That is House of the Rising Sun fountain pen ink, which Papier Plume is going to start selling April 13, at the Atlanta Pen Show and simultaneously online. It will be part of Papier Plume’s regular lineup available all year round.
Papier Plume operates a stationery store in the French Quarter of New Orleans, where they make and sell fountain pen inks inspired by the colors of that beautiful city. I’m a fan of Papier Plume inks, and the folks who work there. Papier Plume makes their fountain pen inks themselves, in small batches, and by hand. From the idea for a new ink color, to the mixing and bottling — everything is done in store.
House of the Rising Sun takes its name from a song about New Orleans, the most famous version of which is a bluesy number by the Animals. It’s a great name for an ink. And I think Papier Plume made an ink worthy of the name. It’s a darker orange ink, which fits the mood of the song.
House of the Rising Sun is a wetter ink, with very good lubrication and enthusiastic flow.
I’ve tried it with four pens: an Aurora Optima with medium nib, a Kaweco Sport with broad nib, a Lamy Safari with broad nib and a Kaweco Sport with fine nib. I actually liked it best in the latter three pens. That’s because my Aurora Optima has a nib that was adjusted (by someone else) to put down a lot of ink. While I normally need a wetter pen like that for most orange inks, I don’t with this ink. House of the Rising Sun has enough verve, and enough flow, to work beautifully in a dry writer.
Here’s a writing sample of House of the Rising Sun in the Lamy Safari with broad nib on Rhodia.
I love the shading of House of the Rising Sun; it’s not garish or overdone. I also love the nice dark color with that broad nib.
Now here is House of the Rising Sun in a Kaweco Sport with fine nib on Rhodia.
I like the different color orange here: it’s lighter with the finer nib, but still perfectly legible.
Here is House of the Rising Sun on my lower-quality Staples Sustainable Earth paper.
I had excellent performance, with very little feathering, from the fine nib, on the Sustainable Earth there, and on even worse quality paper. With the broad nib pens I used, there was some showthrough and feathering on lower-quality paper, but not a terrible amount.
On Tomoe River paper, House of the Rising Sun changes character, and becomes very interesting. Here’s a longer writing sample on cream-colored Tomoe River, first with the very wet Aurora Optima, then with the Lamy Safari with broad nib and finally with the Kaweco Sport with fine nib.
There is a tiny bit of sheen with that Aurora nib. It’s not the kind of spectacular sheen that looks like sparklers. It’s what I think of as an interesting sheen — a hint of gold around the edges here. The cloudy weather we’re having doesn’t help me show it in a photograph, but I think you can see hints.
But, it’s still the same color. Put it next to blue, and you’ll see: it’s still a dark, reddish orange color, with some yellower shading. This writing sample is on the same Tomoe River paper; the only difference is the blue ink brings out the orange.
I love an ink that can look different in different pens and on different papers, and House of the Rising Sun does.
Oh, and people who like some water resistance in their inks will be pleased to note that a core of House of the Rising Sun survived a water rinse, on both regular paper and on fountain-pen friendly paper, which you wouldn’t necessarily expect.
Also, that water-resistance test shows the dyes that comprise House of the Rising Sun: a combination of pink and yellow to make orange, which plays into the rising sun motif.
Here are some swab comparisons to other inks I have in this color range.
On the far right is Fuyu-gaki, just for comparison. Fuyu-gaki and KWZ Grapefruit are redder than House of the Rising Sun. The ink on the left, Diamine Gerbera, is more orange, but Gerbera, which I reviewed here, is so light that it really needs a very wet pen.
When it comes to how they look in a pen, I think the closest of these comparison inks is KWZ Grapefruit, a very popular ink, which I reviewed here. When you write with House of the Rising Sun, it looks nearly as dark as Grapefruit, because House of the Rising Sun has such enthusiastic ink flow. There are, of course, differences: Grapefruit is redder than House of the Rising Sun, it’s stronger and it doesn’t really shade; House of the Rising Sun is more orange, it shades more and it’s more complex.
I think House of the Rising Sun is a very nice ink, and one that lives up to its evocative name.