(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
This week I’m doing an overview of five J. Herbin inks. I won’t review each ink in as much detail as I usually do, but I wanted to introduce each ink with a few comments about color, saturation, and wetness.
These five inks come in adorable 10ml bottles (though you can purchase larger 30ml bottles). The 10ml bottles aren’t very practical, however. Since they are so small, the opening won’t accommodate bigger nibs, such as the MB 149. Still, they are a nice size for travel or for an office stash of ink.
The colors range from a very light coral to a deep purple blue.
The first ink is Vert de Gris.
This, in my opinion, is the most unique color of the five inks. “Vert de Gris” means “Green-Gray” and this color has both deep turquoise and gray hues. It is gorgeous in fine and broad nibs, and it exhibits good shading but no sheen.
The second ink is Bleu de Profondeurs, which means “deep blue.” This ink is a purple blue. It’s nicely saturated and looks good in both fine and broad nibs. In broad nibs it offers a little bit of shading, but no sheen.
The third ink is Rouge Grenat, which is a lush garnet red.
The ink works well in both fine and broad nibs, and is highly saturated. Although it doesn’t have any observable sheen, it does exhibit a little bit of shading in broad nibs.
The fourth ink is Corail des Tropiques.
Of the five inks, this one is my least favorite, mainly because it’s watery and too light for use in finer nibs. It might work well as a wash. In broad nibs it has enough saturation to be usable and even has a tiny bit of shading. In my testing it exhibited no sheen.
Last is Bleu Calanque or “Blue Cove.”
This is a bright turquoise color that is saturated enough to work well in fine nibs. It also exhibits a bit of shading in broad nibs.
I like all of these J. Herbin inks--in fact, they surprised me. They are far more saturated than I expected. I’ve found J. Herbin inks can be too light and very dry (I’m thinking of you, Rouille d’Ancre). These five inks flow quite well, though Corail des Tropiques was too watery for my taste.
The 10ml bottles are a good size for sampling an ink. Unlike typical 4 or 5ml ink samples, you have enough ink for several fills so you can decide if you want to buy a regular sized bottle. You can purchase J. Herbin 10ml inks from Vanness Pens for $6.00 a piece (30ml bottles are $12.95).
(Vanness Pens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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