Ink Review - Califolio Ohlanga

I am very picky when it comes to teal/turquoise inks.  Often I find that they are too dark, or lean to far in the blue or green direction and don't strike a harmonious balance.  The one that I have liked the most so far is Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku, but even that one would not get enough use to justify the purchase of a full bottle.  This particular sample was part of an order from Vanness Pens a while ago that I have recently gotten around to trying out.

This ink was fine in the performance department, behaving pretty well on the wide range of paper types I encountered while grading.  The color is okay, but I prefer the more saturated version that I got on cheaper paper versus the somewhat pale appearance on Tomoe River (what you see above).  I would ask for more shading and water resistance, but that's a personal preference.

Overall, this ink is nice but not great.  The one thing that I will give it is that the lack of extreme shading means that you could probably get away with it in an office environment but the color was different enough from the royal blue that most pens use to also allow me to use it for grading.  I also am not sure that it's sold anywhere other than Vanness Pens, so if you want it you are at the mercy of whether they can stock it.  My recommendation is to go with Ku-Jaku because it's so much more widely available and I think it's a superior teal.

Ink Review - J. Herbin "Emerald of Chivor"

Uffda, it feels like I've been working on this post forever!  Of course, that's not entirely true, but with how far it got pushed back due to my illness last week, it has been on my mind longer than most.  So let's get to it, shall we?

Emerald of Chivor, henceforth referred to as EoC, is the latest in the 1670 line of inks from J. Herbin.  The really special things about these inks are that 1) they all contain shimmery particulate, and 2) they have bottles that are quite pretty to look at but impossible to fill a pen from.

I'm quite sure that this is because I am becoming curmudgeonly in my old age (I turn 26 this week, so it's a downhill slide from there), but I am so over the shimmery ink trend.  Everyone loses their bananas when a new 1670 ink comes out, and with the new Diamine Shimmertastic inks it feels like I'm back in middle school and everyone has those awful glittery gel pens.  I get that these inks are pushing boundaries and can produce some really cool effects when used artistically, but my experience has been that shimmery inks are pretty underwhelming when used like normal ink with a nib on the finer end of things.  If you want to read my reviews of other 1670 inks, you can find Rouge Hematite here and Stormy Grey here

I'll stop ranting now and talk about the ink itself a bit.  For EoC I did not test highlighting, since I figured that very few people would be highlighting an ink like this.

Shimmery-ness notwithstanding, this is a very pretty ink.  The base is a pleasant, dark teal that exhibits a decent amount of shading and would be appropriate even in a professional setting, as it is fairly inoffensive.  As you can see in the image above, there is no gold sheen visible in my normal writing, and the full effect for the swab is only achieved under direct sunlight at certain oblique angles.

I found the dry time to be very fast, but of course that will vary with nib size and wetness of a given pen.  I also didn't notice any bleeding or feathering with this ink, but I primarily used it on premium papers like Clairefontaine Triomphe and Tomoe River, with a small amount of writing in a Field Notes Workshop Companion notebook.

In terms of water resistance for EoC, there is none.  I'm not too surprised by this because my experience is that the other 1670 inks are not terribly water resistant, and this ink is also not exactly marketed to the crowd that is using their pens to label important documents for archiving.

Based on my rant at the beginning of this post, you will probably not be surprised to hear that I am not telling you to go buy this ink immediately.  If you really want to try it, I definitely suggest picking up a sample or even going half-sies on a bottle with a buddy.  But, unless you are an artist or you plan to use this ink to write out holiday cards (hey, there's an idea...), I doubt that this will be an ink that will be consumed by anyone at an appreciable rate.  If you enjoy the base color but don't really care much about the sparkles, you can check out similar inks here and see if one tickles your fancy for probably a decent amount less cash.

This ink was provided to me for the purpose of use and review and I am not being compensated for this review in any way.  All opinions above are my own and you are free to disagree with them if you like (especially this time, since I know I'm in the minority on shimmery inks).