My fountain pen collection has quickly grown from one plain black Lamy Safari to a handful of colorful writers that deserve equally colorful inks. I love to try new inks, but gambling $10-$30 on an ink that I may or may not like doesn't seem like a smart thing to do. I discovered Goulet Pen's Ink Drop service that ships five inks to my door every month for only $10. This lets me test a ton of different colors and brands of inks and purchase my favorites, which are usually available at a discount at the Goulet shop. I love this service, but testing multiple inks at a time can be cumbersome. Traditional fountain pens can easily be inked, but they require a water flush and 24 hours of dry time after each test. I turned to the J. Herbin Glass Dip Pen as a potential solution to my inky problems.
The J. Herbin Glass Dip Pen is a stunning hand-made glass dip pen. I chose the orange pen, since orange is my favorite color, and the shades of orange and yellow remind me of a blazing sunset. The pen comes in multiple colors, but they are all equally stunning.
It's clear from the name that dip pens require the user to dip the tip of the pen into ink in order to write. The J. Herbin pen's tip looks like a paint brush, and the recessed channels use capillary action to hold additional ink. Instead of drying up after a few letters, this dip pen can write several lines with the help of these ink channels. The tip is rather scratchy, compared to traditional fountain pens; however, it is possible to sand the tip with very fine sandpaper (see this video for details). I don't mind the rough tip, since I only use this pen to write a few lines with each ink. The pen lays down a juicy line that shows off all of the color properties of the ink.
The best part about glass dip pens is that they are incredibly easy to clean. Simply run the pen under a tap and dry with a paper towel. There are no complicated feeds to flush or day-long dry times. The ease of cleaning makes it possible to test several inks in a very short period of time, which is perfect for my Ink Drop subscription.
The J. Herbin Glass Dip Pen is an excellent solution for those looking for an easier way to test inks. The pen leaves a consistently fine line that shows off the best properties of each ink, and it can be cleaned with a simple pass under a faucet. At $30 or so, this pen is a bargain, especially when considering the time saved amidst countless ink swatching and labelling. For those who haven't discovered the wonderful world of inks, it really is half of the fun of owning fountain pens. The best part is that products like the The J. Herbin Glass Dip Pen and Ink Drop make it incredibly cheap and easy to find your perfect color.