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View Full Version : Happy Fountain Pen Day: Do you use a fountain pen?



AW Admin
11-03-2017, 05:39 PM
Today is the sixth annual Fountain Pen Day. The official Fountain Pen Day Website (http://www.fountainpenday.org/)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).

Filigree
11-03-2017, 07:59 PM
In my house, we love fountain pens, and have probably way too many of them.

Raindrop
11-03-2017, 08:01 PM
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.

Maryn
11-03-2017, 09:07 PM
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

AW Admin
11-03-2017, 10:15 PM
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.

Maryn
11-03-2017, 11:34 PM
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?

Snowstorm
11-04-2017, 01:31 AM
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.

PorterStarrByrd
11-04-2017, 01:38 AM
yep several ... and I look forward to buggy whip day

Filigree
11-04-2017, 01:59 AM
Maryn, try here first. It's fun to browse. https://www.levenger.com

Ketzel
11-04-2017, 02:19 AM
I just finished the Inktober challenge - thirty-one drawings in thirty-one days using my Platinum Carbon extra-fine fountain pen. (https://www.jetpens.com/Platinum-Carbon-Desk-Fountain-Pen-Extra-Fine/pd/3851) 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 (https://www.gouletpens.com/)

Tocotin
11-04-2017, 02:43 AM
I use a fountain pen, and I'm writing NaNo with it too.

Raindrop
11-04-2017, 12:32 PM
PS to Maryn - if you really want to go down the rabbit hole, try The Goulet Pen Company website. Link (https://www.gouletpens.com/)
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. :evil

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.

AW Admin
11-04-2017, 12:36 PM
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 (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?332773-Analog-Tools-Resources).

mrsmig
11-04-2017, 04:54 PM
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.

Snowstorm
11-04-2017, 11:23 PM
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!



PS to Maryn - if you really want to go down the rabbit hole, try The Goulet Pen Company website. Link (https://www.gouletpens.com/)

:Jaw: *grabs the wallet and dives into the rabbit hole*

Ketzel
11-05-2017, 12:56 AM
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. :evil

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. :)

Maryn
11-05-2017, 01:10 AM
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

Raindrop
11-05-2017, 02:40 AM
Dip pens are great for people who don't live with rambunctious cats. :)
:Jaw: I can just about imagine how that would go.*



* Everywhere. It would go everywhere.


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

Ketzel
11-05-2017, 04:04 AM
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! :)

AW Admin
11-05-2017, 04:24 AM
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.

Filigree
11-05-2017, 06:52 PM
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. :Shrug:

Cath
11-06-2017, 04:07 PM
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 (http://Www.fahrneyspens.com) 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.

Andrey
11-17-2017, 07:38 AM
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?

AW Admin
11-17-2017, 07:52 AM
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).

mrsmig
11-17-2017, 05:58 PM
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 (https://www.lamyusa.com/index.php/writing-instruments-22/ballpoint-pens/ballpoint-pen-lamy-pico.html) (mine is bright blue) at the show a few years back, along with a lovely leather cover for the little Field Notes (https://fieldnotesbrand.com/) 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.

Boethius
11-23-2017, 06:11 AM
I got my first fountain pen when I was 12 and they have been my analog writing device of choice ever since. I've had pens in many different price ranges, and lost many. Expensive pens are a pleasure, but I quit collecting them after I lost a $400 Conklin. Expensive pens are often beautiful, but I can't say that they write better, although you may have to try and adjust a cheap pens more to get one in your sweet spot. I paid less than $20 for my current favorite. I do find that a good clip is essential to avoid loss and inconvenience.

Don't carry a fountain pen next to your body or in any other warm spot if you can avoid it-- more of a problem for men than women with purses. Warming and cooling the pen affects pressure in the ink reservoir that can screw up the flow.

I don't like disposable pens-- call me a crank, but I like to get used to a pen and use it for years, not replace it every few months.

I use a Noodler Ahab as an everyday pen for around $20. They are meant to be fiddled with, which makes them perfect for me. There's lots of information on messing around with them to be found. Noodler sells them to promote their inks, which are a project in themselves.

Fountain pen writing depends on pen, paper, and ink. Some combinations work much better than others. I have been ready to throw pens away that became my favorite when I found just the right ink for the pen. I prefer good quality printer paper for writing. School notebook paper is a bit too coarse for my taste. Expensive paper is a pleasure, but not worth the trouble for me.

My trick is to print out a sheet with heavy dark lines and then lay a plain sheet over it. The lines show through enough to guide writing. I like the look of even lines on unlined paper and it's less trouble than finding quality lined paper or printing my own lines on every sheet. I have a three hole punch and store written sheets in a ring binder with divider tabs for each project I am working on. I prefer the flexibility of a ring binder to bound notebooks. I also intersperse computer printed sheets with handwritten ones.