This article will cover all the basics of fountain pens, from the things to consider when getting one, writing tips and tricks, and how to replenish the ink once it has run out.
Picking a fountain pen isn’t as easy as choosing the first one that is aesthetically pleasing. There are a couple of factors that you should consider before doing so. Remember that fountain pens tend to be expensive so they are investment pieces that would require careful consideration before placing an order in.
Size And Shape
A fountain pen is a writing tool so it makes sense to get one that will feel comfortable against your hand. A fountain pen that is oddly shaped and does not feel balanced in your hand will cause hand stress and strain.
Go for a pen that is ergonomically shaped so that you can avoid hand fatigue. Additionally, the weight should also be reasonable. A pen that’s too heavy will be uncomfortable to write with for long periods of time.
Buy A Starter Pen
Not all pens are created equally. They differ in terms of the quality and the writing experience that they offer to the user. If you are a beginner, it is a more sensible option to go for a starter fountain pen.
Starter pens are usually more affordable than most fountain pens. They are great for dipping your toe into the world of fountain pens.
It is no secret that the majority of the quality of your writing is influenced by the quality of your fountain pen of choice. You can expect bad writing experience from a poor quality brand and vice versa. But there are a few tweaks that you can do to improve the quality of overall experience. Here are a few tips.
Hold The Pen Correctly
There is a specific angle at which you need to use your fountain pen. The incorrect angle can make it difficult to draw out the ink. Most pens can be activated by writing with them at a forty-five-degree angle.
An angle that is too high or too low will not write as well. The incorrect angle tends to create scratchy lines where the ink isn’t free-flowing.
Nib Size Matters
Another factor that you should consider is the size of the nib. This greatly influences the writing experience as it dictates the amount of ink that flows through the tip and unto your paper. Go for a nib size that you are comfortable writing with.
Use Proper Paper
Another factor to consider is the type of paper you are using. They greatly impact the flow of the ink from the pen to paper. The paper also influences how smoothly you can write.
Go for a smooth paper that is thick enough to withstand the heavy ink of most fountain pens. It also shouldn’t be that smooth that it feels like writing on plastic. Friction is necessary to draw out the ink.
This does not automatically mean that you should write exclusively on premium paper only. There are plenty of affordable options available that offer a decent writing experience, especially if you are just practicing.
Keep On Practicing
Do not be impatient about how fast you improve your writing. Give your hand some time to warm up to the pen. Remember that you are using an unfamiliar writing tool so it’ll definitely take a few tries to get fully acclimated to it. Just be consistent with your writing drills.
The great thing about fountain pens is how you can just refill their ink. They are designed to last for a lifetime which means that the ink can just be replenished. The refill process depends on the type of ink source of your fountain pen.
There are fountain pens that derive their ink from dipping pots. This is where you simply dip the nib into ink to refill it. The specific tutorial below is for replacing ink refills or cartridges, which is the most common type for portable fountain pens.
Replacing The Ink Cartridge
This step is very similar to what you should do when you are just setting up your brand new fountain pen. Unscrew the barrel of the pen and then locate the ink cartridge inside. Sometimes, the cartridge can get dislodged so simply give the barrel a firm tap to remove the cartridge.
Take the fresh cartridge. Insert the sealed end into the grip barrel section. The seal is usually made of a thin layer of plastic or a metal ball. It will take a while for the cartridge to fully saturate the nib of the pen, so be patient. You can do some practice sketches to make the pen work faster.
Keep in mind that not all ink cartridges can suit your pen. It is important to go for a refill that is actually compatible with your fountain pen. As such, it is best to purchase all of your fountain pen needs from one store only. Try the pens from Dryden Designs that offer premium writing tools in complete sets at affordable rates.