Spiral Glass Dip Pens

Spiral Glass Dip Pens

I love pens and I love coloured glass. Put them together and what have you got? A stunningly beautiful glass dip pen!

I thought glass dip pens were a relatively new thing (having only come across them in the past year), but according to the box the J. Herbin Glass Dip Pen I’m reviewing came in, glass pens were very trendy in 17th century Venice.

I think any desk would be brightened up with one of these wonderful glass dip pens. You can get them in all sorts of colours and designs, but today I’m reviewing the J. Herbin Spiral Glass Dip Pen (in purple) as kindly sent to me by the lovely Pen Chalet.

J Herbin Spiral Glass Dip Pen - Purple
J Herbin Spiral Glass Dip Pen – Purple

The whole pen is made of glass, giving it a nice weight (neither too lightweight nor too heavy) and balance in the hand. The purple spiral handle can only really be described as giving the impression of a purple unicorn horn! The base of the purple spiral looks the perfect place to grip this glass pen, however, I find gripping it just beneath this is more comfortable and gives me better control over my handwriting.

Glass Dip Pen - Nib
Glass Dip Pen – Nib

The spiral glass nib is where the magic happens. Once dipped into ink, the small grooves on the nib hold a surprising amount of ink. I was able to write far more words and lines with this glass pen than I’ve been able to write with a traditional dip pen with a metal nib.

Glass Dip Pen - Nib with Ink
Glass Dip Pen – Nib with Ink

Tip: Rotate the pen slightly every now and then to get the most out of the ink held in the grooves.

Obviously, because you’re running a glass point across paper, the nib is a little scratchy. However, I have found this to be preferable to a metal nib (I’m quite sensitive to sounds). The ink flows beautifully and it’s perfect for writing or drawing. I’ve not been able to get much of a line variation, but I think that’s to be expected with a glass dip pen.

As the pen is glass, I’d advise being careful when using it (and storing it) as the nib could be damaged if dropped nib down, but then that goes for pretty much any kind of dip pen or fountain pen.

If the nib starts to go blunt, then all is needed is some fine sandpaper. Simply rub the tip of the nib gently with the sandpaper to regain its sharpness.

J. Herbin have been manufacturing inks since 1670 and they are still going strong today, so you’ll find an abundance of ink available to choose from for your glass dip pen, if you choose to get one. I, however, had some Diamine Drawing & Calligraphy Ink in Dark Orchid to hand, so that is what I used.

I would also recommend getting some J. Herbin Cleaning Solution to ensure you keep your glass dip pen nib clean between uses (as ink can sometimes cling to the nib and doesn’t always quite come off with just water). It is also useful for flushing through fountain pens in between different inks.

These J. Herbin Spiral Glass Dip Pens come in 4 colours – Purple, Green, Royal Blue and Sky Blue – and other styles are available.

At the time of writing, Pen Chalet have the J. Herbin Spiral Glass Dip Pens on sale at $20 (around £15 in the UK).

Suffice to say, I am now in love with glass pens and I imagine this may just only be my first! I think glass dip pens make the perfect accessory to any stationery lover’s desk.


Please note: The J. Herbin Spiral Glass Dip Pen was supplied by Pen Chalet in return for an honest review.


  1. Kelly says:

    Oh, wow – the pen itself is a work of art! Considering the reputation of Murano glass, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that glass pens were popular in Venice so long ago.

    I can imagine this would be great fun to own and use.

    • Nikki says:

      That’s only really going to happen if you’re not careful with it. A normal fountain pen will usually land on it’s nib and be damaged, if dropped.

  2. Barbara says:

    Hello Nikki, what a beautiful pen! I think you must have shared your post on Facebook because I remember catching a glimpse of the pen and thinking I must come and read about it.
    I love the idea of rubbing the nib with sandpaper to keep it sharp, quite a novel idea I would think.

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