Ink Tests Part 2: Herbin Calligraphy Ink in Age Bag Notebook!

Following on from Ink Tests Part 1: Fountain Pen Inks, here is Part 2!

Herbin Calligraphy Ink

I’ve been trying to get the hang of calligraphy lately. With limited success, but that’s OK. Supposed to be fun, right?

Figure 1: Herbin Calligraphy Ink 50ml Black (Product ID: C11409T).

I have the Herbin Calligraphy Ink 50ml Black shown in Figure 1, which also comes in different colours. If you want to try these inks out, you can get a 4-Pack Herbin Calligraphy Ink 15ml, and 50 ml bottles of black, red, blue, and white.

The Herbin calligraphy ink is viewed positively (especially for beginner calligraphers) in the JetPens comprehensive guide to J. Herbin inks. Herbin are well known as experts in calligraphy and fountain inks.

I have an old set of nibs of varying widths, mostly square, that I played around with, but I really wanted to practice with my Brause Rose nib and see if I could get used to it. It’s quite flexible and a bit tricky to use….check out the videos on the Herbin Calligraphy Supplies page to see someone with calligraphy expertise using it. It’s amazing!

After a morning of playing with calligraphy nibs, and watching those videos, I started to feel like I was beginning to understand the Rose nib. I’ll need a lot more practice before I can do fancy lettering that actually looks good with it, but just imagine the unique birthday cards and labels I could make eventually!

Upon realising that my lettering wasn’t looking so good after the ink dried into my printer paper, I decided to use an Age Bag notebook I’d been wanting to try out…

Age Bag Notebook by Clairefontaine

Figure 2: Blue Age Bag notebook from Clairefontaine (A5 blank: product ID C795404C).

…and, actually, the Age Bag notebook paper seemed to work better for my calligraphy efforts.

The Age Bag range of notebooks by Clairefontaine have 90 gsm paper which seems to be popular with fountain pen users (check out this Age bag Notebook review).

The term “Age Bag” is unfortunate – it comes from a French phrase describing an “aged/antique luggage” kind of look or texture and doesn’t translate to English very well.

My one has an interesting textured blue colour as shown in Figure 2, but they come in a range of colours (see our Age Bag range here).

Figure 3: Photos showing the binding of the Age Bag notebook.

They are soft but sturdy – a side view of the binding of my one is shown in Figure 3.

I was so happy with how this worked out, I tried my fountain pen in it too (currently filled with Pilot Iroshizuku Ink 15ml Cherry Blossom Petals Hana-ikada).

The only bleed-through happened because I had an…incident…with my Rose nib and calligraphy ink and ended up with a rather large splotch of it soaking in to the page…

My efforts are shown in Figure 4 for your amusement.

Figure 4: Calligraphy practice and fountain pen demo in my Age Bag notebook.

I liked this Age Bag notebook so much that I’m going to continue using it specifically to test inks with my fountain pen and practice calligraphy. I mean, I need rather a lot of practice…may as well enjoy writing in a nice notebook too, right?

If you’ve used the Herbin calligraphy ink, and/or the Age bag notebooks, let us know about your experience!


Anna Moore has written 32 articles

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