INK SWAB: 11/365 – J Herbin Rouge Hematite 1670



A quick look at the super-duper popular Rouge Hematite from J Herbin. This ink has gold flecks in it. I did this swab without first shaking the bottle so we can see the color of the ink and not just the gold flecks. Not that there’s anything wrong with gold flecks.

Some people avoid this and Stormy Grey because the flecks can make this a high-maintnance ink.  I’m willing to put up with the extra effort for the extra omg-factor. You?

INK REVIEW: J Herbin Stormy Grey

Handwritten Review: J Herbin – Stormy Grey

There has been so much chatter in the fountain pen community about J Herbin’s Stormy Grey ink. So much anticipation. It’s all about that gold sheen, baby.

When Goulet Pens finally announced that they had it in stock, it was sold out in under an hour – and I missed it. Arrrrgh.

I hurried over to Amazon to see if I could find it there – score! It’s the same price at both places –  $26 for 50 ml.

Above: Like the other J Herbin special editions, this bottle is extra special, sealed with wax, and quite lovely. Except that only the smallest pens could fit into the opening of the bottle. And my wax on the screw top is already cracked – whomp whomp.

Below: The sheeny bits came to a rest at the bottom of the bottle.  You’ll want to shake well before using this ink.

Below: Sheen on the towel that I used to wipe my nib. Crazy, right?

All of that Stormy Grey sheen is just fine, but how does it write?

Quite wonderfully! 
The ink has terrific flow out of the pen (leans toward the wet side, but I like that). There’s some great shading and I really like the darkness of the gray (grey?) color with or without the added fun of the sheen.
Something I noticed that could be a concern – in the bottle, the sheeny bits settled so quickly. I shook the bottle like mad and then quickly pulled the ink into a syringe to fill my pens. If the sheeny bits settle that quickly, what happens in the pen when filled? Will all of the sheeny bits fall to the writing end of the pen and you will get the most sheen from the first few pages – and no sheen at all for the last few? 
The only other downside I can see with this ink is that because of the sheen, it’s not an ink that could be used in every situation. Thankfully, we live in a world that allows us some whimsy now and then.  😉
Below: My scanned writing sample doesn’t show much sheen, but it’s definitely there in the right light.

Looking for the sheeniest sheeny picture of them all?  Check out my friend rubengamez’s feed on Instagram. It’s crazy good sheen!

SAN FRANCISCO PEN SHOW 2014: Review and Haul

Mr. Pentulant and I decided to head down to the SF Pen Show over the weekend (Saturday) and I thought you’d like to hear all about it.

The show was held at the Sofitel Hotel in Redwood City. It was a bit south of SFO, but easy enough to find – just look for the Oracle campus and take a right on Twin Dolphin Drive.

There were probably 50-60 vendors. I’m wondering if some who were expected didn’t show up? There was a large empty area to the right as soon as we entered – as in about 10-15% of the floor space.

I wasn’t too surprised at the small size of the show. The DC Pen Show was just two weeks ago, after all. The crowd was decent Saturday morning (we arrived around 11:00) and it looked like money was changing hands – all good news.

The SF Pen Show is a on/off thing – meaning that some years there isn’t a show.   I’m so glad it was on this year and definitely wanted to support the vendors who showed up to sell.

There were many familiar names and faces. Susan Wirth was there, Franklin-Christoph,, Mike it Work, Wahl-Eversharp, Bittner, Arizona Pens, Carmen Rivera, Steve Curnow, and many familiar faces even though I don’t know all of the names.

Here’s what I ended up with . . .

I’m a huge fan of my friend Steve Curnow, what he does, and how he does it. These handy notebooks (think Field Notes, but better) are filled with Tomoe River Paper.  Three notebooks for ten bucks, yo.

Steve also had a sample of ink waiting for me. It seems he found a GALLON of vintage Skrip Washable Blue.

1. How does someone “find” a gallon of ink? (Maybe he wasn’t being literal?)
2. Do I trust this old old ink in one of my fancy pens?

Mr. Pentulant scored this sweet Sailor Pro Gear Mini. He loves a cap that screws to post and this one has been on his wish list for quite awhile.

At the LA Pen Show earlier this year, I was so tempted by George Butcher’s Arizona Pens, but ultimately decided to pass.  I didn’t pass this time!

I want to tell you all about George and his pens, but will save that for when I review the pen. I can’t wait.

Carmen Rivera has very good taste in pens. This is the smaller and slimmer version of the Pilot Vanishing Point – called the Sesenta.

I don’t know much about this pen, but I’m definitely willing to learn. I love the pattern – it almost reminds me of a leopard print, but not nearly as tacky as that could be on a pen 😉

Wahl-Eversharp has an interesting history and it was difficult to choose just one.  I’m really excited about this pen – and so many others in line.  Can’t wait to talk more about them and Syd Saperstein.

I ultimately decided on the clear demonstrator (look at that packaging!).

I picked up two bottles of ink.  Above – Sailor Jentle Grenade

Below – J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage

Lierre Sauvage (and Lily Tomlin) is responsible for one of my most popular Instagram posts ever. At the time of that writing, I only had a sample. Excited about writing a complete review of this one for you.


Rhodia makes yellow paper! I’m oddly excited about this because I’ve never seen it available.

Annnnd….I have no idea what I’m going to do with the paper below, but I had to have it. It’s huuuuuge – that’s a box of J Herbin ink sitting on top of the paper.

So! That’s it.

Bottom Line:  It was a good time, lots of super-friendly people selling some really beautiful items. I only wish the show was bigger.

Were you there?

INK REVIEW: J Herbin Lie de The

I don’t like brown inks. It’s been documented right here on this blog.  
Delta Brown, what’s the flower you have on? It’s brown.
Chocolat from Private Reserve? I said I liked it, but I don’t. I never bought a bottle like I said I might.
I don’t like brown inks. Really, I don’t!! 
J Herbin Lie de The
Why try again? Well, I have just about every other color group represented in my currently-inked pens and the Kaweco Sport I wanted to use is blue.  I’ve always thought brown and blue look great together. Leather and denim, right? Can’t just be me.
Anyway . . .
Best. Brown. Ever. 

I’m a convert. I have seen the light brown and I like it. I love it.  My gosh, look at that shading.

The color is wonderful. Not too dark, not too light. I’m not seeing any of that red that turned me away from some of the other browns I’ve tried. There’s definitely some yellow in there, though.
It writes fantastically. No flow issues (consider that I was using a BB nib). Dry time was a little long (that nib was laying down some serious ink). 
There was no feathering, bleeding, or ghosting with Clairefontaine paper. There was all of the above when I touched the nib to some cheapie cheap-o paper.  I don’t know if that’s more because of the paper or the ink, but there you go.

I’m adding Lie de The to my inky wish list.
Here’s the full review. Click here to see the full-size image (it’s big).  

OK…speak up….brown ink. Are you in or out? Do you like browns that lean toward the yellow or more toward red?


P.S. I rarely look at other reviews before I write my own, but will sometimes check them out after. There are lots of reviews on Fountain Pen Network that talk about how green Lie de The is. I don’t see that. I don’t see that so much that I wonder if the formulation has changed. When I look at the swabs on both Goulet Pens and Zeller Writing, I don’t see green.  Do you?

INK REVIEW: J Herbin Ocean Blue 1670

Ink Review:  J Herbin Ocean Blue 

A (mostly) wordless post for this first Monday after Thanksgiving.
Good, clean color.
Starting issues in my TWSBI 540 (B)

Final Thoughts:  It’s ok.  I wish it had some gorgeous, special sheen like the Rouge Hematite. I wish even more that I didn’t have so many flow issues – even with a broad nib.  I like it enough to give it another go another day.

Have you tried J Herbin’s Ocean Blue?