02-06-2015, 08:02 PM
#1
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Since I recently returned to college (part time), I obviously found myself needing take notes and write a lot more often then before. 
I personally hate writing, my penmanship is horrible and my hand always hurts. I kept coming across fountain pens and after talking to a few people I decided to give it a try.

It was a no brainer that I would start off with Pilot Metropolitans. I couldn't decide on one, so I did what was logical and bought two!

Medium Nib Silver
Fine Nib Black Croc

Ink on the other hand was very difficult to decide on. I knew for sure I wanted to start with black and blue.
A sample pack of inks seemed like a great solution. I opted for the Best Seller ink sample from Goulet Pens.
In addition to the sampler, I knew I at least wanted to buy one bottle of ink. I was thinking Noodler's Black or perhaps X-Feather
But then I watched a Goulet video on YouTube where he talks about creating Liberty's Elysium with the fine folks at Noodler's.
It seem to get great reviews on their site, so I decided to give it a try.

A friend online told me the importance of paper and he recommended Clairefontaine Notebooks.
At $5.50 each, these seemed like a great starting option.


[Image: EbdnAqA.jpg]

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 02-06-2015, 08:05 PM
#2
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By the way... Holy Cow nice paper does make a huge difference. I wrote in my dollar store notebook and then in the Clairefontaine books and it was night and day difference.

Here's a horrible sample writing... I told you my handwriting was awful!!!

Noodler's Black does not dry fast enough for note taking during class.
So I'm looking for a different 

Liberty's Elysium has a munch better dry time but I'm having issues with the Silver M Metro.
I get false starts and if I stop writing for a few seconds, the false start repeats.
I will try a different ink and see if the problem continues.
If it does then I will have to examine the nib for defects.


[Image: QScfFMw.jpg]

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 02-06-2015, 10:10 PM
#3
  • freddy
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  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Tom, welcome to The Ink Well Forum on TSN. Smile

Keep in mind that the most important part of penmanship is legibility and yours is certainly that.  To improve your penmanship just keep practicing whenever you can.

Paper makes a huge difference in the writing experience, as you have discovered, and Clairfontaine is some of the best, in my opinion.

I have to admit that my medium nib Pilot Metropolitan was a disappointment and for the same reasons you describe.  At the time, a medium nib was all that was available.  I tend to prefer a fine line but when the fine nib Metropolitan came out I almost didn't get it because of my experience with the medium.  However, I gave in and found the fine nib Metropolitan to be far superior to the medium version.  I didn't have any of the problems with the fine that I did with the medium.

Different inks have different characteristics and the Goulet Pen Co. site is just about the best to compare ink colors and their properties.  If you search their site by a specific ink color you'll get all of a particular color by brand name and, in many cases, the ink's characteristics will also be listed (drying time, water resistance, etc.).  Samples are a great way to see what you like before investing in a full bottle.  Inks, like blades for our razors, can be a very personal choice so just take time and make your own discoveries; the journey is part of the fun. Winky

Again, welcome to The Ink Well.

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 02-07-2015, 08:40 AM
#4
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Thank you Freddy. I'm really enjoying these pens. So much that I already have a few other items in my cart, tempting me to check out! LOL

I will certainly continue to work on my penmanship. Besides practice, I will also look into finding some sort of guide to assist with the process. If anyone know of one, please let me know.

I hope I can find a solution to the medium nib Metro. I actually think it writes smoother then the fine nob but only once you get stared. The fine nib is lovely but feels a tad bit scratchy compared to the medium. However, I assume that is normal considering it's minuscule nib.

Goulet Pen Co. is a fantastic website and resource. You can really tell they are dedicated to their business and put in a lot of work. They've been a tremendous help, especially their YouTube Channel. I was also blown away at the detail of their packaging, they ensure everything was properly packaged so nothing would get damaged during shipment.

I will try the inks in my current sample pack but I'm considering also ordering their quick-dry sample pack soon as well. My next blue ink I'm itching to try is Kon-Peki, I've read so much positive reviews about it and I also think it looks amazing! Lets hope I don't fall in love with Pilot Iroshizuku inks, they are not cheap!

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 02-07-2015, 09:08 AM
#5
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Pilot Iroshizuku inks are exceptional.  I was very fortunate in being gifted mine and I use them all the time.  I have not come across one of their colors that I did not like.

Tom, in your computer search engine, type in "Penmanship Practice" and you will see a wealth of information and practice sheets galore.  While some of these sites are geared toward children, the practice is the same so go to it. Thumbsup  Here is one site that I looked at and it looks quite promising: http://www.handwritingpractice.net.  It lets you choose how you want the worksheet to look.  The site includes print, cursive, and D'Nealian styles.  I have always disliked D'Nealian but its advantage is that it is pretty easy and legible, when done correctly.  What I dislike about it is that, to me, it is a cop-out.  It isn't printing and it isn't cursive and it has no class.  Obviously, that is my opinion and no one else's so if you like it then go for it.  As I stated earlier, the most important aspect of penmanship is its legibility. 

Let us know how it's going and if you discover any other good worksheet sites please consider posting them here. Thanks. Smile

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 02-07-2015, 12:01 PM
#6
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LETS HOPE THIS NEW HOBBY DOESN'T GET OUT OF HAND LIKE SHAVING DID..

Awww... Why restrict yourself at the outset?? Biggrin

Freddy gave you some good info. He always does. 

Goulet is a great resource. Lots of excellent videos. 

There is a lot of good info on "The Inkwell" as well. The "Fountain Pen Thread" at the top is chock full of good stuff and a good read.  You will fine pen, ink and paper reviews.

Paper is important as you noted. I am a lefty and have to worry about smearing the ink as my left hand passes over the freshly written words. The paper is as important as the ink in this matter. I like the Clairfontaine. It is the same as Rhodia. I usually buy Rhodia notepads as it comes in a choice of glue or microperforations. When removing a sheet of paper I personally like the microperfs. 

In regards to quick drying ink for note taking the nib, ink and paper all play a roll. You seem to prefer a medium nib. A Fine nib will lay down less ink and thus dry quicker. Also please note that nib sizes are NOT standardized and different manufacturers have different widths. I have an Italian made Visconti with a fine nib. It leaves a thicker line than every other medium pen we own. I love the pen but really have to limit my ink and paper selection to be able to write with the pen.

Iroshuzuki inks are a fav of ours. Great colors and great performance. Kon-Peki is my wife's favorite color. I find with this brand of ink the drying time varies based on color.

Diamine is a favorite ink brand of ours also. They make no claims about quick drying but I find all of there inks to be very good for this lefty.

Regarding your thread title. This quickly blossomed as a hobby. You may have noticed I used the pronoun "our" a few times. My wife jumped into this hobby with a bigger splash than I. She has watched ALL of the Goulet videos, owns more pens and generally knows more than I do. The kicker is when I started my wife expressed the same view as your thread title - concerned I would go overboard. Then she got hooked and is a bigger aficionado than I.  And I admit that I now visit The ShaveNook mostly to come to "the Inkwell".

You are off to a great start. Have fun and keep us posted.

Phil

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 02-11-2015, 08:47 AM
#7
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I'm not far ahead of you with getting into fountain pens, and I'm really working to apply what I learned in shaving to this new hobby.  Namely, I am sticking with a starter pen for a good month before I go crazy and buy a bunch more.  I am also paying a little more to get some quality ink and paper, but I figure that is worth it.

For practice, you might look at the Clairefontiane French-ruled notebooks, which feature horizontal and vertical lines.  Goulet Pens (and others) sell them, and they are great for practicing your letter formation and sizing in a consistent manner.  I don't care for them for general notetaking or journaling because I think the vertical lines make them look too busy, but they are great for practice.

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 02-11-2015, 11:29 PM
#8
  • freddy
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(02-11-2015, 08:47 AM)kansaskyle Wrote: I'm not far ahead of you with getting into fountain pens, and I'm really working to apply what I learned in shaving to this new hobby.  Namely, I am sticking with a starter pen for a good month before I go crazy and buy a bunch more.  I am also paying a little more to get some quality ink and paper, but I figure that is worth it.

For practice, you might look at the Clairefontiane French-ruled notebooks, which feature horizontal and vertical lines.  Goulet Pens (and others) sell them, and they are great for practicing your letter formation and sizing in a consistent manner.  I don't care for them for general notetaking or journaling because I think the vertical lines make them look too busy, but they are great for practice.

Kyle, that is a wonderful suggestion.  French ruled paper is very popular for penmanship practice.

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 02-12-2015, 07:25 PM
#9
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Nice choice in pens, Tom and enjoy!  Thumbup

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