The biggest problem with having so many fountain pens is that when I endeavour to test a combination it takes literally months for me to work through. I reviewed the J. Herbin Stormy Grey a while back and promised to keep you updated on the impact of those shiny gold flakes with regards to what it will do to a feed. I have dutifully been using the Penmanship sporadically. I have not cleaned it out or done anything to “aid” in its lubricity and here we are with an update (finally).
So, first things first- it’s shockingly resilient to clogging up. I say resilient because after having been left in a drawer for 2 weeks, the feed doesn’t want to play nice, but this is expected taking into account the aesthetically pleasing debris contain therein. Frankly, I expected a lot worse.
The gold flakes have a propensity to collate towards the nib side of things. The formulation does dissociate very easily, so if you want to have an even spread of glittery goodness, then I suggest lightly shaking/moving the pen around. Interestingly, the gold dust navigates the feed with nary a whimper, and I can’t say it handles any differently from a highly pigmented ink. Make of that what you will.
The only real difference is the burping I encountered as the reservoir started to empty. I ended up getting globs of ink pooling on the end of the nib. The end result isn’t jarring in terms of visuals, but it does mean that the spread of gold will fluctuate.
Easy mode solution was to blot the nib for a solid 10 seconds with absorbent paper/tissue and the nib was back to operating to its customary potential. Prior to doing this it did visibly skip a smidgen and the ink flow was sporadic (dancing between extremes of too much and not enough).
I predict that by the time I run out of ink and do an autopsy of the feed, very little gold will remain and what is left will be trivial to flush away. I don’t want to outright state that you can ignore the J. Herbin warnings about leaving the 1670 ink for prolonged periods of time (unused), but… you can totally do that. I would imagine a significant reason why the Pilot Penmanship handles this ink so well is due to the nature of the materials used during manufacturing. All plastic feed and body seems to play nice with textured inks.
I have a feeling that if you tried this stunt in an ebonite body and feed, the results would differ somewhat due to the texture being more prone to collect “stuff” as opposed to plastic. This is just a guess, however.
I reckon if I put down my other pens (I know, it’s a terrible thing to say), that I can finish up this project in a week or so, and finally really ascertain what this fad of shiny inks do to our scribbling utensils.
PS – I did a final update to this article; you can check it out here.