I am finally getting off my butt to introduce myself and beg your indulgences with loads of questions. (Warning – long post)
My name is Matthew and I’m grad student in Cleveland, Ohio. I have come to fountain pens through two routes: practicality/comfort & fun. I’m currently studying for a pretty important exam that I’ll be taking in about a month. As such, I have been (and will be) studying about 8 hours/day, everyday. This involves a fair amount of writing and note taking. I could probably go faster by using a computer, but I retain information better when I take notes by hand. Up until recently, I had been using the Dr. Grip Ltd gel pens, but was developing a bit of tendonitis. In the interest of making the process of studying more enjoyable and less physically painful, I decided to try out fountain pens. Less pressure, easier writing and a little bit o’ fun.
And now I’m hooked. It’s cruel, really. I live on a very meager budget. But studying effectively is very important to me, so I have a small but limited budget that I can devote to finding the right tools for the job.
Are there people in the Cleveland area (local to me) who can help me? I’ve learned a lot about pens, inks and paper in the past two month, through trial and error, reading blogs, watching youtube videos and lurking here (lots of lurking). Unfortunately, I find myself no longer able to spend the time (or money) I need to research all that is out there. Also, in chunks of $20-$50, I have spent about $150 looking for suitable tools in the short term. Most of that money has been well-spent, but enough has resulted in disappointment that I’m reluctant to part with much more without a better clue.
For example, I generally prefer larger grip (10+mm) pens that come in around 15-25g and are well balanced. I tend to prefer finer points, so I’ve focused my pen search on Japanese fine and European extra-fine nibs.
I currently own the following Pens, Ink and Paper:
Pens: 9-Pilot Varsities (converting them to eyedropper as I run out of ink), 1-Pilot Metropolitan, 1-Pilot 78g – broad (stub) – I had to try, 2-Platinum Preppies
Inks: Noodler’s X-Feather (regular black wasn’t black enough and I was working with cheap paper), Diamine Red Dragon (oddly enough, I prefer this to Oxblood) and Noodler’s BSB (still using sample – I love the color and feel; I would only use this in cheap and/or dedicated pens).
Paper: Started with some Piccadilly notebooks I already had (lots of bleeding except with X-feather), now using Clairefontaine (A4 & 8.5x11) and Franklin-Christoph Firma-Flex (A5 & A6).
There’s more to the story, of course. But, in a (large) nutshell, that’s it.