Writing implements

We had a topic around this many years ago, and as many of you know I’m a huge fountain pen nerd. I recently acquired a glass dip pen, just for giggles. I’ve been playing around with it tonight and it’s a surprising amount of fun to use. If you like writing by hand, that is. Just the right amount of scratchy, but lays down smooth lines, with pleasant feedback.

I know…

My only experience with a fountain pen was in an illustration class I had to take in college. That class, and specifically the pen/ink assignment, remains one of the worst experiences of my life.

My dad will probably be buried with a Parker Jotter in his shirt pocket.

Sorry to hear that. The first part. I got into fountain pens about 20 years ago and fell in love with the tactile feel and the fact that you have to be deliberate with them. I’m a competent touch typist, but I prefer writing things by hand when I can.

In college I found pen lying on the ground, picked it up, and absolutely fell in love with it. It took some searching to figure out that it was a Jotter, and to this day I keep a bunch of them around the house.

I like the way they write too, but they are the nice pens I keep losing. Maybe you found mine. On the other hand, I think all of my dad’s current Jotters are older than my kids.

I used to use a fountain pen at school; so much of what we did was essay writing so a good pen was essential. Our desks still had the hole to hold an ink pot.

When I went to work at a Lloyd’s of London brokerage it was stolen within minutes (I came to realize that an open plan office full of kids +/- 20 years old is a jungle). I just used office biros from then on and, once email arrived, writing in any significant amount disappeared.

But now that I maintain a journal, I have been thinking about dipping my nib back into the ink pot.

Is this how Brits day they’re ready to date again?

1 Like

For once I wasn’t using a euphemism, but yes.

1 Like

I have many nice fountain pens, some inexpensive, but a few quite expensive, one that is ridiculous, setting-money-on-fire expensive (that I got with a gift card from the company recognition/awards deal that I would not have otherwise bought myself). I use the expensive ones at work but do not leave them there unattended. They are always in my pocket or in my bag. Most people would not recognize them as expensive or know what to do with them if they picked them up anyway. But I do keep my eye on them.

I have six or eight bottles of ink on my desk. And good paper in your journal is a must for fountain pens.

1 Like

Just don’t dip your pen in the company ink.


On losing nice things…I always tell people, buy a nice one, and you’ll never not know where it is. Sunglasses are the same way. If you’re afraid of buying really nice sunglasses for fear of losing them, buy an expensive pair and they’ll never leave your side.


My journal has 80g/m² (it’s German) acid-free paper with high ink compatibility to help prevent bleed through. Does that qualify as good, I genuinely have no idea.

Yes. Too low a bond and it will feather and bleed through. Too high and the ink will pool and not dry properly. Between 80 and 120 gsm is kind of the sweet spot. I use 90 gsm notebooks. And fountain pen ink is water soluble (ballpoint, gel, and rollerball inks are alcohol base), so keep that in mind. It will take a little longer to dry, and if you get it wet it will smear.

1 Like

Good advice. I will try not to look to sexily at my ink.

1 Like

Wait…is that another euphemism?

He doesn’t want to get his ink wet, Mr Shapiro.

You lot got to me. So this is arriving sometime today before 10pm.


It’s a Lamy Safari. Definitely at the budget end of the spectrum ($35) but it will be fun to see what it’s like.

The Lamy Safari is an awesome pen. It’s not fancy, but it’s excellent quality and an everyday workhorse. I own five or six of them.

1 Like

It arrived as I was posting about it. I am already a fan.

1 Like

Safaris are easy to clean, change inks, and even swap the nibs. I’ve become a fan of oblique nibs. And the price point makes it fun to experiment. Plus they are reliable writers and I’ve never had one leak, even on airplanes (though I do recommend emptying ahead of time).

1 Like