Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies

Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team


Death Grip Elimination...

  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic

#41 Bo Bo Olson

Bo Bo Olson

    Pen Dust

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,643 posts
  • Location:Germany

Posted 29 July 2011 - 17:06

:headsmack: Second meaning please....like in clock.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,


The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.




Sponsored Content

#42 Sleepy



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 364 posts
  • Location:UK
  • Flag:

Posted 29 July 2011 - 17:20

Perhaps you should try to learn the un-classic tripod. It takes a whole two minutes...no more death grip. No more excessive pressure.

Classic tripod =/= death grip.

#43 Moagy


    Note for the log...

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 208 posts
  • Location:Near Glasgow, Scotland
  • Flag:

Posted 30 July 2011 - 12:46

Modern fountain pens are really great, they allow one to write just like a ball point. :thumbup:

:headsmack: Now I know why I find it so difficult to write with a ballpoint - I've been trying to use it like a fountain pen! :headsmack:

Seriously though - you have got me wondering whether I hold a ballpoint wrongly. Not that I'd use one out of preference of course, but using the wrong grip might explain why, as a left hander, I've always found them difficult.

I do now consider myself lucky that I was taught at an early age to write correctly with a fountain pen. The grip was never given a name back in the 70's, it was just "this is how you hold a pen" - and the thumb pad was always flat to the pen in just the way your photos illustrate Bo Bo. I can't imagine how uncomfortable it must be to grip it with a thumbnail pressed against the pen - especially as I have quite long fingernails these days!
Calligraphy,” said Plato, “is the physical manifestation of an architecture of the soul.” That being so, mine must be a turf-and-wattle kind of soul, since my handwriting would be disowned by a backward cat’
Dr Stephen Maturin: The Commodore by Patrick O’Brian

#44 Nonsensical


    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,204 posts
  • Location:Melbourne
  • Flag:

Posted 30 July 2011 - 12:52

I just had a look, and tried to press my thumbnail in order to hold the pen...isn't it slippery?!?

I was never taught how to hold a pen, but through sheer luck, I seem to have developed a grip very similar to the tripod grip (or maybe it IS the tripod grip). :rolleyes:

I assume the Lamy Safari was made to accommodate the classical tripod grip? Feels quite comfortable in my hand, and although I use a grip very similar to the classical tripod grip, I don't have issues with my hand cramping-except for very stressful situations(exams..).

Edit: Actually, that's just the grip I use when not using a flex pen. When using a flex fountain pen, my grip changes to what BoBo Olson shows in his photos. This is simply because it's easy to use pressure in the way that allows the flex pen tines to spread...

Edited by Nonsensical, 30 July 2011 - 12:54.

#45 mstone


    Pensive Penman

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,411 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 30 July 2011 - 13:44

Seriously though - you have got me wondering whether I hold a ballpoint wrongly. Not that I'd use one out of preference of course, but using the wrong grip might explain why, as a left hander, I've always found them difficult.

If you hold a ballpoint at too low an angle the metal lip that holds the ball in will dig into the paper. You need to write with the tip of the ballpoint rather than the side.

#46 Russ



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,974 posts

Posted 30 July 2011 - 16:59

Fatigue has been my best teacher, especially since tendonitis set in. I learned that a posted pen shifts the center of pen gravity to the rear, forcing me to hold them pen in the middle of the barrel, not closer to the section. The shoulder then makes all the moves quite naturally. My fingers seem prevented from gripping or moving the pen. Much easier.

#47 kiavonne


    Still An Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,196 posts
  • Location:Colorado, USA

Posted 30 July 2011 - 19:27

Bo Bo's pictures are good and help to show what he's trying to illustrate.

I had (and still have some of) the death grip from hell. I'd stop writing and the pen was actually sticking to the "grooves" created in my fingers from such extreme pressure I was putting on them. I have the "classic" "tripod" grip, as was taught to me in school when learning to write. It was the pressure, not the grip, causing my hands serious pain while writing.

I looked to many of the threads here on FPN when trying to alleviate my pain and "reinvent" my writing habits. Over time, I've learned to relax my grip and help avoid the pain of pressure and arthitis. It takes more (or at least it did for me) than just relaxing my fingers. I had to learn to write with a fountain pen.

"The nib skates on a pool of ink"

Yes, it does - if the nib is right and allows the ink to flow smoothly. And there are as many definitions to correct nib flow as there are individuals in the world. I had to find what I liked, what kind of line I liked to see on the page, and I had to find what worked for me for the length of time I wanted to write. Getting rid of the "death grip" is a conscious effort for me, even after 4 years here on FPN. I do know that I no longer create grooves the size of the Grand Canyon on my paper. I do know that the old mystery movie trick of using pencils or graphite shavings to see what was written on a piece of paper on a pad will not work with my writing style now. Heck, before I used fountain pens, you didn't need the pencil or shavings, the grooves on the pad were that deep.

I found that I prefer larger pens to lay in the "web" of my hand, but not posted or back heavy, so they wouldn't fall over the back of my hand. I want to have it lay there and be able to see a line flow to the page if I just move my hand back a little, without even truly gripping the pen. Then, I practiced providing just enough grip on the pen to be able to control my movements to form the writing on the page. I found that there is more "whole arm" action from the shoulder instead of just moving my fingers or hand along the page. My writing hasn't changed much, but if I'm in a hurry, it really looks awful compared to if I just take my time. People comment on my "beautiful" handwriting all the time, whereas I am maybe not quite as impressed by it, but hey... they can read it - and it is in cursive.

I still have a ways to go, but I'm getting there.

Another thing that had helped me to rid myself of the death grip - I was (still am) very aware of how much my pens cost and I do not want to ruin the nibs because I treated them like the stik ballpoint that required so much pressure just to get pasty, skipping, and forever boring ink on the page.

Interestingly enough, I have found the supply cabinet ballpoints actually blotch and smear more than my fountain pens. Today's fountain pens are not the same as Grandpa's (well, unless I go vintage).

Edited by kiavonne, 30 July 2011 - 19:38.

Scribere est agere.
To write is to act.
Danitrio Fellowship

#48 troglokev



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,645 posts

Posted 31 July 2011 - 00:17

The basic difference is a flat thumb pad and not a nail on the barrel...pinching it. Look at the 'basic' tripod and you are pinching with one finger and one thumb nail. :gaah:
I explained before the tripod is a pinch way of gripping a pen. :bonk:

You must have gone to Christian Brothers. The nuns would never have tolerated a grip like that.

From your various descriptions, this seems to be what you were taught:

Posted Image

It's not the tripod grip. It's sadism perpetrated by ignorant educators.

The classic tripod is what you ended up with. What you started with should have got your fingers rapped with a ruler until you stopped doing it.

The classic tripod grip looks like this:

Posted Image

Forefinger over is a grip used for flex pens, and allows you to regulate the nib pressure. It's like tripod, but the forefinger moves across a bit.

Posted Image

With my forefinger here, I can bear down on the downstrokes in a controlled manner to flex the pen. For general writing, I prefer the classic tripod grip.

#49 troglokev



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,645 posts

Posted 31 July 2011 - 00:35

The four step program

Step 1: Balance the pen between webbing and middle finger.

Posted Image

Step 2: Rest forefinger against the pen.

Posted Image

Step 3: Close thumb gently over the pen, in the natural manner. The pen will move up your knuckle a little. Let it sit where it wants to.

Posted Image

Step 4: Write.

Posted Image

Once you're used to holding the pen, you don't need the first couple of steps. You just pick it up. They're really only for getting it right those first few times.

Edited by troglokev, 31 July 2011 - 06:40.

#50 Dr Charles Green

Dr Charles Green

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 27 posts

Posted 02 August 2011 - 16:40

Thank You for the pictures which so clearly show how to properly grip a pen and why it works.

#51 troglokev



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,645 posts

Posted 02 August 2011 - 20:33

I'm glad you found it useful. I should probably repost this in its own topic, so that searches can find it more easily.

#52 fabrimedeiros



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,813 posts

Posted 24 September 2011 - 13:58

Great thread! Thank you guys for the pics!

#53 penspouse


    Happy Granny

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,278 posts
  • Location:Phoenix, AZ
  • Flag:

Posted 24 September 2011 - 23:56

I'm glad you found it useful. I should probably repost this in its own topic, so that searches can find it more easily.

Yep, you should, if you haven't already.
Soli Deo Gloria

Shameless plug
- Some of my amateur photography.

#54 karana



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 60 posts
  • Location:IL, USA

Posted 02 February 2012 - 02:23

This thread is fabulous, I had a death grip as well till about 2 PM yesterday when I stumbled across the wonderful images on here and I can gladly report that by 2:02 my hand and arm muscles were quite thankful.

Sponsored Content