Fountain pen's have always maintained a cult following as the ideal pen for the avid penman, the smooth flowing lines and luxurious inks capture the heart and mind of all who use them.
If you've never used a fountain pen before you'll be enthralled with how smooth they are to use and how much nicer your writing becomes. Unique, interesting. Rather than just a blue scratch on the paper a fountain pen translates your personality to the page.
Fountain pens have been around for hundreds of years, drawing their design from the quills of old, and they've been refined to last a lifetime. We've put together some tips and pointers for maintaining your fountain pen for the best experience.
Care and Use:
Fountain pens will last you a lifetime, often becoming family heirlooms, but you need to show them a little love in return so remember these tips:
- Always rinse out the ink from your pen when refilling, wether you are using a cartridge or an ink bottle. To do this submerge the nib right in to a glass of cool water and draw the water in to your pen. Expel the water and repeat until the water coming back out is clean and clear.
- If your pen becomes clogged, usually from a period of rest, it is totally safe to soak in a glass of cool water for a couple of hours. This will loosen up any dried ink that is locking up the nib.
- When you are storing your pen make sure to store it with the nib pointing up. Storing your pen lying down will let ink flow in to the nib and it will clog faster.
- Fountain pens can be tricksy when you travel! If you fly with a fountain pen make sure that it is either completely emptied or, more practically, completely full. If your pen is semi-empty changes in air pressure will push the ink out through the nib and you'll get a messy surprise. To be extra safe store your fountain pen in a sealed zip-lock bag.
- Using bottled ink is a much more affordable option than using the replaceable cartridges. If your pen comes with cartridges it's very easy to purchase converters that will allow you to draw bottled ink. For example here is a Lamy converter (here) and their bottled ink (here). And make sure to try some different colours as well - fountain pens are all about personality and what better way than with a unique coloured ink?
- Let your pen do the work. Fountain pens, unlike a ballpoint, don't need to be dragged across the page. Relax and let the pen glide across the paper - you'll get a much better look and won't cramp your hand either!
- Write on good paper. The better the paper you use the better experience you'll have. Cheap paper can bleed ink and will 'feather'; leaving little pieces of paper stuck to the nib of your pen.
- But, most of all, use your pen every day! Fountain pens love regular use and using them daily will keep them in clean, working order
The Lamy Safari pen comes in a huge range of colours.
Your first fountain pen:
When you're purchasing your first fountain pen you want something that is going to be reliable, sturdy and easy to hold and use. Lamy have created a few great fountain pens for the beginner which we recommend highly. The Lamy Safari pen has a moulded plastic body which is super rigid and inexpensive. The body has been shaped with a special grip section to encourage you to hold your pen correctly - making sure you achieve that beautiful smooth, flowing line you want.
If you're looking for a great gift idea for a friend who is getting in to fountain pens and caligraphy they also make the Lamy Joy with replacable caligraphy heads in a beautiful gift box.
Lamy Joy gift box http://devlinsonline.com.au/collections/lamy/products/5031
Lamy have also created a few fountain pens for the experienced user, or someone looking for a slightly more luxurious experience. The Lamy 2000 is the most well known of all the Lamy pens, in-fact it has a permanent place in the Museum of Modern Art in New York! The black makrolon body is clean and the nib is recessed in to the body of the pen for an even more streamlined design.
The nib is made from 14k gold for an incredibly smooth experience.
For the man who wants something a little different the Lamy Dialog 3 fountain pen is a very unique design, it is the first ever retractable, twist action, fountain pen. The body is bold and wide for a large grip and the 14k gold nib retracts in to the body and is protected with a mechanically closing 'cap' that is built in to the pen.
Lamy 2000 Black Fountain Pen http://devlinsonline.com.au/collections/lamy/products/4041
Lamy Dialog 3 Fountain Pen http://devlinsonline.com.au/collections/lamy/products/4156
The Lamy Joy caligraphy gift pack is a great introduction to fountain pens.