Issue #3: The Fantastic Fountain Pen Community

Issue 3 | 28 May 2023

This is the third issue of the Fountain Pen Weekly, and summer is truly here where I live. Daytime temperatures have breached 40 degrees Celsius (that’s a 104 if you measure it in Fahrenheit). This means pens tend to dry out much faster, between the heat and the fast-spinning fans we use to keep the air moving. A small spray bottle with water in it comes in handy for speedily resurrecting dried nibs and feeds!

In this issue we also take a look at Karthik’s FP setup - check out the end of the newsletter to see how you can be featured as well!

The Fountain Pen Community

One of the most satisfying things about using fountain pens is that we immediately become part of the worldwide fountain pen enthusiast community. It’s a fantastic group of people who are friendly, welcoming and supportive - especially when you meet in person.

In my city, we meet on the last Sunday of every month, and this has become one of those stress-busting events most of us look forward to and turn up for without fail. Similar meetings happen in cities around the world, and they always seem to be joyful events.

As with any other community of those with a common interest, invariably, the largest communities are found online. I am part of maybe a dozen such places, where I connect with fellow enthusiasts from around the world on different platforms. While the relative anonymity of hiding behind a username promotes bad behaviour in most online spaces, I have found the fountain pen communities to be by and large patient, welcoming and supportive. The stray incident of bad behaviour is the exception rather than the rule.

The most satisfying interactions remain the in-person ones, especially as we get to experience each others collections of pens, inks and paper. One thing that particularly grabbed me in these interactions is how each of us did everyday fountain pen things in our own particular way. Something as simple as wiping off the extra ink had each of us reaching for a different thing - paper towel, ink cloth, kitchen towel. Some of us fill our eyedropper pens directly from the bottle - a daredevil act I saw my dad do very often in my school-going days, but never found the courage to emulate - while others have their preferred instruments like syringes, pipettes or even eye droppers!

My FP setup

Karthik Subramanian | @ksubfp on Telegram

My work notebook is a Factor Notes 100 GSM A5 notebook. The paper is good, and doesn't bleed or feather with most of the inks I've tried on it.

I carry my pens in a leather tool roll from Black Canvas.

My personal notebook at the moment is a Midori A5 "Stand" notebook.

The Midori paper is quite nice too, some inks sheen very well on it. Some usual suspects don't sheen on it, however!

The Endless Regalia Planner (not shown) is my exercise log. The paper is good, and shows brilliant sheen on any ink that is remotely suspected to sheen. Whether I exercise or not, I do write in my exercise log!

Everyday FPness

I have been using a new ink this week - the Ferris Wheel Press Land of Shangri-La. These inks are not retailed in my country, so I had to get a friend to carry it for me from a neighbouring country. I love the packaging - it’s so decadently decorated with a multitude of design elements. The bottle is like a fancy perfume bottle with the signature large golden nut cap.

Ferris Wheel Press Land of Shangri-La on Cosmo Air Light paper

The ink itself is really well-behaved - a nice everyday use ink with a quick drying time and easy cleanability. I’ve been using it in a Sailor Pro Gear Slim with a music nib.

Ferris Wheel Press Land of Shangri-La on Tomoe River 52 GSM paper

Get featured in Fountain Pen Weekly!

I'd like to invite you to share your take on fountain pens and related things in one (or more!) of our upcoming issues.

Here are a few things that can go in the Fountain Pen Weekly:

  • Write up between 200 and 400 words with 1 to 5 images

  • Pen / ink / paper ownership experience

  • Favorites in FP, ink, paper etc

  • Your social handles with your FP content - Insta, FB, Twitter, Reddit

  • Any FP-related content you want to call out - articles, podcasts, videos.

If you have any other ideas as well, do share, and I will be happy to think about it.

Any and all content you share will belong to you and will be credited to your name (or a pen name of your choice) and linked to any of your online profiles.

That’s all from me this week.

Questions? Feedback? Just hit reply on this email or write in at [email protected]