L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Equinoxe(6)
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-coloured 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 watercolour-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 focus on Equinoxe(6), one of the many blue inks in the Callifolio line. Equinoxe(6) is best described as a dark teal, heavy in the dark blue component. It's a well-saturated blue ink, with lots of character and with quite a broad colour range. This ink is equally suitable for both writing and drawing. I quite enjoyed drafting the review for this ink.
For a Callifolio ink, Equinoxe(6) is surprisingly well saturated, and lays down quite a wet line. As such, the ink provides excellent contrast with the paper - even with an EF nib, your writing stands out on the page. Because of the initial wetness, you have to be careful not to smudge your writing - this definitely is not an ink for lefties. The ink looks good on both white and more yellowish paper. Shading is present in all nib sizes, even the finer ones. It is really pronounced when using broader nibs - I would have preferred a bit more subdued shading, but as always such preferences are highly personal.
To show you the impact of saturation on the ink's look & feel on paper, I made some scribbles where I fully saturated portions of the paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. Equinoxe(6) is capable of a broad range of teal shades - you might also notice a reddish sheen in places of high saturation.
On the smudge test – rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab – Equinoxe(6) shows its greatest weakness. This ink smudges easily and in a very noticeable way. As such you need to take extra care while writing. Water resistance is generally low. A prolonged soak in water completely obliterates your writing, leaving only some undecipherable traces. With running tap water, the result is better: most of the colour drains away with the water, but a faint blue-grey residue remains that can be deciphered with some patience. Overall, not a good ink if water proofness is high on your list.
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 format that shows 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 Safari fountain pen
- The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib
- A small text sample, written with the M-nib
- Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)
Equinoxe(6) behaved perfectly on all paper types, with no apparent feathering even on the lower quality papers in my test set. Drying times are quite reasonable in the 10-15 second range, even lower on some of the more absorbent papers. The ink looks fabulous no matter what type of paper you are using - this really is an ink that is at home with all combinations of pen and paper. Impressive!
I also show the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order. The ink behaved very good with almost all paper types. Only with the Moleskine and Graf von Faber-Castell paper there is noticeable bleed-through, which means you cannot use the backside of the paper. All in all a really well-behaving ink.
Inkxperiment – mathematical universe
I've recently started to experiment with ink drawings, keeping things simple and more-or-less abstract. I find it to be a fun extension of the hobby, and have found single-ink drawings a nice challenge. It also gives you an idea of what the ink is capable of in a more artistic setting. This drawing was done on OCM cotton paper. For the background I rolled up a kitchen-roll sheet, dipped it in ink, and used this as a stamp. The abstract spiky figure was drawn in with a B-nib fountain pen. I added the shading and mathematical symbols with a Q-tip dipped in Equinoxe(6). The end result gives you a good idea of the colour span that Equinoxe(6) is capable of.
Callifolio Equionoxe(6) from L'Artisan Pastellier is a lovely dark teal, that is equally at home with both writing and drawing. The ink has excellent contrast with the paper, and works well with all nib sizes and paper types. Just be aware that this ink smudges easily, so take extra care while writing or drawing. Personally, I really enjoyed this Callifolio ink, and I especially appreciate the consistent look it presents irrespective of nib and paper.
Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib
Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
Edited by namrehsnoom, 01 April 2018 - 10:49.