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Graf von Faber-Castell Garnet

This ink sample was provided for review by Anderson Pens. 

This is one of the two Faber-Castell inks that I'm not really sold on. It's a fine ink, but it's not special. The color is something like a light maroon. It brings Sailor's Oku-Yama to mind, but it's too flat. As you see in the smear above, it's got a matte sort of texture to it.

 These two pictures are taken in different lights. The above picture was taken indoors under daylight fluorescents and the below was taken by indirect morning sun through a window. (Sounds romantic, right?)

I tried this ink out in my Lamy's 1.1 nib, and it wasn't very satisfying. It stayed in that pen for a long time because I didn't hate the color, but it was just sort of dry and...lame. There was no spark with this ink. It didn't behave as well as the "partially document-proofed" inks in the line (though I'm out of town and I've lost the regular-paper pictures, so you'll just have to trust me on that one for a couple of days).


I sorta wish that I had more reds inked up to compare to this one. Check out some of the other red reviews I've posted to compare with this one.

In the end, this ink just doesn't hold up. It's not special, and it doesn't perform all that well. Stick to the other ones, if you ask me. There are plenty of other reds and maroons out there that are better than this one. The pen I had it in is a little on the dry side, but it only performed marginally better in the wet nib of my Skyliner 50. Some sheen or higher saturation might have saved this one.


This one is kinda interesting. It looks like it has a blue-grey base that sticks around after the reds, pinks, and oranges rise to the top of the paper.

Copy Paper Test:

Check this ink out at Anderson Pens where it sells for $30 per 75ml bottle.  (3ml samples are also available.)

Video Review and Water Drop Test

Spoilers below!

The ink for this review was provided free of charge by Anderson Pens. The review was all mine, however.

Graf von Faber-Castell Moss Green

This sample was provided for review by Anderson Pens.

Let's see some more Faber-Castell goodness. This time, we've got Moss Green, and it's a dark moss. This rich green is worth trying out if you're looking for a really dark green. In fact, this ink is probably dark enough that you could use it in a fairly formal setting. The green will peek through, but not all that much. 

See what I mean about the green peaking through? I really like the effect. 

Copy Paper Test:

This is another of the inks that is called "partially document proofed." It certainly behaves well on copy paper. No bleed, feather, or spread. These are solid inks.


The chromatography on this ink is oddly short. The color just didn't travel all that much, though I did it the same as I always do. It's a nice variety of blues with a top note of bright green.

This is a totally usable green. I like that it's dark and that it works really well on cheaper paper. 

Check this ink out at Anderson Pens where it sells for $30 per 75ml bottle.  (3ml samples are also available.)

Video Review and Water Drop Test

Partially document proofed? Yeah, this one might be more partially than some of the others. More of this ink came off of the page than with their Carbon Black or the Stone Grey. I've heard that it's difficult to make a water proof green, though, so I'm not surprised. Still, most of it sticks to the page.

The ink for this review was provided free of charge by Anderson Pens. The review was all mine, however.

Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun

This sample was a gift from the Andersons, but not explicitly for review, and not really as a gift to me. Full disclosure.

I've got a lot of Faber-Castell and Caran d'Ache inks to show, but I feel like it's a good idea to go from grey to grey since I have them both in the stack, and they're likely to be enjoyed by the same people. So, following Stone Grey, here is Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun.

It's a very different grey, and I don't like it as much. I feel like I could like it much more than I do, but it needs more saturation and more flow. It's a little dry and it's too light. This sample was given to Audrey by the Andersons, and she wanted it in her coral Lamy Safari because the colors would look cool together. That pen was an XF nib, and it just didn't work with this ink. The ink was too dry and too weak to be useable in an extra fine. So, if you're an XF user then this ink isn't going to be for you.

I put a medium nib on that pen, and it was useable for her. This is one of those inks that really needs a big nib.

The problem with this ink isn't hue, it's saturation. If I could get Pilot to over-saturate it for me, then I'd probably love it. As it is, I don't. You might. It's an ink that performs well, aside from being way too light. You'll notice that I used an Anderson Pens Proper Pad for this review. I did that because Fuyu-Syogun doesn't work well on Rhodia. It's too pale to read, and it doesn't absorb into the paper, so it is hardly visible. Stick to regular papers for this ink. 

 Compared to the other two greys that I've reviewed recently, this one is an interesting color. It's almost a blueish-grey. I kinda like that better than the straight-up greys that I've used but, at the same time, I can't really use Fuyu-Syogun because it's too light.

 Here's just a closer-up view.

The chromatography for this ink reveals a dense base layer of grey that fades up towards blue/violet. Interesting.

Copy Paper Test:

Video Review and Water Test:

This ink was free to me, but the review is entirely mine. 

The New Franklin-Christoph "Christoph" Music Nib

Scott told me about this nib coming out at the beginning of the summer, and I had to wait until the DC show to see one. Everyone wants a music nib, including me. I was jealous every time I saw one on another blog. Well, now we've got one in the family. Audrey got this awesome Franklin-Christoph Model 02 at the DC show, and she wanted the music nib in it.

I wasn't happy with the original picture I posted here, and I couldn't get it right, so Audrey took this one for me. Hooray!

 I was a little surprised because she likes stubs, but she also likes to write small, and this isn't a small nib. At all. At 1.9mm, this is a big nib. Someone at the show referred to it as "the shovel", and that's not crazy. It's wide and it clearly means business.

Three tines requires some differences in the feed, and this one is extra wide with some cavities cut into the feed under the nib. My guess is that it keeps some ink sitting right under the nib. It totally works. Audrey doesn't get to use this nib every day, but it doesn't dry out at all. It can also keep up with writing pretty quickly, as I do.

The thing that a music nib does for me (since I don't actually write music) is make my handwriting look cool. The big, broad down-strokes and very thin side strokes are crisp and well-defined. There's no tipping material on this stub, but it's very smooth and I don't imagine it wearing down anytime soon.

Also, I've gotta say that I want some of this green ink. Scott put this cartridge in the pen at the show, and Audrey and I really like it. I'm also surprised at how long the cart is lasting with this nib. I expected the nib to run through a cart in no time at all, but it hasn't. It's a wetish nib, but it's controlled, and not a gusher. That was the one thing I was worried about, but I've got no worries after using this pen/nib.

Want one of these sweet, sweet nibs? Well, you'll need $35 and you'll need to get a pen that takes a #6 nib unit. There are several of these pens listed under this nib on the Franklin-Christoph site, and I've heard-tell that the nib unit will fit into some Edison pens. I can certainly recommend the 02 Intrinsic that Audrey got. It's a great pen.

Graf von Faber-Castell Stone Grey

Ink samples provided by Anderson Pens.

I keep wanting to call this ink "storm grey" and that's the name you'll see at the top of the written review. I've crossed it out and re-titled it, but it's still storm grey in my mind.

I just looks so stormy to me. Like the clouds in a stormy winter sky. I guess it also looks like rocks, but that doesn't have the same poetry to it. I even drew a picture of a storm cloud.

I'm good at art. 
But then I had to draw some rocks when I noticed that I had gotten the name wrong all this time. 

Here are some close-ups of the text.

Chromatography-wise, this ink looks like it's going to have some water-resistance. The heavy grey base-layer really sticks around, while there are grey and purple-ish tones at the top.

So, how does it behave on copy papers? 

Bleed Test:

Super well, it turns out. In fact, I had to check and make sure that I was using the 20lb copy paper that I had intended to use. I totally way. This ink is safe for office-grade papers. Very impressive performance, actually. On the Graf von Faber-Castell site, this ink is described as "document proofed." I'm not sure what that means, but it must have to do with being safe to use on documents, and this behavior seems to bear that out. Now, is it water resistant? You'll have to wait a bit for that.

I think I like the Montblanc Einstein grey better, but Stone Grey is a perfectly good grey ink. It's just lighter than I usually go.

In a closer close-up, you can see the difference in tone between this ink and Einstein. I wish I'd left Iroshizuku's Fuyu-Syogun in a pen to compare to this ink, but I'd already washed it out. I'll probably post that review next, though, so you can flip back and forth if you like. This one is darker and more useable than Fuyu-Syogun, though. 

I think I like this grey, but it might just be a little light to me. I tend to gravitate towards really dark greys or greys with brown or green in them. This is a 'calm' color, and a great option for those who have to write on cheap papers without show-through or other bad behaviors.

Find this ink over at where it goes for $30 per bottle. It's a 75ml bottle, though, so that makes it $.40 per ml.

Water Drop Test and Video Review

The ink for this review was provided free of charge by Anderson Pens. The review was all mine, however.