A couple of weeks ago we got in our newest colour from Noodler’s – Golden Brown.
This is a colour that I’ve had in my own personal collection for a while – I special ordered it to try out. At the time, we weren’t sure that there would be too many people who wanted to try out such a light ink – it seems that with browns, people are often looking for darker, walnut browns that will be good for work and the office, and can be more legible.
When I first got into fountain pens, I thought I wanted the darkest black ink out there, and that would be it for me. It was a very short-lived aspiration: I now typically do always have one pen with black in, but I probably have ten or more others with different colours and shades, and I lean heavily towards inks that shade well.
And this ink’s biggest thrill is how well it shades.
Golden Brown has nice flow, and while it’s not waterproof, a faint part of its darker component will remain on the page following generous water flow.
Lighter inks sometimes do shade better, since the pooling of ink becomes much more obvious compared to lighter areas. I use my broadest and wettest nibs for shading inks, but Golden Brown is an ink that will shade even in medium and fine nibs. You might be pushing it with extra-fine, but this ink really shows off different shades extremely well.
Alongside good shading, though, oftentimes the lighter the ink (like J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie or grey inks), the more variation you’ll see in how the ink looks from different nibs and pens. It can result in beautiful shading, but it can also mean that inks will look different from pen to pen.
The writing samples above and below were both done with a Noodler’s Konrad on Life Stationery paper, but the above photo had no additional pressure, and the photo below flexed out the nib to give wider lines and also additional flow to the page. You can see that they almost look like different inks, although below you can just see a hint of the gold where the nib was the lightest.
I find Noodler’s browns have this way of being both rich and warm but also demonstrate nice shading. Golden Brown is of my favourite brown inks, probably in my top ten. I love this one for letter writing – I think it kind of gives a bit of a vintage look, especially on cream paper.
In other news, it’s been rainy and gloomy today, which has been a bit of a break from our park visits in the sun and sand in our shoes – I guess it’ll be more roaming the hallways this afternoon.
We spent the morning before the shop opened rearranging a bit of our furniture – we’ve added in a shelf from the back, and a new table as well, as all of our notebooks and stationery gets more and more squished on the tables we do have. It’s nice to see everything spread out a bit.
Every once in a blue moon I stumble across a photo from our early days at 906 Dundas West, where we first opened shop on the west end. It’s crazy to see how empty the shop was when we first started, just a few shelves and that one big table in the front. (What’s even crazier is that I was so clueless I didn’t even take any photos of our first day – a very thoughtful customer (James!) took pictures and emailed them to us.)
Over time we piled boxes in every corner and under the tables, and by the time we were ready to start looking for a new place, we even had boxes piled up inside the front window – not exactly a welcoming sign for new customers. I remember every once in a while someone would come in and ask if we were closing down, with all of the boxes stacked up so you couldn’t see inside.
It’s this fall weather that brings out the nostalgia in me.