I’ve been on a buying spree lately (when am I not?). Here’s my quick-hit initial verdict on a few products to cross my desk.
Field Notes Dime Novel
I subscribed to Field Notes for a few years, but as I got more into fountain pens I grew more and more frustrated by the lousy paper. So here’s a first: the Dime Novel is truly fountain-pen friendly. Ink dries quickly so there’s not much shading or sheen, but there is zero bleedthrough, zero showthrough, and very little feathering. The paper has a little texture and reminds me of the Darkstar notebook that I’m just finishing up. Add to that the wonderful design, unique size, and simply excellent quality of the binding and embossing and I’m thinking about restarting my Colors subscription again. Until then, I’ve just bought two more from Stuart at Pocket Notebooks — consider that endorsement enough.
Col-o-Ring ink swatches
I’ve finally pulled the trigger and bought the daddy of ink swatch paper, the Col-o-ring ink testing book as designed by the wonderful Well Appointed Desk. A real step up from the cards I was using, in a number of ways: 100 sheets of 160gsm paper, each bigger in size, with rounded corners and perfect finishing. Lots of room to saturate the page with ink for a big, bold swatch. So far the slightly textured paper is not playing too well with my glass pen, and it doesn’t look like there’s a lot of sheen — but I’m still a fan.
Herbin large glass pen
This is my third glass pen. I love them for testing inks and for my daughter to use when she’s colouring. The Herbin is easily my largest of the three, well over seven inches long and fat in the hand (TWSS). The main grip section has a square cross-section, which is interesting and surprisingly comfortable. The nib is slightly fatter than on my other glass pens but that’s not a bad thing.
Organics Studio inks
I caved to the hype and ordered Walden, Emerson and Arsenic. Walden is a hypnotic colour, I simply love it — reminds me a bit of Edelstein Aquamarine but with more pop, and of course the sheen. Emerson, under its own veil of sheen, is a very nice midnight blue-black. Arsenic has no sheen and is a very nice mid grey. Now, I’m a sheenaholic, but Walden and Emerson have actually turned me off sheen a bit. It’s distracting, particularly on Tomoe River, where the underlying colour is almost invisible.
And the pursuit of sheen seems to have made the inks somewhat difficult to use: I and others have experienced hard starting with these inks, and tremendous smudging even hours after writing. Best for playing with, not for actual writing, I fear. Shame, because I love the colours and the naming.