the best of shimmer
Tips

Tips: our top 6 tips for shimmer inks

the best of shimmer

This post has been in the works for some time now… Last year was a great year for all inks glittery. We had the arrival of the new Diamine Shimmer ink range which was simply amazing. How often do sequels in life surprise and exceed expectations?

With our cupboards brimming with sparkling ink it’s about time to start writing with some of the stuff. But, before we can get stuck in, let’s talk some quick tips to help bring those pens up to scratch and flowing smoothly to get the best of shimmer. 

Here are our top 6 tips for shimmer inks to help you make them truly shine & shimmer 🙂

1. Shake it till you wake it

the best of shimmer

Shake the bottle well before inking. Make sure that the silver/gold particles are not sitting at the bottom of the ink bottle.

It’s important to mention that turning pen in hand couple of times before and during writing (to re-distribute the shimmer again) will do wonders and is very eye pleasing too.

2. Cleaning is the key

the best of shimmer

Flush the pens regularly (every 2 weeks or so). We do stock cleaning solutions by Diamine / J Herbin which are not essential, but they do help with the flow of stubborn pens. If you would like to read more about cleaning, click to see our blog here.

3. Go broad

the best of shimmer

Use wetter/broader nibs (it will work with Fine nibs too, the shimmer may be a little less apparent or only show under certain angle/light).

I would highly recommend to dedicate a pen to shimmer inks –  TWSBI Eco comes to mind first….

It is a demonstrator pen which shows off shimmering ink beautifully. You can also disassemble it for a thorough clean.

4. There is paper and then there is paper

Emerald of Chivor on Tomoe River Paper

I have seen shimmer even on copy paper, but if you really want to embrace the shimmer use good paper : Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Tomoe River… If you see a photo with crazy amount of shimmer & often sheen the chances are it was Tomoe River – inks really shine on this one 🙂 <3

5. Cheat

Help the flow by pushing some ink through. Push or turn the filling mechanism to get some more ink on the nib and feed (careful, have some tissue paper ready just in case, but you will get a hang of it very quickly). I know that someone might say – well, it’s just not on, but trust me…pens do suffer from ink starvation and this is just too easy 🙂

6. Floss

the best of shimmer

The final piece of advice – this is another cheat/hack which I use a lot (I tend to over-clean pens :))

If you have some DVDs around with security tags, cut them open. Inside will be 2/3 pieces of very thin metal called shim. You can use the shim to ‘floss’ the cut in the nib. Flossing will greatly improve the flow (which may get jammed with paper fibers or shimmer particles).

Shimmering inks do require a little extra effort but they are so worth it 🙂

If you have any other tips/questions please leave them in the comments. We love talking about shimmer 😉

Grey Inks Comparisons
Review

10 shades of grey ink

Grey Inks Comparisons

Introduction

Grey is a colour that we haven’t really explored before. This post (and the next one to come) really is a sequel to Diamine Earl Grey ink which seems to be a trend setter. A lot of our friends asked for a side-by-side comparison, I looked around for more grey ink and found 10 in our sampling station 🙂 These 10 inks are all grey, but as you will see, they are not the same. We haven’t done this layout before, so please drop us a line in comments with your feedback. Do you have/use grey ink at all, if so which is your favourite? Inks were tested on Rhodia dot paper with a glass pen. You can zoom in on photos for the details too. Enjoy!

Diamine – Grey

This is probably the first grey ink that comes to mind… Subtle, shades well, very universal. Can’t go wrong with this one. Diamine inks come in 80ml bottles and are fantastic value for money.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Diamine - Grey

Diamine – Graphite

Dark grey with green components which are very apparent in this ink. It’s almost black, colour is mossy and perfectly legible. Available in 80ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Diamine - Graphite

J Herbin 1670 – Stormy Grey

It’s difficult not to take sides here, but this ink is the one that started a revolution of Shimmer – I love it 🙂 Base colour grey shades beautifully and it’s complimented with gold particles. Inked permanently in my Lamy 2000 <3 Available in 50ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : J Herbin 1670 - Stormy Grey

J Herbin – Gris Nuage

One of the paler colours from the bunch. Warm grey with purple undertones and decent shading. Fantastic grey ink for painting/colouring with water brush. Available in 30ml bottles, 10ml bottles and cartridge form.

Grey Inks Comparisons : J Herbin - Gris Nuage

Diamine – Earl Grey

We wrote a short story about this ink here. Fantastic rich colour with strong purple tint and delicate shading. Available soon.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Diamine - Earl Grey

KWZ – Grey Lux

Satin smooth ink to write with. This is one of the darkest grey inks. Very complex, satudated and made out of many dyes, almost black when dry. Absolute joy to use. Available in 60ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : KWZ - Grey Lux

Diamine – Sparkling Shadows

First generation of Diamine’s Shimmering inks. Grey with gold specs. Available in 50ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Diamine - Sparkling Shadows

Diamine – Moon Dust

Jo’s number one ink 🙂 Pencil-like colour with silver shimmer. Fantastic name too. Second generation of Diamine Shimmer inks. Available in 50ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Diamine - Moon Dust

Iroshizuku – Kiri Same

Light grey ink with expressive shading. This ink flows well as you can imagine all Iroshizuku inks do. Available in 50ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Iroshizuku - Kiri Same

Kaweco – Smokey Grey

Colder grey ink with green undertones and quick dry times. Shading is visible and the smoke in the name represents the colour well. It comes in both 30ml bottle and cartridge version.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Kaweco - Smokey Grey
j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink bottle
News

J Herbin Anniversary ink of 2017 is…

j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink

The new J Herbin 1798 Anniversary Ink series

When Summer comes around and J Herbin announces their new anniversary ink, that is my favourite time of the year.

This year is no exception. We asked and they delivered 🙂 Well done J Herbin, well done…

Let’s have a quick intro from J. Herbin themselves first:

1798 INKS
The Maison HERBIN’s exclusive collection of
1798 Inks celebrates the year Jacques HERBIN
first introduced his own line of quality inks, an
important event in the history of this house
founded three centuries ago and whose story
continues today… Deep unsaturated colours
with optimal pressure sensitivity, 1798 Inks are
illuminated with shimmering flecks of silver for
an elegant finish.

AMÉTHYSTE DE L’OURAL (URAL AMETHYST)
Solid dark purple in the velvety hue of amethyst
with the satin finish of a silver mist for a lustrous
shimmering effect and a noble allure. Ural
Amethyst suggests the fires of this precious
gemstone from the reaches of Asia, prized by
jewellers of long ago.

LES ENCRES 1798
Les Encres 1798, de la Collection exclusive
Jacques HERBIN, fête la date de production
originale des encres Jacques HERBIN, événement
décisif dans l’histoire de la maison fondée
en 1670 et dont l’aventure se poursuit… De couleur
foncée non saturée, sensible aux nuances
de pression, les Encres 1798 sont illuminées
du miroitement de paillettes d’argent qui en
moirent la surface.

AMÉTHYSTE DE L’OURAL
Le violet profond, au ton plein et velouté, de la
pierre d’améthyste, satiné d’une brume d’argent
pour une robe d’écriture aux effets scintillants
de noble allure. Améthyste de l’Oural évoque
les feux de la pierre fine des confins de l’Asie,
jadis prisée par la joaillerie.

Well now we’ve learned from the new ink is what J in the name stands for – it’s Jacques 🙂

Apart from tinkering about with the name a little, there are quite a few other changes this year to the overall design and presentation as it looks like they are going through a minor rebranding exercise.

J Herbin 1798 bottle

The box is now a smart grey with purple label and white writing.  It does stand out nicely on plain background. Overall design looks more mature and reminds me of perfume bottle packaging. Capacity stays the same – 50ml of silver sheen enhanced ink aka superink.

j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink bottle

J Herbin listened to feedback and changed the bottle neck – it has new, wider, 2cm opening. Thumbs up! The new bottle is slightly bigger, but the shape remains the same. Cap is covered in purple wax. A shiny looking scarf goes around the bottle neck and suits it very well. I wonder if Jacques himself was so lavishly dressed! On the front there’s the 1798 stamp which ties up the scarf and a colour label underneath with the ink name – Améthyste de l’Oural.

To finish it all off, the glass on the bottom of the bottle is embossed with Jacques Herbin and his mighty ship.

j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink bottle

You’ve been good so far, waiting paitiently. So a drumroll please!

….And now for the ink itself 🙂 YES!

Colour of Ural Amethyst is everything we wanted – regal, majestic, dark, mysterious purple. This is the first time J Herbin used silver particles – previous 1670 range of inks (see our previous post here) used only gold. The ink is amazing – the more I use it, the more I love it.

I have left it in the pen for a week or so – there were no hard starts, pen started writing immediately. The particles move quickly and distribute very well. That said, the bottle needs shaking before inking (as usual) and turning the pen in hand before writing will make a huge difference to the shimmer.

Now to the main point, how it writes… I did some comparisons with other purple inks and paper from Rhodia, Leuchtturm and Tomoe River. You will hardly notice the green sheen, that is mainly just eye candy from using special paper. As always, the shine does depend on the viewing angle and light source etc but the silver effect is superb though – highlighting the dark tones of the deep purple body beautifully. I think I’ve fallen in love again…

Release day at the time of writing this article is 30 sleeps away (but who’s really counting) :).

What do you think? Will this ink top the popularity of Emerald of Chivor??

Spoiler alert - this photo (and the one at the top) was taken using Artoz Perga paper.

It’s a stiff, card version of tracing paper and is completely ink resistant. Not something we’d use everyday – special occasion only! The sheen and shimmer are simply stunning!!! You will not get this sort of sheen on standard writing paper.

j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink

Release date for Jacque Herbin 1798 Ural Amethyst ink is 1st September 2017.

J Herbin Annniversary 1670 bottles
News

What’s Next For J. Herbin Anniversary Ink?

J Herbin Annniversary 1670 bottles

We have a quick look back at the golden lineage of J. Herbin Anniversary Inks and their beautiful shimmers. What do you think will be next?

In the Beginning

In the beginning, the humble 1670 Anniversary Inks started with a single incarnation called Hematite Red. This was one of their first inks to introduce a gold like reflection in the ink itself to add some magic to your writing. Although a brilliant red with a fantastic sheen, it never really garnered much critical acclaim but did start a small following. Not sure why, it is still a beautiful ink anyday.

(left: old formula, right: current formula)

J Herbin Anniversary 1670 Hematite Red old
J Herbin Anniversary 1670 Hematite Red new

J. Herbin went back to chemistry lab and had re-formulated the ink with real gold particles and came back with the ground breaking Ocean Blue. People started noticing that this was a serious line with a luxiourious look. Hematite Red was reformulated the same way and came back with a big revival. This will go down as a defining moment in the history books that helped define the gold/silver particle ink craze we have grown accustom to. With the foundations now set in place we were eager for the next.

J Herbin Anniversary 1670 Ocean Blue

All expectations flew out the window when Stormy Grey arrived at the scene. The build up in anticipation for this was on cloud nine and somehow when the ink was released we reached cloud ten. Oh boy did people go bananas for it. A classy look of gold shimmering upon a dark grey canvas. You could just about get away with it on office paperwork 🙂

J Herbin Anniversary 1670 Stormy Grey

You would think the story would have reached a climax but the 1670s had a super secret weapon for the next release. Emerald of Chivor, or as I refer to it as the Holy One. Our beliefs of gold and sheen shaken to the core by the unfound beauty that had been revealed to us. There will not be another ink like this in our generation. We have witnessed peak ink.

J Herbin Anniversary 1670 Emerald Of Chivor

Now surely we must be on the ink plateau, it can’t get better can it? No, nothing will ever come close to the Holy One, but among the rest Caroube De Chypre holds it’s own as a pleasant golden brown. Even if for it’s unfortunate choice of picturing on the box…

J Herbin Anniversary 1670 Caroube Chypre

With the Famous Five now set firmly in stone, that leaves us with a big question, what’s next? Will they be able to recreate another Emerald Of Chivor? What do you think will be next?

Oh and if you’d like to own one of your very own bottles, you can the get inks here: J. Herbin Anniversary Inks.
Swabs were done on Tomoe River paper, 68gsm, white found in the Taroko Design notebooks.

P.S. Remember to keep those pens clean to keep the gold flowing!

Views

Ink Infusion – not your ordinary ink review

all Lamy inks - photo by Mateusz clumsypenman.com

Hi folks,

Today I have something very special for you! Something that has been in works for a while. If you follow us on Twitter this is probably not a big news for you.

We have been secretly working with some very talented people, supplied them with our beloved stationery and now are ready to show you the results 🙂

This is the first one – Inky collaboration with our friend Mateusz 🙂 who in my opinion makes the best ink reviews. His pictures are stunning! Colour representation is always spot on and his knowledge…has to be shared.

So we have joined forces and bring you the first set of ink reviews.

I’d like to thank Mateusz for his amazing work and also to share my deep gratitude that he agreed to work with those less ‘exotic’ inks like Lamy, Monteverde and J Herbin first.

We can go on about ink all day long, so how about I’ll link you up 😉

Complete lineup of 8  currently available Lamy inks is here: http://www.clumsypenman.com/lamy-inks/

You are in for a treat…Enjoy!

Mishka  (^_~)

j herbin emerald of chivor writing sample
News

J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink: Emerald Of Chivor

j herbin emerald of chivor

The new J Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink

We have just got in a sample of J Herbin’s Emerald of Chivor ink and it’s so shockingly beautiful, that I had to stop everything I was doing and write a quick review. (Faisal also had to stop what he was doing to take photographs).

I will say this up front: this one is a game changer. 

J Herbin caused a revolution last year with Stormy Grey. The anticipation was incredible, the sales were over the roof…and mostly…it got people talking and writing again. Turns out, Stormy Grey was just the beginning.

This year J Herbin have opted for a green coloured ink with gold specs.

Here is the official info:

After the 1670 Hematite Red, Ocean Blue and Stormy Grey, we now have Chivor Emerald.
In the middle of the XVI century, when the Conquistadors discovered the Colombian emerald mines, in particular the Chivor mine renowned for its emeralds with bluish tints. From then on, because of their exceptional qualities, they conquered the imperial courts of Europe thanks to the Indian traders.
Later, J.Herbin continued his journeys to India. It is said that he always kept an emerald with him as the virtues of this precious stone are thought to protect the traveler…

It is very difficult to photograph and describe, but I will do my best. Post might be a little picture heavy ;)

The bottle is the same as other 3 Anniversary inks. Teal seal with golden thread. Specs in the bottle remind me of nail varnish. Emerald describes the (Bureau) colour very well. Shading goes from Vert Reseda to dark teal. Ink flow is excellent!

j herbin emerald of chivor on rhodia paper

Ink has a heavy outer contour purple sheen (just like Sailor’s Yama Budo), but there is also light green metallic sheen (colour similar to Fisher’s Green Space Pen). This two-coloured sheen is in my opinion unheard (un-seen) of!

j herbin emerald of chivor ink splats

Just like Stormy Grey, this ink is water-resistant. Not water-proof, but if you use it to write the address on the envelope, it should be OK.

j herbin emerald of chivor water test

So here it is…over-all very exciting ink…What do you think? Is it your cup of tea? Would you get a bottle (or two)?

I have been trying to find The One and accumulated almost 100 different colours (mostly green, turquoise, gold) of ink.

This one will rule them all!

Ink is now on our website, so if you are interested you can click ’email me when in stock’ button. Release date is 1st September 2015 and link is here: J Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink

Mishka & Faisal

ps: pen in photos and Emerald of Chivor’s match is TWSBI 580 in green with 1.1mm nib (juicy!)

j herbin emerald of chivor
j herbin emerald of chivor writing sample
j herbin emerald of chivor writing sample
j herbin emerald of chivor in TWSBI pen