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Baron Fig Raspberry Honey Review

Baron Fig sent me this journal for my honest review. Other than receiving the journal, I was not compensated for this review, and the opinions are all my own. 

This review is, well let’s be honest, abominably late. I guess in retrospect, choosing to do a review after a month’s use of a limited edition journal (which I also received late, I might add, through nobody’s fault but mine) probably wasn’t the most practical idea. However, almost all the things I love about this journal are hallmark features of all of Baron Fig’s other hard cover journals, so while this particular notebook is sold out (sorry…), don’t let that deter you from finishing this blog post. In fact, once you finish reading, go check out Baron Fig’s newest special edition notebook and pen, they look AMAZING (link at the end).

I am the type of person who believes that while the quality of your art supplies and stationary may not make a difference to the quality of your work, it makes a drastic difference in the quality of your experience. I have found this to be the case with the little rusty notebook called Raspberry Honey from the New York City stationary company Baron Fig.

I’m no stranger to good quality journals. I would rather have a few very good ones (ok more than a few…) than many ok ones. But the way this notebook felt in my hands the first time I took it out of its packaging made me feel like I had never held a decent notebook in my

 life. The feel of the fabric cover, the creamy pages, and the way that it lies flat right away, without making you feel like you’ve broken it. And it’s beautiful too. The embossed honeybees on the cover (front and back) are absolutely adorable. Despite all that, it’s a notebook that calls out to be used and loved and abused; that scribbles and scratches would adorn its pages rather than detract from its beauty. Rather than being afraid to start using this notebook, I was eager to dive right in. Maybe you can’t tell, but I really like this notebook.

As far as specs go, the pages are slightly off white, and the version I was sent has a light grey dot grid on all pages. The paper isn’t as smooth as Rhodia paper, but has enough texture for a small amount of feedback, while still being excellent for fountain pens. There is some show-through with dark ink pens but nothing unforgivable, and scribbling a bit with a fountain pen creates a small amount of bleed-through (regular writing is ok). The ribbon in the middle is sturdy and just the right length. I have also found the paper to stand up quite well to erasing and reworking with pencil.

I love the fabric cover a lot more than I thought I would. I’ve always been partial to leather and leatherette notebooks, perhaps because they feel more lux, so I expected the fabric cover to feel less posh. I was wrong about that. Holding the Raspberry Honey journal feels a lot like holding an old hard cover book – sophisticated, familiar. That being said, the wearability of the cover is my one concern with this notebook, so stay tuned on that to see how it holds up. I have been using it every day as a bullet journal for the last 6 weeks or so, and so far it still looks great.

This limited edition notebook is a version of Baron Fig’s flagship notebook, the Confidant, which, sans the pretty honeybee cover, features all the same lovely design traits. I’ll be using one as a sketchbook soon, so stick around to see how that goes, and how it holds up to different mediums.

Be sure to check out Lock and Key, Baron Fig’s newest special edition 🙂

Tool Review: J. Herbin Perle Noire Ink

Or, the Little Ink That Could

Black ink is black ink, right? You would certainly think so. However, when it comes to the world of fountain pen ink, that’s not quite the case.

Black fountain pen inks vary broadly in terms of wetness, darkness and hue. Some are very water resistant, most are not. Some are very well-behaved in pens, never clogging or staining, while others, especially water resistant ones, clog feeds and stain barrels. And when diluted, black inks can become shades of blue, green, or purple.

When it comes to black fountain pen inks, especially in relation to using them for drawing, I really like J. Herbin’s Perle Noire ink. This is for 6 reasons:

  1. It’s really dark. It’s definitely a black ink, not a grey ink.
  2. It’s wet so it flows nicely; it feels rich and inky.
  3. It doesn’t fade when erased over.
  4. When diluted, it first shades purple and then green, like a gobstopper. It’s very dynamic.
  5. It doesn’t stain, so I don’t worry about leaving it in my demonstrator pen.
  6. It’s NOT waterproof.

 

I generally keep my TWSBI 580AL inked up with Perle Noire. That combination behaves well in all but the cheapest paper, and I love the clean, fine lines I can create.

J. Herbin Perle Noire ink review drawing

But this little ink can do much more than line drawings. It’s my favorite thing so far to do pointillism with. I used to use felt-tipped pens like the Kuretake Mangaka Zip pen and Uni Pin Pens, but I was frustrated by the way they faded so much when I erased my guidelines. This ink solves that problem. Plus, the “inky-ness” means much less pressure and much less muscle fatigue. The only caution here is that it becomes very easy to smear the ink, as it takes a few seconds to dry, but I found the same issue with felt-tipped pens.

DSCF4434sm

Perhaps where this ink is really fun though is in creating washes, à la watercolor. This is why I love that it’s not waterproof. As I mentioned above, as it comes into contact with water, it becomes a dark dusky purple, and as you push it further, it becomes green. It has so much depth.

 

J. Herbin Perle Noire ink review drawing

J. Herbin Perle Noire was my first ink. I knew I wanted a black ink for drawing, one that was dark and wet, but reasonably fast drying and well-behaved. I spent a lot of time researching, and finally decided that I needed a bottle of J. Herbin Perle Noire, and it’s been a fantastic choice (if I do say so myself…)

All the opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I was not compensated for this review.

 

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