Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network Messages

Dearest Visitors of the Fountain Pen Nuthouse,

Registration with automated checks is working again, with the introduction of our upgraded site!

You may do so here: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/?_fromLogout=1

Warm regards, The FPN Admin Team

L'artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Cassis

Rate Topic 0

Recommended Posts

L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Cassis


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 Cassis, which presumably gets its name from the drink “Crème de Cassis” – a beverage distilled from blackcurrants, and also the favourite beverage of the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. If you’ve set your sights on a dark purple colour, you’ll be disappointed. In reality, Callifolio Cassis is a nicely saturated dark grey with subtle purple undertones.


Cassis is a nicely saturated ink, that works well with all nib sizes. It can live perfectly with an EF nib, laying down a well-defined line that contrasts nicely with white or cream paper. In broader nibs it additionally shows some really classy shading. Nice ! The purple undertone is there, but very subtle. With normal writing it’s barely visible, but nevertheless it gives this grey a certain panache. Personally, I really like it. Like all Callifolio inks, this one is also great for doodling & drawing. Depending on the paper used, the purple undertones will show their appearance when using a water brush.




On the smudge test – rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab – Cassis behaved acceptably. There is definite smearing, but the text remains very legible. Water resistance however is almost completely non-existent. The droplet test leaves only greyish smudges with a ghost image of the original lines. The test with running tap water washes away all the colour – leaving only a barely readable residue of the original text. This is not an ink to consider if you require some measure of water resistance. When using Cassis for drawing, the lack of water resistance can be a plus. As the chromatography clearly shows, there are purple tones hidden within the ink. With waterbrushing it’s possible to bring these purple undertones to the surface in your 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-tip
  • 1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturation
  • An ink scribble made with an M-nib fountain pen
  • The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib
  • A small text sample, written with an M-nib
  • Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)

Cassis behaved perfectly on all the paper types, with no apparent feathering even on the lower quality papers in my test set. Drying times with an M-nib varied from 5 to 20 seconds, depending on the paper used. Surprisingly, the ink looks consistently similar across all paper types. The purple component is really apparent in the ink swabs – here you are reminded that this is not a pure grey. When writing the purple undertones are nearly invisible, but tantalizingly present, lifting this ink above a pure neutral grey.


I also show the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order. The ink behaved perfectly with almost all paper types. Only with the Moleskine paper, there was significant show-trough and some minor bleed-through. All in all a really well-behaving ink.










Callifolio Cassis is a really nice dark grey ink with subtle purple undertones. I found it a pleasure to use, both for writing and drawing. The ink works really well with finer nibs – leaving a well-defined and nicely saturated line with good contrast on the paper. I also liked the way the ink shades in the broader nibs. The barely noticeable purple undertones lift this ink above a neutral grey – personally I consider this a plus that provides some extra character to the ink. If you like grey inks, this one is certainly worth looking at.




Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib






Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 10
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • namrehsnoom


  • visvamitra


  • senzen


  • inkstainedruth



This looks nice. I can see myself using it for drawing. Thanks for the review. And well, not.... I really need to stop reading ink reviews. Really.... :wallbash:

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmmhhh blanc cassis... Oh nice review. Not sure about the colour, cassis the drink looks red??

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."


B. Russell

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmmhhh blanc cassis... Oh nice review. Not sure about the colour, cassis the drink looks red??

Well, the drink is derived from blackcurrant berries, which in French are called "cassis", and which look a very dark purple. So yeah... the ink is probably named after the berries - but the drink tastes better :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the drink is derived from blackcurrant berries, which in French are called "cassis", and which look a very dark purple. So yeah... the ink is probably named after the berries - but the drink tastes better :-)


Nothing like a kir on a warm afternoon!

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."


B. Russell

Link to post
Share on other sites

I picked up a few Callifolio samples in my last order and have really been enjoying them. I don't tend to lean towards grey inks, but this one looks nice. Thanks for the review!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not the color I had expected. Thank you again for the wonderful and thorough review.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar

Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016

Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Short update - I've been using this ink quite a bit over the past couple of weeks, and have noticed that the ink dries quickly on the nib when leaving the pen uncapped for short periods of time (even as short as half a minute), resulting in hard starts. After a few strokes, the ink starts flowing again. I thought it could be my pen, but I've observed the same result in multiple pens.


Not sure if this is a fluke in my bottle's batch of ink, or if others have observed the same. Anyway... if such things drive you nuts, this is something to be aware about. I consider it extremely annoying :gaah: , but since I like the ink's colour, I'm in a forgiving mood :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 years later...

This looks lovely! Thanks for the great presentation! The "A" grade is particularly captivating.

I am deep in the weeds with my Violet's already (have you seen the Birmingham Pens' offerings, especially Violet Starling, Lilac Wind and Frick Building Stained Glass?), but this one raises two specific comparisons for me; Sailor Jentle Chu Shu and Robert Oster Charcoal. If anyone is able to provide a quick comparison of those three, I think that would be a great public service!

If not . . . . it may be off to the sample store for me!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Create New...