Your pen, an expression of you.
Sadly, we live in an era of "use and toss". So many things are replaceable. That is, except for your fountain pen. A fountain pen is a personal possession with a higher level of permancy.
I think we are, in part, more possessive of our fountain pens as there are so many personal decisions in having a fountain pen. The initial selection involves a choice of overall look but also of the type of nib and the feel in the hand. That goes even further with the selection of ink to use. Writing with a fountain pen allows you to make decisions as to how the nib will respond to create your own distinctive writing style.
I am an avid user of fountain pens, and through Glenn's Pens I am pleased to share information and my views on fountain pens, inks, stores, pen companies and the pleasure of owning and using a personally selected fountain pen.
I hope you find the information useful.
Your writing experience is formed from a combination of the pen, the ink and the paper you use. Fountain pens bring together these elements. The size and shape of the pen impacts how you hold the penn. How you hold the impact changes how the nib flows across the paper. The positioning of the nib to the paper impacts the stroke or look of your writing. You get the idea.
After selecting your pen, you have to select an ink. Fountain pen inks come in a wide rnage of colours. Some inks provide shading with variation in the colour, others others a more consistent result.
Paper has its own characteristics and is an important part of the writing experience.
In my earlier travels, when I would arrive in a city, I would look in phone books, or ask at the hotel front desk about the location of pen stores. I collected addresses and published a listing - Directory of Stores. The first list was created some 20 years ago.
On my travels I visit pen stores and some I find to be "great" stores. I have created a list of Great Pen Stores/Stores of Note.The stores are recommended because of the selection, service, product lines and overall atmosphere.
I thank those who visit the site and provide recommendations of pen stores they have come across. Send me a note with your thoughts on stores, pens or inks.
Things change, in terms of store locations, and sadly, stores that close. If you come across a store no longer in operation, please send me a note so I can update the listings.
Long-time retail store, Vancouver Pen, has relocated from their former West Hastings address to 555 Howe Street in Vancouver, BC Canada
In addition to pen stores, in Vancouver we are fortunate to have an active pen club. See the Vancouver Pen Club's website for information on the club.. Use the links below to read about the club or send an email for an inviation to attend one of the next meetings. During COVID all meetings were held via ZOOM, and niow in 2022 in-person meetings are behing held.
For more than 30 years I have been shopping at Novelli Pen & Pipe in Rome, Italy
This is a regular stop for me when in Paris - Plume et Bille,
Buchan's Starionery has been in operation since 1957. Good selection of fountain pens supported by what every fountain pen user needs: ink and paper.
The selection of ink for your fountain pen is an important and enjoyable part of owning and writing with a fountain pen. Your pen is an expression of you, and your ink you choose makes a big visual statement. I provide Ink Reviews to try to help. Over the past years there has been an explosion of inks with what seems to be endless colour options. Some of my inks of choice are noted below:
Scrittura Bolognese, simply abbreviated to SCRIBO, has a created a standout line of inks. In 2019, when in Bologna, I had the opportunity to meet with SCRIBO and they showed me the new line of ink scheduled to be issued. The ink is available from the SCRIBO web site or through a number of leading pen retailers. My collection is now growing.
I find this to be an excellent ink in a stunning presentation bottle. Thes large bottles are made to be on your desk. Bravo to SCRIBO for their dedication to enhance the experience of writing.
Beautiful colours in this line of inks that are packaged in a distinctly different bottle. The bottle is made of heavy glass with a solid cap. The design has a slanted bottom giving the bottle a distinctly different look. The bottle feels good in the hand. When this bottle stands on your desk it is certainly noticed. While I like the ink, be prepared, it is pricey.
This line of link produces a solid line of ink that you will enjoy when you write.
The ink is held in a beautiful large glass art-deco bottle. I like that each bottle holds a generous 75 ml of ink.
Edelstein is a premium line of ink by Pelikan.
The ink comes in an attractive glass flacon. I only wished for a more suble font on the bottle. There are fifteen regular colours as well as an "Ink of the Year" which is produced for one year.
I stoped with the ink of the yeart in 2021 because it was a shimmering ink, with flecks of other colour added to the ink. Not my bag.
Leonardo Officinia Italiana, known as Leonardo Pen, makes great pens and has a very good line of writing ink. The inks are available in a range of colours. With man of the higher end pens, a bottle of ink will come with the pen.
I think of this as going back to the basics. Waterman makes an excellent fountain pen ink. When I visited the Waterman factory in Nantes, France, many years ago, they showed me how they has a base for the ink, and then used a specific colour formula to make the different colours available in the Waterman line. Waterman blue - Serenity Blue, is is a great flowing ink. It works well in all pens. When I have been asked to check out a pen with problems, I typically clean the pen and fill with Waterman ink. It is an ink that works!
On my search for a great burgundy ink I came across Herbin Rouge Grenat. I am loving this ink!
Fountain pens are actually complicated to a degree. Ink flow requries a resevoir to hold the ink and then a feed mechanism that will be part of the "controlled drip" as the ink leaves the resevoir and then to the nib. No control, the ink would just gush out creating as messs. In this section of the site there is information about fountain pens.
I also include photos and reviews of my Pens of Note - pens that I particularly enjoy in terms of a writing experience.
As I recently tried out many pens at Novelli Pen in Rome, I would look write with regular and over-sized models. I have always liked Stipula pens, and the Magnifica, an over-sized Etruria model, spoke to me! This big beautitful pen is made in the very attractive Gran Sasso celluloid.
Leonardo Pen launched an exciting new pen in October 2022. As a new addition to my collection, I love lookingt at and write with this pen. A delicate and attractive resin, and the pen is fitted with the new La Fenice nib, See my review under Pens of Note.
Leonardo Furore Mosaico Blue - Vancouver Pen Club
The winter storm in Vancouver prevented the delivery of this new pen produced for the Vancouver Pen Club prior to Christmas Day. But snow in Vancouver only lasts so long and by January all pens were delivered to the members. I have enjoyed writing with mine and it has quickly become one of my Pens of Note. See Review
Leonardo Officina Italiana, Momento Zero (Vancouver Pen Club). Leonardo Officina Italiana created an exclusive pen for the Vancouver Pen Club.
Scribo Feel Mosto
This was my 2023 birthday gift. Thanks Karen! What a great way to celebrate a birthday, with a SCRIBO fountain pen. The Mosto, in the Feel line, is a wonderful pen. I love the shape and the nibs are legendary. On top of all that, this pen is a looker! An added bonus, we had to go to Rome to see Novelli Pen to pick it up.
Leonardo Pen has issued another great fountain pen: Auduce, Art Nouveau. I used it extensively to write in my Travel Journal n my 2023 trip through Italy.
Momento Zero Grande Girasole
Oh the Italian connection. My Girasole - Sun Flower. Close my eyes and I see endless fields of sunflowers. Open my eyes and I see a beautiful Leonardo Momento Zero Grande pen in my hand.
Montegrappa Mia Novelli - Autumn
Going to Rome is always a pleasure, as is spending some time at Novelli Pen. I have returned with a great new acquisition, the Montegrappa Mia Novelli Autumn. The Austumn is a resine exclusively available through Novelli Pen. Production of this pen is limited to 50.
SCRIBO Feel, Viola
Twice a year SCRIBO issues a new Feel fountain pen. For Spring 2021 the Viola and Fiorita. The pens have a limited production of 219 pieces in each colour. These pens celebrate the spring colours of a particular valley in Central Italy. I have the Viola, and as a pen to recognize my retirement from work, well, it is very special for me.
Montegrappa Mia Cityscape
while in Rome we stopped by Stilograph Corsani to visit wityh Stefano and to see what was new with his stock of pens. Quite a lot actually, and Karen was particulary drawn to the Montegrappa Mis Cityscape in a beautiful purple colour. If she is drawn to it, then that is good newss for me! I am pleased to have this pen join my collection. Currently, Corsani is selling the Cityscape pen. It is on their website and in their store at via Ottaviano, 79 in Rome.
Leonardo Momento Magico Miellefiori
I just got a little magic in my life! My new Momento Magico Miellefiori arrived and I must say I am really enjoying writing with this beautiful pen. I always liked my Momento Zero Grande Girasole, and when I saw a photo of the Miellefiori I thought these two pens were meant to be together. I particuarly like the Magico line as the pens are piston-fill and the new geometic cap band is very attractive.
In October 2023 the new Momento Zero Nuvola was released. This is a beautiful named Cloud.
In 2021 Leonardo Pen issued the Momento Magico pen. In 2022 they went one step further and updated the design to include a new band, and rings to frame the ink-view window. The cap now screws onto the pen and covers the ink-view window. All very nice touches. This pen says Italy to me! Of course it is part of the "Pens on Holiday" group!
A new pen released by Leonardo in 2023 is the Supernova in Star Light Pink.
The Momento Magico is a wonderful line in terms of look but also construction. They include the well established Leonardo piston.
Pelikan M800 was a line of pens that were at the top of my list. But recently it is impossible to get received responded to. The online for, when working, does nothing. Pen companies have to stand behind the pens they produced and my experience with Pelikan is so bad my current thoughts are to just avoid the company.