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