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  1. Papier Plume - Calle Real (New Orleans Collection) Papier Plume is a stationary shop in New Orleans, that's best known on this forum for their "New Orleans Inks", that celebrate the rich colours and history of the city. One of their inks in this series is Calle Real, a nice-looking member of the royal blue family. Calle Real is named after the corresponding street in New Orleans. I won't repeat the interesting history behind the name here, but refer instead to the excellent review of Jackokun (highly recommended). Personally I'm not a fan of plain blue inks, but I liked this one. It's a vivid light blue that looks great on the page, and that shows some nice non-obtrusive shading. But the ink also has its shortcomings: a tendency to feather, and drying times that can vary wildly with paper type. The ink itself writes wet and with good lubrication in my Lamy Safari test pens. Quite a contrast with some of the other New Orleans inks. Saturation is excellent, even with EF nibs. The ink itself has a medium colour span. To illustrate this, I did a swab where I really saturated portions of the Tomoe River paper with ink, pooling it on. This beautifully illustrates the dynamics of Calle Real. The range moves from a light to a darker but still vivid blue colour, without too much contrast between both extremes. This results in elegant shading that looks aesthetically very pleasing. The shading didn't show with the finer nibs, but made its appearance starting at F/M and above. On the smudge test - rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab - the ink behaved quite badly. The inks smudges easily, even after leaving it alone for a while. Water resistance is almost non-existent. The dyes disappear quickly, leaving behind a very light purplish ghost of the text. Reconstructing your writing is possible, but you will have to put some effort into it. Not what I would call an accident-proof ink. The chromatography confirms this: some light-purple dyes remain in place at the bottom part. I've tested the ink on a wide variety of paper - from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. On each scrap 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 a Lamy Safari M-nib fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with a Lamy Safari B-nib A small text sample, written with the M-nib The source of the quote, written with a Parker Sonnet (F-nib) Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib) Calle Real has a slight tendency to feather, most noticeable on the lesser quality papers in my test set. Not a good choice to use on cheap office copier paper. The ink manages to look equally good on white and more yellow paper. Contrast with the paper is excellent but not overdone: even a page full of text looks pleasing to the eye. Drying times are wildly unpredictable - ranging from 0 to over 30 seconds depending on the paper. Paper with a hard surface results in super-long drying times and I mean this literally... 30 seconds and above. Forget about this ink if you're a lefty. At the end of the review, I also show the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order. Some bleed-through is present on most of the lower-quality papers. You should take care when pairing paper & ink if you want a satisfying result, i.e. avoid low-quality paper, or paper with too hard a surface. Rhodia, Fantasticpaper, Semikolon and Life Noble appeared to work the best. Writing with different nib sizes The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. Calle Real manages to look good in all nib sizes from EF up to the 1.9 calligraphy nib. With the very fine nibs shading is quasi absent, but starting at F/M and above the elegant and eye-pleasing shading is very prominently there. I am not really into blues, but I liked the vivid character of this ink that adds character without being too obtrusive and in-your-face. Related inks To compare Calle Real with related inks, I use my nine-grid format with the currently reviewed ink at the center. This format shows the name of related inks, a saturation sample, a 1-2-3 swab and a water resistance test - all in a very compact format. As you can see, Calle Real looks quite good if you compare it to the other inks in the grid. Diamine Royal Blue and Blue Velvet come close, and show some of the same vivid-ness that I like so much in this Papier Plume ink. Inkxperiment – A Saucerful of Science With every review I try to do a single-ink drawing that shows what the ink is capable of in a more artistic setting. This is the most fun part of every ink review, and I quite enjoy brainstorming and then implementing these little pieces. Inspiration for this inkxperiment comes from the Neil deGrasse Tyson book "Welcome to the Universe" that I just finished reading. A humbling book that beautifully illustrates how small we earthlings are relative to the vastness of space and time. And my respect for the scientists that extracted this knowledge from the universe has grown substantially. So this inkxperiment is an ode to science. For this inkxperiment I started with a piece of 12x18cm HP photo paper. I applied some washi tape to divide the paper into regions that I background coloured in a number of different ways, and with different water/ink ratios. I then added some topic-specific details to some of the regions (bookcases, formulas, some mysterious-looking writing). Once dry, I removed the washi-tape to create the white dividers between the regions. The end result is not too bad, and shows what can be obtained with Calle Real as a drawing ink. Conclusion Calle Real from Papier Plume is a vivid light-blue from the Royal Blue family. A great writing ink with beautiful colour and nice shading, but only if you pair it with the correct paper. Make the wrong choice, and you'll have to deal with some feathering and really really long drying times. Make the right choice, and you'll love this ink! Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Backside of writing samples on different paper types
  2. I got a nice surprise from Papier Plume when they sent me a sample of the next upcoming ink. The first one, Street Car Green(SCG), was one that I got by chance and Papier Plumes generosity. I used SCG for my first ink (re)View. The ink is Calle Real (Spanish for Royal Street), an ink that follows the theme of historic New Orleans, where each ink released is meant to evoke some portion of the city's history. With each ink bottle there is a brief history of the ink and what it evokes, including a teaser of the next releases (here is the hint, the inks to be released are NOT highlighted, ). All this information is well presented in nice card The Card Front/Back: So what is the actual Calle Real? (I know a few may have diferent opinions and thoughts on the matter, so please bear with me if I'm saying something that is not true or completely accurate ). Calle Real according to history is what Royal Street used to be called when Spain had control over New Orleans. It is one of the oldest streets in the city (dating back to when it was a French colony then Rue Royale ) and one of the best known streets in NOLA. At some point during the late 1800s and early 1900s the city designated the streets using tiles, one letter per tile (tiles are 4x 6x 3/4and the letter 5) and they were placed on each corner of every block. Now, when you walk New Orleans you will notice that there are wall tiles and street tiles. Yes! But the wall tiles are a way for the city to commemorate the street names as they were known then. The Original tiles are actually the street tiles. Here is a picture of one of the wall tiles: Here is a picture of the street tiles: And here a little more on facts: the tiles used are called Encaustic tiles. These are unglazed and the designs and colors are not painted using dyes or minerals, but come from different colors of clay using inlaid patters and then baked. The tiles made through this process are stronger and more resistant to wear/tear. ( from what I could find encaustic is not the right term in theory-, but it is how is commonly known ). The process for creating these types of tiles is costly and time consuming, but the city, per my understanding, makes the effort to maintain the tiles even during renovations. Over the years the tiles remain both as a historic reference and as a characteristic trait of the French Quarter. Royal Street is much, much more, located just one block away from the Bourbon Street; Royal Street is no less famous than his street relative. While Bourbon Street is known for its endless bars and nighttime entertainment, Royal Street is the home of multitude of shops and galleries, where you can appreciate during daytime the citys culture and art, street musicians and performers, great for-every-budget restaurants, some upscale lodging, the haunted LaLaurie House (for those that like some good ghost stories) and of course Papier Plume A well suited start for a commemorative ink. So here is New Orleans inspired inks Take 2! Calle Real As per Paiper Plume, Calle Real is inspired in the color of the wall tiles, yes some might argue that the color changes from tile to tile depending on the wear and tear and general passing of time, but as per my understanding the ink is based on the more consistent color on the wall tiles. As you can guess, Calle Real is a blue ink within the Royal Blue Family, which is a nice play on the Royal name of the street. Ha! (disclaimer: I'm still working out the kinks on picture vs. scan to have the most truer representation so it is a work in progress) Here is what the swab looks like in the Mnemosyne card After spending some time writing with ink, tossing it on medium and fine pens both wet and dry, and testing it using different papers, I would classify this as a mid-Royal Blue, not too dark and not too light, with a good flow and medium saturation (I personally medium to be a great setting of saturation if you are looking for shading in an ink), and very consistent in terms of properties with the other Papier Plumes inks I have. Now on my first review I used 2 kinds of paper. To be both consistent and a little more thorough this time, I used 5 types of paper, Tomoe River, Rhodia, Clairefountaine Thriomphe (CF), traditional copy paper and laid paper. The pens used for writing were Parker pens: A Parker Premier Tartan in Fine and Parker Duofold Centennial in Medium. The medium Duofold has a wetter nib, and was the one used for most of the comparisons. I looked into the following: Flow, saturation, shading, sheen, bleed-through, see-through/show-through, feathering and pooling. With other tests such as water, bleach and alcohol and dry times. Sometimes it will be a yes/no answer, sometimes 1-5 (1 being poor, 5 being excellent) I also came up with the following overview card, thought to be more practical than having fuill sheets of paper and you can also see the comparison right there. Here are some of the results in the crossover overview card You can see that each column is representative of the paper used. Flow: Flow is really good, very fluid, and constant across all papers and pens used (not just the ones on this view. feels like you are using water, which is something to say since the ink has some waterproof properties. Saturation: I found Calle Real to be a little more saturated, this did not compromised in the shading as much as I would thought, but on the plus side made the ink more vibrant and less subject to the texture of the paper giving it a an even spread.Sheen: This ink has some hints of sheen, they can really be seen in the Tomoe River paper, but depending on the wetness of the pen used it can also show in CF and Rhodia (as did in my experience)Bleed-through: None for the most part with the exception of the traditional copy paper who sucked in the ink like a spongeShow-through: There is some slight, very slight on the CF, more noticeable on the Tomoe River and the copy paper. But not enough to not be able to write on both sides (if the copy paper didnt bleed as it did this will also be true for it).Feathering: For the most part Calle real held its ground here. Some minimal feathering with CF and the laid paper (although this last one we can argue is the papers texture). The big fail was on the copy paper not surprising Pooling: This is not the shading but more on the pooling on the edges of the letters, I enjoy when the inks provide this, and I could see some of this pooling on Tomoe, CF and RhodiaWater Resistance: The tests shown on the card were done using an eyedropper, leaving it a few seconds then using a tissue paper to retrieve the excess. But offline I did a more smear/spread test. Tests show that the ink was not really waterproof, but you could potentially recover some of the writing if need to be. One exception was the copy paper, which absorbed the ink and held on to it. I know Im surprised as well.Alcohol Resistance: Very consistent across you, would be able to recover from this oneBleach Resistance: None, Zip , nada.Dry Times: They were very consistent across all but the copy paper (who was record breaking of less than 10 seconds). Now, keep in mind that I was using a wetter nib, the fine nib did better across. As for comparison, here are the closest blues I could find from the bottles that I have. From the top and then left to right: Ink NameMakerOverall notesCalle RealPapier PlumeN/ABlueViscontiDarker , some shading , sheen when it pools, more saturated. Royal BlueS.T. DupontThe lightest of the bunch, less saturated, has sheen, and a purpler hint than the rest, good shading.Blue VelvetDiamine (150th Collection)The darkest of the bunch, More saturated, darker, more sheen, slight shadingRoyal BluePelikanLighter, some shading, some sheen when it pools And here is a quick sketch of the Royal Street using Calle Real ! but imagine that the street is a very well transited street, in fact it becomes a pedestrian street during the afternoons. Here is some Cursive and Block writing for reference. Opinion I find blue one of the most personal colors when it comes to what you prefer. I know the same can be said for other colors, but I find blue one of the most extensive out there. That being said, in comparison of what I have experience with, and what I have, I find really good properties on Calle Real, the slightly more saturation allows for more solid lay down of the ink which makes it vibrant (more so than the ones I compare it to), while it also maintains shading properties across all types of paper used. It is work appropriate and fits right in the middle of the inks I have. There is some draw backs in terms of resistance to water, alcohol or bleach, but that is not a deal-breaker. A nice ink that it is pleasant to look at . Release So, hopefully you have stuck with me until this point. If you like this ink, note that there will only be 30 bottles for sale. From what I understand the first ink released in this collection (Street Car Green) was sold out in less than an hour. The ink will be sold in 1 Oz / 30 ml bottles and will look like this: If someone is interested my understanding is that will be up for grabs this Friday (June 17, 2016)/ or Monday at the latest. Availability will be noted through their newsletter first, then Instagram, then Facebook, and finally twitter (in that order). you can get this and more other goodies at https://www.papierplume.com/ Thank you for sticking with this view until the end

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