Another surprise for us! While I’m always walking around and moaning at the long wait time to get special orders item in for Pilot all the way from Japan, usually around 3-4 months, the upside is that it’s always a wonderful surprise when things turn up!
J. Herbin has recently released its newest ink in the 1670 Anniversary Ink line-up Emeraude de Chivor, joining Rouge Hematite, Stormy Grey and Bleu Ocean. The reason these inks have been so popular is because they all have some beautiful gold shimmer in them. It’s pretty rare to get gold flakes in fountain pen ink since most ink is dye-based, and often inks with pigment in them can clog your fountain pen, but these J. Herbin formulas flow well and wet and smoothly.
Each of these previous releases had been highly anticipated, and Emeraude de Chivor is no exception. Its arrival to North America has been discussed on forums and pen blogs and Instagram for the last few months, and we’ve been fielding our share of e-mails and questions about when it was going to arrive. I think we’ve received it here in Canada before the US, which is one of the few times us Canadians have had an edge over our friends down south. With our rapidly weakening Canadian dollar and the end of door-to-door mail delivery, we should cherish these moments, friends! 🙂
I had originally thought it was going to arrive early August, so it wasn’t even on my radar to start thinking about it. Then last week, I got an email from our J. Herbin distributor saying, “Hello Mme Chan, your ink is coming.” I love how these guys are always so calm in their emails. It’s like they don’t realize that immediately after seeing the email, I’m going to freak out a bit.
Emeraude de Chivor is a dark, rich teal with gold flecks and red sheen. I call it teal rather than turquoise because I think it leans more towards a warm blue green rather than a sky blue green, but it depends a bit on how wet your pen is (and your computer monitor…). I also referenced this site here, which I’m pretty confident in, because it’s a site about teal vs turquoise for a wedding, and women can get a bit nuts over wedding details. It’s an interesting coincidence that on this website they say teal and gold is a “fab colour combination.”
Here are some shots of the new ink.
Of course you’re going to see much more gold in these super wet swabs, dip pens, glass pens, or anything else that puts a lot of ink on the paper versus in writing with a fountain pen, but you’re still definitely going to see some gold, and obviously the wetter or broader the pen, and the less absorbent the paper, the more gold you’re going to see.
This writing sample is done with a Platinum 3776 Music Nib and on Midori MD paper. The Platinum 3776 Music Nib is triple tined and slightly stubby, one of my favourite nibs of all time. I use it for letter-writing, addressing envelopes, and for inks that have qualities that need a wetter nib, such as shading or sheen.
I love that even without noticing the gold or sheen, the colour of the ink itself is this beautiful, dark, rich colour. Especially with a fine nib, with the gold or red sheen not as obvious, you might be able to get away with this in a work environment. Plus you’ll notice the sheen and gold more if you look at an angle and in the right light in any case, so maybe no one will even notice 😉
When you’re filling your pen, your best bet is get your pen ready first, piston all the way down and ready to grab, shake the bottle really well to even disperse the gold flecks and then immediately and quickly dunk your nib in to suck up. If you’re too slow, the gold will all settle to the bottom before you get a chance to get any in your pen. When we do ink samples of these 1670 inks, it’s a two person operation, one person shakes and removes the cap between every syringe fill while the other person gets the syringe in and dispenses into the vials.
I’ve found that surprisingly, these inks clean easily out of your pens. There is sometimes some gold sparkle remaining on the feed if you’re just flushing out until the coloured ink (grey, blue, etc.) washes out, which I know sounds contradictory to what I just said about it cleaning easily, but it’s not in a way that’s build-up clogging up your feed like dried ink residue, it’s just the tiny gold flakes, which will continue to come out in the next ink you put in.
That said, if you’re really concerned about an expensive or valuable pen, consider not leaving any of these 1670 inks in your pen for too long, or to really be vigilant in cleaning it out, even using a bit of dish-soap in a cup of warm water. I’m a bit more of a life-on-the-edge, and I don’t mind a bit of gold sparkle in my Ancient Copper or Alt-Goldgrun. In fact, I don’t think there are too many things in life that couldn’t be improved by a bit of gold dust.
I will leave you with a video done by Ed Jelley, one of my favourite pen bloggers.
From New England to Canada: Raven Black
This is the second of the two Canadian inks we’ve brought in from Noodler’s!
We’ve been anticipating this ink for literally months – before we even found this new space here at 250 Carlaw, we had been going back and forth on some of the old Noodler’s inks that had been discontinued. We had actually held off on shipping it at first because of the cold winter weather (imagine how disastrous – a box of broken inks, and Canadian ones at that!), and then with the delays from the move, we kept postponing and postponing. I’m pretty sure there were a few boxes of inks with our name on them at our distributor’s, just sitting and waiting to come home.
Raven Black is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem “The Raven.” Maybe it’s because I’m a former English student, and I know ink itself is a pretty romantic notion these days anyways, but how can you get more romantic than an ink inspired by a poem? If you’re a writer or a poet, how could you resist writing with an ink inspired by Edgar Allan Poe?
“The Raven” is a poem told from the perspective of a heart-broken lover mourning the death of his beloved. In the midst of his sadness, he’s interrupted by a mysterious raven, who – even more mysteriously – speaks.
As the narrator attempts to discover the raven’s origins, the raven can only repeat the phrase “Nevermore.” Twisted further and further into the dark lure of the raven’s answer and his own grief, the narrator continues to ask questions about life and his own dead lover. Fear and desperation begin to overcome the narrator as he realizes the deep darkness of the raven, and eventually it is revealed that the narrator’s soul is trapped under the shadow of the black raven.
Okay, so the poem is a bit dark and creepy, but it made Poe famous across America, a national celebrity. The poem was praised for its haunting originality, and was the start of Poe’s career as a writer and poet. Since then, “The Raven” has influenced or been referenced in all sorts of American and even international pop culture.
The label features, of course, a raven, and the phrase “Nevermore…” and I must say the label is one of my favourite parts of the ink as a whole! There’s something a bit haunting about the black raven and that yellow background…
Fittingly, this new ink, Raven Black, is a black black. A description from Nathan Tardif, the creator of Noodler’s ink, goes:
A large Northern Raven – solitary and mysterious as is its nature, unlike crows – from an old 19th century painting – seemed the perfect label for a deeper mystery than the louder 1930s style. Only Mr. Poe and that bird would be worthy – and thus the darkest vintage period style ink that Noodler’s could make became “The Raven”
It’s a dark, deep black, most close to Borealis Black from Noodler’s, actually, rather than Noodler’s Standard Bulletproof Black, which is just a touch lighter. Borealis Black is described as “…an intense deep black line from Noodler’s Inks. The Blackest of the conventional Blacks!!” from the Noodler’s website, and it truly is a dark black. Raven Black is in this same vein, being a deep, rich, saturated black.
I originally thought this wasn’t going to be a bullet proof ink, but it turns out it is! This is actually a bulletproof, eternal and forgery resistant ink! The slight smudging you see when it’s held under the tap for a while is due to the fact that Nathan has identified it as “vintage-waterproof” – see more here on Noodler’s Properties PDF.
Here’s a photo of the Raven Black against the standard bulletproof black after about 20 seconds under the tap. The swab lost a bit of ink, mostly the top layer of dried ink that wasn’t able to bond with the paper. The writing of “Raven Black” actually looks pretty good, I think because there’s not so much ink layered on top to lose to the water.
Raven Black is not bad on copy paper either! There’s a bit of feather and bleed through as is usually expected with fountain pen inks, but it’s pretty good for such a saturated ink.
Raven Black is a smooth, wet ink, with good flow. It’s fairly water resistant, even with holding the paper under the tap, and I imagine it would become more and more water resistant the longer it has to dry on the page.
As it says on the label, this ink is from New England to Canada, and we couldn’t be happier than to welcome it home! We’re really hoping that the Canadian fountain pen market continues to grow and that we can sustain a few of these Canadian exclusive inks. Of course we had to have a black ink along with our Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham, and we’re so pleased that Raven Black is here.