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



Announcement: New Privacy Policy
Please note that as of today, May 25, 2018, a new Privacy & Cookie Policy is in force, compliant with the GDPR. By continuing to use FPN, you accept this new policy.
You may find the new policy by clicking the button or link at the bottom of each page called "Privacy Policy", or alternatively by clicking below:

New Privacy Policy
***** The FPN Admin Team *****





Photo

Things IíVe Learned In The Fountain Pen Hobby

fountain pen hobby learning experience things ive learned

  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#1 Sudhir-ThePenPerson

Sudhir-ThePenPerson

    The soft scratch of a Fountain Pen on Paper

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 123 posts
  • Location:Mumbai, India
  • Flag:

Posted 08 March 2018 - 06:27

* Note to Admin: I've posted this in the sub-forum that I thought was the most appropriate. Please move this if you feel another sub-forum would be more appropriate.*

 

TL:DR Version: If you love Fountain Pens and think you are either getting in or already in the hobby, for better or for worse, read on!

 

As I have spent some time in this hobby, I’ve realized a few things. For better or worse, sharing these here in the hope that others may identify with these and they may serve as a (kind of) pointer to people just getting into this hobby.

Please bear in mind that these are my opinions and others may disagree. I welcome all your thoughts on this so long as you disagree without being disagreeable.

 

  1. Keep it Fun. It’s just a hobby. Don’t get too bogged down and serious about stuff. It isn’t worth getting stressed out over.
  2. Have a List. This is a list of pens you want to buy. You could even have a different list for different price brackets – in fact, I recommend this. The aim should be to buy pens only on the list(s). Anything not on the list should be purchased only if the answer to ‘Should I buy this pen?’ is a resounding YES.
  3. Understand that there’s no such thing as ‘The Best’. What may be the best pen for someone or even a lot of people may just not work for you. And something that everyone roundly criticizes might turn out to be your dream pen. Also, as they say, in many cases, the best pen is the one you might have on hand – and this could very well be a Jinhao!
  4. Learn to separate opinion from fact. A few years ago, I was so consumed by what everyone said about a particular pen that I stopped evaluating them as per my need. This led to a lot of grief till I realized not to take something as gospel just because someone on the Internet said so. Just because one has a lot of pens in their collection or can afford expensive pens does not mean they know a lot about pens. Doesn’t work like that.
  5. Be part of the community. This complements the above point and has its own advantages. The amount of information floating in the fountain pen community is tremendous and talking to people with the same interest will really help. Try and be part of local pen meets. Every major city has some sort of an active pen community that usually meets every so often. One of the interesting thing about pen meets is that you might get to see and check out pens you have never considered earlier. If you are a beginner to the community, start with exploring the Fountain Pen Network Forum online and try and attend the Pelikan Hub that happens in September in most major cities across the world.
  6. Remember that more expensive is not necessarily better. This is a tough thing for many to digest, but just because you spent more money does not always mean you are getting a better pen.
  7. Be wary of hype. Sometimes, the Fountain Pen community goes into a frenzy and generates a lot of hype about a particular model of pen/ink/paper/something else. Be wary of this. Think on your own and wait for the frenzy to die down. Believe me, it will die down.
  8. Stick to your budget. Even if you are just starting out, consider the pens on your list, make a budget, and start saving ruthlessly. Never, ever get into debt because of this or any other hobby. The trick is to buy pens with your ‘fun money’, which is the money left over after you’ve paid all your bills and taken care of all your commitments. If you don’t have any fun money, walk away and come back when you do.
  9. Go out and try the pens. Nothing beats actually going out and trying the pen if you can. Good sources to try the pens you are thinking of buying are brick and mortar pen shops, pen shows, or local pen meets. Barring specialist pen shops run by passionate pen lovers, sometimes the sales people at pen shops may not be the best guides, but many sellers at pen shows are extremely knowledgeable.  
  10. Be prepared to spend time and energy. While it is mostly easy to go online or to a pen shop and buy pens, many of the offbeat pens, custom pens, or out of production pens are not available so easily. Be prepared to work hard, do a lot of research, be an active part of the community, spread the word among like-minded enthusiasts about the pens you are looking to acquire and above all, be patient.
  11. Don’t look at pens as an investment. They are not an investment. Period. Even the rarest of pens do not appreciate in value with any sort of consistency and the market is subject to its own whims and fancies. If you want an investment that appreciates, talk to a financial planner.
  12. Don’t get into fixed way of thinking. When you start getting beyond the beginner stages of the hobby, you may get into a boxed way of thinking with fixed ideas about which pens you like or what nibs suit you or whatever. Get out of the box and explore a bit. You’ll be surprised.
  13. Don’t be a snob. People who have spent a lot of years in this hobby start to behave like snobs at one point. Very few people can escape this stage and I myself have been guilty of this. Like I said in the beginning, this should be about fun and acting like a snob is not fun. Conversely, if you are just starting in the hobby, ignore the snobs.
  14. Pens need maintenance. Lots of it. All pens need to be cleaned and maintained regularly, so be prepared to spend a lot of time on this. There’s no escaping this.
  15. Learn some basic pen and nib tuning. Or find someone who is accessible and ready to do this for you. Pens should work out of the box, and most do. But Fountain pens are a cranky proposition, so a lot of pens will need to be worked on before they write well. Especially new pens.

Pro Tip: 9 out of 10 issues with new pens are resolved by one or all of the following

  1. Thoroughly cleaning the pen
  2. Disassembling the nib and feed and putting them back after a thorough cleaning
  3. Thoroughly flossing the nib tines
  4. Using an ink and paper with known characteristics

Hope you find this useful. Cheers!


IT guy by profession, Fountain pen geek and bibliophile by passion. Accumulator of fountain pens and books. Love Beer, Single Malt, and Coffee.

Analog guy in an increasingly digital world - trying to figure out life. A confused soul in pursuit of inner peace. An anomaly and an anachronism.

Follow me on Instagram @thepenperson

Follow me on Twitter @thepenperson


Sponsored Content

#2 _InkyFingers

_InkyFingers

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,432 posts
  • Location:San Jose, CA USA
  • Flag:

Posted 08 March 2018 - 08:26

* resounding applause * Couldnt said it better

#3 jchch1950

jchch1950

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 383 posts

Posted 08 March 2018 - 09:11

+1



#4 Zaphodbebullbrox

Zaphodbebullbrox

    Mint

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 70 posts

Posted 08 March 2018 - 09:21

You for got, or i missed it, all pens regardless or price or rarity deserve to be used & not just put up for show & tell.



#5 ErrantSmudge

ErrantSmudge

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 812 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 08 March 2018 - 16:51

You for got, or i missed it, all pens regardless or price or rarity deserve to be used & not just put up for show & tell.

 

While I strongly agree with your sentiment, i don't think it is universally applicable advice of the kind the OP so eloquently stated in his post.  Some people are just collectors and not users, and I'm okay with that, and I don't think we should be excluding people based on the way they approach collecting.

 

I vote for this thread to be pinned to the top of the forum.


Edited by ErrantSmudge, 08 March 2018 - 16:56.


#6 pseudo88

pseudo88

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,929 posts

Posted 08 March 2018 - 16:59

Good ones! I would add:

 

You can admire a pen even though it might not be for you. Example: I like the design of the Parker 75 Ciselé... But apparently it's even thinner than my Sonnets, which are borderline for me... So, too bad, but it doesn't take away anything from the pen.


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#7 Corona688

Corona688

    Inkfingered Crackpot

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 503 posts
  • Location:Prairies
  • Flag:

Posted 08 March 2018 - 17:44

All pens regardless or price or rarity deserve to be used & not just put up for show & tell.

8th-law.jpg

 

Mr. Grossblatt was talking about computer chips, not fountain pens, but I feel it still applies.  I take from it "Be frugal yet fearless." 

 

It could also imply that if something's really too valuable to you to damage, you should minimize the risks.


Edited by Corona688, 08 March 2018 - 17:44.


#8 sharonspens

sharonspens

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,467 posts
  • Location:Muncie, Indiana USA
  • Flag:

Posted 08 March 2018 - 18:37

Bravo!


"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self."†Earnest Hemingway


#9 Zaphodbebullbrox

Zaphodbebullbrox

    Mint

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 70 posts

Posted 08 March 2018 - 18:46

You for got, or i missed it, all pens regardless or price or rarity deserve to be used & not just put up for show & tell.

 

 

 

While I strongly agree with your sentiment, i don't think it is universally applicable advice of the kind the OP so eloquently stated in his post.  Some people are just collectors and not users, and I'm okay with that, and I don't think we should be excluding people based on the way they approach collecting.

 

I vote for this thread to be pinned to the top of the forum.

 

I was not meaning to exclude those who only collect pens only, and i would never exclude such a person.



#10 johnboz

johnboz

    Old Ink Accumulator

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,142 posts
  • Location:Denver, CO

Posted 08 March 2018 - 18:47

Well said! You make some great points that a lot of us forget from time to time.

 

I would add: Take some time to enjoy the pens you already own instead of constantly acquiring new pens.


Currently working on creating a new fountain pen blog...
Fountain Pen Love
Feel free to let me know if you have any suggestions!

#11 gandalf11

gandalf11

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 30 posts
  • Location:mexico city
  • Flag:

Posted 08 March 2018 - 18:47

:notworthy1:  :notworthy1:  :notworthy1:  :notworthy1:  :notworthy1:  :notworthy1:  :notworthy1:  :notworthy1:


Saludos desde Mexico, "el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz entre los hombres" 


#12 CraigR

CraigR

    Bibliophile, Writer and Philosopher

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,762 posts
  • Location:Hudson, NC
  • Flag:

Posted 08 March 2018 - 18:54

Write on!


A consumer and purveyor of words. 

 

Blog -   https://agiftforwords.wordpress.com/

Magazine - http://www.faithonev...m/magazine.html

 

 

 


#13 ErrantSmudge

ErrantSmudge

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 812 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 08 March 2018 - 19:41

 

I was not meaning to exclude those who only collect pens only, and i would never exclude such a person.

 

 

Fair enough. 

 

I think what I was getting at is that a statement like "Pens are meant to be used" boils down to a value judgement on people's motivations for being in the hobby.  Which is out of place with the original post, which is much more about the "hows" to best enjoy the hobby (which are more universal applicable) than the "whys" (which are individual and personal).



#14 Zaphodbebullbrox

Zaphodbebullbrox

    Mint

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 70 posts

Posted 08 March 2018 - 19:58

 

 

 

I was not meaning to exclude those who only collect pens only, and i would never exclude such a person.

 

 

 

 

Fair enough. 

 

I think what I was getting at is that a statement like "Pens are meant to be used" boils down to a value judgement on people's motivations for being in the hobby.  Which is out of place with the original post, which is much more about the "hows" to best enjoy the hobby (which are more universal applicable) than the "whys" (which are individual and personal).

 

 

It seems some may be reluctant to ink that S.T. DuPont Orient Express Prestige Fountain pen and use it, i was just to encourage those to go ahead and ink the pen & write with it! you will enjoy it so much more.

 

products_main7171.jpg



#15 sansenri

sansenri

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 414 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 08 March 2018 - 20:31

wise advice

problem is it's not always so easy to stick to it

I am sure I am guilty of forgetting more than one of those

one I may add myself, although not being a must, sometimes we do it without realizing and sometimes we just can't

 

be a populizer, hand wrinting may disappear as we know it, spread the urge to put the pen to paper

(think of when we will be able - well we, perhaps our nephews - to write by just thinking, sounds far, but we will get there, anyone remember when it was science-fiction to talk on a handheld device and be heard somewhere else on the planet?)



#16 pajaro

pajaro

    Amblin along like I had good sense.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,321 posts
  • Location:Tecumseh, MI
  • Flag:

Posted 08 March 2018 - 20:57

There are many pens I have acquired that I don't enjoy using.  I have put them up, a few for display.  I like the looks of the pen, but it dries up between uses at short intervals.  I use the pens that stay ready to write longer.  You never know how this will shake out.  Sometimes two out of three of a model I have will dry out too fast, but one is great.  So, I use the one that works, even if it is my least favorite.  Go figure.


"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#17 amberleadavis

amberleadavis

    Inky! En-Abe-Lawyer

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 34,533 posts
  • Location:North Las Vegas
  • Flag:

Posted 08 March 2018 - 22:29

 

 

 

 

It seems some may be reluctant to ink that S.T. DuPont Orient Express Prestige Fountain pen and use it, i was just to encourage those to go ahead and ink the pen & write with it! you will enjoy it so much more.

 

attachicon.gif products_main7171.jpg

 

 

OKay, so back to OP, - I agree.

 

But then, I want that train.  I LOVE TRAINS... but I can't afford to blow it up ... so I don't buy it.  But I admit, I've bought some pens that were outside of my price range and I've come to love them.  

 

Personally, I think it is the same with any hobby.  It has to be fun. If you enjoy just looking at then it's fine. If you are only happy if it is in use, then you should use it.  My kid made me (ha ha) some pen sell stuff that I hadn't used in more than two years.  At least one of the items that I didn't sell at the LA pen show is back on my desk, I forgot how much I like it.


Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

 

Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar  

 

Participate in the newest Inky TODs: 

Why do I like those nibs? 

What do I like about my handwriting? 

Whose handwriting do I like?  

Which Script Will I learn? 

Which Inks for my Handwriting

 

Ink comparisons:  The Great PPS Comparison  366 Inks in 2016

 

Check out inks sorted by color:  Blue Purple Brown  Red Green Orange Black  Pinks  Yellows  Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal


#18 Runnin_Ute

Runnin_Ute

    Super Pinks member:

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,015 posts
  • Location:Sandy, Utah - Elevation 4509'
  • Flag:

Posted 09 March 2018 - 00:33

I mostly agree with these, although not always 100%. For example, as much as I like the idea of a list it should be subject to change. Both additions and subtractions. Say you have a pen on your list, but get an opportunity to try it out and after doing so determine that it isn't the right pen for you. Too heavy, too light, too big, too small. Or something else entirely. Take it off your list. It shouldn't be set in stone like the 10 Commandments. Likes and dislikes change.

Brad
 
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain
 


#19 Sudhir-ThePenPerson

Sudhir-ThePenPerson

    The soft scratch of a Fountain Pen on Paper

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 123 posts
  • Location:Mumbai, India
  • Flag:

Posted 09 March 2018 - 06:23

 

While I strongly agree with your sentiment, i don't think it is universally applicable advice of the kind the OP so eloquently stated in his post.  Some people are just collectors and not users, and I'm okay with that, and I don't think we should be excluding people based on the way they approach collecting.

 

I vote for this thread to be pinned to the top of the forum.

 

Thank you.

That's exactly the kind of value judgement I wanted to avoid.

People should do whatever makes them happy with their pens - whether it is merely the act of acquiring them, or using them, or putting them up for display, or just flipping them as soon as they have used the pens for a bit.


IT guy by profession, Fountain pen geek and bibliophile by passion. Accumulator of fountain pens and books. Love Beer, Single Malt, and Coffee.

Analog guy in an increasingly digital world - trying to figure out life. A confused soul in pursuit of inner peace. An anomaly and an anachronism.

Follow me on Instagram @thepenperson

Follow me on Twitter @thepenperson


#20 Sudhir-ThePenPerson

Sudhir-ThePenPerson

    The soft scratch of a Fountain Pen on Paper

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 123 posts
  • Location:Mumbai, India
  • Flag:

Posted 09 March 2018 - 06:24

wise advice

problem is it's not always so easy to stick to it

I am sure I am guilty of forgetting more than one of those

one I may add myself, although not being a must, sometimes we do it without realizing and sometimes we just can't

 

be a populizer, hand wrinting may disappear as we know it, spread the urge to put the pen to paper

(think of when we will be able - well we, perhaps our nephews - to write by just thinking, sounds far, but we will get there, anyone remember when it was science-fiction to talk on a handheld device and be heard somewhere else on the planet?)

 

You bet.

I've been guilty of not following my own advice more times than I can count.


IT guy by profession, Fountain pen geek and bibliophile by passion. Accumulator of fountain pens and books. Love Beer, Single Malt, and Coffee.

Analog guy in an increasingly digital world - trying to figure out life. A confused soul in pursuit of inner peace. An anomaly and an anachronism.

Follow me on Instagram @thepenperson

Follow me on Twitter @thepenperson






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: fountain pen hobby, learning, experience, things ive learned



Sponsored Content




|