Ink and Pen Notes: Sheaffer PFM I and J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage

Sheaffer PFM I with J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage

I recently wrote about the Sheaffer PFM I as the pen that made me feel stupid. Since then it had been filled with J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage ink. I was filled on April 9th and I did use the pen quit a lot until I wrote it dry by May 1st (I’m a little slow getting these notes published). While three weeks is a considerable length of time I would have expected longer with such a large pen and a fine nib so I still may not have gotten a complete fill.

The J. Herbin ink and the PFM performed well on a wide variety of papers except for some cheap copy paper where there was some feathering, even with the thin nib.

It’s a bright green but I like the color better in the bottle than on paper. The color seems a bit muted to me when it’s on paper. There was a little line variation with the fine nib which was nice. It also dried rather quickly so I didn’t have any accidental smudges.

I prefer the green of Montblanc Irish Green over Lierre Sauvage but I have fewer accidental smudges with Lierre Sauvage.

Ink and Pen Notes: KarasKustoms Ink with Medium Nib and J. Herbin Vert Empire Cartridge

KarasKustoms Ink with medium nib and J Herbin Vert Empire pen and ink

I just reviewed J. Herbin Vert Empire cartridges and this KarasKustoms Ink with a medium nib was the primary pen for the review. It’s the Tumbled Raw Aluminum version with an aluminum griping section. I didn’t write the pen dry and wasted about 1/2 a cartridge. While the ink performed well the color just wasn’t for me. I kept the pen inked after the review with the intention of writing it dry, but I always passed it over. Of the twelve pens I currently have inked it was debatable whether this would be my 11th or 12th choice if I ranked the pens.
I did review the KarasKustoms Ink although this Tumbled Raw Aluminum version wasn’t part of the review since it’s a recent addition. The specific nib is also new to me but I did review a different medium nib and this one is consistent with the earlier nib, It’s always good when pen manufacturing is consistent.
The pen was inked up back on January 19th. I have no complaints about the performance. The flow was consistent and there wasn’t any skipping or hard starts. My dislike of the ink is purely aesthetic.
There’s a complete lack of any nib creep or splattering so the nib seems nice and clean even though I don’t clean them before the photos.

Ink Notes: J. Herbin Vert Empire Cartridges

J. Herbin Vert Empire Cartridges

I ordered the a tin of J. Herbin Vert Empire ink cartridges when I was shopping for green and grey inks I hadn’t used. I ordered cartridges to get more than a sample but still pay less than a full bottle. When the ink order arrived I looked at the Vert Empire tin and put the ink in with the grays based on the color on the tin. The color on the tin cover in the photo above looks greener in a well-lit photo than it does in typical room light.
J. Herbin Vert Empire is a bit of a chameleon ink. Well, it doesn’t change to match it’s background, so maybe a broken chameleon. It’s color does vary greatly based on the paper and the lighting. Unfortunately for me, I don’t like most of those variations. The only time it’s obviously green is on bright white paper, such as a Rhodia DotPad under bright light.
Most of my writing is on non-white paper, at least not bright white. In most of my lighting conditions (which isn’t the brightest) and on most paper I use the ink looks muddy when it comes out of the pen. It does become visibly greener as it dries but it takes time to become really green. It can be rather pleasant once it’s dry. Unfortunately, by then I’ve usually moved on and turned the page so my impression of this ink was typically muddy.
As I’ve mentioned, I used this ink in cartridges. I assume the cartridges and bottles are the same ink, but the color on the cartridge tin is grayer than the color on the bottle. So there may be a difference, but since the cartridge ink does dry green it’s probably the same.
This ink does better in a wider and wetter nib. I used it in a fine nib when I first got it but it didn’t stay in the pen long. That nib was also on the dry side and the ink never appeared green, it stayed a muddy gray. The ink performed well but it was completely unimpressive and if not appearing gray, it was olive at best, even after drying.

Additional Reading

J. Herbin – Vert Empire – Handwritten Ink Review –
J. Herbin Vert Empire Fountain Pen Ink Review – OfficeSupplyGeek
J. Herbin Vert Empire Ink Review – Pens! Paper! Pencils!
The bottom line, I don’t like this ink. I doesn’t suite the thin nibs I typically use or the papers I typically write on which are usually off-white or cream colored. It does perform well and the only reason I won’t use it is the color.

Ink Notes: J. Herbin Cafe Des Iles

J Herbin Cafe Des Iles Box

Google translate says the french “cafe des isles” is “coffee islands” in english. The ink does have a resemblance to the color of coffee beans. I wanted a darker version of Lie De The’ so decided to give J. Herbin Cafe Des Iles a try.

The ink’s dry time is good for everything up to and including a medium nib. Ten seconds or less on all the paper I used. Dry times with broad and 1.1mm stubs jumped to over 30 seconds before it can’t be smudged or it’s safe to turn the page.

There wasn’t any noticeable feathering until I used a medium or wider nib on cheaper paper. Performance on my usual Rhodia or Doane paper was great.

Bleed through was non-existent. Show through wasn’t a problem with my typical nibs and paper. It did occur with thicker nibs and thinner paper.

The ink was a little hard to clean than J. Herbin Lie De The’ ink but still on the easy side when compared to other brown inks. Overall I’d call it easy to clean.

The ink doesn’t have any water resistance to speak of.

I especially like the way this ink looks on off white paper such as the Doane Jotter paper or yellow pads. It’s completely subjective but they seem to complement each other well. The ink seems to be a bit redder when it’s wet and dries to a slightly deer brown.

Pens Used

The TWSBI Vac 700 was the only pen I used with this ink, but I did use 5 different nibs.

Extra Fine – I used this nib as my daily writer for several days. Flow was consistently good and I didn’t experience any skipping or hesitation. Dry time was about 5 or 6 seconds even though this nib writes on the dry side. Despite the thin line, I didn’t have any problem reading my notes once they dried.

The Fine, Medium, Broad and 1.1mm Stub Italic were just used for the samples in the gallery. The drying time on even the Fine nib was a little longer than I prefer for my daily note taker. The ink really begins to shine with the wetter and wider nibs.

Additional Reading

Review on the Inkophile blog

Review on FPN

Ink Notes: J. Herbin Lie De The’

Photo of a Lie De The ink bottle
J. Herbin Lie De The Ink Bottle

I first wrote about J. Herbin Lie De The’ back in September 2012. I was a bit disappointed in the ink at the time, possibly due to the sample I received being even more yellowish than a typical bottle. This is an update to that post as I’ve grown to like the ink more over time.

I like brown inks and the first time I saw J. Herbin Lie De The’ ink I thought it was destined to become my standard brown ink and one of my overall favorites, even though Google translate says the name is “Dregs of Tea” in english.

While this didn’t become my standard brown ink, I’ve grown to like it. It does vary greatly based on nib and paper combinations. The color varied widely across the first two pens I used and different types of paper. Sometimes the ink looks looked yellow mud and other times it’s a nice dark brown. It’s been less mud like from the bottle but does often lean to the yellow side of brown.

With my preference for fine nibs I don’t expect a lot of shading in the line but there is some variation with the Lie de The’ ink. I will say in the the ink from the bottle I bought has been more consistent than the initial sample I used.

The drying time and water resistance is pretty good, making it usable as my daily note taker. Not the fatest dryer, but good enough. The ink isn’t waterproof but there’s enough left to be read after being soaked.

Pens Used

Edison Collier w/fine nib: Wrote a thin line that was more yellow that I like. Also frequently wrote a thin line that looked like thin yellow mud, which wasn’t easy or pleasant to read. Other times it was a good looking brown ink. I’m not sure why there was a difference since the paper type was often the same. Maybe room temperature or humidity affected it. This pen used an ink sample which may explain the differences between this pen and the others, which were from a full bottle.

Franklin-Christoph Model 29 w/fine nib: The ink has been consistent within paper brands. Unlike the Edison Collier, this pen was consistent on each type of paper. It did vary across paper. The ink has a very yellow tinge on Rhodia paper and is more brown on Field Notes and Doane paper. Nothing exciting, but no complaints either.

TWSBI VAC 700 with various nibs: The samples in the gallery were done with the pen. I liked the ink just fine using this pen. I used the extra fine nib for a couple days as my primary note taker and it performed well on Doane Paper. No hesitation or skipping with a nice consistant color.

Writing Samples

Additional Reading

FPGeeks Inkcyclopedia

Fountain Pen Networ Review

The Pen Addict (Great drawings with the ink)

Photo of a pen resting on a J. Herbin ink bottle
The J. Herbin pen bottles have a built in pen rest.