace across the page but the medium nib will surely test the patience of a lefty if they are looking for a tidy page by the end.