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Tip of the Nib

One of the most crucial parts of a fountain pen is the tip of the nib, also known as the tipping material. This is the part of the pen that comes in contact with the paper when you are writing. It is important to know a little bit about the tipping material since the quality and health of the tipping material will directly affect the quality of your handwriting.

How We can Help

This article will give you a better understanding of the variety of tipping materials that are used for fountain pens. By equipping yourself with the right knowledge now means that you can make a better purchasing decision later.

Why the Need for a Tipping Material?

The main nib body is usually made of gold or steel. This material is not hard enough to withstand the wear and tear associated with the constant friction with paper during handwriting. To remedy this problem, tipping material is attached to the end of the nib. (Also see article: How does a Fountain Pen Nib Works). The tipping material is made of a mixture of metals that are harder than steel or gold.

The Material Used to Make the Tip

The tipping material can be seen at the tip of the nib. It forms a ‘ball’ on the end of the nib. This is the part that comes in contact with the paper during the writing process.

Originally, the tipping material was made from iridium. However iridium has become a scarce material making it expensive to be used as a tipping material. Nowadays, the tipping material is made from a metal alloy consisting of a mixture of ruthenium, tungsten and rhenium. The performance of this metal alloy is the same, if not better than the original iridium tipping. This is the result of improved manufacturing and quality assurance processes.

The Shape of the Tipping Material

The shape of the tipping material dictates the size of your writing. If more of the surface of the tipping material touches the paper surface, then the resulting handwriting is thicker. In general, the nib size is grouped into three categories: fine, medium or broad. For most writing styles, a medium nib size will suit your needs. For more information on nib sizes, see article: Fountain Pen Nib Sizes.

How to Remedy Scratchy Writing Experience

Sometimes the finish of the tipping material is uneven or there is a sharp protrusion. This can result in a scratchy writing experience. Craftsman remedy this by carefully polishing the tipping material with micromesh (a type of sandpaper) to smooth out the surface.

Take Homes

And that’s all folks! Thank you for reading this. We hope we have helped!

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Ink and Paperie

A Singapore based online shop that carries beautiful, affordable and quality stationeries. We are the authorised retailer for great pen brands such as Lamy and Kaweco; as well as notebook brands such as Moleskine Singapore. Please do check in on our blog for ideas on how to simplify life, how to make things effortless and how to be happy.

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Once again, thank you!

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Parts of a Fountain Pen

The fountain pen, unlike a typical ballpoint pen is made up of many parts. It can be a maze of complexity for newcomers when trying to choose the perfect fountain pen for themselves. Being overwhelmed may even deter newcomers from purchasing a fountain pen, missing out on the wonderful experience of learning how to write with a fountain pen and gliding on pages with one.

How this Article can Help

This article will explain the function of the parts of the fountain pen and how they come together to form this amazing writing tool. Understanding what is going on in the pen you are holding will heighten the enjoyment of your purchase and use.

A typical modern fountain pen is made up of: the cap and barrel, the section, the feed, the ink storage and the nib.

Cap and Barrel

The cap and the barrel make up the exterior of the pen.

The cap protects the nib (pointed metal piece that comes in contact with paper) while the pen is in your bag or pocket. It also prevents the ink from drying up when the pen is not in use. Not all fountain pens are designed with caps. Some pens feature retractable nibs such as the LAMY 2000.

The barrel forms the main bulk of the body, holding the ink storage.

The Feed

The feed is located above the nib. It conveys ink from the ink storage to the nib. The underside of the feed looks like a comb and these parts are called the fins. The fins catch any excess ink that may flow out of the pen due to pressure changes, such as when you are on the plane. The breather hole of the nib fits over the top of feeder’s ink channel.

Ink Storage

The ink storage is where the ink is stored and is located inside the barrel of the pen. The common methods of ink storage are ink cartridges, refillable converters and built-in piston operated fountain pens. Read up more on the pros and cons of each method in our article “What is a Fountain Pen Converter”.

Older or vintage fountain pens may have other ink refilling and storage mechanisms. One example is the ink sac. When an ink sac is used then the barrel of the pen looks slightly different. It is a little different so that it can accommodate the lever that is located on the side of the barrel. The lever assists in filling the ink sac through the power of suction.

The Section

The section is a small component located between the feed and the barrel. The feed fits into the bottom of the section. There is a part called the nipple at the top of the section and this connects to the bottom of the the converter or the ink cartridge, supplying ink to the pen. The section slots into the bottom of the barrel.

The Nib

The nib is one of the key component of the fountain pen. By itself it is made up of many components such as the tines, ink channel, breather hole and tip. Do follow our article “How does a Fountain Pen Nib Works”, to find out more about the different components of the nib and how they come together to channels ink from the feed to paper in a controlled manner.

And ….. that is all! We hope we have helped to paint a clearer picture for the different parts of a fountain pen.

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Ink and Paperie

A Singapore based online shop that curates authentic, beautiful and affordable stationeries. We are the authorised retailer for great pen brands such as Lamy and Kaweco; as well as travel stationery brands such as Moleskine Singapore. We host a blog that gives ideas on how to simplify life, make things effortless and be happy.

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Once again, thank you!

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How does a Fountain Pen Nib Works

Buying your first fountain pen can be a daunting task. A fountain pen is made of many different parts which may be unfamiliar to you. Among the parts of a fountain pen, the nib is one which frequently confuses newcomers. Insufficient knowledge and understanding of what a nib is could lead to a regretful purchasing decision.

How We Can Help

The nib is made of several components – tines, the ink channel, the tip, and the breather hole. This article will identify and discuss the function of each of the them. The right nib that suits your writing style, combined with a good foundation of knowing how to write with a fountain pen, will motivate you to write more and get better at waging a fountain pen.

Tines

The tines are located at the bottom half of the nib. The purpose of the tines is to help convey the ink to the tip. The flow of ink can be changed by altering the space between the tines. If the tines are misaligned this can cause your writing to become scratchy, leading to an unpleasant writing experience.

Ink Channel

The ink channel, or the slit is the space created by the gap between the tines. The slit creates a path for the ink to travel down to the tip of the nib using capillary action. Capillary action occurs through the very act of writing. Ink is drawn down to the tip as you write by gravity and air is pushed into the reservoir to take the place of the ink. This air also helps the ink move towards the nib. Adjusting the width of the slit affects the rate of ink flow, a wider slit would mean a higher ink flow. This is important to keep in mind if the ink you are using is a little ‘dry.’

Tip

The tip is the part of the nib that is in contact with the paper when you are writing. It is made of a harder metal compared to the rest of the nib. This is the most important part of the nib since if the tip is damaged or inferior, this can cause poor writing performance. Make sure the tip has a smooth and even surface. Visually inspect the tip using a magnifying glass to making sure there are no protruding sharp parts that will cut the paper. You may need a professional to sand it smooth if there is.

Breather Hole

The breather hole, also called the vent hole is located above the ink channel. The breather hole conveys air back into the reservoir to replace the ink that is being consumed when the pen is being used for writing. This is an important part of the pen. If the breather hole become blocked this can cause pressure to build in the reservoir, resulting in ink shooting out from the end of the nib. The nib of the pen can be cleaned by rinsing with water until the water runs clear.

We hope we have helped and that you now have a better picture of how the nib works!

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Ink and Paperie

A Singapore based online shop that carries beautiful, affordable and quality stationeries. We are the authorised retailer for great pen brands such as Lamy and Kaweco; as well as notebook brands such as Moleskine Singapore. Do check in on our blog for ideas to simplify life, how to make things effortless and how to be happy.

Enjoy every moment. See you around. Do “like” us on our Facebook page.

And once again, thank you!

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Clear Demonstrator Fountain Pens

You may have come across fountain pens that have a clear, transparent barrel, feed and cap. This allows us to see the inner workings of the pens. Some find them intriguing while others prefer their coloured opaque versions. These pens have a special identity called Demonstrator fountain pen or skeleton pen. Although sold the same way, they have a special story of their own. They also carry benefits and conveniences can help you in your work. Don’t miss these benefits!

The article will explain what a demonstrator pen is, and what are its various uses, to help you determine whether you would benefit from obtaining such a pen.

An interesting history of the clear demonstrator fountain pen

Its origins date back to 1930. It was pen designed to sell more pens. Pen manufactures equipped their sale person with these transparent pen to demonstrate to customers the detailed workings inside their products. However, people started asking for these transparent pens. Seeing the demand, manufacturers begin producing them for sale. To this day, demonstrator pens still fascinate users with their display of inner machinery.

Benefits of the clear demonstrator fountain pen

Easily monitor ink reserves

The transparency of a demonstrator pen’s casing gives the user the freedom to monitor the amount of ink left in the cartridge. If you see that there is enough ink, you can leave home with confidence that you will have ink for the rest of the day. Else you can simply top-up or slot an extra ink cartridge into your bag.

Identify the pen that you need

If you work with a variety of ink colours and keeps a few pens inked up with different colours at the same time, then a clear demonstrator pen will be very useful as you can at a glace see the colour of the ink in the storage of the pens. And simply grab the pen you need while working on your masterpiece.

Let the exotic ink colours shine through

If you enjoy working with exotic ink colours, your ink can shine thru the transparent barrel. It’s pleasant to the eyes for both you and people around you.

Find out whats wrong

Another reason people prefer demonstrator pens is that since the casing is transparent, this helps in the monitoring for technical damages or problems. If you know how a pen works, then even you can easily spot the damage or blockage and repair it yourself.

See how the fountain pen work. Its a magnificent show.

If you are one who enjoys seeing how things works, you will enjoy the show put up on the inside of the demonstrator pen. Where you can see ink going thru the feeders while refilling. And ink going thru the section and feed before coming out of the nib. The is for the curious tinkerer in all of us.

Often, some manufacturers publish limited editions of their demonstrator pens, and there are customers who like to buy such pens, both for collection purposes and to show off their limited edition pens. If you enjoy observing the inner workings a fountain pen, a transparent demonstrator pen is an appealing choice.

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Thank you for reading this. We hope we have helped.

Ink and Paperie
A Singapore based online shop that carries beautiful, affordable and quality stationeries. We are the authorised retailer for great pen brands such as Lamy and Kaweco; as well as notebook brands such as Moleskine Singapore. Do check in on our blog for ideas to simplify life, make things effortless and how to be happy.

See you around. Do “like” us on Facebook.

Once again, thank you!

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Ergonomics Pen

Unknowingly and progressively hurting yourself?

Our hands are one of our most useful assets and so we should treat them with care. Injury can mean physical pain as well as loss income for the time when we cannot work. One way to do this is to make sure the tools we use are ergonomic, so we do not get hurt while working. Writing by hand for long stretches is tiring so it is important to choose a pen that is designed ergonomically.

This article will provide you with the knowledge and understanding to determine if the pen you are using is ergonomically designed. And to take relevant action to replace it with one that will not progressiely hurt you as you work.

Holding your pen correctly

Before checking if your pen is ergonomic, you should check that you are holding your pen properly. Observe how you are holding your pen. Are you gripping the pen too tightly? How are your fingers gripping the pen? For proper grip, your thumb holds the pen in place while it rests between your index and middle finger. Writing involves your whole arm, not just your hand, so your arm should be at a comfortable distance away from your body. Writing with the major muscles group of your arms instead of only your hands allows your to write for longer period of time and more effortlessly. See our article on How to Write with a Fountain Pen.

Weight of the pen

The weight of the pen is one factor that affects writing comfort. A heavy pen requires more strength to control. While a pen that is too light requires more effort to push the pen onto the paper for ink to flow.

Shape of the pen

The shape of the pen affects writing comfort. An ideal pen shape is one that is long enough so that it is comfortable for the hand to grip. The pen should be well-balanced, not top heavy so that the movement of the pen is smooth and even. The barrel of the pen should be thick around the gripping area to provide a comfortable grip for the hand.

Design of the pen grip

Preferably, the grip of the pen should be made from thick, cushiony material. This provides a better grip as opposed to pen grips made from smooth plastic or metal. Grips come in different shapes, they can be cylindrical, triangular or tapered. Try a few different shapes to find which is the most comfortable for you.

Ease of ink flow

Ballpoint and fountain pens work using different ink mechanism. Ballpoint pens require more downward pressure and effort when writing. For long sessions of writing, the downward pressure needed can take its toll on the writer. Liquid inks such as fountain pens flow more easily, reducing the effort required to make marks on the paper. In fact for fountain pen, one simply has to guide the pen along. The weight of the pen is enough to get ink flowing. If you have to do lots of writing, consider trying out a fountain pen.

Take home

Correct writing grip and posture is essential in reducing hand fatigue.

An ergonomically designed pen should be light (but not too light that you have to exert much effort to push it down onto the paper for ink to flow), well-balanced in your hands and have a long barrel for a comfortable grip.

Preferably, the grip of the pen should be thick and made of a cushiony material to provide a comfortable grip when writing.

 

Thank you for reading this. We hope we have been of help!

Ink and Paperie
We are the authorised retailer for great pen brands such as Lamy and Kaweco; as well as notebook brands such as Moleskine Singapore. We also host a blog about simplifying life and happiness. Do check in on us regularly and “like” us on Facebook!

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How to Clean a Fountain Pen

It is suggested that you clean your fountain pen once a month to ensure that your fountain pen continues to write smoothly. Irregular cleaning of your pen may lead to clogging by the accumulation of dried ink. For fountain pen nib sizes that are finer e.g. Extra Fine (EF) and Fine (F) it is even more important to clean regularly as the ink channel is narrow and more easily clogged.

This article will provide a simple to follow guide on how to clean a fountain pen nib.

Unscrew your fountain pen

First, uncap your pen and simply unscrew the nib section from the barrel. (The nib section consist of the nib and feed.)

Remove the cartridge or converter.

That it. You do not need to take the pen apart further.

Soak in water and water alone

Place the nib section in a cup and fill the cup with room temperature water until the nib is submerged. It is not recommended for you to use soap or any other cleaning substance as the residue may clog the nib or damage the material. If the water looks too dark, refill with fresh water. Let the entire nib section soak in the water overnight.

Hold it under running water

Afterwards, hold the nib section under running water for a few minutes. Flushing it with water from top to bottom until the water runs clear.

Using a desoldering bulb or bulb syringe

An alternative method to the soaking method would be to use a desoldering bulb or bulb syringe. Fit the tip of the syringe over the end of the section and pump water through the nib until the water runs clear. This is a thorough way to clean the nib.

Clean the converter

Clean the converter by rinsing it under running water first. Then clean the interior of the converter by pushing water in and out of the reservoir using the plunger. Dry the converter by wiping with a dry cloth.

For piston-filling pens, fill and empty the reservoir by filling it with room temperature water. Twist the pen to the right to fill and twist to the left to empty. Repeat this until the water runs clear. (See article: What is a fountain pen converter to understand the terms of converter and piston-filling pens)

Final steps

Assemble the fountain pen back together. Refill the converter with ink. Since there may still be some water in the nib and feed, your writing will look faint for the first few lines. It is best to write on a scrap piece of paper until the ink looks dark enough and you are done!

 

Thank you for reading this. We hope we have helped.

Ink and Paperie
A Singapore based online shop that carries beautiful, affordable and high quality stationeries. Shop with a peace of mind as we are the authorised retailer for great pen brands such as Lamy Singapore and notebook brands such as Moleskine Singapore.

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Gold Nib Fountain Pen

Will I write better with a Gold Nib Fountain Pen?

This is one of the first questions that confuse newcomers making their first purchase and continues to bug them after their purchase. We worry if we have gotten the right nib and will the other types actually be more suitable for me. This doubt may actually steal the joy from our new purchase.

Following the article to inform our readers on fountain pen nib sizes, This article will give you a better understanding of steel and gold nibs. And which one you should choose for the purpose and writing style that you are using the pen for. Getting the right nib for yourself magnifies the joy and satisfaction of writing. Combine that with a good foundation of knowing how to write with a fountain pen will motive you to practice more, perfecting your strokes.

Flexible Nibs

The ink channel delivers ink from the ink feed to the paper. One of the factors that controls the amount of ink delivered to paper is how far apart the 2 tines that forms the ink channel are. The wider the tines, the more easily ink is delivered to the paper. With this the line drawn will be bolder.

Due to the flexible nature of gold, gold is typically used to make “Flexible nibs”. These are ones that are designed for the tines to spreads wider when pressure is applied, resulting in bolder lines. With practice, this allows the writer to write words of varied thickness. Writers usually write slowly and deliberately, putting pressure at the right stroke to create the line variation. A gold nib typically comes in 14k, 18k and 21 k. 14k nibs will display this flexing effect and 18k and 21k nibs give even more.

Stringy Nibs

Gold is also the material of choice for “stringy nibs”. Stringy nibs are ones that have the ability to bend under light pressure but without spreading the tine. This results in lines of relatively consistent boldness and a springy feel when writing.

Nail Nibs

Due to the rigid nature of steel, it is typically used to make “ nail nibs”. These are the ones that are not designed to bend or spread under pressure. They yield lines of consistent boldness under different pressure. They are suitable for writing fast and daily practical task such as taking notes. As such, nail nibs made of steel are very common in modern pens. The Lamy Safari Fountain Pen as well as the Kaweco Sport Classic are modern pens that comes with a steel nail nib as default.

Take Homes

If you write fast and foresee using the pen as an everyday carry, to quickly take notes and sign documents, then steel nib is the one. If you are looking to create expressive fonts of varied boldness, you should consider gold nibs.

 

We hope we have been of help!

Ink and Paperie
A Singapore based online shop that carries beautiful, affordable and quality stationeries. We are the authorised retailer for Moleskine Singapore and great fountain pen brands such as LAMY Singapore.

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Kaweco Sport Classic

Scouting for a beautiful and compact fountain pen that can go almost everywhere with you?

Compact

The Kaweco Sport Classic is designed from ground up to go almost everywhere with you. It is short to fit into small pockets and pouches. When capped it occupies only 10.5 cm in your pocket. When in use with its cap posted it adds up to a full size 13.5 cm. (very close to the well loved LAMY Safari Fountain pen which stands at 14 cm capped). Most importantly, the Kaweco Sport Classic features a screw-on cap for extra security. No more worries about the fountain pen caps falling off when stuff into your bag and pocket.

Have a delightful and reliable fountain pen with you everywhere to take notes as you trot the continents.

Light

Finish your work. At 8.5g, the Kaweco is light enough to encourage you to finish that novel or draft. Boosting your productivity.

The True Retro Beauty

Authentic retro beauty. Designed in Germany and Made in Germany. The sports series started in 1913 (that’s more than a century ago.) and go on to be the iconic product of Kaweco. Going thru aggressive refinements, the pen already arrived at its signature hexagonal design in 1934. And largely stays the same till today. There are only a few writing instruments which have been successful in the market for decades without big changes.

Almost all the elements that made the Kaweco classic beautiful comes from its heritage.

The golden brass KA WE CO circle logo on the cap top arose around 1929 and since then can be found on almost all original KAWECO writing instruments.

The same detailed circle logo can be found on the beautiful 23K gold plated steel nib manufactured by Bock of Heidelberg.

We finds the Kaweco Sports Classic White  gorgeous and would recommend that you purchase a golden clip to go with it.

Form Follows Function

Similar to the LAMY Safari, the Kaweco Sport Classic is designed with the principal of form follows function. And designs that serve a purpose are intelligent and rarely goes out of style.

  1. The hexagonal facets on the cap and body prevent the pen from rolling, saving your frustrations and heartaches.
  2. The grip is a simple concave curve that is suitable to most grips. Great if you are starting out and learning how to write with a fountain pen, This pen for you.
  3. Convenience. This fountain pen takes a short standard international cartridge which is readily available.
  4. Wide variety of nib sizes to choose from: EF (extra fine), F (fine), M (medium), B (bold) and BB (double bold)

 All in all

This is a great pen. Beautiful, compact, reliable and hardy. Get it.

 

We hope we have been of help!

Ink and Paperie
A Singapore based online shop that carries beautiful, affordable and quality stationeries. We are the authorised retailer for great brands such as Kaweco, Lamy Singapore and Moleskine Singapore.

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LAMY Safari Fountain Pen

Looking to buy a beautiful and hardy fountain pen that you can carry around throughout the day? Making the wrong choice can mean breaking an expensive pen that is not designed to tough it out. One can land up in the embarrassing disaster of an ink leakage, staining your pocket or bag.

The LAMY Safari fountain pen is the one pen that you may be looking for.

Timeless Beauty

Designed by Wolfgang Fabian in the 1980, the Bauhaus principle of form follows function has governed the design of the LAMY Safari fountain pen. Every feature on it is there for a functional reason. The body material, the huge clip, the cross on the cap… nothing is in excess. Designs that place function on the forth front are timeless. They are classics.

Tough

The Bauhaus principle requires that designers have a good understanding of materials. ABS plastic is chosen for the body of the LAMY Safari. It is superior in toughness and aesthetic and it is the very same material that Lego bricks are crafted from. So go ahead and stuff the LAMY Safari into your jeans pockets, into your backpack. Drop it, pick it up and pull it out the next time with confidence that it will deliver. Go on to complete your work with it.

Reliable

All LAMYs are built on 3 values: Design, quality and made in Germany. 95% of LAMY components are made in-house in Heidlberg, Germany. The LAMY Safari delivered to you from Ink and Paperie is put together with the greatest care from the folks in Heidelberg.

Designed in 1980. A masterpiece of German engineering that has been refined over 30 years. Today, it is near perfection in structure and internal mechanism. Ensuring that it delivers ink whenever you need it and keeps the ink safely within its body. No more frustrations and embarrassments.

Proven

C. Josef Lamy GmbH is a producer of writing instruments with an impressive total of more than 100 distinctions won. With an annual production of more than 6 million writing instruments, LAMY Safari fountain pen still remains as LAMY’s best selling pen. This says so much about the Safari model. The LAMY Safari fountain pen has gained global recognition when it won the international iF Design Award. 

 

Why You Should Get It

  1. Timeless minimalist design
  2. Tough
  3. Reliable
  4. Clip made for travelers: clipping is a breeze. Easily secures itself to a place of your biding, freeing your hands while you grab your passport. Stays there until you next need it.
  5. Easily changeable nib: Experiment and find your style. Buy only the nib and not the entire pen. Experiment from EF (extra fine), F (fine), M (medium), B (bold) to BB (double bold).
  6. Practical ink window: Clearly shows the amount of ink left. Leave the house or hotel with confidence that you will have ink for the rest of the day.
  7. Versatile: Able to use disposable cartridges (LAMY T10 ink cartridge) and converters (LAMY Z24 Converter). Get best of both world. The convenience of 10 sec refilling with disposable cartridges when you are traveling. The special mindfulness experience of refilling from the ink bottles (T51) at the tranquility of your desk.

 

Buy It From Us

It is not good to land up with an unauthentic product. It is not good to pay more than what you should. Give yourself a peace of mind by getting the LAMY Safari fountain pen from us! 

We are the authorized retailer for LAMY Singapore, as well as other quality brands like Moleskine Singapore. If there is a sale going on now, grab it while you can!

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How to Write with a Fountain Pen

The idea of writing with a fountain pen may seem daunting to many people. The truth is there are some things that you need to look out for in order for your fountain pen to yield you the true fountain pen experience. Many have given up and have missed out on the joy of using this amazing writing instrument.

How this Article can Help

This article will tell you about the right way to hold and write with a fountain pen. It is important to set the foundation right so that you can build on good grounds for you to continuing practicing. This article aims to cover this in a simple to follow and concise manner.

The Grip

This is the grip we recommend. Hold the fountain pen between your index finger and thumb. Rest the barrel of the pen on the first joint of your middle finger. Then rest your ring and pinky finger on the surface to provide support for the whole hand. Move the whole grip along the length of the pen. Moving further from the nib until the pen makes a 40-55 degree angle to the paper. 40-55 degree is typically where you can find the “sweet spot”. The “sweet spot” is the point on the nib that yield the smoothest and optimal ink flow. It is where the fountain pen craftman design for the pen to be written on. The sweet spot varies from pen to pen and it will take the user from experimentation to find it.

Move Only your Lower Arm

Let the whole lower arm do the work. The lower arm consist of bigger muscle groups as compared to the wrist and fingers. Writing with the lower arm will allow you to write for longer period of time without getting tired or progressively hurting yourself. Only use your wrist and fingers to make fine adjustments, maintaining the “sweet spot” on the paper while writing.

Relax

Unlike ball points, a fountain pen doesn’t require much pressure for ink to flow out. You just need to perform a guiding motion, guiding your pen across the paper and making a point to keep the “sweet spot” of the nib touching the paper. There is no need to press the pen down. Unless your fountain pen is very light, else the weight of the pen itself is sufficient.

Take Home

 

We hope we have been of help!

Ink and Paperie is a Premium Corporate Gifts Singapore Company. We are the authorised retailer for brands such as LAMY, Moleskine and Parker Pen in Singapore.