wInksday #3 – J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor (Emerald of Chicken)

And I’m back y’all.

It’s exhausting being a teacher. But I love it. I spent years working corporate and some days where I’d dread work. As tired as I am, as frustrated as I am, as beat-down as I can get sometimes by general ennui and stress, there’s not been a single day as an educator where I don’t want to go into work.

I’m also “the pen guy” at work, taking over that title from a colleague who was the reigning pen guy and then I showed up with my EDCs and suddenly I have that title.

Today we’re going to talk about the J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor, known as the Emerald of Chicken in some circles.

It is a gorgeous, if slightly wet, ink that behaves pretty decently, but I’d put it in a pen with a pen that wrote on the dry side.

Unless of course that’s something you like. Here’s how it performs.

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Obviously It’s going to look best on the Clairefontaine and the Rhodia due to the nature of those notebooks/brands. I’ve mentioned I won’t do Moleskine before but I’ll repeat it: Moleskine is tissue paper with incredible marketing. The thing that surprised me, and part of it could be that I just went heavy on the swatch, but the amount of ink that shows on the opposite side of the Leuchturm. That being said, it still performed the best in the dry time test.

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The notebook I got for notebook paper has been doing exceedingly well, too. Surprisingly well, too. Now I tend to gravitate towards cream-colored notebooks because I feel they add that “aged” look to what I write, so I’m using this notebook as representative of your standard notebooks you’d use for school. It is the Office Depot Stellar brand and I got it for $2.

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You can also notice the sheen of the ink better here, and I think that’s one of the cooler things about this ink. If the light catches it after it dries it has a little bit of a red metallic sheen to it beneath the rich blue .

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For the Rhodia, the drying times were longer. I borrowed something from Mountain of Ink so you could see them better.

That being said, writing on Rhodia is still a delight. But if you really want to get fancy, as usual, you go for the Clairefontaine or the Tomoe River, which average around to $0.18 a sheet in a pack of 50, exponentially more expensive than buying a ream of copy paper ($0.014 a sheet) or a standard notebook for $2 and have 100 sheets to show for it.

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But hey, if you want decent write time and the type of paper that can take a punch, you’re going to want to use these. Both the Clairefontaine and the Rhodia are made by the same company but the former is ideal for fountain pen use and the Rhodia is designed to be better with multiple writing instruments.

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The only thing that ghosted was my Noodler’s Rome is Burning and it was from my broadest fountain pen. Obviously something like Sharpie would ghost, but all in all, this is a solid pad that you can find locally at places like Dromgoole’s and Kinokuniya (Rice Village and Katy, respectively) and occasionally at Barnes and Noble. My last journal was a Rhodia webnotebook I managed to snack from the Copperfield Barnes and Noble.

Published by obsidianpalms

Hugo Esteban Rodríguez Castañeda is a writer and educator hailing from Mexico and the Rio Grande Valley. He is the author of “…And Other Stories” (2018, La Casita Grande Editores) as well as other short stories, poems, and essays that have appeared in places like The Airgonaut, The Acentos Review, Picaroon Poetry, Neon Mariposa, Mathematician Transmission and the Texas Poetry Calendar. He is a graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso's MFA program and hus fiction has been recommended as part of Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net slates and was longlisted for the Wigleaf Top 50. He is currently a reader for RUBY Lit and occasionally freelances as a content editor for a publishing company. A fountain pen enthusiast, he lives in Northwest Houston and is most at home at coffeehouses, shopping malls, and mosh pits.

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