Spring has arrived as evidenced by the floating heads of Gerber daisies visible from my kitchen window. No need for a hint from the calendar but there is a need to freshen my ink rotation in celebration of the season. The slot for red/orange had some intense competition that Rohrer & Klingner Morinda won with Noodler’s Cayenne and J. Herbin ’1670′ Rouge Hematite close behind. Maybe at the next fill…
Posts Tagged ‘J. Herbin’
2012 was a very lean year with few items to review and no ink or pen purchases. So there is little new to recommend. Still there are some favorites worth mentioning along with a few new products on my list of
Really Good Stuff
- Best new tool that came my way was the InkJournal.
- Best new paper product was any Stillman & Birn Sketchbook.
- Martha Stewart cahier – The batch I bought was fountain pen friendly and very attractive.
- Canson Art Book cahier – Surprisingly good performance for both pens and watercolors.
- Daycraft Gold Slab journal may not be perfect or easy to source but it sure is gorgeous.
- Rhodia pads got the most action. The orange covers make them a standout in my messy office.
- My regular ink rotation expanded with the inclusion of Noodler’s Ottoman Azure and Black Swan in Australian Roses. No new ink colors came my way but Karen at Exaclair sent three reformulated J. Herbin inks for comparison to what I had on hand that were produced prior to EU meddling. I still enjoy all three, Vert Empire, Lie de Thé, and Poussière de Lune, but they are a bit different.
- Current model pens with stock nibs that were consistently in my rotation included the Lamy Safari with an EF or 1.1mm italic and the Vista 1.1mm italic as well as the Levenger True Writer fine nib. Most of my other pens are no longer in production or have been modified. The greatest difference in my rotation this year was that fewer fine nibs like Pilots and Sailors got used while the Montblanc 220 OB never fell out of favor.
- Custom nibs can be heavenly or not. Nearly all of mine were crafted by different people and in some cases I don’t even know who did the work. However, one Masuyama stub and one Binder cursive italic rose to the top. The former was a dream from the first fill though Iroshizuku ku-jaku is its current best friend. If ever there was a fickle pen this one is it for it will mate with darned near any ink. The Binder sat unused for years until on a whim got paired with Ottoman Azure. Now that Pelikan M-215 Rings is a delight to use. Some nibs are finicky and the right ink can make a huge improvement in performance. Admittedly, a little inspiration helps or that Pel and Ottoman Azure would never have met. So don’t discount what you think might work. Just try it and see what happens.
- The pen that resided in my handbag was the Kaweco Classic Sport. If it accommodated a converter, the Kaweco would get more use and take up residence on my desk.
- Best new (to me) non-fountain pen writing instrument was a tie between the Sanford Uniball Gel Grip medium (utilitarian) and the Pentel Libretto (attractive). The Autopoint remained my favorite mechanical pencil in large part due to its 0.9mm HB lead. The Levenger True Writer Rollerball sporting a felt tip refill continued as my first choice when a fountain pen or mechanical pencil wouldn’t do.
That wraps up 2012. My wish list for 2013 is simple. Buy or trade for another stub or italic nib and acquire a few new inks, mostly Noodler’s or perhaps a Diamine or two. A bottle of Iroshizuku kon-peki might be nice but on that I can wait.
Did you get some “really good stuff” this year? What’s on your list for 2013?
Noodler’s Ottoman Azure and Black Swan in Australian Roses, J. Herbin Poussière de Lune, InkJournal, Stillman & Birn Sketchbook for Pen & Ink, Levenger True Writer, Autopoint Mechanical Pencil, Rhodia pad, Pelikan Tradition M-215 Black Rings fountain pen.
Blotters have come up in several posts lately so it’s time for a brief explanation for folks unfamiliar with or new to the concept.
By definition a blotter soaks up liquid. Nothing special about it. Something as simple as a tissue will do and I have used one on many occasions. A folded sheet of printer paper can work as well.
If you want something designed for the purpose or that is more absorbent, some retailers carry blotter sheets or smaller versions that are about the size of a bookmark. J. Herbin makes really nice ones.
My experience with using the real deal is they are worth the investment. The one below is at least six years old and just recently starting to fray.
A blotter can be used between pages when you close your journal to prevent smearing. A large one can be used behind the page on which you are writing to prevent ink bleeding through to the following page. It can serve as a convenient bookmark as well.
A blotter is a simple solution to ink smears and bleed-through for any type of pen but earns a highly recommended rating for fountain pens. This is one tool that everyone can use.
If you haven’t visited FPN recently, they’ve expanded and made it easier to find things that will surely appeal to an inkophile.
Just for fun here are a few of my favorite inks. Note that the swatches are imperfect and a bit pale. Even so these inks are awfully pretty and frequently in my rotation.
Once a week my fountain pens get a little play time whether they want to exercise or not. Doodles and a few written words ensure the ink still flows and the filler isn’t empty. To my surprise this time, several pens were dried out and in need of cleaning. Perhaps I missed a week but the more likely scenario is that warmer weather caused the ink to evaporate. No damage has been done but cleaning will take longer than usual with dried ink in the nibs and feeds. It was a reminder to pare my rotation for the warmest months and to add some lively summer hues.
- Diamine Claret
- Diamine Coral
- Diamine Jade Green
- Diamine Mediterranean Blue
- Iroshizuku shin-ryoku
- Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan
- Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses
- Sailor Yaki-Akari (turquoise)
My current utility inks, Noodler’s Zhivago and Waterman Florida Blue, are already loaded in a Parker ’51′ and a Waterman Carene stub. When temps get really hot, J. Herbin Larme de Cassis and Rouille d’Ancre will replace Kiowa and Nightshade.
From past experience none of these inks will be hard to rinse out should evaporation occur. Better not to have the problem in the first place, so my selection could get reduced further to one blue, one pink, and a turquoise all in wide nibs to maximize the effect. Summer will be colorful indeed.
Swabbed swatches are fun but not great representations of ink colors. From a nib these inks will be more concentrated and darker. Note that Diamine Coral did not turn out accurately. It is more pale as well as brighter than in the scan. Kiowa Pecan is darker and slightly less green than pictured but to some extent that is dependent on the pen.
Thanks to Biffybeans/Stephanie and Ann Finley for some of the inks pictured here.