Flowing Ink

With so many means of virtual communication, I still find it a real pleasure to pick up a pen and write, in particular with a fountain pen.

The market for writing (on paper as opposed to on screen) has a bewildering array of instruments; from throw-away ball-points to pens costing more than a used car. Most come with a variety of ink colours, sizes, weight, ball sizes, nib variations, and thats before you start to include types such as  roller-ball, gel type, fibre-tips etc. So why, with all this choice, do I still choose a fountain pen?

As I child I can recall listening with great interest to the sound of my father’s fountain pen on paper. What I found so mesmerising about that sound I don’t actually know. Perhaps, as an avid reader, not only was I watching the written word going on to the paper, I was actually hearing them them being created too.

One Christmas, I received a received a ball-point and fountain pen set. They were nothing fancy, as you would expect at a young age, and my enjoyment for the fountain pen far exceeded anything I could have expected. Of course it wasn’t without its problems as most schoolboys can testify;  the blue ink stained fingertips and the occasional leak in a pocket or school bag.

The attraction of the fountain pen is the grace with which it imparts  the beauty of writing. The design and crafting that goes into a nib, enabling it to glide over the paper using the flow of ink as a lubricant. Of course there is still the sound of the nib on the paper that I love to listen to as I write; a mechanical link between the pen and paper. In a quiet environment you can hear the speed at which you are writing, putting thoughts on to the page – literally. Thanks to my understanding of the work that goes into designing and building a fountain pen the pleasure I get from one is stronger now than it has ever been.

Having decided to treat myself to a new pen the question was which model to choose?  I needed a fountain pen to use on a regular basis and not just a showpiece. Each pen is unique with its own feel, weight, balance and poise and this becomes apparent when trying different models. After testing numerous models from a variety of brands I went for a Parker Premier. From the moment I picked it up I knew it was the right model for me. Everything fell into place, like it had been built to my own specification, and it is a real pleasure to feel at one with it. Of course it is important to remember that nobody else uses your fountain pen; nibs actually wear to a writers style and so another’s hand can upset that, meaning it wont write the same for you.

It is my intention to keep this pen for a long time so I wanted a style that would remain neutral, and after much deliberation I chose the black lacquer body with silver; a classic feel.

Parker Premier Black Lacquer & Silver Fountain Pen

I love writing with this pen so much that all my blog material is written by hand first, then copied across by keyboard. That way I get the best of both worlds.

So never mind my preferred pen, ultimately with a fountain pen it is whatever works for you that counts.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Natalie, from Picketts & Pursers, Rams Walk, Petersfield for her patience and assistance in the purchasing of this excellent pen.

Footnote: This Parker is actually replacing a nice Cross fountain pen. I thought my hand writing was deteriorating as I’ve gotten older but I’m pleased to report it improved at once when I began to use the Parker.


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  1. #1 by kenneth on June 19, 2011 - 11:10 PM

    Good one Stephen it is alway invaluable to tap into others knowledge

  2. #2 by stephenfell on June 19, 2011 - 11:50 PM

    Thank you for the positive comment Kenneth. Glad to be of assistance.

  3. #3 by Lorna on November 30, 2013 - 6:24 PM

    What a lovely article. I remember my Grandad writing with his pen in much the same way. He always wrote us cards with his beautiful handwriting and pen and I still have them now. He was 94 when he died, as he got older his handwriting became a little more shaky but nontheless still an art in itself and touching to see. He gave my Mum a fountain pen that she has never used and you have inspired me to seek it out next time I visit and see what unfolds.

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