Jacques Herbin Shogun

Lawrence Savage at Exaclair very likely sent me a sample of Shogun to test. This is a new(ish) addition to the exclusive 1670 range. Yes – the same range as the unforgettable Emeraude de Chivor and yes – it’s lovely.

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Shogun has been created in memory of Kenzo Takada who very sadly passed away from Covid in 2020. Kenzo is recognized worldwide as one of the most famous creators and designers of his generation. His recognizable style combines multicultural inspirations with a distinct Japanese touch. This ink is a homage to this exceptional man. Creating was Kenzo’s passion, a powerful drive to always bring beauty to the fore. The Jacques Herbin Shogun Ink is twilight-colored, reminiscent of a beautiful night of stars, and is coated with fine red and gold shimmer. The resulting hue is reminiscent of certain armours from the Shogun era, for which Kenzo Takada held a fine appreciation.

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Of possible interest – this is also the first time I have used a glass pen in my work. The beautiful hand made glass dip pen from J Herbin is a viable option for calligraphy and artwork. Reminiscent of 16th century Venice, each pen is an individual work of art. The fine glass tip is twisted in a light spiral to hold the maximum amount of ink. Supplied in a card gift box they are available in a choice of 8 elegant colours. Approximately 18cm long it works well for both writing and illustration. Obviously no flex here but you can sharpen the glass point with fine sandpaper if you’re looking for a finer nib. I thought I’d use it here as the smokey coloured twisted glass handle visually works well with the Shogun ink colour.

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Shogun comes in the familiar 50ml heavy square Herbin glass bottle and is tastefully packaged in a matte grey card box with white text and the printed box seal label. There’s also a tiny info booklet inside. Retailing at just under £20(GBP) a bottle it’s readily available from most reputable stationers as are the glass pens that also retail at just under £20(GBP).

Tests conducted on Bockingford 200lb rough, Seawhite Cartridge Paper and Tamoe River papers using a Herbin glass dip pen and an automatic pen.

HEY! If you’re interested to know more about how to use fountain pen inks in more creative ways – whether it’s simply to observe their chromatic behaviours, or, to recreate one of my swatch cards, or, to learn how to use them in watercolour painting, illustration and calligraphy, why not check out my online course or, even better, sign up for a workshop?