Despite the name, J. Herbin’s Orange Indien is not an india ink, and it will perform just fine in your fountain pen. The ink writes a bit “thin”, which results in great flow, but low saturation. It’s not the brightest ink on the page, but it does exhibit some nice, low-key shading. The color isn’t very bright like Noodler’s Apache Sunset, making it a nice middle of the road orange. Orange Indien is definitely legible on bright white paper, but maybe not as much on cream or off-white. I’m not huge on this orange, but the small bottle is just enough to get a few good fills out of it! Thanks to JetPens for sending the bottle over for review!
Notes: The Mnemosyne line of notebooks by Maruman are definitely amongst my favorite. They look great, they’re filled with fountain pen friendly paper, and they come in a variety of convenient sizes and ruling. The inspiration book was designed with the creative in mind, featuring both blank and grid rulings. It’s the perfect size to toss in a bag and go. It also doesn’t take up a ton of desk real estate, but still provides enough room to sketch out ideas, take notes, and more. I’ve found that I tend to go through Maruman notebooks rather quickly. If that’s not a testament to how much I like them, I don’t know what is. This configuration is fast becoming one of my favorites. Make sure you check out the gallery below for a ton more pictures, all at full resolution!
J. Herbin caught some flak when they released a blue 1670 ink a few years back and it had no gold flake. Well, no need to worry any more, as they’ve added a good amount of it to their deep blue 1670 ink. The gold flake (shimmer, whatever you want to call it) is a very fine powder, so be careful about leaving it in any one pen for too long. I haven’t had any clogging issues with regular use, but there’s no harm in being a little bit more cautious with this ink. Flow and saturation are good, and the gold flake really pops against the darker blue. Although some may have preferred a silver sheen, don’t knock it until you try it. The blue and gold looks pretty great in my opinion.
Check out this video I produced for J. Herbin for the new ink:
All photos are uploaded in hi-res, click to enlarge!
12 holes for your favorite pens and pencils (6 pen, 6 pencils)
Available in rich Walnut wood, made by hand
There’s been a block of wood made by Mike Dudek on my desk for just about as long as I’ve been reviewing pens. Ever since I ran across his page on Instagram (oh man, several years ago at this point!) I knew there was something special about the wooden pen holders he has made. They’ve evolved over the years, sporting better construction, improved finishing, some great looking branding, and even little felt feet to keep your desk scratch free. The piece we will be talking about (and giving away!!!) is called the Divide. It’s a solid piece of walnut with 12 spots for your favorite pens and pencils, split down the middle by a groove for your favorite pocket notebooks or index cards. It’s a great design and very nicely compliments any desk, modern or vintage.
Maybe I goofed by not bring pens outside to show them off. See those three Field Notes? Well…imagine that there are 6 pens or pencils on either side. Just kidding, I added some photos to the gallery! The Divide is so simple, yet every time I use it I’m surprised at how functional it is. While some people may be thinking “Ed, you’re crazy, it’s a block of wood. I can make that in my garage…” and you may be right to a point.
However, Mike really cares about each and every piece that he makes (in his garage, mind you). You can tell by the gently sanded edges, the perfectly squared off block, the impeccable hole spacing, and the burnt in branding on the bottom. This is what sets his pieces apart from the rest, the attention to detail.
Mike sent me a version that is more pen-friendly than what he typically makes. I asked him a while back to make me a Cube with some larger holes in the middle to accommodate larger diameter pens. When this one showed up at my door the same way, I was excited. The smaller holes comfortably fit a Lamy Safari, while the larger ones have no issues holding my Nakaya or Montblanc.
Since it’s made of wood, the Divide doesn’t scratch up even the rather delicate pens, I’ve never had an issue here. It’s also worth noting that since this is made from wood, they do vary in color a bit. This particular example is on the lighter end of the spectrum. They range from a brownish tan to a deep chocolate brown.
The Divide by Dudek Modern Goods makes a great addition to any desk. It gives you a place to store your most-used pens and pocket notebooks, while looking awesome while doing so. It’s simple, yes, but the attention to detail and construction are both top-notch. What’s the best part about this review? Well, it’s not just a review, it’s also a GIVEAWAY.
Okay, so to win your own Divide by Dudek Modern Goods, all you have to do is leave ONE comment on this post.**pen collection not included. Make sure you leave a valid email address when leaving a comment, as that is how I will contact you. We will let this run until Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 at 11:59pm. Thank you for entering and good luck! This giveaway is open worldwide, so all may enter!
(giveaway has ended)
You ever get dirty looks from your dog for photographing stuff on the ground outside? I sure do.
Disclaimer: Mike and I are friends. Yes. Get over it. Am I profiting from this? No. Do I think he’s a good guy who is generous with giving stuff away to my readers? Yes, absolutely. This was provided free of charge blah blah blah blah ok.
I’m starting this review off with a big disclaimer, just so everyone knows where I stand before the review. Will, the man behind Tactile Turn, is not just a friend, but a photo client. I was hired to take the photos for his Kickstarter campaign, so yes, I was paid for my services. I’ve been speaking to Will about this fountain pen for the better part of a year, whether it was giving advice, input, or simply just being excited about it. I’ve had a prototype of the pen for about a month now, and I really, really enjoy it. I have backed the Kickstarter myself, with my own money, because yes – I really like the pen. I have no further financial motives, I don’t get anything else if the Kickstarter hits a million dollars. I just think that this pen is a breath of fresh air in a somewhat-stagnant world of fountain pens. My intent is not to steer people wrong because of the involvement I had in this project, but fill them in about a pen that provides something different than what’s out there. Please keep this in mind as you read the review, enjoy!
This pen is SOLID. I’ve been carrying around a polycarbonate/titanium grip model for about a month and there are no issues. The plastic feels robust, the pen walls are thick, and the Ti grip is exactly what it should be. This pen utilizes acme threads, which are a good but chunkier than what you may be used to seeing on a fountain pen. Not only does this add to the overall industrial aesthetic of the pen, but it provides a smooth, secure method of keeping the pen capped. What’s unique about this pen is the fact that it posts. Most Kickstarted pens do not have this ability, but Will included that as a must-have trait in these pens. The cap posts on nice and secure, maybe a bit more-so on the polycarbonate versions. To me, this pen looks like a cross between the Pilot M-90 and the Lamy 2000. This is definitely not a bad place to be in. It has that modern design that I love so much. While the all-metal versions are stunning, I personally prefer the mix of polycarbonate and metal. I’m stuck between the Poly & Ti Grip/Finial and Poly & Brass Grip/Finial as my favorite version…
The Gist both looks and feels familiar. It’s similar to the Lamy 2000 in size, shape, and weight (the poly/Ti version at least). The one glaring difference is the ridged pattern seen on Will’s pens that adorn the entire length of the body. If you’ve used a Tactile Turn before, you’ll be familiar with the “bite” and control that this grip gives. The pen is nicely balanced, comfortable to write with, and I really like the fact that it has a #6 nib.
The grip section of these pens are mostly metal. Typically, metal grip sections can get slippery real quick. That’s not the case with the Gist. The ridges allow you to grip the pen without squeezing too hard, making them comfy for longer writing sessions as well as quick notes. The grip tapers into the nib section, so be careful about choking up too much on the pen. You may encounter inky fingers if you aren’t paying attention. I haven’t found this to be much of an issue, as it’s comfortable to grip the pen slightly above where the feel and grip meet.
The Gist pens feature a #6 Bock nib in either steel, titanium, or gold. I’ve been using the Ti version for the better part of the month, and I was surprised at how smooth it wrote. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the titanium nibs, but the extra fine one I have is smooth, has good flow, and the springy nature of titanium adds a nice amount of cushion to the writing. Once the entire batch of pens showed up, I swapped out the EF for a B just to see how it is. The B isn’t as great as the EF was, I experienced a few hard starts, but once you’re writing, it’s great. I couldn’t resist trying out the steel and gold nibs, both were smooth. The gold provided a little bit of additional cushion and had slightly better flow than the steel. These pens fill with an international size converter, the experience was standard, no complaints here.
Unique features like ridged grip, acme threads
Cap posts for a comfy, balanced experience
Body is a bit short if you don’t post
Metal versions require some extra force to post cap
I’ve been looking forward to this pen for a long time, and I can honestly say it delivers. I’ve backed the project for a polycarbonate w/ brass grip/finial for myself. The pen is comfortable, well-balanced, robust, and looks great. There’s not much else to say other than it feels both fresh and familiar at the same time. I can see myself adding more of these to my collection as time goes on, there are so many great options and after handling each and every one, it’s honestly hard to pick. The Gist starts at a reasonable $59 and can be customized all the way up to $228 (full Ti pen w. 14k gold nib), so there really is something for everyone.