Dear Fountain Pen Network Friends,
I am new to The Fountain Pen Network website and admittedly, an amateur collector in the fountain pen world. Five years ago, the first fountain pen I ever purchased was through a Chinese merchant on eBay. I bought a Waterman Phileas, black, with a steel medium point nib; the sale included a plastic box with a velvet interior and an international ink cartridge, black. I spent around $26. Since then, my interest in fountain pens has become more than an obsessive hobby; it is an intense admiration of all antiquities. I continued purchasing pens through eBay--mostly vintage Sheaffar pens that needed repairing--and plain black and blue inks in cheaply made inkwells for the next two years. Presently, all of my recent fountain pen purchases have been through GouletPens.com.
After completing my four years in college as an undergraduate and as a student majoring in Philosophy while minoring in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing, I have decided to continue my education to become a graduate student with the prospects of earning a PhD in Continental Philosophy as well as a master's degree in Comparative Russian Literature--an ambitious attempt since the only other language I speak is Spanish, poorly, but enough to get me by. Knowing very well that my scholastic pursuits will lead me to a career where writing is as common as showering or brushing one's teeth, I began, at an early age, to keep a diary to train my hands in the art of writing (as a young rebellious-of-all-things-religious Catholic school student, I was forced to learn cursive writing; as an adult, my writing style is a hybrid of both print and cursive). In high school, I was a Graphic Arts student and knew that not all paper was made the same. Whenever I tried using my Waterman Phileas on recycled leaves of paper, it would bleed through the page and onto another--obviously I was writing as slow as a sloth.
I began searching for paper that could withstand the generous flow of ink from a fountain pen. I came across a leather diary by PaperChase. Bleeding was less of an issue with this diary, but still a problem.
To make this autobiographical account of my history with fountain pens and durable paper short, being that this is my first post on The Fountain Pen Network, I ask this: what are the best fountain pens a student can buy that are under $100? Moreover, it is important to note that pen and paper are, for lack of a better word, harmoniously symbiotic; therefore, what kind of paper can withstand the torturous swaying, swiping, and scratching of a nib? Furthermore, what would a fountain pen expert recommend when suggesting inks?--please, be playful with this one.
Currently, my daily drivers (or, the fountain pens I carry with me and use daily), in order of least favorable to favorable, are the Pilot Metropolitan, black, with a steel medium nib; the Reform 1745, green and black, with a gold plated (correct me if I am wrong) medium iridium point nib; and finally, a TWSBI Diamond 580, transparent (hence, the diamond) body, with a steel fine point nib. All pens are filled with Diamine's Red Dragon ink--a personal favorite which makes all writing feel like a tribute to William Blake. Finally, the diary I carry with me is a hardback 5 x 8.25 Moleskine Classic Notebook with plain pages only because, as Juan Ramon Jimenez wrote, "If they give you ruled paper, write the other way."
My Fountain Pen Network friends, I hope you can enlighten me on how best to pursue a lifestyle in purchasing the right pen, ink and paper, and I trust that your insight will not only direct me, but will also be of some use to others. Thank you.
P. S. To keep within the limited amount of upload space I have been given, I will uploaded pictures of the nibs for the aforementioned fountain pens. I have also included a picture of the ink I primarily use.
Edited by Glinzan, 29 June 2014 - 19:07.