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L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Byzance 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 the spotlight is on Byzance, one of the many blue inks of the series. Callifolio blues are typically named after bodies of water, but in this case the naming seems to refer to the old Greek city at the banks of the Bosphore river. It should come as no surprise that both Callifolio inks (Byzance and Bosphore) are quite similar. Byzance is a quite nice blue-grey ink, that shifts character with the light. In some conditions it looks bluish, with different lighting you see almost a true dark grey. Myself - I don't consider blue-blacks boring at all, and I truly appreciate this ink's appearance. You could almost consider it as a blue-black that has faded with time. The ink is nicely saturated and works well with all nib sizes. Even with finer nibs, there is good contrast with the paper. There is some subtle shading present, which requires broader nibs to become clearly visible. I like the narrow shading range, resulting in not too much of a contrast between the light and dark parts in the line. The result is aesthetically pleasing. On the smudge test - rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab - Byzance exhibits some smearing, but without impact on the readability of the text. Water resistance is quite low though - all the colour quickly dissipates, leaving only a faint greyish ghost image. The good thing is that this ghost image remains just readable, so you will be able to reconstruct your writing. Overall though, this is NOT a water-resistant ink by any definition. I have 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-tip1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturationAn ink scribble made with an M-nib fountain penThe name of the paper used, written with a B-nibA small text sample, written with an M-nibDrying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)Callifolio Byzance behaved perfectly on all the paper types I used, with a very consistent look across the different paper samples. Drying times are also quite short at about the 10 second range on most papers, even on smooth paper like Tomoe River.At the end of the review, I also show the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order. The ink behaved superbly on all paper types. Only with Moleskine did I notice a tiny bit of bleed-through. Conclusion Callifolio Byzance from L'Artisan Pastellier is a really nice blue-grey ink, that behaves exceptionally well on all paper types. A pity about the poor water resistance - this would otherwise be a great ink for use at the office. Byzance has a bit of a faded look, resulting in a vintage feel. The ink looks like a blue-black that has faded with time. If you like blue-blacks (or in this case blue-greys), this ink will be right up your alley. Try it ... I’m sure you'll like it. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Backside of writing samples on different paper types