Ink Notes: Graf von Faber-Castell Moss Green

photo GvFC Moss Green bottle and inked Vac 700

Graf von Faber-Castell Moss Green is the second Graf von Faber-Castell (GvFC) ink I’ve reviewed with Stone Grey being the first. Like Stone Grey, the GvFC Green Moss is one of their four Document Proof colors. So it’s non-correctable, non-removable without a trace, uv-resistant, and more. It’s also supposed to be waterproof and fast drying, but more on this later. The price is the same as Stone Grey- #30 per 75ml bottle which is 40 cents per milliliter. So it’s a luxury ink but still less per ml than Iroshizuku or Caran d’ Ache inks.

GvFC Moss Green is a saturated ink with a deep green color than I rather like. Although the color does vary depending on how much ink is put down by the pen. It leaves the pen a bright green and darkens a bit as it dries. I prefer the ink in wider or wetter nibs. It’s rather boring in my drier thin nibs. It’s flows well enough, it just doesn’t pop off the paper. My Sheaffer Balance Junior with a fine stub nib and this ink get along well. While it has a thin nib, it’s fairly wet and the stub added some nice variation.

I was less impressed by the “quick drying” feature of this ink, especially in the pens that show off this ink the best. The ink is fast drying in those thin extra-fine and fine nibs that put down a dry and boring line. But as the writing sample show, I had some smudging problems in wetter nibs. Even the fine stub took a minimum of 15 seconds to dry enough to be smudge proof. So yes, it can dry quickly. But it’s not worth using in those nibs.

Is it Water resistant? It’s supposed to be. The writing sample dried overnight, a little over 12 hours. While there are still traces of ink, it’s not what I would consider water resistant. It doesn’t smudge so it can still be read, but just barely.

Cleaning

The ink does clean easily from pens. It seemed to take me longer than other other inks, but it cleaned differently than other inks. Usually I get clear water after a flush or two with the bulb syringe although there are still traces if I shake the nib into a tissue. With the Moss Green there was still traces of the ink after four or five flushes but in this case all traces of the ink was gone. The ink is saturated enough that even a little left behind is easily noticeable.

Pens Used

The TWSBI Vac 700 was used with the extra fine, fine, medium, broad and 1.1 mm nibs for the writing samples. The extra fine and fine nibs put down a thin, quick drying line. It was also rather boring. In my opinion, not worth the cost of the ink. The medium nib was wet enough that the ink began to pop off the paper and had a bit of a sheen as it left the pen for the paper. The dry time for the medium nib was a reasonable, if not fast, 10 seconds. The broad and 1.1 mm nibs also put down enough ink to bring out the color.

The Sheaffer Balance Junior with the custom fine stub was the first pen I used with this ink. Despite being a fine line it’s wet enough to bring out the color. The stub adds some nice character which made it an excellent introduction to the ink. This was my daily writer for a couple days and it was great. I did have to be careful about smudges and there were a couple accidents.

Wrapping Up

I really liked the GvFC Stone Grey ink and can see it as a regular in my rotation. While I like the Graf von Faber-Castell Moss Green color it’s not an ink I foresee being a regular. The color is great with wet nibs but then it takes too long to dry (for me anyways). For work notes and such I can’t can’t be that careful all the time, or wait for ink to dry before turning the page. And there’s no reason to use this ink in a thin nib which allows it to dry quickly.

So the bottom line. – a nice color with a wet nib but the slow drying ruins if for me.

Writing Samples

(Click any photo for full size)

This Week’s Ink: March 3, 2014

I’ve continued emptying pens since last week’s “write until dry” post, bringing me down into single digits for the number of pens inked. I couldn’t have that so I have inked some new ones up (or some old ones with new ink).

I have to give a special shout-out to my Franklin-Christoph Model 66 with Rohrer & Klingner Blau-Schwarz Limited Edition.

Franklin-Christoph Model 66 with R&K Blau-Schwarz
Franklin-Christoph Model 66 with R&K Blau-Schwarz

The ink has been in the pen since November 2012. That’s not a typo. Whenever it got low I just topped it off (an eye-drop filler) and kept going. The pen went unused for a week or two at times but was generally used several times a week. Never a complaint, clog, or skip. This time it burped ink when it got low and I decided to clean it out. The ink flushed easily and there were no signs of staining. The pen won’t be empty for long and will soon be back on my desk. Until then I’m down to only three always inked pens, all Kawecos.

The Platinum 3776 Ribbed also wrote itself dry. I really like that ultra fine nib so I flushed it then inked it up with a different ink. The Omas 360 had frequent problems starting each day which became annoying, so I flushed out the Pelikan Blue-Black and will try a different ink.

In addition to the 3 Kawecos I’ve inked up the following 10 pens.

photo of pens inked for the week ahead
Writing samples of this week's ink