L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Cannelle
L’Artisan Pastellier is a small company in southern France that specialises in natural pigments, and offers customers authentic and reliable products in beautiful colours based on mineral or vegetable pigments. In a collaboration with Loic Rainouard from Styloplume.net, the chemist Didier Boinnard from L’Artisan Pastellier created the line of Callifolio fountain pen inks. These pastel-colored inks are traditionally crafted, and can be freely mixed and matched. Overall these inks are only moderately saturated, and have low water-resistance. The inks were specifically designed to work well with all types of paper, and all types of fountain pens.
Being pastel-tinted, these inks have a watercolor-like appearance, and are not only fine inks for journaling, but are also really excellent inks for doodling & drawing. I only recently discovered them, and they are already the inks I gravitate towards for personal journaling.
In this review I take a closer look at Cannelle – one of the ochre-brown inks of the series. Cannelle gets its name from the spice cinnamon – capturing the colour of the spicy powder really well. And this definitely is the real thing – the Ceylon variety – and not the cheap stuff. This is a beautiful yellow-brown ochre ink, which you must spend some time with to really get to appreciate it. The ink shows lots of shading, especially with the broader nibs – ranging from a light yellow-brown to a well-saturated ochre-brown where the ink pools.
This is a low-saturated pastel-tinted ink, with good flow, but one that needs broader nibs and a wet pen to show its character. Lubrication is on the low side, resulting in noticeable feedback from the paper when writing, especially with the finer nibs. But with the right pen and the right paper, this really is a beautiful ink, and it kind of grows on you. The more time I spent with it, the better I liked it.
Cannelle is smudge-resistant – there is almost no spreading of the ink. The ink’s water resistance shows some strange behaviour. The ink is very soak-resistant – after a 15 minute soak, the result remained very readable. But with running tap water, the result was less good – even a short exposure results in a brownish fingerprint of the text that is only barely readable. Don’t count on being able to easily reconstruct your writing. When using a water-brush when doodling & drawing, you get a nice light-yellow-brown shading effect, that contrasts well with the inky lines. I use a glass pen for this, that can lay on thick lines of ink that are very saturated – this gives you a broad color-spectrum ranging from light yellow-brown to dark ochre. Nice !
I’ve tested the ink on a wide variety of paper – from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. For the Callifolio reviews, I’m using a new format to show you the ink’s appearance and behaviour on the different paper types. On every small band of paper I show you:
- An ink swab, made with a cotton Q-tip
- 1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturation
- An ink scribble made with an M-nib fountain pen
- The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib
- A small text sample, written with an M-nib
- Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)
I’ve added two new paper types to the mix – Fantasticpaper (www.fantasticpaper.de) and Midori notebook paper. Both are high-end fountain-pen friendly papers. I was pleasantly surprised by the dark look of Cannelle on the Fantasticpaper.
Cannelle behaved perfectly on all the paper types, with no apparent feathering even on the lower quality papers in my test set. Drying times are in the 5 to 10 second range, so this is a fast-drying ink. On the Fantasticpaper, the ink looks much darker than on other papers – on this paper even a fine-nibbed pen will play nice with Cannelle. For me, the ink looks better on the off-white paper, where the yellow paper tones result in less contrast-rich shading, giving a more aesthetic look to your writings (compare e.g. the samples on Rhodia and Midori paper).
I also show the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order. With the low-end Moleskine and generic paper, there is significant show-through and bleed-through. With the other papers, Cannelle’s behaviour is impeccable. This ink copes really well with all paper types !
Callifolio Cannelle is a very well-behaving ink on all types of paper, but for me this turned out to be an ink that needed some time to grow on me. I’m used to fine nibs, and this ink is definitely meant to be used in broad & wet nibs to show its full potential. I really like the broad range the ink’s colour can cover – from light yellow-brown to intensely saturated dark ochre. Really nice when doodling & drawing. Overall I find Cannelle to be a very nice ochre-coloured ink that I enjoy using. That being said – when looking at the related ink colours, I think I will appreciate Inti and Anahuac even more ;-)
Technical test results on Rhodia N°16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib