Fountain pen, Ink and Paper – my recommendations for the novice

As a blogger at WordPress.com you get a lot of information “behind the scenes”. I can see statistics regarding from where my readers are coming, what they are reading and how they have found my blog. One thing is clear. I just have to mention a fountain pen, and it attracts readers, more than my other writings. I assume that many of my readers are looking for their first fountain pen, but don’t know where to start. I’m not a pen-expert but I have found my path in the jungle and that is what I would like to share with you in this post. Different pen-users may have different preferences, but I personally stand behind these recommendations, which I also try to motivate and discuss.

Pen:

Sailor Sapporo

Sailor Professional Gear Slim

As I’ve said before, you can never go wrong with a Sailor Professional Gear Slim, (aka Sailor Sapporo), with H-M, (medium), nib! It is a medium-sized pen of good quality, with a smooth gold nib, that can take ink in Sailor cartridges, or with the supplied converter, just any fountain pen ink from a bottle. Later you may find that you want a bigger pen. Fine, but still you’ll find that the Sailor PG Slim fits perfectly in your shirt-pocket and is easy to bring with you both at work or when you are travelling. As a novice you may find it a bit pricey, but remember, it is going to serve you for many years, perhaps even for the rest of your life.

Sailor 14 K nib

Sailor 14 K, H-M nib

Ink:

Sailor Kiwa-guro, black is a prefect ink for general use. It is pretty fast-drying, non-smearing, light- and water-resistant and will work just fine on any kind of paper without feathering or bleed-through. You may later want inks in other colors. Fine, but this is a very good ink to start with for general use. (If you can read between the lines you’ll understand that not all inks are fast-drying, non-smearing, light- and water-resistant, non-feathering and non-bleeding.) It is regarded as a high-maintenance ink, which only means that you should not leave the pen with ink for a long time as the ink in the pen may dry and cause clogging. (But that is a general rule for any pen and ink.) It is also good practice to rinse the pen with plain water between fillings from time to time.

Sailor Kiwa-Guro

Sailor Kiwa-Guro Black nano ink

Paper:

Now that you have a good pen and good ink, and are thus able to write on just any kind of paper, even cheap office-paper or Moleskine. But if you haven’t used good quality writing paper in your entire life I have a couple of hints: For note-taking and general scribbling, Rhodia is a very good choice. For my personal journal-writing I use Quo Vadis “Habana”. When it comes to writing letters and personal notes I rely on Clairefontaine “Pollen”, paper, envelopes and folded cards. I am especially fond of the ivory color.

Thank you for your attention. Comments and questions are welcome.

Christogram

One response

  1. When I was a kid, my mother sometimes brought out her fountain pen (MontBlanc), when she had something she considered important, to write. I wanted to try it, but I’m left-handed and it all turned out a big smudge. That was it, never tried again. Now I’m sixty, and recently learned about fast-drying inks. I really wanted to give it a go, since many other people online were left-handed and could write with fountain pen. My favourite pen brand was always Cross, and since I’m loyal to my brands, my first purchase was a fine nibbed Cross. It worked! I’m so happy — it has also done wonders to my handwriting. Now … this Cross pen is an extremely slim model, and felt way too delicate in my hand, so I’ve ordered another one. It won’t arrive until early August, so to tie me over, I bought a Lamy Safari — likewise fine nibbed. I love its grip. It writes well … never misses a stroke. I use Cross ink, which is extremely fast-drying, or Nooder’s Bernake. I haven’t even had to alter the way I hold my hand when I write.

    Liked by 1 person

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