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Some might say that anyone with more than ten fountain pens is a collector. If this is true then I might be that. I buy to use rather than to file away in a case or drawer, but in truth I only have ten or so inked at any one time. I've tried to do a purge and find that all I can manage is to offload what I have decided I will never repair or what I truly despise. On the other hand, having so many has been very useful in being able to narrow down what it is I really like and wondered if it is the same for others in the same boat as me. So, I thought I might outline what I like and enjoy through what ownership (of a rather silly amount of pens) has taught me, in the hope you might add your own musings. I feel I should add a disclaimer before I begin that these are 'my' musings and of course you may disagree very strongly with every last one of them!

 

Jinhao: These taught me you can get very decent writers for very little money. For me they make great holiday pens. I like journal keeping while on holiday and won't be too upset if I mislay them, lose or break them. They also taught me that although I like a bit of weight to my pens, I don't like them to feel like they are made of lead or something you would have a gym workout with.

 

Stipula: This taught me that just every once in a while a style over substance (or practical considerations) manufacturer can every now and again produce something truly great that can be missed by so many others based on past experience of other pens in their range. It also taught me that sometimes a pen can look awkward in a photograph (in terms of use, size, etc), but can be a really comfortable and pleasant pen in reality.

 

Lamy: I now know that boring and ugly can sometimes be pleasant.

 

Montblanc: I have been seduced by the wiles of near perfect balance and huge shiny nibs. It was also my first positive experience of feedback and how something like a nib can be distinctive in terms of 'feel'. Curiouser and curiouser! It also taught me that I love writing with fountain pens so much that I will occasionally spend a stupid amount of money on them. I try not to think about it too much.

 

Waterman: I learnt the hard way that Western medium gold nibs that write like a felt tip are really not my thing.

 

Sailor: Those that live in the land of the free, brave and whatever else seem to enjoy the level of feedback on Sailor's nibs. I find them unremarkable to look at and the nibs sail far too close to scratchy for my taste. The lesson was that feedback can sometimes be a very, very bad thing.

 

Pilot: It is possible to come so, so close to absolute perfection - specifically for me in the 823. Balance, a nice glassy nib, perfect wetness of flow, great filling system, nice appearance. I keep twisting in between my fingers and thinking 'Damn, this is close to perfect'.

 

Pelikan: Simplicity can be very, very beautiful.

 

Visconti: Totally in your face and ridiculously over the top designs can also be beautiful and that springy, bouncy dreamtouch nibs can be a dream to use......when the quality control gets it right.

 

Italix: Sometimes a pen everybody seems to love can turn out to be a Jinhao in disguise.

 

I could go on, but I better leave some room for others to add their own thoughts. Overall though, looking at a whole lot of pens together it has taught me that it might be possible to spend just as much on ink, that experiencing a whole load of different pens from cheap to stupidly expensive is generally a good thing (but not for one's bank balance) and that using fountain pens somehow makes me have a truly deep appreciation for the art and miracle of writing.

Edited by Uncial
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Pelikan: What everyone loves need not be to my liking.

 

Sailor:That I like the feedback of fine nibs

 

Pilot: That perfection is achievable

 

Waterman: The fact that you like one (Expert) does not mean that you'll like others (hemisphere)

 

Parker: That as the time goes by you can go from manufacturing icons to churning out shyte.

 

Indian Ebonites: That I like the feel of ebonite and an Indian ebonite with a Jowo/ Schmidt nib is possibly my dream combo

 

Hero: That supposedly cheap pens can last decades (3.5 decades to be precise)

 

Platinum: That you can get a truly wonderful pen without breaking the bank

 

Montblanc: Precious resin is nearly indistinguishable from plastic. That the balance of a pen can be near perfect whatever the size of your hand (146)

 

Kaweco: That I have large hands.

A lifelong FP user...

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My fountain pens have taught me to write with a more relaxed hand and have helped me to appreciate my handwriting more.

 

(The details aren't so important to me)

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1/ Carry your FP in a pen case, or something. Unrestrained they have the ability to unscrew themselves wherever and when ever they like.

 

2/ FPs are great - but like any tool, it is not suitable for every job. I write letters and post cards, and sometimes a Parker jotter is better on certain types of card or document.

 

3/ Yes, it is possible to have too many blue inks.

 

4/ Gold isn't naturally better than steel. There are wonderful steel nibs out there - it depends upon the manufacturer.

 

5/ A crappy pen is a crappy pen. If it's no good - move on - unless tinkering is your bag.

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Great thread!

 

Fountain pens have taught me a little more patience. They have also reminded me that writing is not just about putting words on the page. And I have learned that at no matter which point in history you look at, there were the good, the bad and the average.

 

In terms of makers:

 

Parker - has taught me that iconicism cannot negate the sheer ordinariness of the writing experience. If I want to write as if using a ballpoint, I'll use a ballpoint (Looking at you, P51, specifically).

 

Mabie Todd - Glorious nibs abound. So far I have had 4, and all have been entertaining to use.

 

Waterman - taught me that standards are anything but. Although that could be applied to pretty much every pen maker, it was Waterman that raised my awareness.

 

Esterbrook - taught me that good doesn't have to be expensive.

 

Aurora - taught me that Europeans have the kind of innate style that Americans can only dream of (talking about pens, looking at the 88 and the Parker 51 side by side).

 

 

Beyond this, my involvement with fountain pens has taught me quite a bit about my expectations - that many of them are not grounded in reality - and a great deal about the integrity of those who make a living out of hawking them.

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bitterwonder

Having learned to write, and draw, with a fountain pen at a young age, i have learned that pens like people have idiosyncrasies. With a little patience a pen's are revealed and then you learn to live together nicely and productively and often happily.

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inkstainedruth

That the right combination of pen and ink can be amazing, and not to give up on a pen (or ink) on the first try.

That I can resurrect skills and talents that were buried. That I can learn new ones.

That there's tranquility in simple tasks such as flushing ink out of a pen.

That it's okay to be quirky and a bit different from the "norm". That expanding your horizons is good.

 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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I have learned that I can love a pen and the ink that it lays on the page.

Anyone like Ray Bradbury? Please read "The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair" if you have about 12 minutes.

 

You will not forget this wonderful gem that is largely obscure and sadly, forgotten. http://bit.ly/1DZtL4g

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I have learned that I can love a pen and the ink that it lays on the page.

Anyone like Ray Bradbury? Please read "The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair" if you have about 12 minutes.

 

You will not forget this wonderful gem that is largely obscure and sadly, forgotten. http://bit.ly/1DZtL4g

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On the whole: patience.

And yes, patience, which is not an easy thing to learn.

Anyone like Ray Bradbury? Please read "The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair" if you have about 12 minutes.

 

You will not forget this wonderful gem that is largely obscure and sadly, forgotten. http://bit.ly/1DZtL4g

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Ditto Empty of Clouds, this is a great thread

On many levels

The postings (so far) display that diversity (I hate that word) variety

I appreciate the different levels posters reach down inside themselves and write what is important to them

I know I'll be coming back to this thread

Thank you

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inkstainedruth

Ditto Empty of Clouds, this is a great thread

On many levels

The postings (so far) display that diversity (I hate that word) variety

I appreciate the different levels posters reach down inside themselves and write what is important to them

I know I'll be coming back to this thread

Thank you

Agreed. I find that the more I get involved in an activity/hobby, the more interested I become in the "why" as much the "what" and the "how".

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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I have learned how to repair several models of pens. This has been interesting and has shown me how the things work.

 

I have learned that the first good pen I bought was the best pen I have, functionally. I like this one best of all. Parker 51 aerometric midnight blue, fine nib. Forty-five years of perfect use, trouble free. 51s, aero and Vac are probably the best of Parker.

 

I have learned that Montblanc costs a lot because they are better thought out and work best.

 

Pelikans are pretty good also, also being better designed.

 

The rest, including most C/C pens, dry up faster and are harder to restart. They work, but they continue the old tradition of fountain pens being a pain in the "a" double scribble.

 

When I want to write something on the go I use a nice ballpoint.

"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.

 

 

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I have learned that sometimes, upon returning to a pen/nib that I thought I disliked (specifically, the Binder artist's nib on my Pelikan M200 demonstrator), I come to enjoy it very much.

 

I have learned that sometimes less expensive and much-praised pens are still not for me: specifically the Lamy Safari (I have had bad luck with the nibs, and they feel uncomfortable to me), Pilot Metropolitan (too heavy for me), and the Esterbrooks (I love the options but also had bad luck with the nibs).

 

Vintage pens are something I enjoy: my Waterman 52V wet noodle and flexy Waterman Lady Patricia have both served me well.

 

I enjoy variety in pens rather than having a lot of similar ones.

 

The glow of aka-tamenuri urushi cannot be captured easily with a camera. (Ah, Nakaya.)

 

Spending a few bucks on frankenpen components can result in something very functional for art purposes: I have a fude nib in a Noodler's pen body and it works very well for inking.

 

There is still a place in my life for ballpoints, Sharpies, and rollerballs; I don't mind them a bit.

 

My handwriting is much nicer with a fountain pen than ballpoints/rollerballs for some reason, but for work I still need to send in .doc files, so the fountain pen will never be any kind of complete solution! On the other hand, nothing says I can't write my rough drafts with them.

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On writing with fountain pens: patience and practice and slowing down will get the best results.

 

Don't buy a lot of (bleep) if what you want is a real good pen. Save up, and never buy pens on credit.

 

Try before you buy: hurray for ink samples and pen shows!

 

The hunt for the next pen can be fun, but it's more satisfying to enjoy the pens I have. Buy pens one at a time.

 

Most important of all is what you write or draw with the pens. They're just tools. Enjoy using them.

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I have learnt the following:

 

1. I am not a patient person.

2. I hate customs hold-up.

3. Money is important.

4. New Zealand is a small place.

..

...

5. Pelikan is a reliable brand and writes to my liking

6. I cannot use flexible pens.

7. MB can be hit or miss.

8. Italian pens are lovely.

....

9. Contrary to what I thought about myself- stubborn and clear definition or likes and dislikes- I am a flexible, fluid person and my preference/preconception will and can change over time.

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The Pelikan M60x series is the right size for me.

 

I like demos. And piston fillers for daily use.

 

C&C... I also have, useful for switching out inks.

 

Celluloid doesn't have to be expensive, and it feels good in my hand.

 

Something I used to not like can become a favourite of mine (Lamy 2000)

 

I don't like flex.

 

I enjoy good paper and colourful inks.

 

 

 

~Epic

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1348/557449480_2f02cc3cbb_m.jpg http://null.aleturo.com/Dumatborlon/Badges/5EH4/letter.png
 
A sincere man am I
From the land where palm trees grow,
And I want before I die
My soul's verses to bestow.
 
All those moments will be lost in time.
Like tears in rain.
Time to die.

 

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