Monday, 29 September 2014

Kickstarter and pens

There's a lot of excitement over Kickstarter pens at the moment. There's a fascinating competition right now being run by Gourmet Pens to win a pen from the Custom Handmade Pen Kickstarter campaign. It features some lovely materials options - antler, spalted tamarind wood, buckeye burl - and yes, it has fountain pens.

Which is quite surprising, really. One of my frustrations with the pen offers usually found on Kickstarter is that they're almost all (one) metal, and (two) rollerballs or ballpoints. For someone whose collection is 90 percent ebonite and celluloid, and 90 percent nibbed (and a lot of the remaining ten percent is pencils), that's a big limitation. I can't get excited about something that looks like a bullet and writes like a nail.

So why are there so few fountain pens on Kickstarter? Of course it could just be that fountain pens are a niche market. But then I thought Kickstarter was supposed to be quite good at addressing niche markets.

Maybe it's because Kickstarter attracts a lot of very blokey blokes, who want 'tactical' pens, pens that look like weapons, pens that weigh half a ton, and who aren't overly concerned with matters like laying down a wet line, maximum flex-without-railroading, or the availability of cursive italic or quadruple broad nib options.

Whatever the reason, I'm really glad at least one maker is offering a fountain pen option on Kickstarter!