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Have I lost interest or just settled in?



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MadAsAHatter

This is more of a rhetorical question and me thinking out loud, but any feedback or insight is welcome.

 

I’m not sure if I’ve lost my enthusiasm for fountain pens or just settled into what I like.  Of course first getting into this there was so much to discover and try.  I’d browse at least once a week, be excited to get a new pen or try a new nib.  I’d scour the web based flea market searching affordable vintage pens just to experience something from before my time.  Jump a few years down the road and I just don’t have a real level of excitement anymore.  Don’t get me wrong, I have no intentions of leaving fountain pens behind.  I still use mine on a daily basis and will continue doing so until I physically can’t hold a pen anymore.  It’s that I barely even think to window shop anymore and when I do its meh.  After getting into small maker’s bespoke pens I lost near all interest in named manufacturers offerings.  Even those bespoke pens are starting to feel stale.  Nothing there has stood out as being more interesting or better than what I already have.  I have my ten or so fountain pens that are always at hand with 1 cigar style ballpoint if needed.  The rest are in a case with no consideration to be taken out for use even every now and again.  And it’s been a good while since anything has grabbed my attention enough to be worth buying. 

 

On the ink side of things I’ve never really taken off with full enthusiasm.  That’s because my main use of writing is at work where I’m limited by regulations.  It has to be either blue or black ink and archival for at least 10 years.  I do have near every hue of blue and shade of black I can get away with, but other expressions of color are rare.  So I still do like that I can use a little more than bic pen blue, but with being limited in color choices my excitement for inks has been limited also. 

 

So like I said, I will continue to use my fountain pens and like that I can use a little more than simple blue and black.  I’m not walking away from anything, I just don’t feel much level of excitement anymore.  Have I really lost my enthusiasm for fountain pens?  Or have I hit a stage where fountain pens have settled into part of my everyday life and I’m content with what I have?

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I think the latter explanation is the one to go with. YOUr experience, if not normal, is very sane. The real purpose of pens is to use them, and the reason for buying them is to find one, or more, that you can use comfortably. Having done that, enjoy using it or them and be glad to note that you are not addicted to always having the latest thing!

 

In my own case, I had a Parker 45 that has worked reliably for 30 years or more; but I always wanted a Parker 51, like my father had. So I got drawn into the Parker world and ended up with a couple of 51s and 61s, a better 45 and a 180. I have acauired a bunch of bottles of different coloured inks to go with these and the LAMY safaris that I bought for peanuts. But most royal blue inks are not distinguishable from each other in isolation, likewise green inks, and I probably have more different colours of ink than I need. I shall eventually decide which of my pens I really enjoy using and dispose with those that I do not need. (I wish I could have the same attitude to CDs, books and music scores!) In the meantime I am enjoying using all the inks and pens I have.

 

To take a comparison, if I need a new car or lawn mower, I do what these days passes for "research", and often find that the interest in pursuing it is all-consuming. Once I have made the purchase, there may be a short period when I cannot pass a lawn mower shop or car saleroom without looking at the latest models -- simply because I have become habituated (or addicted, if you like!) to doing this; but it passes, and assuming that the lawn mower or car continues to serve its purpose, my interest soon wanes.

 

Substitute anything that you have to invest in as a part of your life and the same is true. Now the question is: "What to do with the money saved by not buying pens or lawn mowers?" 😁

 

David

 

 

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Are there stages to fountain pen mania?

1. Buy some random pens now and again.

2. Buy lots of random pens at a very low price.

3. Set categories in your head of 'types' you'd like to try.

4. Finally you hit oil and become slightly crazed.

5. You spend a small fortune getting pens that hit the right spot.

6. You accrue ink and paper of all types and discover you have no space to store all this stuff.

7. One day, you hold one of those early purchases in your hand and think, 'well, this is actually pretty awful'

8. You start selling

9. You find a bottle of ink you can't remember buying or ever using and commit to buying no more.

10. You discover that subconsciously you are now only using one type of paper.

11. You begin to realise your pen rotation follows a pattern involving no more than 12 pens

12. You sell some more

13. Pen use still brings you much happiness

14. A pen release that might have made you wet yourself with excitement ten years ago is greeted with 'meh'.

 

Like the stages of grief these 'phases' can be repeated, go into reverse or become stuck at certain points.

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34 minutes ago, Uncial said:

Are there stages to fountain pen mania?

1. Buy some random pens now and again.

2. Buy lots of random pens at a very low price.

3. Set categories in your head of 'types' you'd like to try.

4. Finally you hit oil and become slightly crazed.

5. You spend a small fortune getting pens that hit the right spot.

6. You accrue ink and paper of all types and discover you have no space to store all this stuff.

7. One day, you hold one of those early purchases in your hand and think, 'well, this is actually pretty awful'

8. You start selling

9. You find a bottle of ink you can't remember buying or ever using and commit to buying no more.

10. You discover that subconsciously you are now only using one type of paper.

11. You begin to realise your pen rotation follows a pattern involving no more than 12 pens

12. You sell some more

13. Pen use still brings you much happiness

14. A pen release that might have made you wet yourself with excitement ten years ago is greeted with 'meh'.

 

Like the stages of grief these 'phases' can be repeated, go into reverse or become stuck at certain points.

 

Yup, this about sums it up.  Now in the 11-14 stage here.

"Nothing is new under the sun!  Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!” has already existed in the ages that preceded us." Ecclesiastes
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inkstainedruth

I go through phases.  Because I tend to buy vintage pens, I like scouring antiques stores and estate sales.  So if I find something, great -- but if I don't?  Ehh, at least I had a morning out.  
I did buy one pen on the way to the Chicago Pen Show, and one pen at the show (and drooled mightily over one that was just NOT in my budget).  

This past weekend?  Hit a few places in the Broadalbin, NY area, and didn't even see any pens in the places I went.  But in the last place got some stuff I'd kinda wanted for a long time (even if it turned out to be cheap Chinese knockoffs).  Plus it got me some "me" time, away from my in-laws.... Which, by Sunday morning, I really, really needed....

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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36 minutes ago, Uncial said:

Are there stages to fountain pen mania?

1. Buy some random pens now and again.

2. Buy lots of random pens at a very low price.

3. Set categories in your head of 'types' you'd like to try.

4. Finally you hit oil and become slightly crazed.

5. You spend a small fortune getting pens that hit the right spot.

6. You accrue ink and paper of all types and discover you have no space to store all this stuff.

7. One day, you hold one of those early purchases in your hand and think, 'well, this is actually pretty awful'

8. You start selling

9. You find a bottle of ink you can't remember buying or ever using and commit to buying no more.

10. You discover that subconsciously you are now only using one type of paper.

11. You begin to realise your pen rotation follows a pattern involving no more than 12 pens

12. You sell some more

13. Pen use still brings you much happiness

14. A pen release that might have made you wet yourself with excitement ten years ago is greeted with 'meh'.

 

Like the stages of grief these 'phases' can be repeated, go into reverse or become stuck at certain points.

Absolutely true. I’ve actually been thru this list once already and have worked back to #8 again.

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Mysterious Mose

I'm between stages 1 and 2.  I own about 15 pens and have about 10 in rotation.  I acquired 7 pens this year and the year isn't finished yet.  I doubled my stock this year!

Dan Kalish

 

Fountain Pens: Pelikan Souveran M805, Santini Libra Cumberland, Waterman Expert II, Waterman Phileas, Waterman Kultur, Stipula Splash, Sheaffer Sagaris, Sheaffer Prelude, Osmiroid 65, FPR Guru

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I feel you. I actually, oh no, use ballpoint pens or roller balls (though Retro 51 ones) as well, and I’m narrowing down my interesting fountain pen list. Granted, that list sits at the high end, but I’m no longer interested in most of what I see. Phew…

 

Then again, I’ve never been interested in vintage pens. I just don’t like that vintage vibe, never have. The only vintage pens I have are from my late father-in-law and they’re stored in a case I hardly ever open, and I keep them more for my wife than for myself.

No signature. I'm boring that way.

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vicpen123

Used a single fountain pen (P45) for about 30 years before I got the urge to look at others.

 

Went straight to 3., avoided 4. and then landed on 5. (albeit a very, very small fortune) on the list and retired from the pursuit.

 

Skipped 6. to 12., joined again at 13. and am now enjoying myself and my pens.

 

Have never been interested in inks or papers and would not sell any pen as all were bought for a good reason.

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Addertooth

It is the old paradigm; evolve or die.   

 

I started with cheap pens bought at an office store.  One was actually pretty good, the rest were "meh".

I realized something better was out there, and the hunt began.

I saw that some of my favorite vintage pens were way out of my reach, unless I took one which had some imperfections.

From there it was a hunt to find "repairable pens" that were desirable.

The dipping of the toe in pen repairs ended up being a slippery slope; virtually all pens "can" be rescued... if only the tools and parts were available. 

 

A hiatus hit while the tools were upgraded. 

 

One mill and a lathe later (and other shop tools), the realization hit.  If they could produce pen parts for repairs, they could produce entire pens. 

A backlog of (now repairable) pens are waiting in the queue, even some nice Hard Rubber stock has been purchased.  

It can be used to make feeds, sections, bodies or accents.   Still working on the process to make pocket clips, but a 12 ton hydraulic press is on hand too.

 

Mandrels for removing dents can be made to match the contour on a pen in the lathe, some repairs which were previously beyond my tools are within reach now.

I am willing to wait to see where this goes next.  I don't quite have nib production well understood yet.

 

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, MadAsAHatter said:

Have I really lost my enthusiasm for fountain pens?  Or have I hit a stage where fountain pens have settled into part of my everyday life and I’m content with what I have?

 

Sounds like the second one, and sounds like a very happy place to be as well. I look forward to reaching a similar level of satisfaction. I've not sniffed enough ink fumes to plunge myself into heavy spending, and enjoy tinkering with something new every few months. I would like to get myself to a place where I feel less restless though, and just enjoy my discoveries, rather than periodically asking myself "what's next?"

 

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Being happy with what you've got it is fine. You can be an FP enthusiast with only 1 pen.

 

You don't need to buy stuff to be in the hobby. 

 

A pen meet up, pen club or writing club or pen friend might be good. You get to use your pens more, and try others without having to buy. 

 

I've been participating in postcrossing for 5 years now - that's fun - and NaNoWriMo is starting in November if you fancy trying some novel writing. 

 

I've bought all the pens I want for now. There's one I want, but it probably won't be out until 2024. So I'm saving for that one. 

 

Maybe a desk pen at home, filled with your favourite colour?

 

Like you, I'm limited at work to black, blue-black or dark blues - so I've got a pen loaded with Psychedelic purple, and another with Diamine Velvet Blue at home.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I suppose I should confess that I am at the point of asking myself, how many fountain pens I really need.  This becomes an especially poignant question when I consider that I spent the better part of 5 years early on completely happy with a couple of Hero 616s and just one ink, Parker Quink Permanent Black.  Things started to change for me when I purchased my first Parker 51 (I now have 6).  My "collection is now 72 pens yet I seem to gravitate to no more than a dozen and then there are the inks...of which I have dozens yet I really only use two or three.  I'd go see a shrink but then the cost of the sessions would eat into my pen and ink budget.

 

Cliff

“The only thing most people do better than anyone else is read their own handwriting.”  John Adams

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My interest in getting new pens rapidly declined over the last few months.  I have to admit that within the last 1-2 years, I've bought quite a few pens.  I'm beginning to see that my experience is going sideways, rather than forwards.   I typically have interest in new pens in order to broaden my experience.  

 

For the last several months I've been very particular and now, can't really think of a pen that I'd wish to purchase except for maybe a Pilot Justus to have a good at the adjustable nib concept.  

 

I do have a couple pens on order.... an SE and a specialty nibbed pen.  After that, nothing.  In the past, I'd be wondering which to go for first.  It's indeed, a very different feeling.

 

Another aspect of my accumulation has been my growing unease with having pens that I know that I will likely never use again.  I'd say about 50% of my accumulation falls into this category.  The thing is that many of these pens seemed highly interesting and hopeful at the time of purchase and they are of widely varied character.  So there's very little out there that peaks my curiosity.  I watch new pen reviews with waning interest.

 

I long reached this point regarding inks.  The sudden, recent spike in my ink purchasing occurred while exploring permanent ink options.  Otherwise, I've purchased very few inks.  I'm happy with a couple browns and greens, as well as a few blues, blue-blacks and blacks.  Perhaps 12 inks.  

 

My pen accumulation could be easily shaved down to about 30 pens.  The rest were acquired along a journey and served their purpose.  I have no regrets having purchased them along the way.  It makes me far better appreciate those pens that I would now choose to use and more importantly, purchase.

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I have collected many fountain pens, inks, paper and related materials over many years. 
I have also collected things.

In both cases I have sold and given some away. 
At this point I have slowed down, but this has primarily been due to the Coronavirus. If not for it I would be set up more at pen shows. 
Once the pandemic is under control I hope to resume setting up and selling.  

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Stages 11-14 here. My bank account is happy. I recently made $300 on pen sales and rewarded myself with a $30 Hero I thought would be nice - now an EDC.

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Chase the nib.

 

I suggest chasing  German @'50-70 factory stub semi-flex nibs.

 

Depends on how light your Hand is....if heavy stay with nail-semi-fnail stubs and Cursive Italics 100% line variation..

 

If light enough semi-flex's Line Variation On Demand.

 

They are not for slow writing Calligraphy:angry:...but to give you added flair with out you doing anything at all.

 

With semi-flex there is somewhat easy tine bend and spread....is a real nice and soft nib.

 

The first letter of a word will be wider due to natural pressure and so will loops be wider and as you leave the word the line is narrower.

 

With a half a fancy stroke your crossed T's sit up....with a tad of practice the last decender in a paragraph can be spiffy.

Add a bit of pizzazz, to your writing.

 

One need not write with boring monotone inks all the time.

Then there is two toned shading inks**, that need a good to better paper. That starts at 90g outside of Rhoda, where 80g does well because of the finish.

 

** I will admit noobies so new they don't know better have described two toned shading inks as 'wishy-washy' or pastel.

 

Sooner or later knowing in the hindbrain there is something more exciting than boring vivid monotone ink, will expand one's horizons.

Unfortunately, semi-flex is a bit wet for two toned ink, so one wants a tad drier regular flex nib, either vintage....or a Modern Pelikan 200 or Japanese 'soft' nib.

 

Confession, in I don't use nails or semi-nails much...I don't know how well they do with shading inks.

 

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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My fountain pens lose relevance in my life if I am not 'writing'.

One is meaningless to me without the other.

I hope to graduate and become an honorable, "Onepenman"...someday!

That is the direction I wish to go.

 

An enthusiast, by definition, must be enthusiatic.

Examine yourself. Are you on someone else's journey?

 

vf

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I have been a fountain pen user for a very long time and only started collecting after joining this forum, when it began.

 

I was living in an area that had a good choice of pen stores but, I was always mindful of my budget and the space I had to dedicate to my fountain pens.

 

 

Except at one pen show, when I bought 10 school pens, 3 were NOS and ink. Oops.

 

Especially now, because, many of them are now, too short or slim for me to use comfortably.

 

And I had another one, NOS fountain pen related items, online shopping spree.

 

 

Now, I only get the Safari and Al-Star pens LE pens of the year, if I love the colors, I  also get matching ink colors.

 I love Rhodia so I don't have the need to hunt for more paper.

 

 

I keep thinking that I might get a bespoke pen for a milestone year, but I already have fountain pens, rollerballs, ballpoints and mechanical pencils, in my favorite colors.

 

I have to admit that, if Lamy issues a robin egg blue and a mauve Safari LE  in matte textures, I will probably get them.

 

 

Being happy with what one has, in any hobby or, activity, is a blessing.

 

Now, one can think about sharing the hobby with other people and dedicate more money for presents without the nagging feeling of "might miss the next graal pen, must save money for that".

 

 

 

Is it fair for an intelligent and family oriented mammal to be separated from his/her family and spend his/her life starved in a concrete jail?

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