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  1. Ink Shoot-Out : Mont Blanc Burgundy Red vs Papier Plume Red Beans and Rice The other day I was playing around with Mont Blanc Burgundy Red, enjoying the ink a lot. I just love these toned down colours that move towards pastel territory, and this ink fits the bill. This definitely is NOT a bright and vibrant red! It occurred to me that Red Beans and Rice from Papier Plume is from the same colour family. Time to do a detailed comparison, and find out which of these inks I like the most. Enter... the Ink Shoot-Out. A brutal fight spanning five rounds, where truly formidable inks do battle to determine who is the winner. This time around, it's a battle between a prominent heavyweight, and a new kid on the block. In the left corner, the Mont Blanc muscle-man: Burgundy Red. In the right corner, from the French Quarter in New Orleans, Red Beans and Rice - a relatively new talent from the Papier Plume stable. Both champions enter the ring, the crowd starts cheering! Let the fight begin and may the best ink win… Round 1 – First Impressions The fighters immediately engange one another with a flurry of strikes and counterstrikes. They make a great first impression. These inks have a really nice toned-down dusty dark-red colour with a faded look, like text in an ages-old manuscript. Both inks are well-saturated, even in finer nibs, and provide excellent contrast with the page. Shading is delicate and subtle, without too much contrast between the light and darker parts - just as I like it. These inks are definitely on par with each other, but there are some differences: Burgundy Red's colour is a bit more purple-leaning, while Red Beans and Rice has more of a brown undertone. This is most obvious in swabs, less so in normal writing. The Mont Blanc ink writes really smooth. In contrast, Red Beans and Rice has sub-par lubrication, and feels a bit scratchy, especially in smaller nibs. With broader nibs - e.g. with the scribbles made with a 1.5 mm calligraphy nib - the Mont Blanc ink tends to be a bit oversaturated, drowning out most of the delicate shading. Red Beans and Rice, being a drier ink, looks better in these circumstances, and shows a bit more character. Both inks make a great first impression. Personally I like the Mont Blanc colour a little bit better, but that's not what counts. When exchanging the first punches, Burgundy Red showed much smoother and fluid play, in stark contrast with the scratchy performance of the Papier Plume ink. With broader nibs, Red Beans and Rice recovers, becoming a smooth writer that manages to keep the delicate shading, while the Mont Blanc ink blows out most of the subtle shading with its wetness. But from this round, it's mostly the scratchiness from Red Beans and Rice that you'll remember - and not in a good way. As such, the first point goes to Mont Blanc Burgundy Red. The chromatography clearly shows that both inks have lots in common. They have a really similar composition, with only a touch more blue instead of grey in Mont Blanc's mix of dyes. Round 2 – Writing Sample The writing sample was done on Rhodia N°16 Notepad with 80 gsm paper. Both inks behaved flawlessly, with no feathering and no show-through or bleed-through. With the EF nib, the wet Mont Blanc ink lays down a smooth line with excellent contrast and saturation. Red Beans and Rice struggles with the fine nib, and feels really scratchy. The low lubrication in fine nibs is a recurring theme with the Papier Plume inks. With broader nibs, the scratchy feeling of the Papier Plume ink disappears. In fact, it's more at home with broad nibs than the Mont Blanc ink. Look at the broad nib sample: Red Beans and Rice maintains the delicate shading present in the ink, while Burgundy Red loses some of the shading's appeal, flooding it away with its wetness. Colourwise both inks look similar in writing, although there is definitely more of a red-purple undertone in the Mont Blanc ink. Both inks also shade nicely, without too much contrast between light and dark parts. This aesthetically pleasing shading gives more character to your writing. For this round, the focus is on writing, and here both inks show strengths and weaknesses. Burgundy Red is definitely the better ink with fine nibs. But with broader nibs, I feel that Red Beans and Rice gets the advantage. Overall, these strengths and weaknesses cancel each other out, so this round ends in a draw. Round 3 – Pen on Paper This round allows the batlling inks to show how they behave on a range of fine writing papers. From top to bottom, we have : FantasticPaper, Life Noble, Tomoe River and Original Crown Mill cotton paper. All scribbling and writing was done with a Lamy Safari M-nib. Both champions did well, with no show-through nor bleed-through. But this round is not about technicalities, it is about aesthetics and beauty. Are the fighters able to make the paper shine ? These muted red inks look best on pure white paper. In my opinion, they lose some of their appeal on more yellowish paper like that of Life Noble. With the Tomoe River paper, Red Beans and Rice looks a bit too faded, certainly compared with the more robust presence of Burgundy Red (the latter's wetness gives it an advantage here). Overall, I personally prefer the slightly more reddish look of the Mont Blanc ink. Both inks are on par with each other, but Burgundy Red has a slight advantage in the looks department. For this round, victory is granted to the Mont Blanc ink. Not a knock-out, but definitely a win on points. Round 4 – Ink Properties These inks are not fast-drying, requiring 20-25 seconds to dry completely (with an M-nib on Rhodia paper). Red Beans and Rice takes a bit more time to dry. Both inks are reasonably smudge-resistant. Some colour rubs off when using a moist Q-tip cotton swab, but the text itself remains crisp and clear. The smudging is more pronounced with Burgundy Red. To test water resistance, I dripped water on the grid and let it sit there for 15 minutes, after which I removed the water with a paper towel. Here, the Papier Plume ink scores a real uppercut, drawing a roar from the crowd! Red Beans and Rices shows amazing water resistance! The red colour disappears, but a crisp grey line is left, that remains very readable. Really impressive. For this round, the American ink floors its opponent, in a big way. A thundering uppercut... Burgundy Red drops to the floor. The crowds get on their feet, the applause is booming through the stadium. What a spectacle! This round is a well-deserved win for Papier Plume. Round 5 – The Fun Factor Welcome to the final round. Here I give you a purely personal impression of both inks, where I judge which of them I like most when doing some fun stuff like doodling and drawing. Both inks do well, and allow for some nice effects. They both have a fairly broad colour span, making them interesting inks to draw with. I really enjoyed using them. In the picture, I used different water/ink ratios to draw in the background. The buildings were painted with pure ink, using bleach to draw in the windows. Both inks work well as drawing inks. With water added, Burgundy Red becomes a much more red ink, while Red Beans and Rice becomes more of a dirty grey-red. I personally prefer the more reddish looks of the Mont Blanc ink. For drawing, Burgundy Red looks more vibrant and alive - in my opinion of course. And since it's the Belgian judge that awards the points, this round goes to Mont Blanc Burgundy Red. The Verdict Both inks are real vintage-vibed beauties, that work on all types of paper. And being water-resistant, they make fine inks for use at work in an EDC pen. Despite the uppercut in round 4, the Mont Blanc champion showed a more consistent play, and raked up the points across rounds. Counting the points, this makes Burgundy Red the winner of this exciting fight!
  2. Papier Plume - Red Beans and Rice (New Orleans Collection) Papier Plume is a stationary shop in New Orleans, that's been getting some attention lately on this forum with their "New Orleans Inks", that celebrate the rich colours and history of the city. One of their inks in this series is Red Beans and Rice, a soft pastel-like grey-red ink with quite a unique personality. One thing needs to be said right at the start: Red Beans and Rice has a colour that quite literally changes its appearance with the colour temperature of the light. On a scan it looks a bit too purple, while in soft yellow light it looks almost rose-red. An elusive colour indeed. For the title image, I used a daylight photo, which most approaches the hue that I see in real life. Red Beans and Rice is of the brown-red family, with strong grey undertones - as is shown clearly in the chromatography. The grey undertones soften the ink's colour, giving it a pastel-like appearance. I quite like it, but if you're into vibrant colours, this will probably not be your piece of cake. The ink shades nicely and quite strongly, even in finer nibs. Definitely an ink with character. The ink itself writes quite wet, but lacks lubrication especially when used with a dry pen like the Lamy Safari that I use for my reviews (I also noticed this lack of lubrication with other Papier Plume inks I tested). Saturation is quite good though, even in finer nibs. When used with wetter pens, lubrication improves significantly, resulting in a much more pleasant writing experience. For this ink, it certainly is recommended to pair it with wet pens. The ink has a broad dynamic colour span. To illustrate this, I did a swab where I really saturated portions of the paper with ink, pooling it on. This beautifully illustrates the dynamics of Red Beans and Rice. The range moves from a very light rose-red to a deep dark grey-red colour. On the smudge test - rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab - the ink behaved quite well . There is some smearing, but the text remains perfectly readable. Water resistance is also acceptable. The ink quickly loses all the red dyes, but a grey residue remains, resulting in a ghost image of your writing that is still easily readable. Not what I would call water-resistant, but the ink is more or less accident-proof. This is also apparent from the lower part of the chromatography, which shows that the grey components of the ink remain on the paper. 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-tip1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturationAn ink scribble made with a Lamy Safari M-nib fountain penThe name of the paper used, written with a Lamy Safari B-nibA small text sample, written with an M-nibThe source of the quote, written with a wet Parker Sonnet (F-nib)Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)Red Beans and Rice behaved perfectly with most papers in my test set. Only with the notoriously bad Moleskine paper did I notice a tiny amount of feathering. I quite like the ink's appearance on Paperblanks journal paper, which happens to be my journal of choice. The ink is also quite subdued, leaning towards a pastel-like appearance. I happen to like subdued colours, but if you're into vibrant inks, this one might not be for you. 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 most paper types. Only with Moleskine and Graf von Faber Castell was there significant show-through and some bleed-through. Inkxperiment – Fiery FlowersI'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 time, I was inspired by Red Beans and Rice's chromatography, which showed the water-soluble character of its red dyes. I used a very absorbent paper (Graf von Faber-Castell 100 gsm), that I totally soaked in water. I then applied drops of ink to the paper, letting them bleed out. This results in the fiery red halo surrounding the flowers. Once partly dry, I applied a bit of bleach to the heart of each flower. And after some more drying, I again added a tiny bit of Red Beans and Rice to the center of the bleached region. With the paper completely dry, I painted in the flower stems and petals. The end result gives you a good idea of the way Red Beans and Rice can express itself when used for drawing. ConclusionRed Beans and Rice from Papier Plume is a grey-red-brown ink with an almost pastel-like character, that is at home with both writing and drawing. The ink works well with most paper types, shades nicely, and shows some measure of water resistance. The colour is probably not for everybody. Myself, I like its pastel-like appearance, but if your preference goes to vibrant colours, Red Beans and Rice is not for you. For drawing however, I'm sure anybody can appreciate the expressive power hidden within 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
  3. Ink View: Papier Plume’s Red Beans and Rice - "Now serving for your fountain pen taste buds". Some time back I had the chance of going to New Orleans and in my exploration of the city ( and obvious google search for stationery stores), I stumbled upon Papier Plume, and what transpired out of that moment was the chance to try out one of the then upcoming inks. I had been very fortunate that they have been kind enough to send me samples of the new releases after that and helped me try and hone this world of ink (re)view which can be as wide and large as you want to take it. NOLA is famous in a wide range of things and one is that of food. So I’m not sure if this ink will be the first on a food themed release or just one more example of what NOLA has to offer. So now let’s, as they say, spill the beans! RB&R fair warning: I have shamefully stolen this next photo, its so nice and I'm sure PP wont mind http://i.imgur.com/fyHS7wN.jpg Red Beans and Rice The Dish A traditional creole food of Louisiana, normally served on Mondays. Now to why on Mondays, that is mainly because Mondays was a traditional wash day. Back in the day, and while the women of the house where doing laundry and attending the house, they will slow cook red beans (or kidney beans as per their resemblance in shape and in color to a kidney) with leftovers from the previous day (Sunday à family day à family dinner à family leftovers), normally ham as it was customary. As with any slow cooked dish, you can go about your day and don’t pay too much attention while it is being prepared. Nowadays you can find this dish in both homes and restaurants, the later as Monday specials. Apparently, Louis Armstrong really liked red beans and rice. He would often sign his letters "Red Beans and Ricely Yours, Louis Armstrong" So when I looked at the ink, I was looking forward to a shading reddish brown ink. Lets see! Red Beans with Rice – The ink Food Here is a shot of the bottles: http://i.imgur.com/C20yMTF.jpg This (ink) is part of the First addition to the New Orleans Collection since 2016 (would there be more ? ) and comes after the Chicago Pen show LE inks (which very pretty nice). As with all their NOLA inks Papier Plume ink’s hues are inspired on what they are looking to pay tribute to, in this case one of their traditional dishes and, as you would see later, the ink will vary from a light red/brown to a more blood dark red and brown as it goes down on the paper. So, to those that would be wondering, no this is NOT a scented or flavored ink , although I have yet to see/taste a flavored ink, I have to wonder who will dare to be the first and what would that be. Let’s see the swab in the Col-o-ring card (ran out of Mnemosyne) : http://i.imgur.com/T1Ipofh.jpg?1 http://i.imgur.com/iXSXUVp.jpg This is definitely a burgundy ink, for some it would look very shiraz or a very full body wine, the red and brown tones are evident regardless of the saturation with which the ink goes on to the paper. It is as some had pointed out, “more saturated” that their normal inks. And it comes with its strengths and drawbacks, it does not shade as much as other but it still shades, and you would likely see longer drying times specially on wet nibs. So on to the tools: Pens: Visconti Joon 25th Anniversary LE 18K Medium nib (semi flex <-- I swear), Pelikan Burnt Orange IB 18k Nib, Kaweco Luxe EF semi flex nib 14K. Paper: Tomoe River, Rhodia, Rhodia R, Clairefountaine Thriomphe (CF), traditional copy paper, laid paper and Oxford paper. Tests: 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 nothing of that property, 5 a lot of that property) CrossOver Card This is a way for me to see all the types of paper and how the ink behaves across . http://i.imgur.com/1YoOMwp.jpg?1 You can see that each column is representative of the paper used. Thoughts on the ink-paper behavior · Flow: Flow is good, very fluid, consistent across all papers and pens used most of their inks are good on flow · Saturation: Medium/Heavy, sometimes it looked more saturated depending on the paper, because of this doesn’t do much on but it was within my expectations if I was looking for good shading. · Sheen: None, Zip, Nada, sadly no PP ink that I have tried has Sheen · Shade: Despite the saturation this ink does shade, not as dramatic as other but I would say it has low to medium shading and the paper will play a big part. · Bleed-through: Seen only on Copy paper, all other papers tested, no bleeding was noted. · Show-through: with the exception of the oxford all other papers showed show through, with more light showthrough in Rhodia and Clairefountaine. · Feathering: Now I did experience some tiny (and I’m being picky) feathering using a very wet nib, on all papers but tomoe. Now to be fair this was a very wet nib that I was using to see how far I could take it. Please take note that you the paper you are using is sensitive to the oils of your hand this ink will feather where the oils mix with the paper. · Pooling: (This is not the shading but more on the pooling on the edges of the letters, I enjoy when the inks provide this). Only on Tomoe River, but it is expected of this paper. · Water 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 had a level of waterproofness that will wash away some of the red leaving a dark but faded residue, completely legible , and this was consistent across all papers, this will let you recover what you write . · Alcohol Resistance: Very consistent across. You would be able to recover from this one – almost no effect. · Bleach Resistance: None, Zip , nada. · Dry Times: As noted this is a saturated but also wet ink and the drying times could be long most on the 20sec mark and on some papers longer than that. Cleaning: Fairly quick and no issues, couple of flushes and my pens very ready to go. Here are some other inks for comparison,http://i.imgur.com/sA0nOnd.jpg?1 From the top and then left to right: Ink NameMakerNotes in comparison RengaMazuren Athenamild shading, lots of sheen and more red tones , hint of yellowUluru RedBlackstone inkdarkish red, more pink on the light side and small hints of the brown , very good sheen when heavy on the paperRed Beans and RicePapier Plumen/aCassis RedPlatinumThe most similar in Color to RBnR, however this one has IG properties and you do have to wait a couple of days for the color to really set inCarnivalDiaminered/dark red with layed down heavy on the paper good shading small hint of sheenWilliam ShakespeareMontblanc a more red ink , less brown tones to it and mild shading OxbloodDiaminea very dark red with more brown tones Maroon 1789Robert OsterFull body red, some purble and brown, good pooling, some sheen And here is a quick sketch and writing samples http://i.imgur.com/xWJh1vT.jpg Cursive and Block writing for reference. http://i.imgur.com/w8dHOF0.jpg http://i.imgur.com/17tklQR.jpg some flexi http://i.imgur.com/1yAvxpj.jpg Opinion This is an interesting ink, it is one that I would be happy to carry on a day to day basis and it is sober enough to use in a work environment. It surprisingly very similar to Cassis black minus the IG properties and if you are a person that is worried about IG I would recommend to try this ink instead. It is also a red similar to full body wine without being too brown to look bloodlike. The use of this on flex nibs will highlight the different shades that definitely are there and will enrich that type of writing. On top of this, the ink will not completely wash away and any writing could be easily recovered. On very cheap paper this ink will feather, so a word of caution. I’m very happy I got to try this ink, and you can bet I have already put a bottle on hold for me J. Availability This will be released at the Miami pen show and online at the same time, so it will be great for those, like me, who cannot attend the show. This ink is, as noted before, part of the NOLA collection, I would not call this LE per se but once the batch rans out, my understanding is that, it will take them a long time to bring out another batch. However they are making a fair number of bottles. The ink is sold in 1 Oz / 30ml bottles. Looking into the story behind the ink’s name, made me wonder on what dishes I used to have growing up which main component was leftovers, and there was a few, all very heavy In substance, and perfect as pick me ups after a long night or like this case to set you up for the week or for some to end your day and straight to be. I’m sure everyone had some sort of leftover dish full of good memories. as always Papier Plume will announce their ink availability and other news through their newsletter first, then Instagram, then Facebook, and finally twitter (in that order). BUT for those that made it this far, this will be the direct link https://www.papierplume.com/product-catalogue/inks/inks-bottled/papier-plume-new-orleans-collection-fountain-pen-ink-red-beans-and-rice.html Live tomorrow (july 14th,2017) after 11:00 am CST Now I'm Hungry! Hope you enjoyed this View.

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