J. Herbin

My Modest Ink Collection

   A few of my ink bottles


A few of my ink bottles

I am a little stumped at the moment with reviews for the site so todays post is slightly different. One of my aims for this year is to finish a whole bottle of ink. With this in mind I thought I would share my modest collection of bottled ink. This exercise is hopefully interesting to you, but should also shed some light on my ink buying habits.

The complete list:

Ink swabs

Ink swabs

Writing out a list of the bottled ink I own highlights some obvious points. I gravitate to a number of ink brands, predominantly Pilot Iroshizuku ink. Once I’ve tried a manufacturer that I like I tend to go through the ink colours and buy several more. I’ve done this again recently with KWZ.

My choice of colours is very limited. I seem to sway to the blue and blue/green shades. This is a little disappointing, its like the school mentality of blue ink has followed me into adult life. I need more colour!

My Noodlers Black ink is the only anomaly in this list. This ink is waterproof and therefore great to address envelops and for sketching. I have been using this ink a lot in recent months as I try to improve my sketching skills. I doubt this will be the ink I’ll finish this year with an impressive 90ml of it, but I should deplete my stock pretty well.

All of the inks in this list are essentially full bottles. I never make it far before being distracted by a new colour which means I have a lot of ink to hand. If I am to finish a full bottle this year it will likely be the Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai even though this is one of the larger bottles. I really enjoy using this ink and usually have it in one or two fountain pens. It’s a year round ink choice for me.

1 Week, 1 Pen/Pencil Mini Series - Week 1 Review

I have successfully completed my first week in this mini series exploring if I can use 1 pen or pencil for a full week. Before starting out on this endeavour I had a few questions in mind to focus my reflection on each different writing implement.

Week 1 - Kaweco AL Sport and J. Herbin Bleu Nuit.

The Kaweco AL Sport is always a pen I have inked up. Kaweco fountain pens are a staple in my writing toolkit with the AL Sport being one of my preferred choices due to the aluminium barrel.

After successfully using this fountain pen for a week my opinions have not altered in any way, I enjoy it just as much as I did before. The fine nib that I have on this pen works well for most writing tasks, from journaling through to simple note taking. The size and durability of the Kaweco AL Sport mean its ideal for throwing in my bag and using on the move. On most occasions I did this without a pen case and had no concerns and about the pen getting damaged in any way.

Morning Pages in my Startbay Notebook

Morning Pages in my Startbay Notebook

In terms of the ink partnership, J. Herbs Bleu Nuit was a new ink choice for me. After enjoying J. Herbins Lie de The I bought a pack of the Bleu Nuit cartridges specifically to use in this fountain pen. The colour combination works well due to the cool blue tones of this ink and the dark grey barrel on the Kaweco AL Sport. Being a blue ink this also meant it was suitable for most tasks.

During this week I haven’t had a requirement to fill out any official forms or send any post. As a result I have not encountered any problems with the choice of ink. I have mainly used my fountain pen in notebooks of my choosing that are fountain pen friendly. I think for tasks other than this the ink choice would have let this option down. For example addressing an envelope with this ink would involve the risk of it getting wet and the address running off the envelope. Similarly I could not fill in or sign many official forms with this pen. Therefore whilst the pen option would be fine, I am not sure as the only ink I could settle on Bleu Nuit for practicality purposes.

Daily reflections in my Travelers Notebook weekly refill

Daily reflections in my Travelers Notebook weekly refill

Finally, I am surprised that I haven’t used more ink this week. I have only used a little over half an ink cartridge. With my morning pages routine, journaling and general note taking I would have suspected I would have consumed more ink. I guess I don’t write as much as I thought, which then leads me to believe I shouldn’t have so many fountain pens inked up at once as the ink will tend to sit in the pen and potentially clog the feed.

Final thoughts on Week 1

The Kaweco AL Sport was always going to be a nice easy introduction into this exercise. I know I enjoy using this fountain pen and if I really had to only have one fountain pen to use I could settle on this one. The size of the pen makes it an ideal travel companion and I have always found the Kaweco nibs write well. J. Herbins Bleu Nuit whilst a lovely ink would not be a practical ink for a variety of different uses. However I have discovered another ink colour that I enjoy using and it really does go very well with my Kaweco AL Sport.

Onto week 2 and the Blackwing 211

Onto week 2 and the Blackwing 211

Week 2 - Blackwing 211 pencil

In my original post outlining this mini series I had settled on the Blackwing 24 as one of my pencils of choice. However after going back through some old posts I realised I have already used this pencil for a full week and written about it on the blog. Therefore I have made an adjustment to this pencil swapping it for the Blackwing 211.

I really enjoy Blackwing pencils and struggled to pick one for this experiment therefore swapping the 24 for the 211 wasn't a hard decision. Generally I prefer using pencils with a harder graphite therefore the 211 fits this bill. Pencils rarely top my choice of writing utensils so I am intrigued to see how I get on during the week and how much I wear the pencil down.

In case you missed it you can find out why I am running this exercise here in the introductory post.

1 Week, 1 Pen/Pencil Mini Series

My writing implements of choice

My writing implements of choice

Lately I have been wondering how I would feel if I could only using one writing implement for a prolonged period of time, say a week. Would I like them as much as I think I do if I could only use them exclusively? I have numerous fountain pens inked up at a given time and what I have found is that I don’t use any of them enough. I rotate through the different pens and inks but don’t fully appreciate what I am using because it doesn’t get used enough. Similarly with the pencils that I have to hand, they rarely get a proper look in as the fountain pen usually wins.

With this in mind I have decided to spend dedicated time with one writing implement. I will use one pen or pencil for a week. This should give me enough time to use the pen or pencil in different notebooks and scenarios allowing me figure out how much I really like them and how practical they are.

I have chosen a selection of writing implements that I believe I enjoy using from a range of fountain pens, pencils and gel ink pens.

The final list includes:

  • Kaweco AL Sport F nib with J. Herbin Bleu Nuit
  • Staedtler Mars Lumograph F grade pencil
  • Lamy Safari EF nib with Lamy Dark Lilac ink
  • Karas Customs Retrakt with Pilot G2 refill in black
  • TWSBI 580RB B nib with KWZ Honey ink
  • Blackwing 24 pencil
  • Tactile Turn Gist F nib with Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai ink

Each week after I have finished using the writing implement I will share my thoughts here on the blog. I will generally be looking at how I have found using that one writing implement for the week and what I have liked and disliked about it. Using one writing tool for a week long period will I’m sure throw up lots of issues and honestly I don’t think I am a one pen kinda girl.

This mini experiment will help me to decide how I feel about each of the different writing tools selected. But overall this experiment is supposed to be a little bit of fun.

So first up…the Kaweco AL Sport with a fine nib and J. Herbin’s Bleu Nuit.

J. Herbin Lie de The Ink Review

J. Herbins Lie de The has changed the way I feel about brown ink. Before using this ink I didn’t understand why you would buy a brown ink when there were so many other colours available to use. However after browsing around on Instagram I kept seeing a brown ink that caught my eye. I eventually tracked it down to be J. Herbins Lie de The and decided I had to try it out for myself. It's now become one of my favourite inks to use for a variety of reasons.

My first foray into J. Harbin ink.

Lie de The is the first J. Herbin ink I have used. Prior to this I have generally stuck to Diamine and Pilot Iroshizuku ink because I have enjoyed using them and found numerous ink colours that I wanted to try. I had heard good things about J. Herbin inks and as this brown kept catching my eye I bought a pack of the ink cartridges to use in my Kaweco ART Sport fountain pen.

Cool packaging.

The packaging for these ink cartridges is different from anything else I have seen from other brands. You get a nice little metal container which houses your six ink cartridges. The containers have a colour coded lid relating to the ink colour inside, which is very handy when it sits in your draw and you need to find a replacement cartridge quickly. This style of packaging provides more protection to the ink cartridges than the standard card containers used by most other brands. Once I have used up this first batch I will recycle the packaging and house lose ink cartridges I have lying around.

J. Herbin packaging  

J. Herbin packaging  

A gorgeous and fun ink to use.

I have really enjoyed using this ink colour. The ink is wet, I would say wetter than other ink brands I have used. I haven’t run a technical timed test but I have noticed that I need to wait a fraction longer for the ink to dry on the page.

The shading is gorgeous! You get some real contrasts in the colours from almost a light golden brown through to a real dark oaky brown. I use this ink for long form writing and journaling and a full page of written words in this ink colour is a beautiful thing. It is partly because of how good this ink looks on the page that makes me like it so much. I will definitely be investing in a bottle rather than just cartridges so I can use this in a range of other fountain pens.

Hand written review  

Hand written review  

Overall thoughts.

Lie de The has done a number of things for me. Firstly it has made me look at brown inks differently. Part of me wants to try other brown inks, but the other side of me thinks…why bother! This ink is just too good. Secondly it has made me want to explore the J.Herbin ink line a little more. They have so many lovely colours available (Bleu Nuit is next on my list) and if they look and perform anything like Lie de The I may have a new favourite ink brand on my hands.