If you haven’t started using fountain pens…

get started on

Did you know that it is World Stationery Day today, and that this week (27 April – 3 May) is National Stationery Week? That means it’s time to get out and celebrate with some stationery.

I have started a series of “Get Started On” posts consisting of only one post so far, so I thought it is the best time to write another one to get people started on things. Being a fountain pen blogger and a stationery fanatic, I would like to get you started on fountain pens, if you haven’t done so yet!

3 Reasons Why You Should Start Using Fountain Pens

I will keep it simple and to the point, but I would like to share with you some of my thoughts on why you should get started on fountain pens. Note that this list definitely isn’t exhaustive, but I hope you can identify with at least one of the pointers listed below.

“Green”

Going green is a big thing as one may probably wish to do a little on our part to reduce waste and protect the environment. Using a fountain pen itself may not be fully environmentally-friendly, but if you compare it with using cheap ballpoint pens, fountain pens can potentially be much more environmentally-friendly.

If you care to invest in a decent quality fountain pen and a bottle of ink, it can last you many ballpoint pens without having to throw away any of them. Fountain pens have existed for a long time, and we see many vintage pen collectors possessing pens from the 20s, 30s, etc. which are in great writing conditions! If it were a plastic disposable pen, I’m not sure the plastic would last throughout all the years!

So, if you quit using all those disposable pens in the office, and switch to a trustworthy fountain pen, you can make it last long.

“What about a decent brand of ballpoint pens which you can keep for a long time? Like, a Mont Blanc or a Parker?”

For every pen, a good fraction of the writing experience comes from the nib. In my opinion, ballpoint pens don’t feel extremely different whether they are priced at $1 or $1000. That means, I can get a $1 disposable pen and have a decent writing experience as compared to the expensive ones. Also, the pen refills tend to be less easy to find if one doesn’t have access to the brand’s boutique shop, and the cartridge for refill may not be exactly the same size and shape if you bought one from another brand. With fountain pens, all is needed is a bottle of ink, which can last quite a while!

All Those Inky Delights

Speaking of ink: I am personally an avid fan of colours. I would love to carry a rainbow with me if I could, 6 pens with 6 different ink colours in my Franklin Christoph Penvelope 6 (review here). If you love colours like me, using a fountain pen either for writing or sketching can be quite ideal. Various fountain pens are able to give all kinds of line widths from ultra fine to triple broad, from flexible to stiff.

Within a single writing sample or a sketch, you are able to achieve both thick and thin strokes with a single flexible or chiselled nib. These nibs combine with various fountain pen inks to provide monochromatism, or shading, or sheen, depending on the ink/nib combination you choose. The writing experience itself becomes more enhanced. Due to the fact that there are so many kinds of nibs and inks available, and that you can just flush out each pen to change the colours, you can really spend a lot of time exploring those delights!

Be Unique, Be Sociable

When you are starting to enjoy all these exploration and discovery in the realm of fountain pens, you can start to think of choosing your favourite pen(s). Create an identity for yourself. Each of us have our own reasons for using fountain pens, or using a specific fountain pen(s). You start to invest in a hobby.

Then, you can join awesome forums or groups in your locale like the Singapore Fountain Pen Lovers Facebook community where you can meet new friends, and be connected to others just by the fact that you have a common interest! In the SFPL group, we learn a lot from one another about various types of products and we often look forward to pen meets where we can try out fountain pens we have never tried before.

Don’t get me wrong, a fountain pen hobby does not necessarily have to be expensive. I know of a couple of people (some students) who collect Platinum Preppies, and get their inks in small samples from generous people in the fountain pen communities!

As I’ve said, this is not an exhaustive list of reasons to get started on fountain pens. I should be looking at a Part 2 as a follow-up of this post.

If you’re an existing fountain pen user, what drew you to fountain pens? If you are new to the fountain pen world, you must have been curious about fountain pens in order to click and read my article. What are your thoughts about it? Share with me in the comments below!

Happy World Stationery Day!

11 Responses

  1. Md. Rubel Islam 22 May 2015 / 4:39 PM

    I love fountain pens. I even went so far as joining a penpal group so I would have the perfect excuse to use them more often when writing letters.

  2. Andrew 30 April 2015 / 4:37 PM

    The ‘Green’ argument is a great one, i’ve never heard that side of if before. I have a small (almost) fountain pen hobby and there is so much choice! It’s not as cut and dry as ‘black or bue ink’. The Lamy safarai fountain pen selection amongst others is testament to how interesting and unique they can be.

  3. David Faulkner 30 April 2015 / 10:23 AM

    Began using a cartridge filled Sheaffer Student Fountain pen when I was in the 5th grade, and used one up into college. Began using ballpoints, but would frequently come back by buying inexpensive fountain pens and using them frequently. Gradually cursive writing became a “near” art form. Got into calligraphy and fell into the beauty of the pen-ink-paper triangle. Both the words and how the words are written give me a freedom of expression that is very satisfying.

  4. miatagrrl 30 April 2015 / 9:07 AM

    I started using fountain pens for drawing because I can get a much wider and interesting line variation with them than with any other kind of writing instrument (except maybe dip pens, but they aren’t very friendly for using outdoors). Initially I thought that having a few good quality pens plus bottled inks would save money (in addition to being green) compared to disposable pens. But, ummm, now that I’m heavily into pen and ink acquisition, that “save money” part is only theoretical. 😉 Thanks for the great post!

    – Tina

  5. Jason 29 April 2015 / 8:27 PM

    Line variation, shading and an endless amount of colour choices! Fountain pens make anyones writing look better!

    • Maybelline T. 30 April 2015 / 4:48 AM

      Haha it doesn’t actually make mine look better automatically, but I do get a little more conscious when using a fountain pen so my writing ends up neater.

  6. ashokdad 29 April 2015 / 5:58 PM

    With fountain pens, the large number of nib options lets you migrate towards an “ideal” writing experience of a writing experience tuned to a particular situation (letter writing versus notes at work, for example). With the right nib, matched to your handwriting and writing style, you can notice and enjoy the pleasure of writing throughout the day.

    • Maybelline T. 30 April 2015 / 4:47 AM

      Good point there. I have originally started with medium nibs, until I realised I actually prefer fine nibs.

  7. Cody H 29 April 2015 / 2:19 PM

    Great post! I have had a similar list of reasons floating around in my head! For me, the allure of fountain pens started because they were different than normal pens, and then when I discovered the endless possible combinations, I was hooked!

    • Maybelline T. 29 April 2015 / 4:19 PM

      Thanks Cody! Yes indeed, I think many of us are drawn to fountain pens in pretty similar ways! 🙂

I would love to hear your thoughts!