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Thread: Happy Fountain Pen Day: Do you use a fountain pen?

  1. #1
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Happy Fountain Pen Day: Do you use a fountain pen?

    Today is the sixth annual Fountain Pen Day. The official Fountain Pen Day Website explains the history, and provides a lot of information about resources.

    Fountain pens have enjoyed an increase in popularity of late, as people are realizing that they don't have to be prohibitively expensive, they can be a lot of fun, (all those inks in so many colors and shades) and that they're often easier to write with than, say, a ballpoint pen.

    Some ways to celebrate:

    • Write a card, postcard or letter with a fountain pen.
    • Do your NaNoWriMo session with a fountain pen.
    • If you have working fountain pens you're not using, clean them and give them to a friend who might.
    • Post in this spanking new forum for analog tools (non digital non computer).
    Last edited by AW Admin; 11-03-2017 at 06:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    In my house, we love fountain pens, and have probably way too many of them.

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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Raindrop's Avatar
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    Wow, a shiny new forum!

    I use a Parker Vector fountain pen. It's really light and affordable, so I take it with me pretty much everywhere. I've had it for a few years now. Very smooth to use, and a lot less tiring than writing with a ballpoint pen.

  4. #4
    Moderator AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    Oh, is it really? Maybe today's the day I order the ones people have recommended so highly.

    Maryn, dipping a toe into the water ink
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  5. #5
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maryn View Post
    Oh, is it really? Maybe today's the day I order the ones people have recommended so highly.

    Maryn, dipping a toe into the water ink
    You might be able to find the under $5.00 Platinum Preppy refillable fountain pens or Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pens locally, if you're curious about trying a fountain pen; if you're sure you'll like it, I often suggest Pilot Metropolitans as a first fountain pen.

  6. #6
    Moderator AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    This may be a foolish question, but I'm so new to fountain pens that you can consider me fuzzy and fluffy as a baby duck. Do I look at office supply stores, or art stores, or what?
    "I've never had to fake sarcasm."

    Brick by Brick, a ménage à trois novel (soon to be re-released)
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  7. #7
    Baby plot bunneh sniffs out a clue Snowstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maryn View Post
    This may be a foolish question, but I'm so new to fountain pens that you can consider me fuzzy and fluffy as a baby duck. Do I look at office supply stores, or art stores, or what?
    Likely you'll find them at both places. I've seen the cheaper (but still nice) sets at both. They're awesome instruments and SO easy to write with.

    I love fountain pens. I have a box of calligraphy pens and a couple exquisite fountain pens and two bottles of ink. Fountains pens are sexy.
    Last edited by Snowstorm; 11-04-2017 at 02:02 AM.

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  9. #9
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Maryn, try here first. It's fun to browse. https://www.levenger.com

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  10. #10
    Leaving on the 2:19
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    I just finished the Inktober challenge - thirty-one drawings in thirty-one days using my Platinum Carbon extra-fine fountain pen. It's really not a writing pen, and I often see fountain pen lovers complain about its extremely fine nib, or its odd elongated body (meant to mimic brush length). But it's a joy to draw details with. For writing, I love my very old and very cheap, all plastic Pelikan Future P55. I think it was originally meant as a starter pen for new fountain pen users, but I never graduated from it.

    PS to Maryn - if you really want to go down the rabbit hole, try The Goulet Pen Company website. Link
    Last edited by Ketzel; 11-04-2017 at 08:05 AM.

  11. #11
    deceives Tocotin's Avatar
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    I use a fountain pen, and I'm writing NaNo with it too.
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  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW Raindrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ketzel View Post
    PS to Maryn - if you really want to go down the rabbit hole, try The Goulet Pen Company website. Link
    Oh no, you didn't just send Maryn to Goulet Pen, did you? We may have to launch a search party if she doesn't reappear within the next 48 hours.

    I just finished Inktober as well. I did most of it with a dip pen! I'd never tried one before, but I've fallen in love with it. Fantastic tool for drawing.

  13. #13
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maryn View Post
    This may be a foolish question, but I'm so new to fountain pens that you can consider me fuzzy and fluffy as a baby duck. Do I look at office supply stores, or art stores, or what?
    Take a look at the Resources stickie.

  14. #14
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    I have a lovely old Mont Blanc fountain pen that belonged to my father that I will use to sign important documents (like my publisher contracts). I used a bright blue Parker fountain pen all through high school and into college. There's nothing quite like writing with a fountain pen, especially if it's a good one.
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  15. #15
    Baby plot bunneh sniffs out a clue Snowstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmig View Post
    I have a lovely old Mont Blanc fountain pen that belonged to my father that I will use to sign important documents (like my publisher contracts).
    Getting a Mont Blanc fountain pen is on my bucket list!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ketzel View Post
    PS to Maryn - if you really want to go down the rabbit hole, try The Goulet Pen Company website. Link
    *grabs the wallet and dives into the rabbit hole*

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raindrop View Post
    Oh no, you didn't just send Maryn to Goulet Pen, did you? We may have to launch a search party if she doesn't reappear within the next 48 hours.

    I just finished Inktober as well. I did most of it with a dip pen! I'd never tried one before, but I've fallen in love with it. Fantastic tool for drawing.
    Well, I did warn her.

    Dip pens are great for people who don't live with rambunctious cats.

  17. #17
    Moderator AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    In my defense, I spent less than two hours at Goulet (part of it on videos) and under an hour at Levenger, which has a sale on the pen I chose and a dysfunctional ordering system. (25% off sitewide worked only to the first item I put in my cart.) I contacted them. It's Saturday, of course, and so far there's no reply, so I kept looking around--and found the same pen elsewhere, not only cheaper but with free shipping. So even when they get back to me, I won't be placing that order. Well, maybe on the inks. Luscious shades of purple. It was hard to choose!

    This first order is gifts for our daughters. I'll get something for myself eventually, I'm pretty sure, even though I do very little handwriting. I'm a blue person, and there are even more fabulous ink colors for me.

    Maryn, who bought the Pilot Metropolitan fine point Retro, in purple
    "I've never had to fake sarcasm."

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  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW Raindrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ketzel View Post
    Dip pens are great for people who don't live with rambunctious cats.
    I can just about imagine how that would go.*



    * Everywhere. It would go everywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maryn View Post
    Maryn, who bought the Pilot Metropolitan fine point Retro, in purple
    Welcome to the ink side! You can't go wrong with purple.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maryn View Post
    In my defense, I spent less than two hours at Goulet (part of it on videos) and under an hour at Levenger, which has a sale on the pen I chose and a dysfunctional ordering system. (25% off sitewide worked only to the first item I put in my cart.) I contacted them. It's Saturday, of course, and so far there's no reply, so I kept looking around--and found the same pen elsewhere, not only cheaper but with free shipping. So even when they get back to me, I won't be placing that order. Well, maybe on the inks. Luscious shades of purple. It was hard to choose!
    I used to be a fan of Levenger when it opened a store in Boston. Then, just when I was thoroughly hooked on some of its stationary, after years! the store disappeared with no warning about a week before I showed up at the empty storefront for Christmas/Hanukah shopping. And now I have had similar experiences to yours every time I try to order from the website. My last argument with them was when I had a code from the catalog they sent me for free shipping. The website kept rejecting it. When I explained the problem to the sales operator, she informed me that my free shipping code was only good when they had a free shipping promotion, and they almost never had those. I said, "Doesn't sending me a free shipping code mean you ARE having a free shipping promotion?" and she said, "Not necessarily."

    But they still have some planning calendars that I am heavily dependent on, so I deal.

    Goulet is definitely the best place for education about fountain pens - their articles, blog and YouTube channel are always very helpful. Have fun with your new area of potential obsession and collection!

  20. #20
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    I got my first Namiki Retractable from Levengers, and bought several more from them as gifts, but they're not as customer friendly as they used to be, and their prices tend to be on the high side. I've had great luck with JetPens.com, Gouletpens.com, and BirminghamPens.com.

  21. #21
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Yep, it had been ten years since I'd shopped online at Levenger, and Maryn's ordeal reminded me why. I usually only browse there. Having Penchetta locally and Ebay has been great for my pen fetish and terrible for my budget.

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  22. #22
    The mean one AW Moderator Cath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    I got my first Namiki Retractable from Levengers, and bought several more from them as gifts, but they're not as customer friendly as they used to be, and their prices tend to be on the high side. I've had great luck with JetPens.com, Gouletpens.com, and BirminghamPens.com.
    I tried the retractable pen (I think at at Fahrney’s in DC - a joyful place for pen lovers in that area), but the grip didn’t work for me. I fell in love with the Cross Sauvage range there though, and have rather more of those than any sensible person could justify.

    Levenger’s paper is wonderful for fountain pens, though I’m not sure I’d buy a pen from them.
    Last edited by Cath; 11-06-2017 at 05:01 PM.
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  23. #23
    Who, me? Andrey's Avatar
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    I just stumbled on this thread—never got the warning and ended up spending hours looking at pens and inks on Goulet Pens yesterday. Dangerous stuff. I ended up ordering a Pilot Metropolitan in Retro green, and a Stipula Musk Green ink sample.

    I used a couple of fountain pens as a kid (in Soviet Union), but haven't touched one since. I'm really curious how it will feel.

    What about the triangular grip (a la Lamy) vs. a round grip (a la Metropolitan)?
    Does the triangular grip feel constraining or does it make it easier not having to adjust every time?
    Last edited by Andrey; Yesterday at 08:11 AM.

  24. #24
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrey View Post
    I just stumbled on this thread—never got the warning and ended up spending hours looking at pens and inks on Goulet Pens yesterday. Dangerous stuff. I ended up ordering a Pilot Metropolitan in Retro green, and a Stipula Musk Green ink sample.

    I used a couple of fountain pens as a kid (in Soviet Union), but haven't touched one since. I'm really curious how it will feel.

    What about the triangular grip (a la Lamy) vs. a round grip (a la Metropolitan)?
    Does the triangular grip feel constraining or does it make it easier not having to adjust every time?
    I have a Lamy Vista, a Lamy Safari, and a Metropolitan. I like all three. The Lamy grip is actually a plus for me; I like it in terms of ergonomics and long writing sessions.

    My best suggestion is to go to a pen meetup or find a fountain pen store or user who will let you try a Lamy Safari, Vista, or Al Star (I think the Al Star has the same grip).

  25. #25
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Most years I go with my husband to the DC Pen Show, which is usually in August (and usually in Northern Virginia rather than the District itself). You can see the latest designs from both major and independent pen dealers, as well as antique and collectible pens and all the accoutrements, like ink and paper.

    My husband bought me a splendid little Lamy telescopic pen (mine is bright blue) at the show a few years back, along with a lovely leather cover for the little Field Notes notebooks I like to carry. There's a small pocket in the spine of the cover that's an exact fit for the pen. I love my Lamy.
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