Check out this gorgeous bird:
As valued commenter Baud said of my miraculous white squirrel, now that’s a critter Trump would let into the country!
Got any big plans for the weekend? It’s Gasparilla Pirate Fest time in the Tampa Bay area, which, now that I’m An Old, means I will not be going into town because I don’t want to deal with drunken strangers lurching into my path. Used to be such fun!
Since this blog seems to attract folks with offbeat hobbies/interests, I wonder: any fountain pen aficiondos here? I ask because I’m expecting a restored fountain pen to be returned to me shortly, and I don’t know what sort of ink to buy for it. I know nothing about fountain pens.
I mentioned the pen in question in comments here ages ago. About five or six years back, I had a dream that I was writing a letter with a fountain pen, which is weird because I didn’t own one, had never used one and wasn’t particularly interested in them. The next day, my mom gave me an old fountain pen that had belonged to my great-grandmother. Just a weird coincidence!
Well, the old pen wasn’t in operating condition, and I couldn’t find anyone local to restore it. Online, I learned that it was a 1940s-era model — not super-valuable, but not worthless either.
I was worried about sending the pen off for restoration because it has sentimental value to me, but I finally broke down and did it, and it’s on its way home, fully restored, so I’m told. I am weirdly excited about using it!
Anyhoo, open thread!
How long does it take to restore a pen?
The weather here is going back and forth between fairly crisp and muggy AF. It’s not helping.
I love fountain pens. I have several. Your post reminds me that I need to fill ink in them. Haven’t written using one in a while now.
I had to pretty much give up my interests after becoming a single dad. I am looking forward to a few years from now when I can finally shed all my clothes and run away naked yelling, “FREE!! I’M FRRREEEEEE!!!!”
@Corner Stone: Minutes if you know what you are doing.
Betty [email protected]
What ink do you use?
Nothing big planned this weekend, just getting some final touches sorted on the new pad. I’m dead flat broke until Monday so that limits some things too.
Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD)
“We’re not even pretending not to pander to Nazis anymore.” (NSFW, obviously; note that Badrudden’s article was previously published in Counterpunch).
I love writing with fountain pens but am no kind of expert.
However, I have a friend who is a true aficionado, and she swears by the inks sold through the Levenger catalogue.
@Corner Stone: Only about a week! It just took me several years to get around to sending it.
Our weather is windy AF and barely hovering around 70. No mugginess yet, thank Dog.
@schrodingers_cat: My handwriting is garbage. I can’t believe for the life of me that kids these days aren’t taking notes on a tablet or PC.
Not really a comment on fountain pens, just sayin’.
I know much of Reddit is a cesspool, but they actually have a fountain pen subreddit that would be great for exactly this kind of question.
In other news, I love you guys.
Hope everyone is doing ok.
Major Major Major Major
I think some of us are supposed to be meeting up at the Thirsty
TwinkBear, by the Metreon in SF, Sunday afternoon. Somebody oughta buy green balloons so I don’t have to ask.
Writing the last 3 pages of my script and probably slitting my own throat. This has been torture. The worst, in fact. Some scripts go so quickly and some are so arduous. And then starting the next writing project and getting ready for a photo project and then getting ready to travel for work for another filming project.
@Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): Uh, what is that hellhole?
mai naem mobile
Fountain pens are like calligraphy pens. They kind of force you to have better penmanship.
I have been binge watching the series Justified recently. I had forgotten how completely fucking irritating the speech patterns of Boyd Crowder are. I can’t stand to listen to him and it’s ruining the otherwise entertaining show.
@Corner Stone: I hate to break it to you, but that day will not come as soon as you think it will, if at all.
I think you still can get ink in bottles at places like Barnes and Noble and Amazon. If that’s the kind of ink it used.
It’s almost 5am in Bangkok and hot and humid. Two shower per day weather. I woke up a couple of hours ago, but got up and came to the hotel lounge so I wouldn’t wake my roommate with the asthmatic coughing the air conditioner was inciting. Wide awake anyway. But it seems like a nice group: over 50s women all. And apparently, post divorce trips are a thing, three recently divorced and one in the process of. Out of a group of 11.
@Corner Stone: Less time than it takes to find someone to do it, I bet. Right Betty?
“Egrets, I have a few…”
I wrote exclusively with fountain pens for about twenty years. Nothing fancy though. Those cheap fountain pens that take the little ink cartridges. They were great fun but had a tendency to leak.
I am in the throes of my last semester of my MSW, working hard in my internship, struggling with all kinds of eldercare stuff. Last week I had some great, meaningful, work with my patients, classes started again, and I rewarded myself with an unusual impulse buy of a bracelet by native american jewelry whiz kid colin coonsis. It arrived just now and Im sitting here contemplating it. The rest of the weekend will be spent doong coursework. But for now Im admiring my new toy. And heading out for dinner with mr. Aimai.
The Moar You Know
I restore (and build, still, sometimes) acoustic and some electric musical instruments. But not fountain pens. Which sounds awesome and is probably a lot more detailed than any of us would imagine.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Superstore is a very funny network comedy. One of the few that can get a chuckle out of us.
And for action/drama: Black Lightning.
Our local PBS station has been showing something called “Murder In Suburbia” starring Caroline Catz, aka Doc Martin’s wife.
@Corner Stone: my god i loved crowder! He’s the only reason I watched that show!
@Josie: Watch for my pale bare ass running past SA when he gets into whatever he wants to do next.
@Aimai: Why? He was an idiot. He didn’t know Cousin Johnny was going to hold it against him for getting gut shot?
I know it’s TV but I always laugh that like 12 people a week die in Harlan County. And at least half of them are by one US Marshall. And everyone is just like, “Oh, that guy pulled?” “Yep, he pulled.” “Well, ok then.”
ETA, and who the hell goes into a heroin deal with the Crowe family from FL?
I have a bunch of fountain pens. I usually use Noodlers ink for day to day stuff (you can get it on Amazon, but their site has a good list of the available inks. When I’m feeling fancy I usually use Diamine ink. More expensive, but pretty. Those are also available on Amazon.
The Moar You Know
@Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): Wow, hey, damn I knew the Nazi thing had come back but that site…holy shit. They’re all in. Hitler himself would probably tell them to turn it down a notch.
In Trump’s 1987 book The Art of the Deal, he wrote, “Steve Wynn is very slick and smooth, but he’s also a very strange guy.”
@Corner Stone: No polaroids, please. ;-)
The Ancient Randonneur
@schrodingers_cat: A kindred soul! Love fountain pens and how they write and feel in the hand.
Fountain pens are lovely, so smooth. Makes me ashamed that my handwriting isn’t up to scratch. I’ve bought ink on Amazon. If you have a pen store near you, they can give you tips.
@Corner Stone: Since our chick flew the nest, we’ve rediscovered our interest in dives and have acquired motorcycles. What could possibly go wrong?
(Before anyone pipes up, I never EVER drink and drive…)
I had my first experience last semester with a student who came to my office to say that he couldn’t read my comments on his papers because he had never been taught to read or write cursive.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Corner Stone: I liked him. I liked Ava, too, though I gather a lot of fans, especially southerners, found the character, and her accent grating. It was the bad green screens in driving scenes that got to me, and the semi-arid California hills that were supposed to be the hollers and high lonesomes of Kentucky.
Mags Fuckin’ Bennet, though
As for the weekend, it’s Met Opera Live in HD tomorrow (brand new production of Tosca, and thank the gods for that; I don’t think I could bear seeing the old one yet again — it’s far from my favorite opera anyhow, which makes me a heretic in certain circles). Sunday, continuing to deal with my cousin who broke her hip last week. I’m the one person she trusts to make home care and PT arrangements, handle her finances and paperwork, and generally keep her from going berserk while she heals. But she sometimes forgets that I’m nearly 12 years older than she is and don’t have the stamina to be at her beck and call all the time. Still, I expect she’d do the same for me and I don’t like to be churlish about someone who has limited mobility at the moment.
Supposed to rain here all weekend. Yuck.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Why was anyone ever afraid of her?
@The Ancient Randonneur: And stain the fingers, and clog up at the worst time. But there’s nothing quite like a 1.1mm tip and Diamine Dragon Red when grading papers.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Corner Stone: you watch the episode where she sings? you wanna hear that again?
(and I love Margo Martindale)
@zhena gogolia: They stopped teaching it here a few years ago. Several years, I should say.
My mom tried over and over to keep teaching him because she thought it was important. At that point I hadn’t hand written anything more than bullet point notes for 20+ years so I was like, meh.
No Drought No More
Don’t forget to write your grandpa a thank you note when you get the pen back.
The Ancient Randonneur
@Comrade Scrutinizer: Indeed. Merely inconveniences when compared to the satisfaction of writing with a very writing instrument.
@Corner Stone: Because Mags Fuckin’ Bennett would cut out your liver while you drank her apple pie. She was more of a stone killer than even Raylin.
Villago Delenda Est
@satby: The floating market (and nearby James Bond location shooting area) are not to be missed!
Spouse and I are throwing our Semi-annual breakfast party tomorrow. With last year’s copious rainfall, our orange tree is abundant to say the least. We put put a ham, scrambled eggs, Meyer lemon hollandaise, cheese plate, pastries, smoked salmon, bagels, cream cheese and folks bring stuff too -mostly what they like with their fresh squeezed. Then, after the scrub up, a world-class nap!
Luckily, the food bank will send out a van load of teens and they pick the rest of the tree to share with the community.
That’s what’s on tap for the weekend.
Whatever you do, don’t use black India ink until you’re used to filling & using the pen. I always used to recommend washable blue ink to start. Nope, it’s not necessarily washable out of clothes, it’s your hands & fingertips that often get inked, & blue generally comes out with soap & water.
ETA My favorite brand of fountain pen used to be Waterman’s, & their blue ink/cartridges was great, but the cartridges only work with their pens.
foucault swing voter mistermix
This is right – it is a great community.
I write with a fountain pen every day, have about a dozen of them. The main rule is to use Fountain Pen Ink not India Ink (maybe that’s a duh but people do it and ruin perfectly good pens.) I like Pilot pens and inks – the Iroshizuku line has beautiful colors but it is expensive. Regular old PIlot Blue is a great shade of blue and not that expensive. Goulet Pens is a great little family run company where you can order samples and full bottles. There is probably a local pen store or two in Tampa somewhere and I’ll bet they would be happy to answer questions.
For any of the Toronto-area Canadians here, if you have any interest in pens and haven’t visited WonderPens, you are missing out.
The last time I went shopping for ink, I got it from my local fine pen and stationery store. I got some green ink from Noodler’s and some cobalt blue from Private Reserve Ink. Not too long after, though, I had to switch away from using a fountain pen, so I haven’t used them much recently.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Since this is a Trump quote, we can not just assume Trump is using metaphors here.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: Uh, ew.
My daughter, knowing my affection for them, gave me a lovely fountain pen for Christmas. I just sent a letter to an old college friend who responded that it was like handling an historic aftifa t.
@Betty Cracker: Do you mean “dives” as in underwater activity or patronizing crappy bars?
We are wondering what kittehs have in store for us tomorrow. Came downstairs this morning and a jigsaw puzzle the daughter unit had assembled on the kitchen island was all over the floor (not in one piece) and pantry door was open with shopping bags scattered all over the floor in front of it. Few hours later I came in and pantry door was open AGAIN with shopping bags all over. They increase in ability and inquisitiveness by the day.
I need to finish revising the first 20 pages of my novel for a contest. Nervous and excited. At worst, I will get back a three-page score sheet telling me what I did wrong. At best, I could win the top prize of $150.
No, that’s not a typo. That’s why I’m doing it mostly for the score sheet, though placing in the finals would give me some nice bragging rights.
I am left-handed and learned long ago that I can’t use fountain pens. The ink smears all over me and the paper. I stick with gel ink pens — Uniball are the best for left-handlers, IMO.
@Corner Stone: There is some research that suggests that actually writing the words by hand contributes to retaining the information. Just the first example I came across but I recall others from my teaching days. https://www.npr.org/2016/04/17/474525392/attention-students-put-your-laptops-away
@Mnemosyne: Leftie also, and illegible cursive handwriting, so I print. I guess I could learn to write bass-ackwards, but it doesn’t sound practical.
Wife and I celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary in a few months. Not sure yet where we’ll go to celebrate.
We both had the flu a few weeks ago. We’re mostly over it, but still coughing now and then. Strange thing is, one of us will start coughing, and this will set off the other one to cough as well. It’s like a yawn being contagious.
Thanks, fountain pen folks! Another dumb question: I do not write in cursive but have assumed a fountain pen is fine for writing letters in print. Is this true?
@Humdog: I meant dive bars, though I do have an advanced open water dive certification and grew up in a marina! I should go diving again; it has been years.
In the early ’60s I had a Scripto brand fountain pen that used ink cartridges. I dropped it on the floor and bent the nib (nibs?). Never worked again despite all my feeble attempts to fix it. I loved the Feeling of Potential it gave, much like that of a new theme tablet. Alas, neither my penmanship nor scholarship ever actualized that potential – much to the dismay of my mother and assorted teachers.
You should consider getting a Fisher Space Pen. They’re fantastic- the promises about never skipping and writing at unusual angles are true- and they seem reasonably smudge-proof.
My grandfather was very excited to introduce me and my older brother to the wonder of fountain pens, back in the summer of 1988, as he grew up using them, and were interested because our grandfather was awesome and if he liked it had to be awesome too.
My experience is that if you have good cursive handwriting, they probably can make what you write pop, because the lines will be darker. I did not have good cursive handwriting, so I felt it just made what I wrote look worse and they were harder to handle than ball point pens.
I do not see how someone, who does not write in cursive can use a fountain pen. Picking it up off the paper and setting back down will result in some level of ink splotches, in my opinion.
Certainly. Print, cursive, it’s all more fun with a fountain pen. You can also draw little cartoon doodles.
Are you actually a dolphin that has been deceiving us all these years on porpoise?
I’m so old I remember my elementary school desks had inkwells in them.
Make sure you buy ink that’s intended for use in fountain pens. A lot of the ink sold in hobby stores is calligraphy ink for dip pens, and will clog your fountain pen. I order most of my fountain pen supplies and ink from Goulet Pens. I like their ink samples to try several new colors before investing in a whole bottle. Check reviews on ink, because some specialty inks like iron gall ink can stain your pen if they’re left in too long. I like Waterman and Pilot Iroshizuku inks, and their inks are well-behaved and shouldn’t cause problems if you don’t use the pen for a while and let the ink dry out. There are a lot of gorgeous shimmer inks out there, but they have particles that can be hard to clean out if you let them dry in your pen, so I would recommend staying away from those at first. Goulet also has some Fountain Pen 101 videos that cover cleaning and maintaining your pen that are worth watching.
@zhena gogolia: A young friend -science teacher in NYC- asked for recommendations for cursive practice books. It seems that his school dropped cursive from the curriculum just about the time his current students would have been learning it. They have since reinstated it but tough luck for those students. He’s trying to help them get acquainted with it. Most schools here still teach it but we’ve taught it to the grandkids at home just in case.
@Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):
Please let us know, when you are linking to websites like The Russian Insider, where they put cookies on your computer, if you click on links.
I don’t trust Russian affiliated websites to put cookies on my computer.
@Comrade Scrutinizer: Why give her the chance? Pop her from the hillside.
Sci-fi writer Marko Kloos loves fountain pens and gets a new one every time he finishes a novel. Here is an old post so nerdy I didn’t finish it.
He’s on Twitter and Instagram under his own name and seems like a nice guy who might answer a question. He just released a novel in his Frontline series this month, and refused a Hugo nomination when the Sad Puppy scandal was going on. When Twitler was running he tweeted that as a German, he could testify that a wall is a bad thing.
A lot of schools seem to be dropping cursive. What I wonder is that there’s going to be a generation coming into adulthood, in the next few years, where a large portion of kids never learned to write in cursive, and thus how will they sign their names?
Tangential things, I wonder about.
I’ve always used a fountain pen, and I liberated a Parker 45 from my soon-to-be-and-now-former-husband in 1968, when we were in college. I have it still, though I live in terror of losing it, as it’s the only pen with which my handwriting is marginally legible. I have many others, from Mont Blancs to cheapies, but this is my favorite. I had it converted and use Parker cartridges, which I believe contain Quink, which I used to buy in a bottle. I also agree with the person who suggested the Levenger catalogue. Another suggestion is to avoid black ink, as I had to replace the upper part of the barrel because some chemical in the ink apparently attacked the material. Still have the same nib, though. Enjoy your treasure.
I have some basic fountain pens and love writing with them.
I’ve gone to the local art supply warehouses and found inks.
I also have a couple of bottles from Jet Pens, again, I choose just the basic black or blues.
Jet Pens is a great source for any type of writing stuff and those wonderful Japanese desk supplies. Love my Hi-Tec C 4MM pens for crossword puzzles!
My first cursive writing lessons were with a fountain pen – a kind of modified drawing pen. Not long after we started being permitted to use those newgangled ballpoint pens.
I’ve always had a few fountain pens around but only took cheap ones into school when I was teaching. One student wanted to try the pen so I lent it to him. When I asked for it back he informed me that it ran out of ink so he threw it in the trash. The idea of a refillable pen was quite strange to him. He seemed to think the notion would catch on!
DH and I went down into town today, went for lunch at Wetherspoons and bumped into my sort of step sister (the daughter of my mother’s long time partner) and her husband, Funny cause no matter which day we go in there we end up bumping into them. Went into all the Charity Shops in town, (got a wonderful two tier cake stand) and went to the butchers (I love going to a real butcher’s shop the people are so cool) Wandering around town is so much fun I cannot tell you. Going to bed now. Sleeping the sleep of the having walked her feet off.
I write in a weird mix of cursive and print that is barely legible even to me, but it’s functional enough. It’s not like I actually want anyone to read my journal.
G has a few of those, but I really like to color-code things (including notes) so the Space Pens are too limiting. I love the Uniball gel 0.5mm tip pens from Japan, and they come in 10 different colors.
Also, Pilot has figured out how to make eraseable ink that actually erases, unlike that crappy “eraseable” ink from our childhoods. The pens are called Frixion and it’s the heat generated by the eraser that makes the ink vanish.
Here’s the catch, though — the ink vanishes at about 140 degrees, so if you leave your notebook or planner in a hot car, you may lose everything in it. They say you can bring it back by sticking the notebook in the freezer for 24 hours. So I wouldn’t use them to write on anything that can’t be frozen if you didn’t mean to erase it. ?
As someone in a conservation trade (textiles) thank you for deciding to invest in caring for something sentimental, and helping to keep our craft alive. Most of us just keep our heads above water, but we love what we do.
Betty, why not ask the pen-restorer what they suggest?
@Mnemosyne: I’d wonder about the long-term stability of that ink– chemical reactions can proceed very slowly, but they do proceed, even at lower temperatures.
I remember that I had a lab notebook for chemistry as an undergraduate– several years later it was mostly brown and crumbly. Must have spilled a weak oxidizing agent on it.
Love Jet Pens. I just got my 0.5mm Frixion pens from them because the “fine” tip ones on Amazon turned out to be 0.7mm, which is too bold for me.
@Litlebritdifrnt: Stop making me want to move to England and do taxes for American expats. :P
Steve in the ATL
@Corner Stone: she served moonshine in poisoned glasses.
Fountain pen user here.
You want water-soluble ink. Somebody mentioned Noodlers, which I would advise against until you know what you’re doing. Some of those inks don’t play well with vintage pens.
If you want plain black, you can’t go wrong with Aurora. Basic blue, Waterman’s Serenity Blue. Funky cool colors, look at Iroshizuku, though I stick with black and blue inks in my vintage pens.
Steve in the ATL
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
That actress is from a small town in Georgia so there is no excuse for her atrocious fake Southern accent. Maybe some Hollywood voice coach from Long Beach did that to her based on his recollection of the Dukes of Hazzard.
@Aimai: I was on Team Boyd too. And Raylan’s boss (can’t recall his name) was also great.
Alain the site fixer
Nice to see so many fountain pen aficionados, I had no idea. In high school and some of college, I sold those beauties in some then-popular pen stores in DC. I became very knowledgeable and also loved them, and have kept many that I had the chance to buy. I confess to not having used one in well over a decade, and even then they were more flashy accoutrements for business meetings with bigwigs and not daily tools.
I second Waterman or Parker ink as good, these others mentioned I know little about. I love the cobalt and acquamarine type colors especially.
@Tenar Arha: don’t use India ink at all in a fountain pen. That’s for dip pens.
I got them to use with my 2018 planner, so any long-term consequences should be minimal. If the ink fades naturally after 10 years, it shouldn’t be a big deal that I can’t find the dentist’s appointment I wrote on X date.
We were forced to use fountain pens* in elementary school (and expected to purchase a new one through the school at the beginning of each school year). When they eventually ripped out the desks which included individual inkwells, had to trudge up to the teacher’s desk and refill from the big bottles of ink kept there until they gave in and allowed fountain pens which used those little plastic ink cartridges. Used to refill the cartridges with tap water when they got down to about a quarter full in order to extend their life.
Ink-stained pockets were a commonplace.
*Did zilch for the legibility of my handwriting, which was and remains abysmal.
Glad to hear from you. You made it there safe ?
I love Black Lightening ?
@Corner Stone: My mother wanted to give me her grandfather’s pen, you know the kind that you have to dip in an ink well. She said that the handwriting with that was the bestest. I couldn’t tell whether she was serious or just pulling my leg.
I had an odd elementary school career and managed to switch to a school that had just learned “cursive” a month or so before. My handwriting never caught up for legibility. I wound up with a strange hybrid of print/cursive. In the military they print everything, and my hybrid improved. I can make a fountain pen work with print “block” characters just fine.
I’m enjoying the first non-frantic Friday since Christmas, since I covered for the full-time RDH while she was in India for almost 5 weeks. Yesterday was my last day of working for her, so now I go back to my much easier to handle part time schedule. The job is just too damned hard to do full time in my opinion and I know I’m blessed in that I don’t have to do it full time to survive. Now I can finally have the time and energy to cook and clean again, plus be home more to enjoy our kittens.
Question for the men of Balloon Juice: what brand of men’s underwear is decently made now? My husband likes the tighty whitey Fruit of the Loom but the last batch he bought (though of many colors, so not white) were made so badly they started to fall apart at the seams within a few weeks. Any brand suggestions out there?
@StringOnAStick: My dad swears by Duluth Trading Company underwear. I have to agree. He has pairs that are years old and they still hold up well.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Mags!
I totally consumed that show. It strained disbelief — and I couldn’t love the last season — but one and two were so good…
@Yutsano: Thanks, I’ll have a look. He just wants tight fitting cotton underwear and he’s very fit so he wears much smaller than the average sized US male these days. Definitely not a boxer guy.
Art supply stores would also have ink. It might be good to get an ink recommendation from the restorer.
@Aardvark Cheeselog: Yeah, ditto. Thanks! (*blushes* I forgot to edit/fix that).
@Villago Delenda Est: doing the floating market today! Plus some of the big temples.
Not too pricey are these.
I have an expensive tech gadget habit that grew out of a photography hobby I was into for a few years. It was great. I mostly did events and red carpets for a bunch of webseries types. Got to meet and rub elbows with unfamous and some famous. Made a ton of great friends who write, direct, produce, edit, act … all of it. I’d still be into it, but when you move out of LA … There really is an Orange Curtain. Now I have a ton of photo gear that sits in my closet while I cruise the web for apps, hacks, apk, repositories, etc I can use to customize my NVidia Shield box.
Screw that noise! I’m going to lay out by the pool instead! And *gasp* read a BOOK or even two.
Whoops. Left out who I was replying to.
Not too pricey and nice quality are these.
I am no longer — haven’t been for years — in circumstances that require me to know the first damn thing about men’s dainties. But I love the DTC ads I’ve seen on TV, in print, and on line. I figure any company as funny and bold as they are has to make a quality product, right?
Lurker here – but Betty’s request pulled me out of the woodwork. Have always written/printed with fountain pens – current ones are Pelikan, Waterman and am eyeing a Parker – I am left handed, have no problem. For pen drooling and lust as well as all sorts of ink, take a look at Pen Boutique
Fahrney’s also has a good ink selection. I’m actually thinking of selling some of my pens.
When I was in grade school we were required to have Schaffer cartridge pens starting in 3rd grade. I don’t think ballpoints were allowed until high school. Of course children learned that they could flick the pen at the kid in front of them and splatter them with ink. It was tough on the leftys as they dragged their hand over the wet ink and smeared it. My particular junior-high affectation was peacock-blue ink. I loved that color. Still do.
The desks had holes for inkwells but they were empty by the time I got there. I can’t imagine the mess involved in small children all having an open pot of ink available at all times.
I haven’t used fountain pen in donkey’s years. I used to — I had a brushed-steel Parker, a cheap one, and a bottle of black Quink. But even a cheap Parker is expensive for me, and finicky to use, and the ink tended to show through the other side on the notebooks I used. Now I use gel ballpens.
Vintage pens are fun. So far, though, I don’t see where anyone has asked what kind of pen it is. So what is the brand?
I have had good luck with Levenger (I really like their Cobalt Blue, a very rich color), Sailor, Pelikan and Diamine inks. I’ve been advised against Quink and Noodler’s, although with Noodler’s it’s largely because of variable quality from ink to ink.
I’ve taken a part time job in a local bakery to pay for space camp for my brilliant grandson. Who else is sending someone to space camp? Maybe they could meet up.
West of the Cascades
It’s the weekend of the International Cat Show in Portland. Squee!
If you write in print, slant it and write italic. I read many years ago that it’s faster and more legible than either cursive or straight up printing. I’ve been doing it for years. I don’t think this is where I picked it up but it looks interesting.
Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting
@Aardvark Cheeselog: I second all of your recommendations:
Waterman’s blue for easy flowing ink.
Best black is Aurora.
Iroshizuku and Diamine for other colors.
Goulet is a good source. Cheapest would be sourcing it on Amazon
I’m partial to Diamine Ancient Copper.
[I’m one of those crazy fountain pen collectors. My wife and I have 100+ pens.]
@Paul T: My elementary school experience involved a lot of moves, including in the middle of first grade. I went from a school where you learned cursive from the beginning to one that only allowed printing until the second grade. I had to take “remedial printing” with the teacher at lunch. It left me with very blocky-looking cursive handwriting. Later I got interested in calligraphy and now I print in italic. I’ve often been told I can’t be a doctor because I actually have legible handwriting.
Long time vintage fountain pen user. The type of pen can make a difference. For pens with sacs (level-filler, Parker vacumatic, …) you want to stay away from Noodlers or a lot of the highly saturated inks. Waterman, Parker, Sheaffer are all good. Basically, inks made by companies who made pens before 1970 are a good bet. If it is a piston-fill Pen, then you can get away with more modern inks.
One thing to remember as you try to learn how to write with a fountain pen is you don’t need to press down on the paper to get it to write. As others have suggested, Goulet pens is a good source for stuff, including really nice stationery paper. Look for their Fountain Pens 101 video. It’s a great intro.
I’m old school enough that I write my monthly bills with a dip pen, and I’ve been experimenting with cutting quills. You’ll love writing with a fountain pen.
Let us know what kind it is and we can tell you more about it.