First Fountain Pens
sun 10 apr 2016

I did my taxes last weekend and my reward for this unpleasant task was to place an order for art supplies! I opened up my box today. Some washi tape, some shaped punches and some fountain pens...

playing with the art supplies I ordered

During LetterMo, I became vaguely interested in the conversations about fountain pens and inks. I have one fountain pen from my day job, and it was a disappointment to me: it felt scratchy to write with and you have to hold it at a fairly precise angle in order for the ink to flow. bah.

I also have one dip pen with which I have only experimented a little. I bought some inks for it, but never broke them open.

My interest was piqued, because people have a serious love of their fountain pens, not to mention their inks. But I had no idea about what to get. All different brands, all different price ranges, nibs, colours, inks, converting stuff, and all levels of tinkering. Overwhelmed. I don't even know what needs to be tinkered with!

But then JetPens had an article about Great Beginner Fountain Pens and I decided to get a couple to try out.

Pilot VPen 7pack

The Pilot Varsity or VPen is a disposable that came in a pack of 7 colours including black for 15$. These are ready to write and my first couple of scribbles had smooth ink flow, not scratchy, and nice, solid colours (tho the purple is too close to blue for my taste). The ink doesn't dry immediately, which I noticed right away on the green pen, the ink moved around quite a bit and puddled in parts of my letters. But maybe that's just the cheap copier paper I was using.

green Pilot Metropolitan

I also got a Pilot MR or Metropolitan. This is more of a "real" fountain pen: it cost 15$ and uses cartridges or an included converter if you want to use bottled inks. The pen comes with one black cartridge, but I got some purple ones and that's what I put in.

I had trouble starting the ink after I put in the cartridge. I actually opened up the pen, carefully, to make sure the cartridge had opened! It was open, and then I read the rest of the directions! ha. You have to squeeze the cartridge a couple times to get the ink flowing. I squeezed until a huge blob of ink came out... after cleaning that up, the ink still wasn't flowing through the nib. I kept messing with it, and in a minute or so it finally started working.

experimenting with new fountain pens

I'm not sure how I feel about these fountain pens. It's definitely not Love at First Write. But new pens are always fun to play with!

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