One of the best things about holidays in general is that it's an opportunity to use inks that may not normally make it into the rotation - you can use pinks like Private Reserve's Rose Rage or baby blues like J. Herbin's Bleu Azur at Easter, Diamine Pumpkin at Hallowe'en, and of course at Christmas, it's time to break out those reds and greens. Here in the Chan household, Christmas cards and envelopes are strewn about, pre-"Permanent" stamps are being added together to meet the ever-rising postage costs, and Super has licked and smudged his share of hand-written greetings. And of course, pens are being cleaned filled with holiday cheer! (red and green inks...) Here are a few of my favourite red and greens for this Christmas time...
J. Herbin Rouge Hematite has long been a popular ink, especially for a red. Rouge Hematite has gold flakes (much like the newly released and out-of-stock Stormy Grey), which is perfect for festive celebration. The flakes are also, FYI, extremely difficult to get a photo of...
Rouge Hematite
Rohrer & Klingner's Alt Goldgrun is a well-known shader, a bit of a serious green with some character still - old gold green.
Sailor's now discontinued Jentle Grenade is another old favourite of mine - back in the days of teaching this was a great reddish-purple ink for marking. We still have a few bottles kicking around, but it's a grab-them-while-you-can type deal, since Sailor has introduced its new Four Seasons line to replace its old Jentle line-up. Also, many Sailor inks, including this one, get a good sheen with a wet line.
Rohrer & Klingner's Verdura is the bright, cheery green of the bunch.
Remember you can always get samples if you are just getting a red or green or any colour ink specifically for Christmas card writing, and you know you're probably not going to have too much other need for it again. Although who knows, you may end up liking one of them! Tips for your Christmas Card Writing: 1. Remember that the somewhat glossier paper of greeting cards means your ink will have a significantly longer drying time! Minutes! Maybe even 10 minutes or more if you have a really inky pen. To be safe, you can use some blotting paper, but it's a good idea to just let it sit for a while to be sure your writing doesn't smudge when you close the card. 2. Remember to use a waterproof ink to address your envelopes - like Noodler's Black or Sailor Kiwa-Guro Black - so rain or snow won't mix up any address information. You can also try rubbing candle wax or brushing clear nail polish over addresses if your ink isn't waterproof. 3. Santa Claus stamps are available from Canada Post! International, US and domestic. You can order them online or stop by your local post office. Our local mailman mentioned that Canada Post is even ramping up deliveries on Saturdays and Sundays to keep up with the demand. 'Tis the season!

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December 07, 2014 — wonderpens



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Ruth said:

Wonderful! Because Hemispheres are just about my favourite Watermans! (So far the score is 2 vintage and 1 “modern” – er, how many colours do they come in??)

Wonder Pens

Wonder Pens said:

We have three colours now – and they’re just on the site, if you want to take a peek! :)


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Sashine B.

Sashine B. said:

Good advice, thanks. I used Noodler’s Polar Blue ink for my envelopes. The paper of my cards was quite glossy, and I didn’t want to risk fountain pen ink smearing, so I used a ballpoint pen for those. May I ask, what is the nib of the pen that was used with the red Hematite ink? It looks like an italic or stub. And is doing normal handwriting with a stub much different from a regular nib? I know that with calligraphy, the writing process usually requires slower writing, but the Hematite sample looks as though it could have been written with the speed one would use with a regular nib. Thank you.


Ruth said:

Does the photo of the Waterman mean you are now stocking some of their pens? It’s my favourite brand (at least at the moment, ha!). I don’t see them on your website.

Wonder Pens

Wonder Pens said:

We are indeed! We’re starting with the Hemisphere and working our way up :) I’m also very happy to be bringing this brand in – we’ve had a lot of questions about both their pens and inks!

Wonder Pens

Wonder Pens said:

Thanks for reading!

The nib with the Hematite was a Noodler’s Flex Nib.

Using a stub nib for normal handwriting usually gives it a bit more “character”, since you get more line variation. To be honest, I wrote pretty slowly with the Rouge Hematite in the Noodler’s Flex, because the feed on it is not super robust, so I didn’t want to get any railroading.

If you get a good stub nib, you shouldn’t have to write too much more slowly, unless you are specifically writing calligraphic characters (and even then, I think there are some pros that can write pretty fast!).

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