Posts Tagged ‘herbin’


A Little Ink History For The True Geek


History really does put things in perspective. Look at the years in which some well-known companies began offering ink. To be sure this is only a partial list compared to the number of labels on the market but it is still a good sampling. Whether you like these particular brands or not, the companies are doing something right to endure. Kudos to all of them.

  • Aurora – 1919
  • De Atramentis – 1988
  • Diamine – 1864
  • J. Herbin – 1670
  • Noodler’s Ink – 2004?
  • Parker – 1931
  • Pelikan – 1838
  • Private Reserve – 1998
  • Rohrer & Klingner – 1892
  • Sheaffer – 1922
  • Waterman – 189?

Favorite Brand Of Fountain Pen Ink – The Poll Results


Remember that Favorite Brand of Ink poll from December? The poll has closed and the results are in. The top ten inks are

  1. Noodler’s
  2. Diamine
  3. J. Herbin
  4. Iroshizuku
  5. Private Reserve
  6. Waterman
  7. Sailor
  8. Pilot/Namiki
  9. Aurora
  10. Sheaffer

Noodler’s received a whopping 23% of the vote. That’s huge compared to the next three brands. Diamine at 14%, J. Herbin at 13%, and Iroshizuku at 12% are good numbers but Noodler’s reigns with Inkophile readers. Given the variety of colors offered by the top brand, perhaps the win shouldn’t be a surprise though Diamine runs a well-earned second in that regard.

Also, consider that four brands of ink garnered 62% of the vote while the next two brands received another 10% combined. That means 72% favor six companies and 28% prefer 29 other ink makers. Those top six companies are really doing something right though availability might play into preferences. The majority of you are located in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada where the top three inks are more easily purchased. Hard to love an ink you’ve never tried.

Many of the other ink brands are excellent quality and worth buying. I have lots of Rohrer& Klingner and use Solferino and Magenta regularly. When only a red ink will do, Morinda is my usual choice. Admittedly, I tend to horde my other preferred red, J. Herbin ‘1670’ Rouge Hematite. That’s one ink I do not want to be without.

That brings up another factor: cost. Noodler’s Ink is a veritable bargain compared to many brands especially since it can often be diluted without losing its best attributes. At $12.50 US, a single 3 oz./90 ml bottle can last a very, very long time. That doesn’t sway me when making a purchase but a pricey ink won’t find its way into my shopping cart except on rare occasion.

Many of my favorite individual inks like Caran d’Ache Storm and Montblanc Racing Green are made by companies farther down the list and I only discovered them through trial and error. Do keep looking if you haven’t found that perfect ink. It’s out there.


A 2012 Moleskine Planner And That Paper Issue


Last week the European Paper Company sent a Moleskine Weekly Notebook Diary/Planner 2011-2012 that I won in a giveaway. How could I not give it a test spin for Inkophile readers?

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2011-2012

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2011-2012

The planner comes with a supple, soft cover and two page layout. On the left side is a weekly calendar and on the right a lined page. There are lots of extras at the front of the notebook including a monthly calendar, schedule of international holidays, map of time zones, dialing codes, chart of measures and conversions, and more. The back has a pocket with a sheet of stickers. There is a ribbon bookmark and the whole package stays together with a neat elastic band. All to the good and fitting with the Moleskine brand and price.

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 - Interior Pages

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 – Interior Pages

As always Moleskine looks great and feels wonderful in the hand. The planner paper is thin which allows space for a huge number of sheets in a notebook a mere one centimeter thick. The good news is that the acid-free (pH neutral) paper feathers much less with fountain pen ink than the last time I tested a Moleskine. The bad news is that the paper shows significant bleed-through though less so with Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan, Zhivago, and Red-Black inks. Since both sides of the paper are necessary for the diary’s format, this could be a deal-breaker for fountain pen users.

Moleskine Academic Planner - Written Sample

Moleskine Academic Planner – Written Sample

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 - Written Sample (Reverse)

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 – Written Sample (Reverse)

Other writing instruments worked better but still there was a little ghosting. With such thin paper, this is to be expected. Years ago I used a Parker ’51’ Aero Special with a fine nib and Noodler’s Black ink in a Moleskine journal with good results. Pendemonium‘s Noodler’s Legal Lapis worked well as did J. Herbin Poussière de Lune. I suspect all would be good with this planner as well.  The Sharpie Pen and the Zig Millennium 05 were well-suited to the narrow line-spacing. In fact due to its fine point, the Sharpie will be my first choice for the Moleskine when I don’t have the ’51’ with Zhivago to hand. When I need color the Millennium with Pure Violet ink will do.

One of these days I’d like to test a recently manufactured regular Moleskine journal to see if the bleeding is an issue. Writing on one side of the page would solve the problem though it would be a less than economical use of the journal. There have been enough remarks on Fountain Pen Network from people who have no issues with Moleskine to make me think there are pens and inks that suit the paper beautifully. If you have had that sort of experience, the Moleskine Weekly Planner should be just right. If not, then expect to test and experiment until you find a suitable match. If you love fat juicey pens, I wouldn'[t recommend the Moleskine. Switch your pen or find a different planner, one known for tolerating fountain pen ink.

Parker '51' With J. Herbin Vert Empire On Moleskine

Parker ’51’ With J. Herbin Vert Empire In An Old Moleskine

Some non-fountain pen ink tests from DIYSara.


When A Pen Falls Out Of Favor


Sooner or later most of us trade or sell fountain pens but which ones to keep can be tricky. So I’ll share my criteria if you’ll share yours. Deal?

No doubt my pen preferences are evolving. Over the past ten years my tastes have expanded from a fixation with tiny Asian nibs to an infatuation with chunky Western ones. Consider me an equal opportunity pen fancier. Lesson learned is to maintain a varied collection and hang onto the odd ones. With the right ink and paper, almost any pen can be fun.

Another criteria is size. Thin or short pens can cause fatigue and are best suited to brief sessions. A heavy pen must balance well or it will flip out of my grip making it a poor choice unless I don’t mind a little ink flung here and there. Medium to large, light-weight pens work best these days though there are exceptions.

Filler mechanism is important and with few exceptions, levers are out unless the nib pops out easily. I like getting a pen really clean when changing inks and lever fillers are too much work. Most of mine have been sent to more appreciative collectors.

How often I use a pen is less relevant than whether another pen is similar. If two nibs are virtually identical, I might let one go if I’m not thrilled with it. Not foolproof but helpful.

Here’s a case in point. A couple of years ago I gave up on Pelikan pens. Nothing wrong with them. Good build quality, swappable nibs, etc. When I sold or traded them, those nibs and exuberant flow didn’t suit me. Now that I’m exploring wide nibs, Pels are a much better fit and the few still here are getting renewed interest.

So despite modifying my criteria for re-homing pens, I still make mistakes. Put all that together and it makes a lot more sense to keep pens that have potential than it is to let them go.

A keeper, the navy gray Parker ’51’ Aero, though with Noodler’s Zhivago today…

Moleskine, a Parker '51' and Herbin Vert Empire Ink

Moleskine, a Parker '51' and Herbin Vert Empire Ink

Remember that deal we made? Now it’s your turn to share how you decide which pens to give the boot when they fall out of favor.


The Calligraphy Pen And The Wire Twist


Traditional calligraphy nibs can be great fun but they only hold a few drops of ink. Nature of the beast since there is no sac or converter. On the plus side the holder can accommodate any nib and the variety of nib styles is absolutely huge. Sound intriguing?

Proof that there can be good info on Twitter, Leigh and Gentian put up links to their versions of ink reservoirs. This simple wire twist solves the capacity problem and allows the nib to enjoy a proper ink flow. You can see from their examples proof that this is a terrific way to make a calligraphy nib into a fabulous art tool.

Of course, you would have to be as talented as they are to achieve such results but I’ll bet more than a few of you are up to the task. Even if you aren’t, doodling with a calligraphy pen can be an enjoyable way to play with all those inks you’ve been hording. Well, you are an inkophile aren’t you?

Brause Advanced Calligraphy Set

Brause Advanced Calligraphy Set at Writer's Bloc


A Few Links For A Sunday Evening


From around the web…


Inky Links and Other Treats


Need a little distraction? Some inky links should do the trick.

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