Don’t you just love the start of something new? I’ve been thinking about this series for several years. I allowed my inner critic to shut me down each time I tried to begin this conversation with you all. My alternative response was to start the Fountain Pen Frenzy challenge twice in 2017 and a third time in February of this year (I'm running it again in November). There are SOOOOOO many people doing fountain pen reviews and blogging about fountain pens that I felt really silly jumping into the pool so late.
But no more of that. Here I am!! I’ve got a unique voice in the fountain pen community and I have things I’d like to share with those who use fountain pens, those who are thinking about fountain pens, and those who create fountain pens.
It's likely this will span beyond Fridays, but I had to start somewhere. So here we go!!
My Fountain Pen Story: The Shortish Version
- I started collecting pens when I was 17. I bought my first “fancy” rollerball for $40 from Office Depot. My mother thought I had lost my mind.
- My high school English Teacher, Mrs. Enquist, was the first person I saw (other than people on television and in movies) to use a fountain pen. She was so eloquent and graceful. I think I thought it would make me more like her if I used a fountain pen. She might also be the reason I became an English teacher all those many, many, life times ago.
- I have more than 200 fountain pens and about 50 collectable rollerballs, give or take :-).
- My top 3 favorite fountain pen brands are:
- Lamy (Safari is my favorite model)
- Pilot ( I love, love, love the Vanishing Points)
- Acme Pens -- I used to collect only the rollerballs of Acme Pens, then, in my early 30s I learned that I could switch out the nib units to make some of their pens into fountain pens. HOLY TRANSFORMER BATMAN!!! (That's an Acme pen in the photo above.)
Side Note: Check out their Crayon Rollerballs. These are my favs to collect, I have four so far.
Side Note: What I love most, and the reason I collect these pens, is because each pen has a designer -- usually an artist, but sometimes not. I like learning about the person who designed the pen and what inspired the design. I like that my pen has it's own story!
- I prefer a broad or stub nib. I like the way my writing looks with these nibs.
- I like to post my pen cap to the bottom of my pen. This is most times a deal breaker for me when I purchase a pen. If I can't post it, I typically will say no to it. I do have a few that can't/shouldn't be posted, but only a few.
- I used to ink my pens with a surprising color, for example my red fountain pen might have teal blue ink. Now, I have so many pens that I get confused about which ink is in which pen, so I’ve started being a little more "matchy" with my ink & pen colors. I'll share more about my favorite inks over time. I have amassed a pretty hefty collection of ink samples from Goulet Pens and pen shows.
- I’ve attended six pen shows and loved each one. It’s a great way to meet other pen folks and see all the great pen geekery available to you. You can also get some great deals on pens, get to test pens you've seen only on the internet, and see the inks up close and personal. If you fancy vintage pens, a pen show is a MUST.
- I currently have three “Holy Grail” pens:
Side Note: A holy grail pen is the one that you long for, but that may be out of your reach, either because the price is way crazy, or because it was a limited edition and you missed out on buying it. Some people in the Fountain Pen Community only have one Holy Grail pen at a time, I am not one of those people. :-)
- The Limited Edition Pilot Vanishing Point in Twilight
- A Nakaya Piccolo Cigar Milky Way II with a Ruthenium Music nib
- I don't like gold nibs or two tone nibs. I prefer silver, chrome, or white gold, rhodium, ruthenium, black, or palladium. I do own one or two gold nibs ( a vintage Sheaffer-Franklin-Christoph hybrid from Jim Rouse, and a Levenger-Sheaffer special edition). I also own two nibs from Jonathon Brooks that are two-toned.
- I have written with a fountain pen almost daily since I was in my mid-20s. I journal everyday and I reach for a fountain pen before anything else.
- Paper matters. That's all I'll say about that for now, but you can expect some posts on paper and why the paper you use with your fountain pen can make all the difference in the world.
- I love to support indy pen creators. I classify "indy" as people who are making pens at home in a garage or shop in the backyard. The one-man or two-man pen creating teams out there who don't have a staff working for/with them. Here are some of my favs:
- Carolina Pen Company (Jonathon Brooks) -- I love that he makes his own resins in house. That means I can get a pen from him that was made from start to finish in his shop. I have two of his amazing pens and love the both.
- Woodshed Pen Company (Mike Allen) -- Mike also makes his own resins for pens, but what I love most about Mike is that he's one of the nicest people in the pen community you're ever gonna meet. He loves to chat when you visit his table at shows and he is the most responsive via email and Instagram. I have one of Mike's pens and will be working with him soon to get a custom design!!!
- Additive Pens (Jerry Tong) -- 3D Printer Printed Pens -- do I need to say more? Very futuristic and artistic. As of the writing of this post, I have a pen on the way to me from Jerry. Yes, I'll do a review on it when I get it.
Let's do this. Let's be fountain pen friends.