Monday, 7 October 2013

About time....

I've been collecting fountain pens for a couple of years now, learning from (and occasionally contributing to) Fountain Pen Network, following Grandmia's and SBRE Brown's marvellous Youtube videos, and reading the numerous excellent blogs, of varying frequencies, that are available on this subject. So it's about time I added a pen blog to my others... and this one might get updated fairly often.

When did it all start? I dimly remember Platignums and a Parker 25 from school. But my first serious, grown up pen came from City Organiser in Bow Lane. It was a Waterman Laureat, and other Laureats followed over the years till I fell out of love with Waterman after they discontinued their lifetime guarantee... and I started buying Cross ATXs instead.

If I had a naughty habit, it was ink. Waterman ink, mainly, in purple, turquoise, green, brown, Florida blue. Any colour except blue black, which I've always thought is a cheat's way out of having to make a decision on what ink to use. A colour that isn't a colour.

Then I started noticing pens like the Lamy 2000. Delta Dolce Vitas sparkled and tantalised from the case in Jarrold's (and what buttery nibs they had, when I tried them out). Nakayas in urushi gleamed at me from the interwebs. I had a short fascination with demonstrators. I started a collection of Waterman Kulturs (now ten strong, and still collecting; a robust and enjoyable cheap pen with a style of its own, very different in its rotund appeal from the tubular, thin Watermans I started with).

I trotted off to a pen show and had the great good fortune to meet John Sorowka (Oxonian), who did two great (and ultimately expensive) things for me;
  1. He told me off for my dislike of Parkers (which probably stemmed from that horrible Parker 25) and showed me what a really great golden-age Parker nib ought to be like,
  2. He showed me some German celluloids which weren't just "oh pretty" but also finely engineered piston-fillers. My first encounter with something more sophisticated than a cartridge filler.
I also found out one thing that saved me a lot of money. Despite my love of Italian celluloid, I don't really like modern Italian pens. They're too much bella figura, with too much bling-laden furniture. So the dolce vita never made it into my collection; but a few vintage Osmias did.

Anyway, 500 pens later (though I'm counting the one euro cheapies from car boots) I've just started making sense of this habit, started a proper calligraphy course, and started repairing my own pens... so it really is about time I started blogging.

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