Monday Match-up: A Tale of Two Oranges
It’s Monday. Seems like the perfect day for launching something new. Seems like the perfect day for a giveaway. Let’s do this.
Monday Match-up will be a (mostly) regular weekly series about my favorite analog synergies and show-downs. When it comes down to it, I have found that one of the things that brings me most joy in this hobby is exploring how all of the different elements fit together. Pen, nib, ink, paper…change even one and your result can drastically shift. That is what makes this all so fun. This series will dive a little deeper into all those millions of possible analog iterations.
To celebrate, and since it is Monday after all, I’m giving away my Atlanta Pen Show Exclusive sold out Nock-co Coleman. Just comment on this post with your favorite orange pen and ink combination before Sunday April 28th at 5pm. This giveaway is open to everyone- international entries welcome. :)
A Tale of Two Oranges
It’s called a tale of oranges but it really starts with two nibs. It wasn’t until I was taking a photo of the two inks side by side that I realized I had set the classic Myke Hurley favorite orange against the new Brad Dowdy brain child orange. Oops.
Actually, comparing these two inks isn’t the point of this match-up at all. Instead, I want to explain how these two inks ended up in these two pens, and more importantly -why they have stayed there ever since.
There was a time not that long ago when I was certain I would never own a 1911 model Sailor, preferring the Pro Gear model- and ignoring every non-flat ended pen in the mean time. I knew that the tangerine would be the model that changed that mantra the moment I laid eyes on it. The color has been widely discussed, and honestly it can not be overstated. It’s that good.
If I was going to go out of the box with my pen purchase, why not also go a little wild with the nib as well. I had been wanting to try a zoom nib turned architect, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The zoom nib has the largest amount of tipping material- allowing for the most drastic amount of line variation. The tangerine has a boldness about it, and now it has the nib to match. Dan, as usual- nailed it.
Ink: Iroshizuku Fuku-gaki
Here’s where things get interesting. I don’t know how long I’ve owned Iroshizuku Fuku-Gaki, but let’s just say it’s been a while. It had made it’s way into many orange pens and then been cleaned back out again. Iroshizuku inks are nothing if not solid, and it wasn’t that I didn’t like the color of the ink... it just didn’t seem to match the other orange pens I had, and it didn’t have anything extra in particular that drew me to it. But what it does have, is a vibrant, saturated, deep orange-red color; one that happens to match perfectly with the tangerine finish. And together, the match has quickly become one of my favorites in my collection.
There are many times when I do want to ink my broadest nibs with the dramatic shading inks or flashy sheening inks. But sometimes, I just want to see a pigmented color for what it is, especially one that matches so closely with such a great pen. I think this can sometimes get overlooked, but let’s not forget that the actual color of an ink can be a real stand-out all on its own.
This pen was purchased for a very specific purpose- and that purpose has a name. Ralph. I’ve grown a bit of a small collection of nibs from my genius nib scientist friend, and when I first inked up the Opus 88 clear demonstrator with a Ralph nib, I knew I was onto something. Ralph’s multilayer gusher nibs are perfect for the Opus 88 which can easily keep up with the nibs as an eye dropper, but also allow the back end of the pens to be closed and opened to slow the flow of ink to the nib during transport. This has been by far the most practical way I have found to carry some of Ralph’s most outrageous creations around with me wherever I go. So when the colored versions were released, the orange was a must. I switched the rhodium clip almost immediately for a black click for obvious reasons. 🔥
This nib could not be any more fun. Regular writing is smooth as glass triple layer stub, and reverse writing on my nib actually produces a medium cursive italic type writing style. I’ll let the photos below speak for themselves. 🔥🔥
So much fire in this pen already, was there really any other choice? With all the oranges I have in my collection, I have to say this one has taken a unique place. It is yellow- based but still dark enough to be practical for every day writing. It shades just the right amount. It has just a tiny amount of sheen that gives it that extra something. And in this nib, you get to see it all. I might go through Brad’s entire supply chain if I don’t watch myself with this combo.
Two completely different inks, two completely different pens, and two completely different nibs. Same perfect match grin each and every time they get used. Now that’s how you cure a case of the Monday’s. #MondayMatchup