Above is Urushi Red on Rhodia, in a Nemosine Singularity with medium stub nib. I inked it up as part of my quest to preview some of the Chicago Pen Show’s Ink Testing Station inks.
I don’t know Franklin-Christoph inks; this is the first I ever tried. I picked Urushi Red because it was one of the newer ones, and I liked the color in swabs. I like the color in the pen, too.
That’s Tomoe River paper, my favorite paper for Urushi Red.
I expected Urushi Red to be a brownish red, but it’s actually more lively. But it’s still dark and serious — it’s never as lively as a red with pink, like, for example, Robert Oster Rubine, or even a burgundy with pink like Montblanc Alfred Hitchcock.
I think Urushi Red may have a touch of purple or blue. It’s got that darkness. It’s heavier than a classic burgundy or maroon like Graf von Faber-Castell Garnet Red. It’s even heavier than Sailor Oku-Yama. It doesn’t shade as much as those inks, either. I think of Urushi Red as an intriguing “winter ink” — a deep dark color to warm up a cold January.
The ink Urushi Red reminds me most of is J. Herbin’s 1670 Rouge Hematite, without the gold particles. Urushi Red even has a similar green and gold sheen — which is hard to see in photographs because the sun has been hiding from us this spring.
I don’t use Rouge Hematite because it’s been a high-maintenance, hard-to-clean ink for me. Happily, Urushi Red was a lot better there: it cleaned out very easily.
Urushi Red was a very wet ink for me. Now, my Nemosine Singularity is a fairly wet writer. But Urushi Red was very lubricated and put down a lot of ink in this pen. That contributed to the sheen, but also meant long dry times on fountain-pen friendly paper.
Urushi Red was in fact probably too wet in this pen for lower-quality paper. It feathered and showed though, not only on copy paper but also on Staples Sustainable Earth paper.
The feathering actually became more noticeable with time. I initially thought there was only slight feathering on that paper, till I took another look and saw feathering on almost every downstroke. I suspect that’s because the ink took longer to fully dry than it appeared.
As Urushi Red dried down on fountain-pen friendly paper, shading became less apparent, too.
Urushi Red showed zero problems in this pen: it never clogged, never started slowly, and, conversely, never had nib creep nor dripped into the cap. So the lubrication seems well-balanced. In a dry-writing pen with a narrow nib, the wetness of Urushi Red would be an asset, and feathering and showthrough not a factor.