Fountain Pens

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


pen thumbnailIt may seem strange for a computer geek to like fountain pens, but I do. I started using a fountain pen about 15 years ago. For general writing, I like the look of the words on the page. I like the feel of the pen on paper. I especially like blue-black ink on white paper. The outline for this page was done on paper with a fountain pen. I do get some strange looks when I am at a technical conference taking notes with a fountain pen.

In case you have not guessed, I like green. My green marble fountain pen loaded with green ink. In a world of black roller ball or "Bic" blue, the beautiful colors of ink available to a fountain pen user are wonderful.

Many people say that a fountain pen slows down your writing, making you think about the words. I find that it slows my thinking down to a speed my hand can capture. This is something I am trying to overcome, thinking faster than I can write or type.

A quality pen is instantly noticeable in a world of 99 cent a dozen pens with the name of a drug on it.

Fountain pens are permanent objects, although, Pilot does make a disposable fountain pen that I like.

Fountain pens do not hold as much ink as roller balls or ball points, about half as much as a rollerball, much less than a ball point. The idea that I reload the ink and keep the pen throws people.

Fountain pens  need periodic cleaning, fortunately, they are easy to clean. Fountain pen ink is water based. It will wash out of clothes and off of hands easily. I must admit, I do usally wear exam gloves for cleaning my pens. By cleaning and then refilling a fountain pen, you can change the color of the writing, although, I generally do not do this.

How to care for a fountain pen:

  • Taking care of your fountain pen[s] is not very difficult. First, simply follow the instructions the manufacturer gave you for the maintenance of your pen. If you have not used your pen in a while, the ink may have dried up. Let the pen sit in a glass of water for a few minutes. See if this gets the ink flowing without needing to take it apart and clean everything. How to clean your fountain pen - or The Fountian Pen Network
  • A pen loves to be used! Ink in a fountain pen will flow most smoothly when the pen is used on a regular basis.
  • When writing, use a constant pressure on the nib avoiding pressing dow hard or excessively as that may damage the nib.
  • Often, a problem with writing may just be due to the fact that the pen needs to be cleaned and refilled.
  • Cleaning you pen is simple: Empty the ink using your converter or buit-in filling mechanism to fill and flush the pen with cool water, repeating this process several times until the water runs clear. Wipe excess water from the nib using a soft cloth to dry it.
  • If the pen is very clogged, fill the pen with cool water, leave the uncapped pen soaking overnight in a glass of cool water with the nib facing downwards and entirely submerging the nib in water.
  • When not using your fountain pen, store it in an upright position with the nib facing up. Remove the ink and clean the pen with cool water as noted above if you will not be using this pen for a week or two. Make sure your fountain pen is capped when not in use so that the ink will not evaporate or become thicker.
  • Make sure you use good quality paper when writing with a fountain pen as paper that is too coated will not absorb the ink well and if too fibrous may actually clog your pen.
  • Traveling with your favorite fountain pen by air is only a small challenge. You can either completely fill you ink reservoir [making sure no air is trapped] and cap it securing or empty the reservoir entirely.

A better page on pen care.

12 Tips for good handwriting

  • Good writing is based on a pattern of ovals and parallel lines.
  • All small letters start at the top.
  • All the downstrokes are parallel.
  • All similar letters are the same height.
  • All downstrokes are equidistant
  • The space between words is the width of the small letter o.
  • Ascenders and descenders are no more than twice the height of small letters, preferably less.
  • Capital letters are no higher than the ascenders, preferably less.
  • Lines of writing are far enough apart for ascenders and descenders not to touch.
  • Letters which finish at the top join horizontally.
  • Letters which finish at the bottom join diagonally.
  • Letters which finish on a stroke moving left, are best left unjoined.

From: Christopher Jarman, good rules, terrible website.

Pen Links

Goldspot Pens

A really nice pen store

Jet Pens

Specializing in Japanese pens and notebooks

What is a B4 paper size?

Helpful if you are going to be notebook shopping at Jet Pens

Fountain Pen Revolution

An Indian Pen Company. Brands you probably have never heard of.

Pilot Varsity

A disposable fountain pen for around $4.00

Pen information

A nice round up of pen information. I could copy it, but why not just link.

A nice list of pen pages Look at the comments

How to write with a fountain pen

From ehow. I love ehow

Penmanship lesson pages

From the "International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting", really Note that master penmen have a web page.

Young Minds Handwriting Lessons


Penmenship Tips

NY Times Op-ed

Tips to Improve Your Handwriting


Cursive Handwriting FOR

How to learn cursive

Cursive Handwriting AGAINST

Schools should stop teaching cursive

A Guide to Calligraphy

You do not need a fountain pen for calligraphy. But, the flex in a fountain pen will allow you to be more expressive with your lettering.






























The link to the Guide to Calligraphy was supplied from a fan of this page. So thank you for taking the time to write.

Colorado Springs Tutors has some interesting stuff. Take a look.

Thank you again.