J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage Ink


I received this lovely French J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage ink as a Christmas present but its lovely green colour seems perfect for this month. J. Herbin claims to be the oldest ink company in the world as it was established in 1670, the same year as the Hudson’s Bay Company got its royal charter to exploit the land that became Canada. This made me wonder what kind of ink the early fur traders used. I submitted a question to the Hudson Bay archives and I’ll keep you posted with what I learn.

The Lierre Sauvage (“Wild Ivy”) is one of their La Perle des Encres (“The Jewel of Inks”) fountain pen inks. This line was launched in 1700 so, not surprisingly, the inks are made from natural dyes. There are thirty other colours in this line, all advertised as being non-toxic and pH neutral.

I was really happy to get this ink because I was having trouble with my fountain pen and wondered if the ink I was using was to blame. I read somewhere that Noodler’s ink has a reputation for causing problems with fountain pens (although many online dispute that) so I was happy to try a different brand to see if it made a difference. So far I have had no problems with the J. Herbin. It flows smoothly and I love the slight variation in the green tone. Now I am only using the Noodler’s Ink in my Noodler’s pen.


Another special thing about this ink is the wonderful glass bottle. It has a little lip on the front to rest your pen on.

20180218_ink with pen

If J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage ink were a person, they would be French of course. A bit old-fashioned maybe but the wild look in their eye lets you know they will be a lot of fun.


Noodler’s Creaper Flex Nib Pen

I have been using Noodler’s Standard Creaper Flex Nib pen for several years now. It is my first (and only) fountain pen and has a nicely tapered body which is a more comfortable size for my hand than the Ahab. I don’t make the most of the flex nib (#2) but it doesn’t cause any problems for me when I write. It can take a moment to get the flow going when you first start to write and makes a slight scritchy sound as it moves over the paper. I love the way the ink reservoir fills with a twisting mechanism. It works well but I always seem to end up with ink on my hands. This may be more a problem with my technique than the pen.

My pen was a gift from my daughter and she choose the panther pink for me but there are many other colours to choose from. At the same time, she thoughtfully gave me a bottle of blue-black Noodler’s ink with it. This is a very dark ink. Personally I would describe it more as black-blue. The blue tones mainly show up when I am trying to wash it off my fingers after filling the pen.

Like all Noodler’s products, both the pen and the ink are good value for what you get and don’t come over packaged.



If this pen was a person it would be fun and unpretentious with a colourful style gleaned mainly from vintage stores and craft sales. It definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Coming next week: wood paper.

Noodler’s Ahab Flex Nib Fountain Pen


I borrowed my daughter’s Noodler’s Ahab flex nib fountain pen to try out. This popular pen was first introduced about 5 years ago and features a steel flexible #6 nib. The ink reservoir is filled using a slide piston mechanism which works like a syringe. It is made of a celluloid derivative (an early form of plastic) which gave it an unpleasant smell when it was new but has since disappeared. Her model has a distinctive striated look (this one is called “Apache Tortoise”) that adds to the retro look as does the fairly fat body with a nicely shaped curved clip.

I can’t say my handwriting style makes the most of the flexible nib. You really have to press quite hard to get the thicker lines that the flexible nib promises. You may appreciate it more if you were using the pen for calligraphy or sketching. Other than that, it writes smoothly and is excellent value for the price.

If this pen was a person it would be a cool hipster dude with tortoise rim glasses and skinny jeans rolled with a cuff last overheard recommending beard oil to his friend. And with a name like Ahad he would have to have a navy peacoat.

Coming next week:  Rhodia and Habana paper samples.