Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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?

Monday, July 21, 2014

PEN REVIEW: Kaweco AL Sport Grey

Kaweco AL Sport Grey Fountain Pen Review

I'm usually not into the weights and measures of my fountain pens, but I can't help it this time. Capped, this great-looking pen measures right around four inches - the perfect size for pockets or smaller bags. When posted, the Kaweco gains over an inch to just about 5.25 inches.  Perfect.

The AL Sport weighs in at a solid 22g. For comparison, the Kaweco Ice Sport weighs just 10g.

I love the look of this pen - classic Kaweco design, sleek, simple, smart.

The color of is simply called grey. It's a very warm grey - leaning well into red. Lot of depth of color for what is basically a flat finish. I can't help but think that if you wanted to match this pen to an ink, you should try Pilot Iroshizuku's Kiri-same.

Unfortunately, this pen only accepts short international cartridges. Fortunately, some short international converters may work with the pen. Unfortunately, I don't know which those are - I am hoping someone will post with suggestions.

A great solid pen.

But how does it write?

I loaded up my medium-nibbed AL Sport with a Private Reserve Spearmint cartridge and got to writing . . . .

My early (and only) concern was that the section (grip area) is quite short and my thumb was hitting  (and rubbing against) it oddly. Honestly, I wasn't sure it was going to work out.

After writing with it for awhile, putting it down for a day or two, and then going back to it, there were no issues with the section/grip. Whew.  Perfectly comfortable, but something to be aware of because that section does seem short.

My bottom line . . . At around $80 (I got mine from Goulet Pens with my own saved pennies), it's a bit more expensive than some of the other Kaweco fountain pens, but the quality is there. Definitely recommended. In fact, I'm already looking for the Stonewashed version of this same pen - stay tuned!


Friday, July 18, 2014


Another week in the books!

First thing's first....the Winner of the Apica Notebooks is Pikamookie. I've already sent you an email.

Here's what I've been reading this week.

Inkophile talks palettes this week.

FPQuest reviewed the Sheaffer 300.  I'm kind of meh on this design. What do you think?

Gourmet Pens reviewed Rhodia Ice. It's good paper, it's her handwriting that I love!

Ink Nouveau (Goulet Pen Company) talked about Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses. Yikes! Most people don't seem happy, but I actually like the look of the new.

MyCoffeePot reviewed a Bexley Tuck-Away. Even though I was raised right there in Ohio, I knew so little about this pen company before reading this review and watching the video. It's a BEAUTIFUL pen.

Office Supply Geek had a close look at Caran d'Ache Ifinite Grey - totally need to get my hands on this.

That's all I have for you today. Well, except this CRAZY swab that I posted on Instagram.  LOVE LOVE LOVE.  Stay tuned for a full review...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

INK REVIEW: Franklin-Christoph Black Magic

I have, love, and use Franklin-Christoph items. Huge fan here.

Black Magic ink from Franklin-Christoph, though? It has some amazing qualities, but I am not a fan.

Let me explain . . .

The above image sums it up nicely. Black Magic reminds me of writing with a felt-tip marker. The pen (a Lamy Safari with medium ink) would barely touch the paper and just like (black) magic, I'd have a tremendous spot of ink. If I paused even for a nanosecond, another huge spot of ink. 

On to the amazing qualities . . .

Black magic is crazy black. It's incredibly saturated. Black inks aren't my favorite, but if I'm using black, it better be black

And then there's this . . . 

Black Magic don't smear.  (You can quote me on that.)  It seriously, seriously, seriously doesn't (Does. Not.) smear. I couldn't get it to smear even when I tried.

Before writing with it for a few days, I mostly liked the ink.  However, after i few days on regular writing on a variety of paper brands/types, I was worn out from all of the bleeding and washed that ink right out of my pen.

I could see loving this ink. An extra fine nib or a pen with a super-stingy feed to control the flow combined with the right paper and it could be a perfect black.  I'm just way too busy to spend time with such a fussy ink when there are so many inks that work well, you know?

What is your favorite black?  I'm still loving Noodler's Black.