My Newest Addiction - Penmanship

gryphon1911

All-Pro
Feb 6, 2015
Central Ohio, USA
Andrew
I've always envied others who had very good hand writing. I've also appreciated the calligraphic art forms.

For the longest time I never thought that I could have good hand writing, let alone be able to write in another hand altogether.

Well, 2 weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to jump out of my comfort zone and do both. With the winter weather in this region, sometimes being outside is not an option, so I wanted something other than photography to do.

I initially thought that I would give calligraphy a go, so got a few calligraphy pens and markers and paper. Did research and joined some forums specific to the art form. I'm currently teaching myself the Roman capitals(for upper case) and italic (for lowercase). Links provided for examples. Roman capitals are far more complex than you'd think.


I'm well on my way and quite happy with my progress so far.

Then, I snooped about the forums in other threads and started taking interest in improving my cursive. It is so bad, that I abandoned it years ago to make sure that anyone who needed to could read my hand writing.

I decided to pick it back up. I started doing research and looking for ways to improve my penmanship.

Another issue that I had was hand cramping writing cursive for long periods of time.

Then I discovered fountain pens. Talk about the ability to get GAS all over again. lol.
So far, I've gotten 3. Pilot makes a disposable fountain pen called Varsity for $5. Talk about a whole different writing experience!! It was love at first letter!!

From there I ordered a Pilot Metropolitan. This is a re-usable fountain pen that uses ink cartridges or a refill converter. $15 on Amazon. Such a quality writer for the price. The thing is, the Japanese tip sizes (nibs) run small compared to the nibs made in Europe/NorthAmerica. While the pens write beautifully, they also make very fine lines, which are sometimes not desirable.
I was at an office supply store and they had a Franklin-Covey Freemont medium nib for $15, so picked that up. I definitely see myself liking the larger tip size more.


The images below are manufacturer's product shots and not mine, but they are teh exact pens I have.



Pilot Metro



Pilot Varsity



Franklin Covey Freemont

I keep the disposable on me all the time and journal with the other 2 at home.

Prices range all over the place, just like camera gear. I've seen pens as cheap as $3 adn even ones more expensive than the last used car I bought.

From MontBlanc $9,600 Meisterstuck 90 Years Skeleton 149 Fountain Pen


I could go into a whole other discussion on paper.

So now, I've got a writing and fountain pen GAS problem. lol.

So anyone else get sucked into analog writing?
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
My memory of using a fountain pen (several decades ago) was that they didn't flow as smoothly as a ball point pen. Was I just using a bad one or improper technique? I certainly don't want to pick up your new hobby, but I am curious. I have experienced great ball point pens and understand how one could appreciate the experience enough to go down that rabbit hole.
 

Lightmancer

Legend
Aug 13, 2011
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
I make a point of taking longhand notes in meetings, etc. It keeps me "grounded" and makes a quirky statement in the circles I frequent, where the iPad is the norm. Trouble is, if someone is sitting in front of you fiddling with a tablet there is always the suspicion that they might just be playing Candy Crush instead of capturing your every word...

I used a Montblanc Platinum Meisterstuck Grande for years but recently sold it (to fund the X-Pro2) and am happier than I have been for years with a fifteen quid Lamy fountain pen. I am sinistral and I started using fountain pens to slow me down and make me think, which meant my handwriting was neater than it was with a ballpoint. Today my handwriting is distinctive, but a little illegible when I speed up - perhaps I ought to look into this myself...
 

Richard

Top Veteran
Feb 1, 2013
Marlow, UK
I have lousy handwriting and although I can see the appeal of using an elegant fountain pen, I can't help feeling that if I made that choice I'd still have lousy handwriting, plus occasional ink-related accidents.

-R
 

pictogramax

All-Pro
Aug 18, 2011
Zemun, Serbia
I love fountain pens and use them daily (but rather for drawing than writing):

| 2015 – FOUNTAIN PEN DAY

Have you discovered the infatuating world of inks yet? I have a few reviews on my site (just recently put my long-term evaluation of one):

| DE ATRAMENTIS DOCUMENT BROWN INK

I have several fountain pens and even franken-made some myself:

| PIERCE

I guess you already discovered Fountain Pen Network, but if you haven't, you're in for a helluva ride:

The Fountain Pen Network

And for acquiring, I highly recommend Goulet Pens, they are really great:

The Goulet Pen Company
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
bart
We HAD to write with fountain pens in primary school. Being lefthanded and somewhat clumsy, I would always smudge my just-written words with my hand. Which made it even less likely that anyone would be able to decipher my truly awful handwriting (I can hardly read my old writings myself now!)... So no, fountain pens are not a happy memory for me ;-)
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
The review is great, Milan. But even more than that, your art simply blows me away. I look forward to checking on your website when time permits to linger over your beautiful art a little longer.

Have you discovered the infatuating world of inks yet? I have a few reviews on my site (just recently put my long-term evaluation of one):

| DE ATRAMENTIS DOCUMENT BROWN INK
 

ReD

Hall of Famer
Mar 27, 2013
Official Warning - Fountain Pens are especially addictive
Fortunately I managed to get mine on the affordable cheaper end of the scale and some of the cheapest of those were the nicest to write with
some of my best writers are Reform 1745 / Pelikan 2000 - quite rare as it happens / and a slim Sheaffer balance

For pure design enjoyment its the Wahl Eversharp Skyline
 

grillec

Veteran
Jan 16, 2014
Well, my hand writing was very bad at primary school (and after) where we did use ink pens always. At begin it was forbidden to use something other. I've tested once a fountain pen, but not for long.
At one time I was interested in calligraphy, too, so I've bought a few Rotring Art Pens.
 
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Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Jan 3, 2012
Troy, NY
I, too, have extremely questionable handwriting. I once had to call my wife on the cell phone because I couldn't read my own writing on a shopping list.

A few years back, I got interested in italic handwriting using Osmiroid calligraphy pens and Osmiroid "incredibly black" ink. The result: incredibly black fingers and incredibly black spots on my pockets.

Pictogramax, your artwork puts a grin on my face. You're probably familiar with the work of Hal Foster. I have several of his original Prince Valient books. If I could draw like that . . . (sigh).

Cheers, Jock
 

gryphon1911

All-Pro
Feb 6, 2015
Central Ohio, USA
Andrew
My memory of using a fountain pen (several decades ago) was that they didn't flow as smoothly as a ball point pen. Was I just using a bad one or improper technique? I certainly don't want to pick up your new hobby, but I am curious. I have experienced great ball point pens and understand how one could appreciate the experience enough to go down that rabbit hole.
I like the fact that I do not need to write with any pressure, the nibs glide over the paper, feel so smooth. If the nib and flow are not tuned properly, there can be issues with ink flow and smoothness.
 
D

dalethorn

Guest
Here's a video I did yesterday in the local park in my car, of my four favorite Mont Blanc pens. Crude filming, but should be brief...

 
D

dalethorn

Guest
I liked the review, Dale. Thanks for sharing that. I have one Mont Blanc that I got back in 1997. It is very similar to this one:
Request Failed
Fine pen, was a gift from a consulting company I worked for as an anniversary gift.
I had the Czar Nicholas II - a partly-gold partly-Malachite rollerball (large version) that I sold on eBay a few years ago. I would have kept it, but the gold (plated I suppose) part was accumulating scratches, so I got rid of it. Nice collector's item. I bought their big fountain pen in the 1980's, around $500-$600 in those days, but it leaked, so I gave up on fountain pens. I remember in high school we had some nifty pens (Sheaffer?) that took little plastic liquid-ink cartridges, and we even refilled some of them. I think there are some cartridge pens even today.
 

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