Pen, Paper, Ink and …Setting

On Fountain Pen Network and other boards you’ll find a lot of discussions on different pens, inks and paper, separately. Some authors though stress the interactions within the triad: pen, ink and paper. That makes real sense to me. What use do you have of a gorgeous and expensive pen if the ink feathers a lot and bleeds through the paper? On the other hand, a cheap Hero could work just fine with a good ink on,  for the ink, good paper. I would also like to add a fourth parameter. I hesistate wether to call it mood, situation or setting. I mean, there is a huge difference between writing a personal letter on G.Lalo “Velin de France” at home a Sunday morning while the rest of the family are asleep, and sitting on a stone in the woods, or on a commuter train, writing in cheap Chinese notebooks. In the first setting I could use my big and expensive Sailor Professional Gear Realo, and on this quality paper I could use just any ink. On the run I have to use small Sailor Sapporos that fit in my shirtpocket and the ink has to be a non-bleeding one , for example J.Herbin “Perle Noire” or Noodler’s BP Black. At work I can’t use pens with screw cap but a Parker 51 will do just fine. Any ink can work for single-sided writing on office paper. (An alternative to a P51 would be a Pilot/Namiki Vanishing Point.) When I’m upset or in a hurry I can’t use my italic nibs as the corners of the nibs will dig in to the paper.  I have to be in peace of mind to do the italic nibs justice. On envelopes I use Noodler’s BP Black, but the drying time and smear factor forces me to let the envelope be in peace for a while. An alternative is to use a non-waterproof ink and rub the text with a piece of a candle to waterproof it. As you can see the main thing is to find a combo that will work for you, and in your types of settings, for writing. Comments are appreciated…

3 responses

  1. I like your idea of the fourth parameter. The experience is the lure of the fountain pen for me and experience involves much more than simply using the pen. If it didn’t, a ball point would do just fine. There is a certain blending of pen, ink, paper, and setting that makes for a pleasing experience. I suppose you are, like I am, a pen idealist rather than a pen pragmatist.

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    • Thank you dear Mrs. Duffy for your nice comment, even if I’m not quiet sure I know what you mean by pen idealist vs. pen pragmatist.

      Your letter arrived today January 17. Thank you! I’ve already start planning a reply…

      Lennart

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  2. ‘…rub the text with a piece of candle wax…’ why had I not thought of this simple ingenuity all this time… thank you for sharing.

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