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What Prompted Your Interest In Fountain Pens?


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127 replies to this topic

#1 inkwell84

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 22:38

I am currious why you have begun/began using fountain pens? Is it for example to produce a more quality look, or perhaps just the feeling of a quality writing instrument in your hand? I like to know these things because I love all aspects of traditional writing and the beautiful look it presents on a fine sheet of paper. Please share with me how you began and what you like about it.

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#2 rbadger332

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 22:42

A coworker in another store has a cheaper pen, and he let me use it once. What hooked me was the plated nib. I loved the look. Once I got a quality pen, I got re-hooked on the feel of the pens, and have been hooked ever since.

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#3 itsrainingpens

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 22:44

I like the feeling of writing with a quality pen. There's just something about it that I enjoy. I also happen to enjoy watching the pen gliding over paper, and see ink flowing out :vbg:

I started using fountain pens less than half a year ago, and so, I'm still learning. I've always assumed that fountain pens were super expensive, but when I happened upon a shop that sold them, I found out that not all fountain pens are expensive. I wish someone had told me beforehand how addictive it can be...

#4 tricnomistal

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 22:49

Hmm, well, if you want to go way back, it was my freshman year, second semester, (about a year ago) and I was reading a book on creative writing (I'm a writer). One of the passages mentioned a writing exercise where you write as quickly as possible. The book (written in the 80s) mentioned using a fountain pen because, since they don't really have to be pressed into the paper, but instead glide over it, write faster than ballpoints. So, I grabbed a cheep, brand-less fountain pen. It didn't work at all :( So then I decided to invest a little more for one that worked. The more I read, the more I began to love these beautiful pens. Now I collect because I dislike writing with anything else...
"A pen of quality is a writer's gold"

#5 tricnomistal

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 22:52

I wish someone had told me beforehand how addictive it can be...


+ 1

Though now that I'm in the hobby, I'm glad that I am. If I had discovered disposable fountain pens, I may never have started getting the higher quality ones...
"A pen of quality is a writer's gold"

#6 vickiehof

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 22:53

I've always loved fine or unusual writing instruments but I didn't know that fountain pens were still being used. The only fountain pen I found was the inexpensive calligraphy Sheaffer set in the 1980's at an art supply store. Even if I did see any fountain pens in the office supply stores, I might have hesitated before I spent $50 + for a pen.

While searching for the white marble letter/stamp moistener (made by Sengebusch) I found this forum. Several years and several hundred dollars later...I have a collection of beautiful pens that write perfectly and more ink that I will probably use in a decade.

Fountain pens are so superior to ball points that I don't know why anyone would not want to use them. I love the quality, variety of inks and the variety of the styles of pens. I appreciate using the beautiful antiques as well as the new Twsbi's, Noodlers, and other new innovative designs.

#7 USMCMom

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 22:56

When I was very young, I would sit at my grandmother's big roll top desk in front of the bay windows looking out over the Sound. There was a drawer full of fountain pens and she'd give me stack of paper and I would "write". Actually, I scribbled, as I couldn't write a that time. Of course, I was someone very important sitting at that big desk with all those beautiful pens. The only rules were ... don't press hard and if they ran out of ink, she would refill them. I was not to touch the ink bottles.

I always remembered that drawer full of fountain pens ... all the beautiful shiny pens, so when I saw a fountain pen in a drug store back in the late 70's, I grabbed it! At the time, I thought that nearly $5 was a horrendous price to pay, but I paid it ... I paid it for the wonderful memories.

#8 inkwell84

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 23:02

I like the feeling of writing with a quality pen. There's just something about it that I enjoy. I also happen to enjoy watching the pen gliding over paper, and see ink flowing out :vbg:

I started using fountain pens less than half a year ago, and so, I'm still learning. I've always assumed that fountain pens were super expensive, but when I happened upon a shop that sold them, I found out that not all fountain pens are expensive. I wish someone had told me beforehand how addictive it can be...

Yes i like to watch the ink flow from the pen too. My favorite is J.Herbin eclat de saphir. it writes so well and dries quickly. and from what ive heard most really expensive pens are scratchy out of the box. but my inexpensive shaeffers do just fine for me. good luck in the future.

#9 linearM

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 23:06

It started when I found the gray esterbrook I'd used in college...it was in horrible shape, but it got me thinking pens. I decided to get myself a pen for drawing and happened to pick up a Namiki Falcon. It was one of my better purchases. Once you've bought one, well you know how it is, and the rest is history (and 60 pens)!

#10 inkwell84

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 23:08

When I was very young, I would sit at my grandmother's big roll top desk in front of the bay windows looking out over the Sound. There was a drawer full of fountain pens and she'd give me stack of paper and I would "write". Actually, I scribbled, as I couldn't write a that time. Of course, I was someone very important sitting at that big desk with all those beautiful pens. The only rules were ... don't press hard and if they ran out of ink, she would refill them. I was not to touch the ink bottles.

I always remembered that drawer full of fountain pens ... all the beautiful shiny pens, so when I saw a fountain pen in a drug store back in the late 70's, I grabbed it! At the time, I thought that nearly $5 was a horrendous price to pay, but I paid it ... I paid it for the wonderful memories.

I love this story!!

#11 jar

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 23:10

I think this subject may have come up before.

I came to fountain pens late in life. As a child starting school we had to bring our own stones to scratch lines into the cave wall. For art we had to chew charcoal and ocher to spit over our hands leaving shadow paintings. Later we learned to sharpen sticks and make better drawings of the bison that almost killed us yesterday and the mastodon that used to chase us on our way to school.

Later we learned to search for the GREAT Fire bird and steal feathers. We went down to the stream and found rocks that we could split giving us sharp edges that could be used to shape the end of the feather into a nib. We would chew up the charcoal or ocher and mix it with water and fat to get lovely inks, red and black, purple and brown. But we had no paper and so tried to write on the hide of the antelope. Unfortunately they refused to stand still so writing became a challenge and often left us gasping for breath.

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#12 brunico

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 23:21

Always used one, ever since I started with something like this in school. A fountain pen was what people called a proper pen, and writing with one was simply what one did. -_-

Indeed, several times salespeople have invited me to try something in an upmarket department store, saying "Ballpoint or rollerball, sir?"... and I've always taken great delight in saying, a little dismissively, "No, I meant a proper pen." Anyway, I don't want to overuse the snooty emoticon in this post...

As my mother has an italic hand, I learned a little from her and from handwriting books, and I've been writing with italic nibs for years. I never thought of it as anything worthy of comment. Getting into this forum was the first time I'd ever come across the familiar arguments about fountain pens being gentler on the wrist etc.

My interest in FPN came about from looking for reviews of different inks, because I didn't trust shop scans. Though I've sometimes thought it would be nice to treat myself to a special fountain pen - in the same way that I've treated myself to decent china because I drink a lot of tea - I'm really not that interested in fountain pens, only in writing with them.

#13 USMCMom

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 23:21

When I was very young, I would sit at my grandmother's big roll top desk in front of the bay windows looking out over the Sound. There was a drawer full of fountain pens and she'd give me stack of paper and I would "write". Actually, I scribbled, as I couldn't write a that time. Of course, I was someone very important sitting at that big desk with all those beautiful pens. The only rules were ... don't press hard and if they ran out of ink, she would refill them. I was not to touch the ink bottles.

I always remembered that drawer full of fountain pens ... all the beautiful shiny pens, so when I saw a fountain pen in a drug store back in the late 70's, I grabbed it! At the time, I thought that nearly $5 was a horrendous price to pay, but I paid it ... I paid it for the wonderful memories.

I love this story!!


The hours I spent at that desk were very special hours, creating wonderful memories. You know ... I sure wish I had that drawer full of fountain pens now! No telling what pens I "wrote" with! :vbg:

#14 USMCMom

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 23:23

I think this subject may have come up before.

I came to fountain pens late in life. As a child starting school we had to bring our own stones to scratch lines into the cave wall. For art we had to chew charcoal and ocher to spit over our hands leaving shadow paintings. Later we learned to sharpen sticks and make better drawings of the bison that almost killed us yesterday and the mastodon that used to chase us on our way to school.

Later we learned to search for the GREAT Fire bird and steal feathers. We went down to the stream and found rocks that we could split giving us sharp edges that could be used to shape the end of the feather into a nib. We would chew up the charcoal or ocher and mix it with water and fat to get lovely inks, red and black, purple and brown. But we had no paper and so tried to write on the hide of the antelope. Unfortunately they refused to stand still so writing became a challenge and often left us gasping for breath.


Oh, Jar!!! :ltcapd:

#15 xspect

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 23:23

To get the hot chicks :thumbup:

#16 itsrainingpens

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 23:43

I think this subject may have come up before.

I came to fountain pens late in life. As a child starting school we had to bring our own stones to scratch lines into the cave wall. For art we had to chew charcoal and ocher to spit over our hands leaving shadow paintings. Later we learned to sharpen sticks and make better drawings of the bison that almost killed us yesterday and the mastodon that used to chase us on our way to school.

Later we learned to search for the GREAT Fire bird and steal feathers. We went down to the stream and found rocks that we could split giving us sharp edges that could be used to shape the end of the feather into a nib. We would chew up the charcoal or ocher and mix it with water and fat to get lovely inks, red and black, purple and brown. But we had no paper and so tried to write on the hide of the antelope. Unfortunately they refused to stand still so writing became a challenge and often left us gasping for breath.


:roflmho: :roflmho: :roflmho: :roflmho: :roflmho: :roflmho: :roflmho: :roflmho: :roflmho: :roflmho:

Edited by lovementos, 30 March 2012 - 23:43.


#17 dgturner

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 00:05

Because I deserve not to be in pain when writing.
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#18 yugami

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 00:41

I have always had horrible hand writing. Being a lefty people pretty much just shrugged and said that was how it is and I accepted that. Until recently that is, when I decided I needed to try and work on my hand writing. I've always pushed for constant improvement in many areas but ignored this one in my personal life.

Several searches led me to the Penmanship area of this forum. I started poking around the other areas and figured "why not". I mulled it over for a few days and did some searching and found/ordered my Platignum No.5. I used this pen and the Seyes rule template I found here to practice/work on my penmanship using the book Write Now and a website that had similar practice steps.

While far from beautiful I can now hand over handwritten lists to people and have them understand them in full with no explanation that no that is an E not a C. No that says wire box not firefox.

I have an old legal pad full of notes I keep around to show people the change over the last 7 months (started practicing in late August sometime). A nice tool for helping break statements like "its always been that way", and "I don't think I can change, its how I am".

I switched to fountain pens full time during that as I found the other pens just didn't work as well and made my hand cramp. My writing would devolve as I used unfamiliar pens needing excess pressure to write. While there are some nicer ballpoints I just figure why go back when I'm enjoying these so much.

#19 Essensia

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:17

Jar: :roflmho: and :notworthy1:

Regarding the question, a friend remarked a few years ago that she was required to use a fountain pen at Catholic grammar school in the 60s. I never used fountain pens in school, but her story jogged my memory of the Sheaffer blister-pack pens you could get in drugstores when I was a kid. I bugged my mom for one when I was about 10, finally got one, and proceeded to tinker with it until it stopped writing. Repeated this a few months later. After that, mom got wise. No more fountain pens.

So I got a Safari and found that I love to watch ink flow onto paper. That was the top of the slippery slope. I was afraid to tinker until recently. I'm better at it now.

#20 Wineguy

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:20

I started really late in life, age 69. I read an article in the Wall Street Journal in April last year, on the Parker 51 I believe. I became interested and started looking on ebay to see what was around, and saw the Jinhao J17 and ordered one. Here I am about a year and thirty pens later having picked up a Parker pearl and black centennial and a Parker lucky curve this month. This has got to slow down.






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