Monthly Archives: August 2017

  • Review: Diamine Moondust

    diamine shimmer moon dust ink

    I don’t usually do ink reviews, I leave them to Mishka. But since she has been away and she tends to favour colours, I thought I would slip in a quick monochrome review while she isn’t looking. My current (and only) ink is Diamine Moondust. It is one of their Shimmer range which contains metallic particles giving it a subtle glimmer. The colour itself is a sort of dark grey, or grey black, it sort of changes depending on, well I’m not sure what. Sometimes it writes as black, sometimes grey and sometimes silver, you can never be quite sure what you will get. Some might find that inconsistency annoying but I love it. Much as I like the bright colours we have here, as with clothes and much else, I find myself choosing black or grey so the chameleon-ish nature of this ink makes it more interesting than a standard black.

    diamine moondust shimmer ink
    It's the same ink, but is it grey or black?

    I can’t give you stats on saturation or shading, you’ll have to wait for a proper review for that but hopefully the photos capture the nature of the colour variation and if you don’t like writing in bright colours, Diamine Moondust might be the ink for you.

  • Bureau Does... World Calligraphy Day 2017!

    World Calligraphy Day 2017 script
    Calligraphy kindly written by Satwinder Sehmi who will be hosting a Calligraphy Workshop at this years Gloucester History Festival.

    It's World Calligraphy Day today! We get stuck in and have a go from a beginner's stand point and show what a little practice can do :)

    In order to prepare for World Calligraphy Day we've spent the past week equipping ourselves with calligraphy nibs and having a go at some fancy writing. We're starting pretty much from no skill so don't expect to see perfection! Here we'd like to show what we got up to and show off what even the most novice of writers can do with a little spare time.

    First of all we needed some sort of script to practise with. We've had a sample pack of Introduction to Calligraphy Lettering enjoying a lovely extended break at the bottom or our drawers for a while now so today was the perfect excuse to dig it back up. It has a good selection of different font faces printed on large card to copy and trace from with a stroke by stroke guide to get you started.

    World Calligraphy Day 2017 practice
    Faisal keeping the straight and narrow, practising through the alphabet with the grids in the Clairefontaine Handwriting books.

    Each font has a recommended nib to suit the stroke styles. In our case, the Gothic type fonts need a wide flat nib so we went with a 1.9mm on the Lamy Joy Calligraphy and a very fat 3mm nib on a dip pen.

    For paper, the usual suspect - Rhodia pads. With the plain sheets, we printed slanting lines to help keep our form. We also used some of the Clairefontaine handwriting books as they have some nice grids and lines to help space out your letters and strokes. While we were practising, we used Lamy inks, save the exotic stuff (read: expensive inks) for later!

    World Calligraphy Day 2017 practice
    Emma's obsession over getting "the one" b

    The last ingredient is time and patience! Find a relaxing quiet place, sit comfortably at your desk and keep breathing. Have your paper angled so you can keep the entire length of your writing arm resting on the table. Remember not to rush... it is all about keeping a slow and steady pace.

    Pause for a moment to check your strokes against the template and mentally note what you can improve on in your next go. Even after just a couple of lines of practising you can really notice the difference between your first few attempts and the last.

    World Calligraphy Day 2017 practice
    After all that hard work, Emma has some words strung together!
    World Calligraphy Day 2017 practice
    Mishka perfecting her Gothic lettering, looking good!

    We'd love to see what you guys have been writing too! World Calligraphy Day is all about trying new things and sharing what you've done. If you'd like to join in, send us an email or post some good old mail (address details here) of any calligraphy you've been doing, even just your practise sheets or scrawlings on scrap paper. We'll show them all off in a follow up post!

    If you're interested, we've gathered up a small collection of items we think a budding calligrapher may want to start with, you can browse them here.

  • J Herbin Anniversary ink of 2017 is...

    j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink

    The new J Herbin 1798 Anniversary Ink series

    When Summer comes around and J Herbin announces their new anniversary ink, that is my favourite time of the year.

    This year is no exception. We asked and they delivered :) Well done J Herbin, well done...

    Let's have a quick intro from J. Herbin themselves first:

    1798 INKS
    The Maison HERBIN’s exclusive collection of
    1798 Inks celebrates the year Jacques HERBIN
    first introduced his own line of quality inks, an
    important event in the history of this house
    founded three centuries ago and whose story
    continues today… Deep unsaturated colours
    with optimal pressure sensitivity, 1798 Inks are
    illuminated with shimmering flecks of silver for
    an elegant finish.

    AMÉTHYSTE DE L’OURAL (URAL AMETHYST)
    Solid dark purple in the velvety hue of amethyst
    with the satin finish of a silver mist for a lustrous
    shimmering effect and a noble allure. Ural
    Amethyst suggests the fires of this precious
    gemstone from the reaches of Asia, prized by
    jewellers of long ago.

    LES ENCRES 1798
    Les Encres 1798, de la Collection exclusive
    Jacques HERBIN, fête la date de production
    originale des encres Jacques HERBIN, événement
    décisif dans l’histoire de la maison fondée
    en 1670 et dont l’aventure se poursuit… De couleur
    foncée non saturée, sensible aux nuances
    de pression, les Encres 1798 sont illuminées
    du miroitement de paillettes d’argent qui en
    moirent la surface.

    AMÉTHYSTE DE L’OURAL
    Le violet profond, au ton plein et velouté, de la
    pierre d’améthyste, satiné d’une brume d’argent
    pour une robe d’écriture aux effets scintillants
    de noble allure. Améthyste de l’Oural évoque
    les feux de la pierre fine des confins de l’Asie,
    jadis prisée par la joaillerie.

    Well now we've learned from the new ink is what J in the name stands for - it's Jacques :)

    Apart from tinkering about with the name a little, there are quite a few other changes this year to the overall design and presentation as it looks like they are going through a minor rebranding exercise.

    J Herbin 1798 bottle

    The box is now a smart grey with purple label and white writing.  It does stand out nicely on plain background. Overall design looks more mature and reminds me of perfume bottle packaging. Capacity stays the same - 50ml of silver sheen enhanced ink aka superink.

    j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink bottle

    J Herbin listened to feedback and changed the bottle neck - it has new, wider, 2cm opening. Thumbs up! The new bottle is slightly bigger, but the shape remains the same. Cap is covered in purple wax. A shiny looking scarf goes around the bottle neck and suits it very well. I wonder if Jacques himself was so lavishly dressed! On the front there's the 1798 stamp which ties up the scarf and a colour label underneath with the ink name - Améthyste de l'Oural.

    To finish it all off, the glass on the bottom of the bottle is embossed with Jacques Herbin and his mighty ship.

    j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink bottle

    You've been good so far, waiting paitiently. So a drumroll please!

    ....And now for the ink itself :) YES!

    Colour of Ural Amethyst is everything we wanted - regal, majestic, dark, mysterious purple. This is the first time J Herbin used silver particles - previous 1670 range of inks (see our previous post here) used only gold. The ink is amazing - the more I use it, the more I love it.

    I have left it in the pen for a week or so - there were no hard starts, pen started writing immediately. The particles move quickly and distribute very well. That said, the bottle needs shaking before inking (as usual) and turning the pen in hand before writing will make a huge difference to the shimmer.

    Now to the main point, how it writes... I did some comparisons with other purple inks and paper from Rhodia, Leuchtturm and Tomoe River. You will hardly notice the green sheen, that is mainly just eye candy from using special paper. As always, the shine does depend on the viewing angle and light source etc but the silver effect is superb though - highlighting the dark tones of the deep purple body beautifully. I think I've fallen in love again...

    Release day at the time of writing this article is 30 sleeps away (but who's really counting) :).

    What do you think? Will this ink top the popularity of Emerald of Chivor??

    Spoiler alert - this photo (and the one at the top) was taken using Artoz Perga paper.

    It's a stiff, card version of tracing paper and is completely ink resistant. Not something we'd use everyday - special occasion only! The sheen and shimmer are simply stunning!!! You will not get this sort of sheen on standard writing paper.

    j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink

    Release date for Jacque Herbin 1798 Ural Amethyst ink is 1st September 2017.

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