Your pen, an expression of you.
Sadly, we live in an era of use and toss. Most things are replaceable. Except, your fountain pen. Its a possession that has a higher level of permancy.
There are so many personal decisions having a fountain pen of choice. The choice of how you will use it, to its selection, the type of nib, the ink you will use. By the time you bring your pen home you have made a number of decisions and commitments. Writing itself with a fountain pen allows you to make a range of decisions as the nib responds to how the pen is held, and the pressure of the hand on the pen.
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 seamlesly bring these three elements together. The pen, its size and shape determines how you hold the pen in your hand. A pen too big or small impacts how the nib rests on the paper and the writing line you can create. Fountain pens have a variety of nib options. While the ball of ball point pen is very similar; here, the fountain pen stands unique. From extra fine to a broad or stub width nib, the style of the nib gives character to your pen stroke.
Inks come in a variety of colours. The viusal presence of the writing can vary in colour and tone. Some inks provide shading others a more consistent colour tone The colour! Oh the colours that are available truly enhance the writing experience.
Paper has its own characteristics and is an important part of the writing experience. The tactile experience of the receiver in the holding the paper is never to be underestimated.
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 beeh shopping at Novelli Pen & Pipe, Rome, Italy
This is a regular stop for me when in Paris, Plume et Bille,
We travel to Italy and France on a regular basis. There are good pen stores in so many cities, however, two stores I make a point of visiting are Novelli Pen and Pipes in Rome, and Plume & Bille in Paris.
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 siote or through a number of leading pen retailers.
This is a good ink in a stunning presentation bottle. It looks great on your desk, feels so solid to hold the bottle in your hand. Bravo to SCRIBO for their dedication to 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 when you write. It is also held in a in a beautiful large art-deco bottle. I like that each bottle holds a generous 75 ml of ink.
Edelstein is a A premium line of ink by Pelikan. The ink comes in an attractive and a pleasure-to-hold glass flacon. I only wished they used a more suble font on the bottle.There are fifteen colours in the regular line and each year they issue an "Ink of the Year". The Ink of the Year is produced for the year. In a couple of instances one of the special inks has transitioned into the regular line of inks.
While I used to order the annual ink each year, I stoped in 2021because it was a shimmering ink, that has flecks of other colour added to the ink. Shimmer inks are not my bag so I decided to wait until 2022. Well 2022 is here and this year's colour is Apatite - a blue turquoise colour. The year is marking on and I have yet to get a bottle. Maybe one will be available at this year's Pelikan Hub which will be held on November 18 at 6:30 pm.
Leonardo Officinia Italiana, known as Leonardo Pens, makes great pens and a very good line of writing ink. The inks are available in almost a dozen colours. With most 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.
On my 2022 trip to Rome I visted with Marco at Novelli Pen and after lingering over so many of the pens in the store, I just have to acquire the beautiful Stipula Etruria Classico Tortoise.
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 have been simply loving to look at and write with this pen. A delicate and attractive resin, and the new La Fenice nib, Please 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
Stipula Facetted Etruria Notte di San Lorenzo
Here is a beauty! I left Novelli Pen with this beautiful Etruria Notte di San Lorenzo by Stipula, cut with a facetted body and cap. The Notte di San Lorenzo resin is absolutely stunning.
Leonardo Officina Italiana, Momento Zero (Vancouver Pen Club). Leonardo Officina Italiana created an exclusive pen for the Vancouver Pen Club.
Scribo Feel Foglia
This was my 2021 celebration pen. I was waiting to use it in conjunction with a trip to Italy this year, but the trip seems to be fading, and there seem to be less and less to celebrate this year! What a pen. Fitted with the new Scribo 18 Kt Stub nib it is quite the writing experience.
» Review of the Scribo Feel Foglia
Salvatore led Leonardo Pen with another great model in the Momento Zero line - Prugna (plum). This is one of the new colours launched in 2021. The pen is made from what is called spagetti resin. Spagetti as there are stacked strips, with subtle changes in tone. I really like the rich colour of this pen.
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 2022 there has been new colours added to the Momento Zero line. The most recent is a pleasent multi-tone jade green called the Giada. My Giada is fitted with the new steel Elastic nib. A full review will follow in the next week or so.
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.