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L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Bleu Atlantique 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 the spotlight is on Bleu Atlantique, one of the many blue inks of the series. The blue Callifolio inks are named after rivers, lakes and oceans – this cerulean-type blue gets its name from the Atlantic Ocean (not the wild northern atlantic which in my imagination is more of a blue-grey, but the tropical one near Haiti – think of a mid-summer day on a lagoon beach). This is a really nice true sky-blue ink, without green undertones. I’m a big fan of such blues and colour-wise, Bleu Atlantique did not disappoint. I like it very much. There is of course no way to avoid a comparison with the two other well-loved cerulean-type blues – iroshizuku kon-peki and Pelikan Edelstein Topaz. Below is a small swab and writing comparison on Fantasticpaper. Bleu Atlantique leans more towards Topaz, but is a less saturated ink with a more watercolour-like appearance. Myself – I still think Topaz is the absolute king. But if you collect sky-blue inks, Callifolio Bleu Atlantique is definitely one you should get. Technically, the ink behaved very well. It’s rather dry in an EF-nib, but starting from F it wrote very smoothly. For a Callifolio ink, I also found it to be well-lubricated. The ink shows some really classy shading in the broader nibs, without too much contrast between the lighter and darker parts. Aesthetically very pleasing, and it definitely gives some extra character to your writing. On the smudge test – rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab – Bleu Atlantique behaved acceptably. There is some smearing, but the text remains very legible. Water resistance however is almost non-existent. The droplet test leaves only unrcognisable blue smudges. The test with running tap water washes away almost all the colour – only faint traces remain that are barely legible. If you need some measure of water resistance in your ink, look elsewhere. When using a water-brush with doodling & drawing, you get a nice light-blue shading effect. Like all Callifolio inks, Bleu Atlantique is a very fine choice for inky drawings. 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 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)Bleu Atlantique 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 10 second mark, with a low of 5 seconds on the more absorbent paper. The ink really shines on white paper where it looks lively and vibrant. In my opinion, it’s not a good ink for yellowish paper, where it looks sickly and underwhelming. My advice – stick to white paper with this colour. I also show the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order. With the low-end Moleskine there is prominent show-through and a little bleed-through. With the other papers, Bleu Atlantique’s behaviour is impeccable. The ink copes really well with a wide variety of paper types. Conclusion Bleu Atlantique is a lovely sky-blue ink which looks best on pure white paper. The ink works well with all nib sizes, and shows some very nice and aesthetically pleasing shading in the broader nibs. Like all Callifolio inks, water resistance is low. If you love cerulean-type inks, you should definitely get this one. If you only need one ink of this colour-type – my personal advice is to go for Pelikan Edelstein Topaz. Nevertheless, this Callifolio ink is a great choice, and I enjoyed using it. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib
Ink Review : Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki (deep blue) Pen: Lamy Al-Star Ocean Blue, M-nib Paper: Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm "two eagles soaring in sun-baked deep blue sky shadows on the ground" When an ink review opens up with a haiku, you just know that it will cover a Japanese ink. And you would be right ! This review examines Pilot Iroshizuku kon-peki, a wonderful cerulean blue ink. As most of you know, Iroshizuku is Pilot's luxury line of fountain pen inks - read: your wallet will feel it, these inks are expensive. The name Iroshizuku is a combination of the japanese words Iro (coloring) and Shizuku (droplet). The name is meant to bring forth the image of dripping water in a variety of beautiful colors. All the inks in this series are named after natural landscapes & plants, with each ink trying to capture the depth and essense of color of its namesake. Kon-peki is a stunning sky-blue ink. Think of yourself hiking a mountain trail on a bright summer day, just past noon, without a cloud in the sky. You hear eagles calling, and you look up. See that sky ? That's kon-peki ! A truly wonderful color, very similar to Pelikan Edelstein Topaz (which I personally like even more). Kon-peki is a true blue ink, as shown in the chromatography. It seems to be a single-component dye. Kon-peki exhibits some really nice shading - it's prominent, but not in your face. The overall effect is aestetically pleasing. Love it ! The ink is also very well lubricated, and writes well in all nib sizes - even with EF nibs. Writing becomes a pleasurable experience. Iroshizuku kon-peki is a well-behaving ink on a variety of paper. I didn't see any feathering, even on the cheaper Moleskine and regular notepad paper. On this fountain-pen unfriendly paper, the ink dries in the 5-10 second range - that's superfast ! (and probably why there is no visible feathering - the ink is just drying too fast for feathering to occur). Be aware though that significant show-through and some bleed-through are present with the cheaper paper - you won't be able to use both sides. Rhodia N° 16 notepad 80 gsm - drying time 15-20 seconds, no feathering, no show-through nor bleed-throughPaperblanks journal paper - drying time ~10 seconds, no feathering, no show-through and no bleed-through. Looks great on this ivory paperGeneric notepad paper 70 gsm - drying time ~10 seconds, no feathering, minimal show-through. Bleed-through only in heavily saturated spots (like with ink swabs)Moleskine journal - drying time ~5 seconds - superfast ! No feathering, significant show-through and some bleed-throughThe ink is smudge-resistant, but I wouldn't call it water-resistant. With a good soak, that lovely sky-blue swiftly dissipates. However, enough residue remains for you to make out your original writing (even after 30 seconds of running tap water) - not bad at all. Note that this might not be readily apparent in the scan, but trust me on this: you can easily read what remains on the paper. Conclusion Iroshizuku kon-peki is a champ ! stunning color, nice shading, well lubricated and a great behavior on a wide range of paper. You really can't go wrong with this ink. That being said - I must confess that for me personally, Pelikan Edelstein Topaz is a very similar sky-blue, and even lovelier - it's a tad lighter of color, and seems more vibrant to me. And in Europe at least, Edelstein inks are almost 3 times cheaper than the Iroshizukus. For more info on Topaz, and a comparison with kon-peki, see the following links: full review of Pelikan Edelstein Topazink shoot-out : Pelikan Edelstein Topaz vs Pilot Iroshizuku kon-peki my overall score: A