After all...what's one more!

If it comes in burgundy, is on the wet side, is smooth and not expensive, I might call it a day with this pen.

What to Keep?

I think after fiddling, no fiddle, examining, writing with, inking and admiring the fountain pens I own, I'd like to sell some of them.

Why you might ask?

Well, I have 2 hands, 10 fingers (not fiddles) and no way of ever using, let alone fully appreciating the number of pens in this stable of writing instruments.

Several pen types I have are duplicates. So, I would think selling off one, two or many of these duplicates could bring me down to a more reasonable stable.

Then there are the vintage pens, most of which I don't use, and many of which I don't want to use. There are other pen collectors or users who will appreciate a Parker 51, or a Vac, and even those rare birds that I can't find much information on like Remington may intrigue or delight someone else.

Perhaps one of the calligraphers will like the Perry, the forefrunner of the now well established Osmiroid. I can't see how or why I would need this lovely old, collector's item. Here's another blog with some smashing pens to admire and possibly purchase, including a British-made Osmiroid.

Now to set aside some time to photograph those fountain pens that deserve a new home, decide without hesitation which pens to sell and determine a fair price.

Perhaps later this week!


Jean Pierre Lepines

This week I went into town and had the two Jean Pierre Lepine fountain pens photocopied in colour. Then I sent them to Papers, hopeful they can at least send me in some direction that will identify their sweet pedigree.


Mustard on White

Occasionally, I wish I was Downtown, strolling along Church Street, headed for the Fountain Pen Hospital and the Library. But, I'm not, and one day a few weeks ago, I hit search and found their website.

On an impulse, I checked the Hospital specials and hit the jack-pot on this Libelle mustard-coloured fountain pen--not too skinny, not extra fat, nice luminous colour, with a converter and a case.


The Lexicon of Filling a Fountain Pen

If you ever wondered, as I certainly did, what to call the various ways to fill a fountain pen, you are in luck.

Richard Binder (thank you Mr. Binder) has a complete illustrated glossary to sort out the button from the bulb and undoubtedly all the variations of fountain pen mechanisms to accept ink.


Stypen Up and Away

One day I found a lilac, but instead of a bouquet of lovely blooms, it was a pen.

And then, in the Spring of 2007, driving through Maine, I wandered into an art store and found this retractable pen--couldn't resist it.

Stypen(s) are made in France, probably a school pen, certainly affordable and write well.

Caran d'ache - a name to remember!

When you see a Caran d'ache product you want to touch it, smell it, use it, draw with it, paint with it, and now, Caran d'ache has these nine sumptuous looking fountain pen ink colours to droll over.

But is drolling sufficient!

After checking the price of this ink at Ink Flow, paperinkarts, Pear Tree and Pendemonium, ranging from $15.20 to $19.00 for each bottle, I'm not convinced that even I must have this ink.

I've tried to compare their colours with Private Reserve and Diamine, both excellent inks and less costly and think there is some potential matching that can be done. However, a computer monitor is not a good way to compare colour, and there is no shop for miles where I could see any of these.

Sadly, I pulled another discouraging tarot card.

No ink today, either!


Not an INK-ling!

When does a collection become a mania? Or is obsession a better word? Or is there even a word for collecting the collectible?

I've gone through all my fountain pens, some once, several twice, and others more times than I can recount. With many identified and given their official pedigree, I turn to ink.

On my last visit to the Fountain Pen Hospital, I bought my first bottles of Noodlers, but since then I haven't added any bottles or cartridges to my stock of inks.

Now glued to FPn I have added several other Noodlers, a bottle of Private Reserve Chocolate and a few test bottles from Pear Tree.

Isn't that enough, I keep asking myself? When is enough I say again?

I pulled a card, Two of Swords, a stalemate. No more ink today!


E. S. Perry

I have a black E.S. Perry calligraphic fountain pen with a B iridium nib. It is not well lubricated and the Noodler's Polar Black is not flowing very well unless I press on a left to right angle.

I am eager to hear if anyone on the FPn History Channel can tell me anything about it.

How the ordinary can be extraordinary

I have quite a few extremely inexpensive pens, Shaeffer, Pelikano and a hand ful of Parkers, all of these write without skips, jumps or hassles.

Perhaps I should have stuck to these and not made forays into more expensive pens!

Half way there!

With the help of various threads and posts, links and chats, I believe I've identified about 1/3 to 1/2 of the fountain pens I own.

I was very surprised today to see the Caran d'ache Dunas come up for sale on the Fountain Pen Network but after a google search I found these for sale for $65.00/each.

The pen itself may have a design flaw as the one up for sale seems to be suffering from a cap problem, and my red one may or may not be under control. All of the night before it leaked out from under the upper and lower barrel, close to where I had to disengage it the previous evening.

I've tightened it down as far as I can with my fingers, and hope the immediate problem is solved.

Time and Caran d'ache Caribbean Sea ink will tell.


No more inky fingers!

I reckoned that sooner or later, like last night, I would be struggling to fill a fountain pen. Last night's adventure went without a syringe, but it might have helped.

I struggled for about an hour, perhaps more, trying to loosen the upper barrel of a Caran d'ache Dunas pen. I had actually given up and posted asking for help on FPn when repeated turnings with greasy fingers released it. I was then able to remove the cartridge that had been jammed into the lower barrel, and get the converter. The converter went in, no problem, but while I had no problems with the White Caran d'ache Dunas, her Red sister seemed to flood. My fingers and hand were covered with Caran d'ache Caribbean Sea (a sample bottle from Pear Tree).

And the most disappointing end result, when writing with Caran Red was a total absence of the vibrant colour I had experienced while testing the Caribbean Sea with a dip pen.

What went wrong?

While in sorting out what went wrong, I also thought I'd check to see how to improve my chances of filling a fountain pen by re-using a cartridge and soon discovered a FPn member had put up this video.


Dipping into the Well

While I prefer fountain pens, there is something about a dip pen that is very appealing and with the right nib, right holder and the proper ink, they are a delight.

Two dippers that I love are an all-in-one silver retractable pen that J bought me back in the 80s, and a gift from L that is longer and plated.

I've worked with the plated one more often and discovered that inks, too, make an enormous difference. An older Pelikan ink dipped can write much longer than many of the newer inks in my small, but growing collection.

Also using these two, and perhaps one or two of the loose nib-holder systems is the way to go with those beautiful Sennelier inks I have in the C-studio.


Turning to France

I have been making progress on identifying and finding more information on each of my pens, but it is more a snail or a turtle than a hawk.

Today I phoned Papers in Albuquerque, the shop where I bought two Jean Pierre Lepine fountain pens. The first I bought in 2002, and the more recent one I believe I bought in 2006.

The bad news is Papers no longer carries this line, nor do they keep records of what customers have bought from their pen department.

The good news is if I photocopy or send a photograph by snailmail to Madeleine she will work with me on identifying them from back issues of the Jean Pierre Lepine catalogues the store still has on hand.

A trip to town for this for a good photocopy is in order.

And if anyone is interested in good quality paper, or fountain pens, and making a trip to New Mexico, Papers is a not to be missed shopping stop. It is just across the street from UNM's main campus on Amherst Drive.


Not all Sailors go to sea!

When I was 14 years old, I had a friend who went to Sea. The United States Navy called him a sailor.

These fountain pens are nothing like that young man, and I am not the same person I was back then.

One of the two Sailor fountain pens in my collection resembles another fountain pen I own. In fact, if the light is dim I might even confuse this Sailor with my Lamy Ratio. It's described on Pendemonium's site as a SAI-104148 Sailor Profit Super Script Fountain Pen, Dark Blue. It has a pedigree.

The other Sailor I own was bought at the Fountain Pen Hospital in New York City. Here is an excellent review of the first Sailor, and some smashing photographs.

A Hero of a different kind!

Doesn't the word hero conjure up adventures, laughter, delight and the unexpected?

It does for me! And because it does it didn't take me too much time to buy a Hero fountain pen. I went with a simple Model 86. I selected this one based on a comparison between it and a Sailor. I love the two Sailors I own, one more than the other, and thought for the small price Mr. Nussbaum was asking for this pen, I could add it to my already large collection of ... pens!

It comes with a converter, no cartridges and I filled it up or rather inked it with Noodler's Lexington Gray. I am trying, believe me, I am trying to keep my ink collection smaller than my pen collection, and have resisted buying ink colour after ink colour, but Lexington Gray had a special appeal--I love the colour gray, all shades, and I had seen how successful a fellow artist used it in her sketchbook--not too dark, not too light and well articulated in her moleskine.

I am certain I didn't make a mistake buying the ink, but I do question my sanity in buying another pen. The Hero 86 is bold, black, shaped like a rocket and is among the shortest in length of all my pens.

Is two my prime number?

It appears that I often bought two of the same or a similar pen. As this collection spans more than 40 years, my memory although good to excellent, is not serving me well in recalling where and when most of these pens arrived in my hand, let alone in my house.

Here are two Edding fountain pens. From the little I've gleaned on the internet, thank you Google, I haven't found any look-alikes, only disposable calligraphic pens by this manufacturer.

The two I have are identical in size and shape, both with rather a fine nib, but are of two different colours: one is matte black and the other a speckled golden brown. The nib(s) resemble those on the Vista Lamy.

I've loaded the Edding Black with a J. Herbin Bleu Myostis cartridge. It has a nice feel, writes well, doesn't seem to scratch and is easy on the hand.

The speckled twin has an unknown ink cartridge at the moment, nearly empty and will get refilled with another cartridge before too long.

It is a pleasure to discover as I sort through these fountain pens that these Herbin cartridges are going to good use with many of my pens.

Was it Palermo or Catania?

These two are not twins.

One is opaque red with silver trim, the other nearly translucent with gold trim. Although both have the "M" insignia on the iridium nib, each has his or her own distinct way of writing. The silver trimmed alpha male writes like a medium, while the golden female writes nearly like a fine.

I have no idea where I bought these, but suspect that the Christmas we visited Sicily, I may have plucked these off some shelf in an art supply store.

Four years later, I wish had I had bought more or at least held a memory of what they are and from whence they came.


It started with this Lamy

I thought identifying all the fountain pens would be easy. I'd pick it up, find its name, check the nib and be done. But instead with this pen I found the name after circling around it for days on its clip. No other identification.

Then after posting it on FPN perhaps I have a lead to its pedigree, perhaps not. But I did learn that sometimes information is hidden and sure enough West Germany is engraved and hidden under the clip.

Identification is still unclear: it may be a CP1 or a Logo Lamy made in Germany. It may be an older CP1 or a newer version. What I do know is it doesn't work with the Z24 converter, but normal Lamy cartridges fit it fine.

More research is needed on this lovely slim, brushed aluminum pen that writes like a dream with a fine nib.

The beginning ... my fountain pens

Last week I sorted all my fountain pens.

I tried to identify them all and thought I had, but now that I realize fountain pens have pedigrees, often with papers...

it seems all I've done is name most, not all and that I have a great deal to learn from the FPN and all its members.