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  1. GabrielleDuVent

    Chicago Is Closing Down Another Pen Shop

    Chicago has never been a too-friendly city for fountain pen users. Just this year (I think... I pass in front of it every day and my memory's non too clear), Glibertson & Clybourn sold its last pen and closed down permanently. Now, Paradise Pens in Oak Brook is closing. So any Chicagoans, get there before April 1st, because everything must go!
  2. When I first stumbled upon this enabling site I quickly noted that there was a set of fountain pens considered to be 'great' in terms of value, ease of purchase and use. Some of them I had and others I didn't. Seeing that a lot of them tend not to be in the expensive category (although a few do creep that direction) I indulged. Naturally, my expectations for these pens was quite high, so the disappointment factor was unnaturally exaggerated. After about four of these great, crashing disappointments I began to wonder what on earth anyone saw in these 'wonder pens' and what was it about me that didn't seem to 'get it'. I thought it might be an idea to redress the balance - hence this thread. I will start the ball rolling with three pens that everyone and anyone seemed to give high praise to, but I ended up loathing. First up for consideration is the Pilot 78G. It's tiny. Yes, that is a personal preference for some, but I like big pens. It doesn't hold a great deal of ink and it loves to leak. I read a few more reviews - nothing but elegant praise - and bought another one. It leaked in the same way. I gave it one more try. It also leaked and the nib was horrible. I ended up really annoyed at wasting my time and money on what looked and felt and acted like a cheap nasty pen. Second offering is the Pilot Metropolitan. Now before you go all crazy, I have nothing against Pilot. In fact, I have a Pilot Falcon and an 823 Custom, both of which rate very highly in my pen collection. This one, on the other hand, was just damned ugly. The balance is a tad curious and that sharp step makes it the most irritating pen I have ever used. The nib is amazing, I will give it that - if only I could stick it on a different pen. Last, but by no means least, the greatest disappointment of all, the Parson's Italix. It regularly gets very high praise here. I bought the nice amber coloured one and it is a lovely colour. I like it's little celtic patterns on the furniture. Then I picked it up. Boy is it a heavy pen. Normally I don't mind heavy pens at all; in fact I tend not to like pens that are too light, but this was just clumsy. This, however, was not my main issue. This pen is often described as having a truly great nib and certainly the website does have a bewildering set of options. I went for a fairly big stub, but it writes like a felt tip pen. It has absolutely zero line variation. It's nice and smooth, but it aint no stub. All in all, it has still been a useful exercise. I don't necessarily regret buying these pens, but I do regret parting with the cash. It has taught me that one person's pleasure is another person's poison and when it comes to buying pens reviews can be very useful but they can't always be the main factor in a purchase.
  3. Hi all, I've been wanting to purchase a vintage flex pen for a while now, but can't seem to find any reputable places that sell them. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  4. JohnSparegrave

    Hello From France

    Hi, I'm John Sparegrave from France. I've been using notebooks and pens of various format for years now. I use my notebooks and leather notebooks to organise my life, follow my health issues, write and sketch and I just love the feel of pen on paper. I recently started a channel on Youtube (which is here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCodLxM-o4WuzqrEUQAyh2zw ) and plan on writing a blog which is all about writing and writing materials. I've been reading you guys for quite some time now, and it just felt natural to join. Best regards, John
  5. Hey Guys! I enjoy the enervation of talking about fountain pens and looking at pens in real life. Just wanted to know of any good fountain pen shops in London. I really like The Pen Shop but would like to branch out and try new inks and pens. Thanks you very much!
  6. If you have any inks that you would recommend for an expensive or a vintage fountain pen, what would it be? If you have a list of them, I would love to see that. Feel free to also say what inks you would specifically stay away from when using expensive pens. Currently I only have 2 inks, one is a black Parker Quink which I like a little bit. Not a huge fan, but if I need a black, it gets the job done. The other one is Noodler's Liberty's Elysium, which I love so very much. It's the nicest blue I have ever seen by far. However, I did notice that it stained the feed of my Metropolitan blue as well. So I decided that I would never let that happen if I were to get a more expensive or a vintage pen. More so a vintage pen because I respect vintage items and would rather not do something that will make it changed forever (I have 2 vintage saxophones that I use, I freak out even if I barely tap them against a music stand, chair, or another person's instrument). Does anyone else have this problem with Liberty's Elysium? For some reason I thought only Baystate colors had that problem. If you need to know what colors I'm particularly interested in, well, personally I prefer either a gold-brown, green, regular brown, blue-green, grey, and blue. However, I already have a blue and would like to get either a green, blue-green, brown/gold-brown, or grey. I am well aware that there is such thing as grey-greens and gold-greens as well as other combination colors, those apply to the things I wouldn't mind trying out.
  7. PenChalet

    New Visconti Pens Reduced!

    Save on some great Visconti pens while they last. For a limited time we have reduced the price on the following Visconti pens by as much as 50% Off. We only have so many of each available so first come first serve. Visconti Rembrandt Calligraphy Set Fountain PensRetail: $295.00Sale: $177.00 More colors available....... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Visconti Michelangelo Venus Fountain PensRetail: $299.00Sale: $179.40 More colors available....... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Visconti Cosmos Rollerball PensRetail: $395.00Sale: $237.00 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Visconti Michelangelo Blue Black Fountain PensRetail: $450.00Sale: $270.00 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Visconti Davina Desert Springs Rollerball PensRetail: $595.00Sale: $357.00 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Visconti Davina Royale Fountain PensRetail: $695.00Sale: $417.00 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Visconti Salvador Dali Ballpoint PensRetail: $239.00Sale: $143.40 More colors available....... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Visconti Michelangelo Venus Ballpoint PensRetail: $249.00Sale: $149.40 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Visconti Michelangelo Eco Rollerball PensRetail: $269.00Sale: $161.40 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Visconti Michelangelo Venus Rollerball PensRetail: $269.00Sale: $161.40 More colors available....... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Visconti Michelangelo Rollerball PensRetail: $269.00Sale: $161.40 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Visconti Van Gogh Sunflowers Fountain PensRetail: $289.00Sale: $173.40 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Visconti Ragtime 20th Anniversary Rollerball PensRetail: $395.00Sale: $237.00~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Visconti Classic Fountain PensRetail: $230.00Sale: $115.00 More colors available....... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Visconti Homo Sapiens Rollerball PensRetail: $565.50Sale: $282.75
  8. Hi everybody, I recently inherited around 50 pens from my father's collection and I'm looking to have each pen valued. The collection varies from rare and less-rare Mont Blancs, vintage Parkers and Sheaffers, to makes that are either unknown or hard to make out. Once they're valued, I'll probably sell the majority of them and sneak a couple for myself and my wife! I am based in Los Angeles and I'm looking to find someone in the area who might be able to help. Any thoughts or suggestions? Many thanks in advance for your help. Russell
  9. Hi, I tutor a teenager on a weekly basis atm and in the process have got to know her a little. She has been drawing Manga for years with fine felt-tipped pens. This week I ordered Zebra G titanium nibs from Japan to do a frankenpen mod. She wasn't aware of this nib as a tool for drawing Manga so I have offered to bring it in one day to play with but it will be some weeks before the nibs arrive. She can't afford Copic markers, but I recalled on here people have talked about their brush pens and highlighters using fp ink. Given my passion for mixing ink colours, I wondered whether I may be able to support her passion in a more cost effective way than Copic markers. So could someone please let me know about brush pens and highlighters using fp inks? I am also interested to know which ink is best for Manga work both fp and dip, as I may be able to modify a spare Jinhao for her or buy her a straight dip pen holder. I also had a somewhat amusing attempt at making ferrotannic ink this week (accidentally extremely acidic) and am wondering whether this may also be a cost-effective medium for black ink, with the right kind of recipe of course! Links to existing threads would be most appreciated, as I don't know where to start on this exploration properly, or even if it is actually a viable idea. With thanks.
  10. Hi I'm looking for calligraphy pens with nib sizes from 0.7mm to 2.5mm. I'm looking for branded pens, not on the luxury side of course, but for regular script writing. Any ideas where and what to look for?
  11. iSpyRides

    Hello From Cyprus

    Greetings from Cyprus I came accross this forum where I have found fantastic information on all types and brands of fountain pens. My experience with fountain pens started during high school, throughout which I quite often used a Parket Jotter (i think) for note taking. However, after a significant pause from fountain pens throughout my university time, my interest in pens generally sparkled again. At the time though I started using ballpoints That was until i dared to buy for myself a MontBlanc Boheme (medium nib). The pen was striking, and I could not resist it. Although that small MontBlanc got stolen from me during a trip, I still think it is the best I owned. During the 3 years I owned it, I hardly used any other pen. Currently, I own Fountain Pens Pelikan M400 (fine nib) Montegrappa Parola (medium) Parker Latitude (fine i think) Parker Urban (fine) Platinum #3776 steel nib (medium) Cross Century II (fine nib) Cross Century II (broad nib) Cross ATX (fine nib) Sheaffer 100 (medium Nib) Lamy Vista (medium) Lamy Nexx (medium)Plus an assortment of Ballpoints and Rollerballs eating dust in a pen case. I will try soon to post a few handwritten reviews of these pens Inks I have used. Cross Blue and Black (I think both cross inks were made by Pelikan) Parker Quink Blue, Green, washable blue, blue-black and black Pelikan Edelstein Topaz, Sheaffer Skrip Blue
  12. The t2mr guys have posted one more review on their youtube channel, this time of the mighty Pilot's most underrated pen - The Pilot ED or as they call it the Non Self Filling Fountain Pen. Here is the video review: Even i have this pen with me. My medium nib is also very fine, finer than the Metropolitan (like the reviewer said). Anyways, i simply adore it. Even though, Metropolitan is a better looking pen, but this one's pretty light and reminds me of my old Hero Pens. I got it an year ago for Rs.400 from a local store. Now, the rates have increased (a lot), but i still think this pen is worth 600-700. Its a Pilot afterall
  13. My great friend Bonita is leaving town and moving to Iowa, so we got together for a little farewell dinner. She's an artist, so I knew what she'd like> When she saw the pretty little box, she said: "What's this, expensive perfume?" "Something better," I said. We got it open and it was better: a bottle of Iroshizuku Yama-Guri, and a pen that I've had for years: a green ringtop Spencer's with a nice semiflex nib: sturdy and easy to open with her arthritic hands, and on a lanyard so she can wear it. She was happy! Best thing about fountain pens: giving them to your friends.
  14. What is some good paper for both printing and writing? I have found worksheets online which will help me practice my handwriting but I want it to be good to write on. I've heard Tomoe River paper is kind of good for printing and amazing for writing so... Is that what I should go with? What should I do? Thank you!
  15. Hi everyone, This is my first post in this forum although I have read a lot of great posts here for some time now just for the sake of knowing about fountain pen. But this time I want to ask a question and get some helpful suggestions. I have been using fountain pen for last 2-3 years but all my pens were below Rs. 35 (indian rupee) except one which was a pierre cardin which was gifted to me. I have used pen like Montex Handy and some Hero pens. Personally I just love Montex Handy, although they are cheap but they are way too smooth with few exceptions. My pierre cardin (don't remember the name) had nib more than a medium grade which I felt was too broad but was smooth but I didn't like it. But now I want to buy a new fountain pen, I have already searched other posts but the pens in them are either expensive or are mostly answered to people outside of India (sorry don't mean to offend anyone). I want to buy a pen within 100-150 (indian rupee). I am looking for: Smooth Nib (between fine and medium but not more than that.)Converter can be used (just hate cartridge).I don't mind the pen being sober or shiny or even being plastic body.Medium sized barrel not too thin nor fat.Light or Medium weight. I searched myself and found Pierre Cardin Identity Fountain pen, which according to the reviews satisfied my requirements. But I was hoping if you people could suggest me something about this pen or may be some other as per your experience, because I just simply don't want to be on the regretting end because it will be the first time I would be spending 100-150 rupee on a pen. I am sorry for any error in this post, as this being my first. Thanks in advance.
  16. Hey guys... Its been a long time since i have been on FPN. I felt like i needed a break from the pens world, for the moment. But just now, i saw a notification of a new video in my inbox. Its "the two minutes" guys review of the good old Platinum Preppy... Here have a look: I m so happy with the way this video has been shot. I used to adore Matt Armstrong for the way he showed the pens in his review, but this guys has taken it a step ahead. Asthetically beautiful review. And this review has made me take out my Baby Pink Platinum Preppy from my closet. I havent tried many colors of this pen, because of high price, but the purple one from the video looks kinda cool. How's yellow? Has anyone tried it? I think it is too light.
  17. sidthecat

    Most Artistic Nib?

    I've managed to accumulate a small selection of old pens - mostly ringtops - with semiflex to superflex nibs, and there are small and almost indescribable differences in the quality of the lines they make. I have Watermans, Moores, Wahl-Eversharps and a couple of Mabie Todd Swans, and the most beautiful line is produced by a little gold-clad Swan. There's some combination of metallurgy and craft (perhaps witchcraft) that makes some pens more "artistic" than others. What's your experience? What nib, in your humble, is the most Artistic?
  18. Having been been on this board a fair bit, I've often seen the conventional advice against carrying pens in pants pockets. There are many fears: the stress at the leg, the pen sliding out, the potential crotch-staining, scratches, etc. But I don't prefer clipping it at my shirt pocket, because the pen sticks out and is more visible there. Also, sometimes there are no shirt pockets. So I've been carrying my fountain pens in my pants pocket, always with the pen inside a single-pen leather sleeve. Maybe it's because I don't wear skinny jeans or perhaps I mostly wear flat-front pants with pockets cut like jeans, or maybe because the sleeve provides protection from scratches from other objects, my pens haven't fared too badly at all. Haven't had a single issue, knock on wood. I generally put them in first thing before other objects like my card wallet or handkerchief, and deeper in my pocket, hugging the inside part of my thigh. That also helps the pen from sliding out, I feel. And I carry vintage pens--Parker 51s, Sheaffer Balance 3-digits, 1970s Montblancs--in my pants pockets as often as I do my new pens. Who else is also in the pants pockets camp? How do you carry yours? Are there things you do to keep your pens safe and secure there?
  19. Introduction and History. When it comes to handmade pens, there is always a "human vibe" attached to them that i cherish. There is so much history behind each pen you purchase. History; Because anything handmade requires art, requires skills and an eye for detail to be consistent in each product that is put out in the market. And those qualities do not come overnight. It requires years of experience. The companies that manufacture hand-crafted items are usually small-scale and the people who are involved in running such companies have to go through many ups and downs contantly to keep the company functioning. The struggle to survive in a world of speed and mass production is ever lasting for these small scale manufacturers. So, when you buy a pen or any hand-made product for that matter, not only do you support these small companies, but also, you give an ode to the skills and craftsmanship (which are usually passed down through generations in a family) of the makers of such products. The Gama "Forever" pen is one such product. Here is the description of the Gama brand I took from the ASApens website.http://asapens.in/eshop/fountain-pen/gama-ebonite-pens "Gama is the inhouse brand of Gem & Co, pen specialists since 1920's. Gem & Co is part and parcel of pen manufacturing heritage of Chennai, India. Started by Mr. M.C. Cunnan and Mr.Venkatrangam, the present owner Mr.Pratap Kumar is the 3rd generation in the family business house. Five decades, back they were sole importers of pen spares from Great Britain. Independent India saw the birth of brand Gama, Over years Gem & Co has remained true to their core business, i.e. Pen Specialists." Pen Review. I purchased the pen about a week ago from http://asapens.in/eshop and recieved it this morning. I usually buy my fountain pens from them. And no, they do not give me any commission or additional service to say that. It's just that the customer service of Mr. Subaramaniam (The owner of the e-shop) is impeccable. Usually the whole process of purchase is smooth, but if there is any problem, you can be sure that he will take care of it. Now, if you are still here and reading, and not bored to a yawn, let's start the pen review! The Gama "Forever" Fountain Pen. The review is divided into following sections. 1.) The packaging / presentation 2.) The material and finish. 3.) The Nib and the Section. 4.) The Filling Mechanism. 5.) Measurements and size comparision. 6.) Writing Sample 7.) CONCLUSION Note: This is a full ebonite bodied, medium sized hand-made fountain pen with a classic square design profile. I chose the "Shiny Black" finish, but it comes in 3 other finishes at the time of this review.(As listed on the ASApens site.) 1. Green-Black mottled. 2.Light brown-black mottled 3.Dark Blue-Black Rippled. The packaging / presentation: Apart from the usual Mail packing, the pen comes in a branded velvety pen pouch which i liked. It is a relatively thin pouch but the pen was in a plastic sleeve which was bubble wrapped and the whole pouch itself was bubble wrapped too. As for the usual daily carry or storage, i think the pouch can provide a decent amount of protection from scratches from normal rubbing against other items in a bag or a drawer. However, it may not stand against sharp or pointy objects. Overall i like this minimalistic yet elegant presentation. The material and finish. As i said, the whole pen is made of hard rubber/ebonite (except the metal fittings of course. Says captain obvious) and hand-made. The ebonite on this pen really feels and appears decent in quality and is quite thick. The polish however, I think could have been a little better. It is "shiny" no doubt, and maybe i am being nit picky, but a little more bling could not hurt anyone. I really like ebonite as a pen material because it is a semi-natural material unlike acrylic or "precious resin" (which is still plastic). It feels smooth and warm to touch. It is something you really have to touch to know how exactly it feels like. It is smooth yet offers a very nice grip. It kind of "absorbs" oil/sweat off of the fingers during long writing sessions. As for the finish, I will start with the cap of the pen because it has all the accents and fittings really. The barrel is all ebonite. I will come to that later. As for the cap the finishing is quite nice overall. However, as you will observe, the finial, clip ring and the actual cap body are not flush. Although the difference is really visible only on close observation, it is still there. On the other hand, the two metal bands on the lower part of the cap are nicely set in and even. Which I really like. Gives a classic and vintage aura to the pen. The finial can be unscrewed and clip can be removed easily for those who might like that kind of configuration. The Barrel in this particular finish is turned from a single piece of black ebonite. However, the other finishes of the same model have "dual-tone" setting. Which means, they have the finial and the end cap made of black ebonite, and the cap and pen body are of whichever available finish that you choose. The Brand logo is embossed in the barrel as you can see. If you were to observe closely, you will find that the logo is not eactly centred. On uncapping the pen (which takes quite some number of turns to be honest!) you find a very symmetrical design which is pleasing to the eye. The N.o. 10 sized nib balances the bulky pen body quite nicely. The Nib and the Section. The nib on this pen came as a pleasant surprise. I did expect it to be smooth, but for a fine nib it is really very smooth and the flow is excellent. Wet and generous. Just perfect. Though some may prefer a bit drier flow, personally i love the wet flow. I can say they chose their nib well. It is an IPG nib. And, unlike what many people say, they are really not that bad. In my experience, i found IPG nibs to be good writers more often than not. Design-wise, one can find minimal scroll design on the nib. There is a circle in the centre which is devoid of any design or markings, which i think should have contained the nib grade. The section The section is elegantly tapered and decently big. It provides a nice and comfortable grip. Although, those with smaller hands may find it too big for long writing sessions. The threads are not sharp. However, the there is a slight step where the threads ends on the section. So, people with higher grip might find it a little in the way during long periods of writing. But it is not a deal breaker. The Filling Mechanism. The pen is an eyedropper filler. Personally, i really like this method of filling as it is very very easy to clean, there are no mechanical parts that if damaged, may render the pen unusable and in need of immediate service because the pen body itself acts as the reservoir of ink. And also, it has a very significant amount of ink capacity (2.5 to 2.7 ml as measured by me.) As for the common eyedropper problems that people talk about, like burping and leakage, those issues are not that frequent even when the ink is low in the barrel and i feel it is just over hyped. Measurements and size comparision. (approx.) 1.) Capped length: 140mm 2.) Uncapped: 130-132 mm 3.) Posted : 170 mm (thats huge!) 4.) Section diameter: 14 mm tapers to 12mm 5.) Barrel diameter at the widest: 15mm Here is the size comparision: The Jinhao X450 (left) Gama Forever (middle) Sheaffer 100 (right). Uncapped comparision. Uncapped it is quite bigger than the other two. Writing Sample: I inked the pen up with Parker Quink Black. Here is how it writes. CONCLUSION: I like this pen a lot. The "flaws" that i pointed out are really small and by no means a deal breaker. This is a solidly built pen made by a company over 80 years old, from ebonite, which is a material whose History stretches over more than 100 years of pen maufacturing period the world over. With the craftsmanship and experience of the pen makers of Gama, a nib that provides a writing experience worthy of this rich fountain pen culture, a simple hassel-free filling mechanism. This pen is a great buy if you like that vintage and classic look. The pen has such simple design features that there is virtually nothing that can go wrong. No complicated filling mechanism, easy to clean, easy to maintain. I think the simplicity of this pen is its strongest point. It is a classic, timeless, understated design with a powerful prescence. When you take this pen out of your pocket, it says "I am not an attention grabber, but my persona does it for me anyway. I am like The Beatles or Kishore Kumar, my era never really ends."
  20. Europepens

    Montblanc Historical

    Hello to everyone. I want to share with you all, something where I spent long time researching and writing about all the montblanc pieces, most of them limited editions. Many of the photographies were taken by myself, other ones were ceded by some friends, but hope you can enjoy it. (The website is on spanish im sorry if its an inconvenient for someone) http://www.cruzaltpens.com/historico/ In some days I will have the Montegrappa Historical uploaded too, and im working at now in some other brands. Best regards!
  21. So I saw an auction for a NY Mabie Todd Swan - a gold ringtop, but the photos were so bad you couldn't tell anything about the pen. So what one does in the circumstances is ask the seller about the nib (of course). The answer prompted me to bid on the thing, and it just arrived. What a treasure for fifty bucks! Very heavy for its size so I think it's solid gold. Very handsome chasing, and a wonderfully flexy #2 nib. I bought it with my fingers crossed, and I'm very pleased.
  22. I've accumulated a lot of pens, and some of them need work. I try not to have more than one or two in the shop at any time, but but they're starting to pile up. How do you decide what to send to the shop, and how many do you have waiting?
  23. Dear Ink Brothers, First of all, I really thank all of you for compelling me to write my story and openly declare my nerdy love for FP. I have been a “lurker” so to speak for some time now. Visiting the forums and YouTube for every possible video/review/rants of fellow FP lovers, had become a part of my daily routine. SBREbrown and Matt (Pen habit) are some of the most prominent ones out there and they have their unique style of reviewing each pen. So, don’t be surprised if my thoughts/future reviews are on those lines. I, somehow like the structure and do wish to make it my own. I pay my regards to the senior/prominent members of Indian SubForums and across the media as a whole. Hari sir, Sanyal Soumitra sir, mehandiratta, Subbu sir, BK123 (and others whom I may have missed), I salute your vast knowledge and experience that you bring to the table. Though we’ve never really met in person, your personalities/personas do seem familiar, due to your presence and passion for FP’s. To come to my story, we were allowed to use these pens once we were in 5th Standard. Ball Point pens weren’t allowed. While most students opted for simple and easy to maintain Pilot/Hitec, I wanted to stand out from the crowd. I still remember my trip to the store when shopkeeper showed me so many options. Then something unique caught my eye. The huge glass ink bottle (Chelpark blue black) when compared to those puny often leaky plastic ink bottles got me interested. On further enquiry, the kind shopkeeper showed me one of the cardboard boxes which had an assortment of pens with golden caps and deep dark colored bodies. Enter the fountain pens, the uniqueness of an open gold (colored/imitation) nib along with the aerometric filler had caught my fancy. Overall look and feel of one these (Chinese) pens, had gotten me hooked on to this type of writing instrument. Within a couple of days, I was obsessed. Sure they were messy (partly because I was a kid who loved having ink on my fingers) but they had their own charm. Majority of my free time went in stationery shops and pen stores seeking, admiring and when pocket allowed, purchasing ink pens. I did collect every new model or at least every model that was new to me but being a student meant, there could be only one pen irrespective of the color. The collection grew as I grew up. Some kind relatives got me a few costlier pens as well. A couple of Parkers, a few replicas of the hooded nibs, and an imported dark grey self-filling pen, the model I don’t distinctly remember. Among the known and more affordable range/brands, were Chelpark, Camel, Servex, Montex, Reynolds and Hero (imitation I think) Then came the big moment, my father in spite of not liking the fact that I was spending time on my pens rather than studying, gave me the ultimate pen. A freaking Mont Blanc. It was a wedding gift he got in early eighties came as a set with a roller ball. It was the most treasured pen in my collection. I say was, because all these pens are stored in a box back home (in NCR). Slowly, as the collection grew so did I. Life eventually caught up to me and I went the ball point route. I can almost see you cringing when you read this. Trust me I also feel the same. It was blasphemy to say the least. Fast forward a couple of years and here I am. In a different city far away from home, taking up a new hobby each couple of months. Journaling was the most recent thing I took up. Like all new hobbies, I went into one of the major stationery shops in IT hub of Hyderabad (where I work now) looking for hardbound journals, and then it happened all over again. On one of the shelves, I saw a lonely Camlin Trinity. It almost spoke to me and my childhood love got re-ignited. I bought that along with a few bottles of ink (Bril red, Bril Violet and a parker Quink blue, on a side note, before people enquire, the store only has red and violet bril as new old stock). As soon as I was home, the pen was inked. With the first stroke on the paper, I was in love all over again. Over the next couple of months, I’ve managed to re-build my collection so to say. It’s nothing fancy or not even a fraction of what people own/collect here. Some of them were rather unintended purchases. To list a few on top of my head, I scored:- Inks- Bril (Red, Violet), Parker (Black, Blue), Lamy (Turquoise), Camlin (Royal Blue, Scarlet Red, Black and my custom mixes-a deep oxblood, a purple and almost greying blue black) (Also have a Chelpark blue black and camlin emerald green back home but I am not sure about their condition)Camlins: 3R, 11R, 18R, 21R, 22R, 36R, 47P, Mini, Cute, Trinity, Elegante (Scholar and SD are on route as we speak)Flair: Ink Tanker, Inky Trendz, both converted as eye droppers ( Inky gold, Inky DX, Inky GenX and Inky Executive are on route as well)Parker: Beta, Beta Premium, Metal Vector, Frontier (51 from Ebay but I doubt its authenticity)Jinhao: x450, 599/599A(4 colours ranging from fine to medium nibs)Hero: 221 (the pen that started all this when I was a kid) a few 322 (one in each color, maroon, black and green), 329 and a 616 doctor.Baoer- 507 (eight horses) and a black glossy 801 (love the nib on that one)Other miscellaneous purchases are a few Montex (Handy and study I think), a Reynolds Fludo, a Classmate octane and a few generic printed plastic pens. I know the list doesn’t sound on top of my head but I do love my pens and remember most of them. I also plan to visit Deccan pens over the weekend to get some more inks. On the tangential part of the hobby, I also like mixing inks and tweaking my nibs. I may have destroyed and eventually repaired/restored a few cheap pens in the process. Phew….that was a long one. The future plan of action is to have hand written reviews of most of these when I get time. This is undoubtedly inspired by Sanyal Sir and I give full credit to him for that. I am also planning a trip back home sometime next month to fetch that old box of mine. I am sure Hari sir would be able to help me with identifying the Mont Blanc and that self-filling pen. Hope to be a regular member here. Cheers… --Ink dabber
  24. Next Toronto Pens & Pints is on.... Friday June 5, 2015 Location: The Frog and Firkin http://www.sherv.net/cm/emoticons/drink/smiley-face-making-cocktail.gif Time: 5:30PM on... The Frog: A Firkin Pub is located @ 4854 Yonge Street (& Sheppard) Be sure to bring a pen or bring a friend.
  25. An antiques dealer once told me: "If you have three of something, you're a collector." I happened to recollect this the other day when I realized I had too many pens to simply put in a drawer anymore. And If I buy that Moore ringtop on eBay I will become a Specialty Collector - a truly scary thought. How do you define, and possibly constrain, that acquisitive urge? Number? Kind? Condition? What makes you pull the trigger?

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