Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Sampler Set

Karen at Exaclair graciously sent this J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Sampler Set to me for review. Thank you, Karen. I was fairly new to dip nibs not too long ago and I have quickly fallen in love with the, (story of my life, right?). I have amassed a small collection of them that have been perfect for use with these pretty inks.
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Sampler Set

The J. Herbin Pearlescent ink sampler set comes packaged in a thin plastic container. Inside at the bottom is a thin piece of foam to protect the glass bottles from hitting the surfaces they sit on. The label is loose inside the container and held in place by the bottles. The plastic container feels flimsy and does not do anything to protect the glass bottles from breaking. I feel it is flimsy, but then it is a sampler set and not for permanent keeping, so I guess I should overlook this.
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Sampler Set Packaging

The tiny, adorable little 10 ml glass bottles with aluminum caps inside make up for the plastic container. They're just so cute to look at. The bottles are completely clear so you can see the gorgeous pearlescent inks inside. In this case, the colours are: green, blue, peach, yellow, and pink. The ink is made up of the coloured pigments and the liquid solvent. The pigments are very sparkly and pretty! 
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Sampler Set

After sitting for awhile, the pigments will separate from the other parts of the ink, resulting in a clear liquid and the settled pigment at the bottom. It's very nifty to look at and there is nothing wrong with this. A good swirl of the bottle will reconstitute everything and it will be as good as new. I always give the bottle a little swirl in between dips anyway, just to keep it fully mixed.
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Writing Sample
Note page crinkling a little where "J. Herbin" has been written.
It took me a few uses to figure out I had to shake the bottles longer than I thought to get the pigments to mix properly. There were coming out a little bit chunky and while the darker inks still looked smooth on paper, the lighter ones were obviously chunky. Easy fix - just mix the inks more! So I did that and that cleared up my chunk issue. That sounds weird.
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Sampler Set Swab
Clearly I did not mix some of these well enough. Applied very chunky!
While they appear just fine on light paper, the light inks would look really good on dark paper. Unfortunately I had none (GASP! I know.) so I couldn't show you, but I think it's pretty obvious it would look great.
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Writing Sample
It is quite easy to coat a dip nib with these inks as they are fairly thick. A decent amount of ink stays on the nib as well, but because I am not very experienced with dip nibs, I still re-dip often. Once the ink is properly mixed, they can be smoothly applied to paper via nib or brush or whatever means you choose. I used both a Brause Blue Pumpkin nib, as well as a wide Speedball nib for the thicker lines - both were easy to use. 
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Writing Sample Close Up
When thickly applied, I had to remember to let it dry properly before touching it. Also when thickly applied, this caused some of my papers to crinkle. I personally loved crinkled paper but if you are using these inks for professional work, crinkled paper is probably not something you want, therefore you may want to work with thicker paper, or make sure the ink is not too wet when you apply it to paper.
J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Close Up
Very pretty! Shimmery and colourful!
I wouldn't say this ink is water proof but it won't completely wash away if water drips on it. If a wet brush were to smear all over it repeatedly, it will smear and your writing will likely become illegible, but water drops won't wash away your words. Or lines. On the bright side, it's cool because you can use wet ink as watercolour!
J. Herbin Pearlescent Water Test
Left: wet brush smearing dried ink. If you look really closely at the blue line in the center, there is an area of dried water, where I dripped water on the dried line. Nothing happened. Above - the yellow line does smear but remains visible. The pigment is thick enough that it can be used like paint!
  • 10 ml bottles are great to try out all the colours.
  • Gorgeous colours.
  • Mixes well and has a nice, easy to use consistency for dip nibs.  
  • Has some water resistance.
  • Can be used like watercolour. 
  • Very fun to use in many ways.
  • Bottles are difficult to get large dip nib holders into.
  • Some colours are hard to see on white paper.

$14.00 at Writer's Bloc


A lovely set of pearlescent, shimmery dip pen inks. These inks are a lot thicker than fountain pen inks so they are easier to work with, especially if you are new to dip nibs (like me).  I think more colour options would be really awesome, and it would be nice to mix and match. The inks are quite versatile though, and have nice properties. They are also quite versatile. Very fun to use!

These inks were provided to me free of charge for reviewing purposes. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. All opinions remain 100% my own!


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