A quick update to my previous review of J. Herbin's Vert Reseda ink. I filled a Delta Passion fountain pen that wasn't a dry writer, but never gave the flow I'd come to expect from other Deltas in my collection. The B nib wrote far more like an M and I was contemplating selling it along to someone who preferred a narrower line. I'm pleased to report that the Vert Reseda performs like a champion. Suddenly I have the same lush B performance as my preferred Profili and the pen is back in rotation.
The pen never felt dry, per se, but the lush wetness of the nib using Herbin ink makes me suspect that higher saturation inks rob some pens of their best performance. If you have a stingy pen, try some of the wetter J. Herbin colors and see how they behave.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Karen Doherty, Vice President of Marketing at Exaclair, Ink, the exclusive U.S. distributor of J. Herbin ink, generously sent two bottles of ink for my review. I admire her strategy of letting the products sell themselves
Here you can see my pitiful penmanship, using two fountain pens. One, a B-nibbed Montegrappa 300 that writes more like a M nib, due to its dryness, and the second, my faithful Yard o Led Barley Viceroy Standard, also a broad nib, and lusciously wet.
The paper is poor quality, a Penman Paper's journal made in China and showing a woeful hostility to fountain pens. This is the only paper other than cheap school notebooks purchased at Target, to ever show feathering using this ink. But then this paper performed poorly using every brand of fountain pen ink on the market and the Herbin line showed the least amount of bleed through onto the back of the pages of any brand of ink.
Vert Reseda is a lovely teal color, rather than a true green, with hints of blue in the shade. In a dry-writing pen such as the Montegrappa, I found the intensity too light for daily use. However, when used in my beloved wet-writing broad nibs, this is a lovely color and will definitely go on my favorites list for future purchases. The color also shows up well under incandescent bulbs, which is the true test for this writer when transcribing her output for the day. Another Herbin color, Vert Olive, will almost vanish under old fashioned incandescent bulbs. This one remains easy on the eye and will become a regular selection. Keep your nib size and your pen's flow in mind when selecting this ink. I suspect in a Fine or XXF nib, the color would prove too light for comfort.
J. Herbin is my ink of choice for my more expensive pens, especially those prone to staining, such as my ivory-resined Visconti Romanica or light colored Ancora Perlas, where the design causes ink to collect in the section threads when inking from the bottle.
One of the few things I dislike about these inks are the traditional bottles. The vast majority of my pens have long nibs extending at least an inch in depth beyond the section. I end up decanting these inks into a Laban ink well that accommodates these long nibs. If there is one thing I would plead with Herbin to change, it's their traditional bottles. These sizes are pretty and nice for those first sampling these wonderful colors. But those of us who use these inks on a daily basis could use larger bottles holding more ink and allowing longer nibbed pens to be inked directly from the bottle.
These inks are widely available, though not every seller carries every color. Two sources I've bought from recently are The Pear Tree Pen Company and Writer's Bloc. Both these merchants carry a selection of Clairefontaine, Exacompta, and Quo Vadis paper products as well. I mention these, as I will review these products in future. The paper from these companies will give infinitely superior performance to that seen in the scan above and I'm becoming a devoted fan of these paper products the more I write.
Bottom line, this is a pretty teal green. Like all J. Herbin inks, it is water-soluble, so don't use this around the swimming pool or if you're in the habit of using your work product as a coaster for your iced tea. The intensity of the color will vary according to the wetness and breadth of your pen nib, so those with drier pens might want to order a sample from the Pear Tree site before splashing out on an entire bottle. The color is kind to the eyes under incandescent light when transcribing work after dark. I like the color and this brand of ink is safe in high end or vintage fountain pens. I'll buy it in future.