I’m a bit late in getting to review this J. Herbin Stormy Grey ink (via Goldspot), partly because I’m a just slow but also because it can be hard to track down sometimes. I actually placed an order on Amazon for it but they cancelled because they ran out of stock before my order was filled, so that should give you an indication as to the popularity and demand. If you have missed it and don’t know what the big deal is, I’ll fill you in with some great pictures of this one of a kind ink.
The first picture in this review doesn’t reveal the unique aspect of this J. Herbin Stormy Grey ink, but if the bottle has been sitting for a while and you flip it over you start to get a sense of whats in store. As you can now see, the bottom of the bottle has a gold colored coating. Interesting, right?
Letting the bottle sit upside down for a while allows the gold flakes to start to mix in with the ink, and at the same time shows you just how fine the flakes are. If you click on that picture above you can see just how tiny the individual flakes are, and you can also see how they really contrast well against this dark charcoal grey ink.
You can get an even better look at the individual flakes of gold in the J Herbin Stormy Grey ink if you click on the above picture. This shows the ink loaded in my TWSBI Diamond fountain pen after its been sitting for a while, and the picture is taken from underneath the pen. This is a good point to mention though, that you need to be careful with this ink because of those gold flakes. As you might be able to imagine, there is definitely potential for them to clock up the inner working of your pen if you let it sit for days on end unused.
Here is a close up that shows you in a little better detail about the potentially dangerous outcome of letting this particular ink sit in your pen too long. The ink and gold flakes that you see here in the feed are really just from dipping the pen and filling it, but again, the visual is meant to be a warning to just be careful with this ink. Once I was done with this review I immediately cleaned out the pen. If my memory serves me correct I had it inked up for about 4-5 days and probably only wrote with it 3 of those days and the ink and gold flakes washed out very easily so I don’t think I came anywhere near close to gumming up the pen, but this is also something I’m not willing to test as I don’t want to waste the ink or ruin this pen and/or nib, so lets just again say to be save and use an abundance of caution when using it. Speaking of using the ink though, lets take a look at some actual writing samples.
J. Herbin Stormy Grey Writing Samples:
Depending on how you let your pen sit once you start writing with the J. Herbin Stormy Grey ink, you will get different results. In the sample above I was trying to get a writing sample that was highly saturated with the gold flecks, so I left the pen sitting nib down for a minute or two and started writing a few strokes on scrap paper to bleed out any ink that had settled in the nib without any gold flecks. Shortly after those initial strokes, the gold flakes that had settled in the bottom of the ink chamber started to work their way through the nib and onto my paper. If you click on the photo above you can really see that the ink looks almost solid gold with specks of grey poking through with some very nice shading characteristics.
After doing some additional writing and getting the majority of the highly saturated gold on black look to flow through the pen, you can see that the output started to change a bit. Once the gold flakes that settled had worked their way through the section and nib, I was now writing with ink that was showing the opposite characteristics now. A closer look at the above J. Herbin Stormy Grey writing sample from the first time fill with the pen shows the ink looking much more grey, but with some intermittent flakes of gold spread throughout. I think besides the obviously amazing look of this ink, the other really cool thing about it is being able to control (within reason) how much gold vs grey you get when writing, although it does take a little bit of experimentation to get it just right.
Here is one more quick picture to try and show both the highly saturated gold writing sample along with the writing sample that skews more to the grey side with subtle highlights of gold. You can probably also find a slightly more middle ground between the two, however patience…as they say, is a virtue and I didn’t have enough time to really perfect where that middle ground lies.
One other pretty cool effect you can get with this ink can be seen in this last picture if you look directly above the letter “O” in OfficeSupplyGeek. There is a series of four small dots and then above that one larger dot. Each of these dots exhibits somewhat of a halo effect with the grey side of the ink creating a ring around the more highly saturated gold center of the dots. It has almost an eclipse like visual effect to it, which is pretty cool. J. Herbin Stormy Grey ink is definitely a unique ink that can be lots of fun to use, but again, you will want to be careful about not leaving it in a pen for too long without using it as to avoid staining or clogging. As I said, it can be hard to find, but at the moment, you can still grab some from our friends over at Goldspot. And for the record this was a full price purchase with no discount on my part, I figured that since I call out when I do receive a discount on review items, I should also call out when I don’t so there is no assumption that maybe I forgot to mention it.