Saturday, October 23, 2010

Noodler’s Nod to Autumn

Apart from a change in the air, the crispness and the transition to a gentler time of year, color has always been a trademark of autumn. Leaving aside the fun of Halloween and the family warmth of Thanksgiving, most of us have associations that link color to the season in a strong way. During my years in Japan, a country almost as famous for its autumn foliage as the springtime pink of flowering cherry trees, for me the strongest and most enduring color image of autumn was the persimmon, the bowls of vibrant orange fruit, the persimmon trees bowed with globes of ember. But that orange is as transitional as everything else, and soon slips into darker shades. We see it as a cycle slipping from green to yellow, orange to red, and finally red to brown.

In the past week my thoughts have centered on orange, on two autumn-tinted inks, Pumpkin (from Diamine) and the slightly darker, more shaded Orange Crush (Private Reserve). As the passing days affect the autumn palette, so my thoughts turn to another signpost of autumn—RED.

There is no shortage of red ink in the neighborhood of my four walls. As I write this, the number of bottles—red this and red that—number around fifteen. But then, most of us ink junkies have too much ink to ever use in a lifetime. Ask Julie at Whatever and she might tell you the same.

Today’s featured color is Noodler’s Red, a shade that I think of as less than bright red, with no hint of the orange seen in the very reputable Sheaffer Skrip Red, yet none of the darkness in Noodler’s Rattler Red. The best quality of the Noodler’s Red is the absence of vibrancy, the look of an almost dull red that is moving toward, but not yet a dark red—one step in the turning cycle from red to brown.

Not a whole lot of shading in this autumny red, but enough to keep it from blandness. It flows smoothly from the Pelikan 200 I used for testing, and I wasn’t bothered by the time it took to dry. Left-handed writers will have trouble with the drying time, I suspect. My test was on 90g Clairefontaine paper, so feathering or bleed through were not an issue. Even for the very wet Q-tip swab, the show through was minimal. This is a fine ink, and should get some notice from those with a fondness for reds.

For a more detailed review of Noodler’s Red, once again I will point you to Brian Goulet at Ink Nouveau.

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America