Fountain Pen 301: DIY Pen Cases

Happy Fountain Pen Friday, and welcome to the final issue of Fountain Pen 301. There will be a final, summary issue of my series next week. But this week, I’m covering pen cases.

Speaking from experience, it can be tempting to look at Rickshaw Bagworks or Nock Co. and think, “I can do that.” If the thought stems from the idea that you can save money by making it yourself, let me tell you, unless you’re a master sewer, you’re wrong.Between the materials and the time you’ll expend, you’ll end up spending much more in the long run!

However, if you’re interested in the challenge or the process, I’ve got some hints for you.

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Fountain Pen 301: Pen Making

Happy Fountain Pen Friday, and welcome to another Fountain Pen 301. This week, I’ll be discussing pen making, both pouring your own resin blanks and turning pens.

Once again, rather than relying on my own (nearly nonexistent) knowledge for this topic, I reached out to some significantly more knowledgeable pen friends for help. Thank you very much to Chet Herbert of Herbert Pen Co. (fabulous man and gorgeous pens!) who was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to share some of his expertise. And thank you, also, to Brian Chu of Red Dragon Pen Co. for pointing me in the direction of some fabulous information. Continue reading “Fountain Pen 301: Pen Making”

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Fountain Pen 301: DIY Nib Work

Happy Fountain Pen Friday, and welcome to the final set of my fountain pen series. Fountain Pen 301 is very different to its predecessors. 301 will be short, only three entries, and will give you some advice and suggestions on where to start if you want to become part of the maker community.

In this first issue, I’ll be discussing nib work, which seems to be the next step in fountain pen ownership, based on my pen friends, even if you don’t stick with it. There seems to be great interest in the fountain pen community right now in learning nib work, so I’m hoping some of this information will help those of you who want to know more.

Rather than relying on my own (nearly nonexistent) knowledge for this topic, I reached out to some significantly more knowledgeable pen friends for help. Continue reading “Fountain Pen 301: DIY Nib Work”

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People with Pens: Rachel de la Fuente

I’ve always been a fan of hand writing. I can type almost as fast as I can think, so there’s nothing to slow me down. Sometimes, that can be a good thing. But when I want to devote some thought to what I’m writing, I switch to hand writing so I have to slow down.

This is especially useful when I’m writing books and/or blog posts. Writing “stream of consciousness” isn’t typically great when you want what you’re writing to make sense. It’s much better, for me, to slow down some and make sure that what I’m writing is cohesive and coherent.

The biggest downside to hand-writing, though, is hand fatigue. Over the years, I’ve developed several different grips for holding my writing implement to increase the amount I can write in one go.

But the pressure and effort required to write with pencils and ballpoint pens increases hand fatigue. Fountain pens help alleviate that with the lack of pressure needed to write. Something about not needing to press down to write makes it easier to hold the pen in a looser grip, which also helps with hand fatigue.

Fountain pens, perhaps because of their design, or our association of nibs with older things, also tend to make people want to write nicer. They certainly did for me and many of my pen friends. But, despite my great love of fountain pens today, it’s a relatively recent hobby for me.

Continue reading “People with Pens: Rachel de la Fuente”

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Explaining Pens

“You spent HOW much on a pen?” Every pen person has heard it at least once. It can get a bit annoying to hear, mainly because you can hear the judgement in the tone nine times out of ten. If you aren’t a pen person, you’ve probably though it while reading my blog.

I used to just laugh it off and continue the conversation, but the tiny kernel of hurt remained. It seemed an unfair judgement. After all, I stay within my monthly budget. All my bills get paid. What difference does it make if I buy a semi-expensive pen? Semi-expensive in relation to the full spectrum of available pens, that is.

Granted, if you’re someone who’s spent their entire life using BIC ballpoints, it’s likely the idea of spending even $10 on a pen is too much. But we’re all different. We all have something we splurge on (when we can). The trick is to know what the person you’re talking to splurges on.

For example, I was talking to a friend the other day who was having the typical non-pen person reaction (basically, wow, that’s expensive). Knowing she’s on the girly side, I told her:

“Pens for me are like shoes and bags for other ladies”

It was really interesting to experience her near instant change in attitude with her new understanding.

“ohh got it 😉 they are like the jimmy choos”

I’ve had similar experiences with other friends, too. Once I can give them something to relate to, they understand me better and the judgement ceases.

How do you explain your pen habit/hobby to friends and family? Or if you aren’t a pen person, what’s your main habit/hobby, and how do you explain it to your friends and family? Leave me a comment to let me know. I’m really curious.

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Fountain Pen 201: Selling Pens

Welcome back to Fountain Pen 201, and happy Fountain Pen Friday! I originally intended to end Fountain Pen 201 last week, but it occurred to me that I haven’t really said anything about selling pens. The result of that brain blast is this final Fountain Pen 201 issue.

At some point, a pen you bought early on in your fountain pen journey is likely to no longer suit your needs or new preferences. Depending on how much you spent on it, you may choose to give it to a pen newbie friend, donate it (might I suggest looking into Pay it Forward?), or sell it.

Selling a fountain pen is easier than you may think. Once you’ve priced your pen, there are multiple avenues available to sell it, some better than others.

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Fountain Pen 201: Secondhand and Vintage

Welcome back to Fountain Pen 201, and happy Fountain Pen Friday! In this issue, I’ll be discussing secondhand and vintage pens.

Secondhand and vintage pens are kind of like rectangles and squares. Almost without exception, vintage pens are secondhand, but certainly not all secondhand pens are vintage.

Because of this relationship, virtually everything you should know about buying secondhand pens applies to buying vintage pens. There are also some extra things to consider when buying vintage.

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Stipula Etruria Prisma 88 Comparative Review

Last year I wrote about my Stipula Etruria Rainbow Prisma 88 and followed it up with an update. It’s one of my favorite pens, so when the Stipula Etruria Prisma 88 Magma was announced, I snapped one up.

Now that my Magma is back in action, I’m writing a comparative review of the two. I couldn’t find anything about the Rainbow when it first came out, and there doesn’t seem to be anything about the Magma, so hopefully, this will help anyone considering purchasing either of them.

Backstories

If you know the history behind these two pens in my collection, feel free to skip down to the main review.

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Regalia Writing Labs Sequel Nib Review

Collage of close ups of the Sequel nib

I’ve wanted one of Regalia Writing Labs‘ Sequel Nibs ever since Ralph shared the first photo of one. Part of my interest was based on the uniqueness of the nib, and part was a desire to support Ralph in his continued nib tinkering and modification. I’m very interested to see where his efforts take him.

Unfortunately, he teased us all for a while before making the nibs available, and then, only at shows. They’re still (to the best of my knowledge) only available at shows or via Instagram flash sales.

Continue reading “Regalia Writing Labs Sequel Nib Review”

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Fountain Pen 201: Community

Welcome back to Fountain Pen 201, and happy Fountain Pen Friday! This week, I’ll be discussing the fabulous fountain pen community.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before, but one of the best parts of the fountain pen hobby is the community. All of the pen users, makers, and retailers I’ve personally met have been lovely people, and I’ve formed good friendships with several of them.

The pen community has many iterations, including stores, shows, pen forums, and meet-ups. You’ll meet pen users and retailers by going to your local store(s). Some stores may even have events featuring indie makers. Shows are a great place to meet anyone associated with the pen community, as well as get your hands on pens to see how they feel.

As I’ve already discussed pen stores and pen shows, allow me to devote some time to online forums and meet-ups.

Continue reading “Fountain Pen 201: Community”

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