An Earthy Pen & Ink Pairing

The Week # 10 ink bundle included eight Franklin-Christoph colors: Midnight Emerald, Terra Firma, Red 187, Tenebris Purpuratum, Black Cherry, Brown 732, Dark Chocolate, Noir et Bleu—a few browns, a purple, two reds, and a couple of blues. The real fun of this ink adventure, after the bi-weekly reveal, is coming up with new pen and ink pairings. I’m (just barely) resisting the urge to load up multiple pens with ALL OF THE INKS, though that’s certainly a legitimate strategy, and one I have not completely ruled out. But for now, I’m showing some restraint and taking my time.

In anticipation of mud season—when you suddenly realize how much you’ve missed the smell of dirt and the promise of spring—I inked up one of my Karas Kustoms Vertex pens (the now sold-out Washington DC Fountain Pen Supershow version) with Franklin-Christoph’s Terra Firma ink.

This particular Vertex features fine gold mica dust in a subtly swirled yellow/gold/brown/black acrylic that pairs wonderfully with the earthy ink. There is some matchiness between the pen and ink but they are not dead-ringers for one another. Nicely complementary, I think. The Vertex’s medium steel nib lays down a smooth, wet line that makes this caramel-colored ink pop.

Pen and ink pairings often take a bit of trial and error to hit just the right combination, but this brown(ish) pen + brown ink immediately hit a sweet spot for me. There is a complexity of color in both the pen and the ink that makes for a terrific pairing, more interesting than you might think at first glance.

Here’s to the coming thaw, to (slightly) warmer and sunnier days, to fresh air and long walks on muddy trails. To Terra Firma. Solid ground. Solid ink.

Note: I wrote this post and then found that Terra Firma no longer appears to be available from Franklin-Christoph. Well, shoot. So now it’s a candidate for some ink sample giveaways in the future. Stay tuned.