The 10 year anniversary of Writer’s Bloc has got me reminiscing about my first fountain pen purchase way back in 2008. It was an inexpensive blue-black Platinum Preppy with a fine nib. At that time, as a left-handed writer who was constantly having issues with messy smeared ink, I was a little hesitant to try a fountain pen. Several years later my collection of fountain pens has grown to include a quirky variety and I’m still using that same Preppy fountain pen! Needless to say, my experiments with fountain pens were a resounding success and now I rarely ever pick up a ball point pen. I’ve come to appreciate the beauty of the classic fountain pen as a writing tool.
If you’re a lefty that’s considering whether or not to try a fountain pen, possibly you can relate to my past experiences recorded on this blog:
In 2008, the same year I purchased my first LAMY Safari fountain pen, we were helping writers learn how to swap the steel nibs on their own LAMY fountain pens. This is such a great thing to know if you like to experiment or end up damaging a nib or have a nib that you just don’t care for. It’s a lot cheaper to just replace the nib on a LAMY pen that you already own than to buy a whole new pen (although buying new pens is fun too). Here are the instructions from our first lesson:
Other experiments we were busy with in 2008 included converting cartridge fill fountain pens into eye dropper fill fountain pens. If you’re not familiar with eye dropper fill pens, their advantage is that the entire barrel of the pen becomes an ink reservoir! Kaweco Sport Classic or Ice fountain pens are ideal for this purpose. Check out our Pen Mods eye dropper fill edition and a tip from Noodler’s Ink:
Fountain pens make great gifts! They are sophisticated and retro, reduce writing fatigue, can be refilled over and over again and when taken care of can become a family heirloom. So what fountain pen will you buy for the man in your life? In general, when considering what nib size to buy for someone who has never used a fountain pen, If he has small handwriting buy a fine nib, medium or large handwriting buy a medium nib. If he already collects fountain pens it’s up to you to find out what kind of nib size he wants next. Here are 10 of our favorite fountain pens (in no particular order) that would make great gifts:
1. Kaweco AL Sport Fountain Pen. The smart design of the Kaweco Sport allows the pen to be a compact pocket-size when capped and when uncapped it posts at the perfect length for writing. The AL Sport is made of metal so it is as durable and rugged as your man needs it to be.
3. LAMY Dialog 3 Fountain Pen has a revolutionary twist mechanism that allows the nib to advance and retract smoothly into the barrel. When the nib is advanced the clip recesses slightly into the body, creating an ergonomic writing experience. Once retracted a protective ball valve closes over the nib and the clip can be lifted and secured to a bag or pocket. Its modern Bauhaus appearance and intelligent design would make this the perfect pen for an engineer. Nibs tend to run one size large on this pen, so choose one nib size down. It’s also available in matte black.
4. Delta Vintage Stylus Fountain Pen – Lava Stone. For your techie guy who likes to use a stylus with his tablet or smart phone; one end of this fountain pen has a premium capacitive rubber stylus specifically designed for modern touch screen devices, the other end has a traditional platinum-masked fountain pen nib.
5. Pelikan Souveran M800 Fountain Pen in Black. For the traditionalist, the elegant, classic Pelikan M800 fountain pen is produced by one of the most renowned pen manufacturers in the world. This large pen has a piston filling system and a masterfully handcrafted two-tone 18k gold nib.
6. Platinum 3776 Series Music Nib Fountain Pen – Koi. Perfect for an artist or calligrapher, this beautiful red celluloid “Koi” fountain pen is reminiscent of the glistening multi-color scales of a koi fish and is popular with those who pursue unusual antique designs. The most extraordinary feature of Platinum’s 14K gold music nib is that is has two slits, making it a three tined nib which allows for a good ink flow. “Smooth as silk” is how the writing experience with this nib has been described. Also available in black/rhodium or black/gold.
7. Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen. This is a very large “man-size” ornate Italian-made fountain pen. According to Stipula, this eye-catching pen is “adorned with a magnificent bronze clip in which there are two masterpieces of Florence: the dome of Florence’s Cathedral and Michelangelo’s David. The band on the cap in the foreground depicts the coat of arms of the Medici. Adorning the rest of the ring the portraits of three genes born in Tuscany: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Dante Alighieri.”
8. Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen. The Metropolitan provides everything you need for an economical price – it even includes a gift box and an ink converter for bottled ink. It’s a durable daily writer that you’re not afraid to take to work.
9. Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen. The Plaisir is the perfect fountain pen for a no-fuss low- maintenance kind of guy since it has a specially designed cap that allows it to write smoothly even after it hasn’t been used for up to a year. This makes it suitable both for writing every day or for only occasional use. The cap also reduces ink loss due to evaporation. The durable anodized aluminum body has a beautiful pearlized finish.
10. LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen – Black. If Darth Vader used fountain pens, this stealthy all-black Al-Star might just be the one he would use. Are any of your boyfriends going to see the new Star Wars movie next month? I thought so.
What fountain pens would you recommend as gift for your boyfriend?
Do you like to change your stationery supplies with the change of the season? I do! Now that autumn is here the ink in my fountain pens changes to warm, rich fall colors such as orange, gold, maroon and brown. Of course, it is necessary to select a harmonizing pen and notebook to complete the ensemble. Here are some of our fall stationery favorites:
Yellow & Gold: One of my favorite everyday writing tools is the LAMY Safari fountain pen which is available in a cheery bright yellow that reminds me of the autumn color of some maple or birch tree leaves. Yellow ink is not practical for regular handwriting writing, so I like to use a golden amber shade such as J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie fountain pen ink. If you’re new to fountain pens, and you’re going to use bottled ink in your LAMY Safari or Al-Star pen, you’ll need to get a LAMY Z24 ink converter.
Orange: I love seeing all of the colorful autumn squash in the supermarket this time of year. The star of this fall’s orange fountain pens is the limited edition copper-orange LAMY Al-Star pen. This relative of the LAMY Safari fountain pen is made from light-weight aluminum with a metallic finish. LAMY created special copper-orange ink cartridges just to match this fountain pen. A couple of my favorite orange bottled inks with nice shading are Noodler’s Apache Sunset and Noodler’s Habanero ink. Want a paper notebook with an orange cover? Go no further than Rhodia‘s famous orange notepads available in all sorts of styles and sizes with fountain pen friendly paper.
Red & Maroon: Doesn’t this orange Rhodia notepad look stylish next to these red Japanese maple leaves? The color of these leaves makes me think of the deep burgundy red color of the clear resin Bourgogne Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen. Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink in Momiji or Autumn Leaves is a red shade emulating the bright red leaves that are iconic of a Japanese autumn landscape. The ivory paper inside the red Quo Vadis Habana Journal complements the warm, autumn shades of ink that I use this time of year.
Above is our drawing illustrating the basic parts of a LAMY Safari fountain pen. For us seasoned fountain pen users this is old hat, but for those of you that just purchased your first fountain pen, it’s extremely helpful to know the names of each pen part:
All the years of hard work have finally paid off: a new round of students are about to experience the victory of graduation! If you’d like to share in the celebration by presenting your favorite graduate with a gift, we would heartily recommend the timeless writing instrument the fountain pen. Many modern students have never used a fountain pen but once they experience it, it becomes a writing tool that they treasure for a lifetime. As your graduate begins their career a fountain pen can add a touch of style and sophistication to their professional or creative image.
Popular & Fun-Loving: The LAMY Safari fountain pen is a best friend of writers the world over. It’s easy to use, has a good variety of nib options and is made of rugged ABS plastic so it’s light weight yet durable.
Writing Enthusiast: If know your Grad will be writing profusely on a daily basis, a Pilot Custom 74 fountain pen is definitely worth the investment. Its 14k rhodium nib will keep their hand gliding effortlessly across each page.