Posted March 8, 2013 by Leah Hoffmann
in Product Reviews | Add your comment »
If winter’s gray skies are giving you the blues, check out this colorful review from California, where Erin of La Plume Etoile tries out J. Herbin’s pearlescent inks.
I really enjoyed testing these inks and plan to use them for special occasion items such as when writing someone a special card… If you are interested in them, I would recommend giving them a chance and playing with the right nib and paper combinations.
Meanwhile, it’s not surprising that you’d say nice things about a company that gave you a prize (which is not to say we expect our own contest winners to rave about their loot if they don’t like it!) but I enjoyed reading this blurb about a UK contest winner all the same. Her name is Sheila English, and she won something we don’t make — an iPhone. Here’s what she had to say about the pleasingly named Europa Minor notepad she bought when she entered the contest:
I am always making notes and was looking for something that I could easily carry in my handbag, and the Europa Minor Pad was an ideal size (plus came in purple, my favourite colour!)
(Europa Minor is a notebook by Tollit and Harvey, an Exacompta subsidiary whose products we don’t import in the US.)
Posted February 13, 2013 by Leah Hoffmann
in Pens, Paper & People | 3 comments »
My fountain pens and inks are still buried deep in boxes, so I’ll live vicariously through your responses: what pens and inks are you planning to use for this year’s Valentines?
Pink? Red? Orange? Or a less traditional color?
Posted October 4, 2012 by Leah Hoffmann
in Announcements | 2 comments »
As a follow-up to yesterday’s post about Ocean Blue, the new commemorative anniversary ink from J. Herbin, I figured I should make a formal announcement about the color’s future — and that of its older sibling, Rouge Hematite.
In short, though Rouge Hematite was originally released as a limited edition, J. Herbin has decided to keep manufacturing both it and Ocean Blue as long as there’s demand.
I know this news will disappoint some and cheer others, so if you have any comments or questions, please be sure to let us know!
Posted June 29, 2012 by Leah Hoffmann
in Product Reviews | Add your comment »
A little ink, a little paper, a little planning… it’s the Friday review round-up!
- Over at Plannerisms, Paulien (the girl behind Girl in Maths) posted a guest review of the Space 24. Of the above photo, she comments: “On the right you see the tasks I have to do for that week. Having them there keeps them visible, and I get a complete overview of the week and what I still have left to do.”
- With her review of J. Herbin’s Fountain Pen Cleaning Solution, Margana of Inkophile discusses a product I’ll admit I wasn’t even familiar with! “After a bit of trial and error,” she concludes, “I discovered that it speeds the cleaning of nibs that do not contain dried ink and to a lesser extent reduces the time to clean a nib with dried ink.”
Posted February 9, 2012 by Leah Hoffmann
in Product Reviews | 12 comments »
Two thoughtful readers tipped us off to this thread on the Fountain Pen Network about J. Herbin’s special edition anniversary ink, Rouge Hematite.
After discussing the merits of gold flecks suspended in red ink, one poster suggested a possible companion color: blue with silver flecks (bleu d’argent?), an idea that other posters seemed to like, too. Many have apparently emailed J. Herbin to let them know, but since I thought it was a cool suggestion, it occurred to me I could gather additional feedback here and possibly give France an extra nudge.
What do you think?
Posted September 26, 2011 by Leah Hoffmann
in Cabinet of Curiosities | 2 comments »
While I was sick last month, I started making my way through the Sherlock Holmes mysteries I so loved as a child. Of course, now that I’ve started, I can’t seem to put them down. And I was amused to read the following in The Hound of the Baskervilles:
If you examine it carefully you will see that both the pen and the ink have given the writer trouble. The pen has spluttered twice in a single word and has run dry three times in a short address, showing that there was very little ink in the bottle. Now, a private pen or ink-bottle is seldom allowed to be in such a state, and the combination of the two must be quite rare. But you know the hotel ink and the hotel pen, where it is rare to get anything else.
I daresay I’ve never been to a hotel that had fountain pens on hand, let alone a dip pen. But judging from the cheapo Bics they all seem to offer, I’d say very little has changed in the abstract.
Posted July 13, 2011 by Leah Hoffmann
in Beautiful Creations, Cabinet of Curiosities, Pens, Paper & People | 9 comments »
Usually, it helps to take claims of historical authenticity with a grain of salt… That famous dead writers used your notebooks, for example, or that James Dean wore your khakis.
This is closer to the real deal. In 2004, J. Herbin discovered an authorization in its archives by the writer Victor Hugo to produce a black ink especially for him. The authorization remains in the archives, but the recipe has since been remade into a couple of bottles of ink. Karen managed to get her hands on one of them, and was then kind enough to pass it along to me.
This is not a fountain pen ink; Hugo wrote with goose quills, though steel nibs were becoming increasingly popular. Personally, I haven’t had much luck with feathers, but that did not put me off from trying it out with a glass pen. And what fun it was! The ink is shiny, dense, and saturated. It pops on bright white Clairefontaine and looks handsome on my ivory Habana, too. Because it’s so thick, you have to be a little more careful about bleed-through, and clean your pen carefully (and immediately) after you’re done. Still, it’s an awfully fun ink to play with. About the only complaint I have is that the bottle cap’s a bit finicky and is tough to get off and on.
There aren’t very many bottles left, but if it’s something that interests you, please let us know in the comments, and we’ll ask Herbin if they’d be willing to make more.
Here’s a picture of the bottle:
Posted May 25, 2011 by Leah Hoffmann
in Cabinet of Curiosities, Pens, Paper & People | 1 comment »
I tossed the packaging on my bottle of Rouge Hematite soon after it arrived in the mail, but took a picture of a sample at the National Stationery Show to confirm what an eagle-eyed reader recently pointed out: “rince” should be “rinse,” of course, in the last line of the paragraph in gold.
Unlike our paper products, which are made in the U.S., our inks are imported from France, which causes some occasional “Lost in Translation” moments.
According to our product manager, Cecilia, we caught the mistake earlier this year and passed it on to J. Herbin’s French headquarters. Unfortunately, they’d just launched a reprint of the boxes and could only correct it for the next batch.
Posted April 8, 2011 by Leah Hoffmann
in Beautiful Creations, Cabinet of Curiosities, Pens, Paper & People | Add your comment »
In response to my review roundup came a few things worth featuring on their own. For instance, this inky mashup by Susan McLaughlin, at whose blog, Depingo Ergo Sum, there’s lots more inky, arty goodness to be found. She even wrote a poem about it:
I’M DRAWING MYSELF with a digital pen
I’m making it loose and flirty.
But I’ve got a yen for the pen of yore
when ink splashes made me dirty.
Click here to see the image in its full-sized glory.
Posted April 5, 2011 by Leah Hoffmann
in Beautiful Creations | Add your comment »
It’s been a while since we’ve posted reader artwork on these pages, but Lisa Lefemine just emailed us these lovely sketches and I figured we should share.
Also of note is the fact that Lisa draws with ink; the king above was done with J. Herbin, as were these whimsical cows:
Lisa sells her work for $10 a piece, so if you like what you see, get in touch with her on Facebook!