L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Inti
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 Inti, one of several ochre-coloured inks in the Callifolio series. Inti is named after an ancient Incan sun god, often represented as a golden disk with rays and a human face. An interesting name for a fountain pen ink – let’s see whether the ink is as cool as its name suggests.
I’ve used the ink for more than a week in my daily journal (Paperblanks), with a TWSBI VAC Mini with an M-nib, which is a fairly wet writer. I immediately took a liking to the ink – the colour is superb, and fixes the main problem I had with Heure Dorée. That ink was just too light and too low-contrast for writing. Inti solves that : the ink is a more orangy ochre, with much better contrast on the paper. Definitely a splendid ink for journaling. And my personal impression is that Inti is rather well lubricated for a Callifolio ink, which is also a plus. Inti exhibits some very pleasant shading, especially in the broader nibs. I like that the shading is subdued, with not too much contrast between the lighter and darker parts. As with all Callifolio inks, Inti is a great choice for drawing, with a colour palette that ranges from light orange ochre to a much darker red-orange hue.
On the smudge test – rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab – Inti behaved perfectly. There is hardly any smudging visible. Water resistance shows some curious behaviour. With the droplet test, where I leave water droplets on the ink for 15 minutes, the ink remained firmly attached to the paper. Running water however is not Inti’s friend – the colour washed away very quickly, leaving only faint light-brown traces of my writing.
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 many 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)
Inti behaved perfectly on all the paper types, with no apparent feathering even on the lower quality papers in my test set. Drying times are mostly around the 5 to 10 second mark. I love the way the ink looks on Paperblanks paper. The ink also works surprisingly well with low-quality paper like Moleskine and generic notepad paper.
I also show the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order. With the low-end Moleskine there is a certain amount of show-through and bleed-through. The Graf von Faber-Castell paper also exhibits visible showthrough (this paper is a real Jekyll & Hyde – with some inks it behaves perfectly, with other inks it shows&bleeds like hell, and that for a 100 gsm paper – really strange). With the other papers, Inti behaved just fine. The ink copes really well with a wide variety of paper types.
Inti is a very pleasant orange-ochre ink with a fantastic colour. The ink is great for drawing, and works really well for personal writing. I enjoyed it a lot ! The ink is on the light side, but retains sufficient contrast with the paper. L’Artisan Pastellier produced a very fine ink with this one. An ink I will definitely include in my ink rotation.
Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib