Ink Review: J. Herbin - Stormy Grey
Paper Tested On: Norcom Composition, Staples 20lb, 85g Clairefontaine, 90g Rhodia, Post-it Note.
Disclaimer: I do not have a bottle of this ink. I've only used samples.
J. Herbin Stromy Grey (JSG) is the first and only ink that I have ever used that has an added component. I wasn't afraid of cleaning any of my pens out, but I was very curious as to how well JSG would write. I wondered if JSG would flow well or be dry or feel gritty. I do think that there does seem to be some added feedback while using this ink, but I don't find it unpleasant. It actually reminded me a lot of using a No. 2 pencil. I know a lot of people won't like that, but I found it enjoyable since I find that it makes me feel like I have more control over what I'm writing. I also found it fitting since the color of this ink reminds me of graphite lead.
I think it's also important to note that the color of my sample looks very different to images that I've seen online. Granted I may not be using as dense a paper as the retailers do for their color swatches, but I feel like the JSG sample I have has a warmer tone to it. As you can see in the chromatography test I did, my JSG sample leans more towards a purple or lilac hue when it separates. I enjoyed the color, but I think you should be aware there may be some differences in what you actually get. It could be anything from environmental factors (i.e. exposure to air) or even how well the bottle was shaken before the sample was drawn.
JSG seems to be a nice ink that has staying power. It's not listed as being a permanent ink, but I'd say it's pretty bulletproof. The same cannot be said for the glitter that is in the ink. The gold came off easily even with just a normal pencil eraser. Which, frankly is to be expected.
The dry times are good on more absorbent paper, but can start to creep closer to the 20 second mark on good paper like Rhodia's 90g web notebook. JSG's color is easily cleaned, but be prepared to see some left over glitter in the next ink that you put in your pen. I didn't leave JSG in my pens for very long, so I can't comment on how hard it is to clean after it's sat for an extended amount of time, but I think if you use common sense you shouldn't have too much trouble cleaning out this ink. At the end of the day, no one knows your pens better than you do.
Don't expect a lot of shading from this ink. JSG is all about the glitter and glam. I can't say that JSG has a lot of uses other than just for the joy of writing. The glitter doesn't really scream "work friendly". I see this more as an ink that you will enjoy personally, or others will enjoy if you write them a letter using JSG.
Overall, JSG is a nice ink. It's a good gray color that I was surprised I like all on it's own. With the added glitter, it becomes truly unique.