Today is Fountain Pen Day. An odd “holiday” for people but for me, now, it makes total sense. Over the course of the last 18 months I’ve found myself spiraling down the stationery rabbit hole with fountain pens in particular.
In May of 2021 I found myself hitting a wall. Frustrated with constantly switching apps, reading tech blogs, staring at my Apple Watch, and always wondering if there was a better app or piece of software that I could use to make my work more efficient. Endless optimizing and tuning all the `digital bits’ of my life. I became acutely aware of how intertwined my life had become with all things digital. It was this feeling of being chained to technology that led me to press pause and go back to basics. Which in my case meant pen and paper.
How I got started with fountain pens
I had heard about fountain pens and what a better writing experience they provided from, oddly enough, a productivity podcast. I decided to do research into beginner fountain pens to purchase my first pen and landed on the Pilot Kakuno. If you've never written with a fountain pen before it is a uniquely different experience. I think a lot of us all grew up using ballpoint pens and we are used to that feeling when we write. Using a fountain pen, in my opinion, feels like using a metal paintbrush. You are applying the ink to paper using tines as they are called which act like metal brushes in a way. This Pilot Kakuno was different than any Bic I had ever used, smooth and dare I say fun to use.
I had used Moleskine notebooks over the years and had one laying around but had read that they weren't the best notebooks to use with fountain pen ink. This led me to find a notebook that played well with fountain pen ink. I shortly purchased a Leuchturm 1917 notebook. I noticed that as I took my written notes and kept track of my todo lists on paper that my mind began to slow down. Slowing down created space in my thoughts to move on to other places like thinking about drawing and painting. Something that I had stopped doing has I lived my life inside of a computer. I started a morning journal where I penned all the trivial or interesting bits of my life.
Further down the rabbit hole
There are many things that keep me actively collecting and using stationery and in particular fountain pens. Fountain pens have pulled me back into drawing and illustration. Something I had stopped doing altogether as an adult. The stationery community is diverse and global. Unlike a lot of other communities the stationery community spans all genders, ages, and areas of the world. I greatly appreciate this. There is a long history with fountain pens that tends to begin at the turn of the 20th century. If you’re into history and vintage collecting there is a world here waiting for you.
If you have never used a fountain pen before and are even mildly inquisitive I would encourage you to pick one up and see what you think. I’m happy that I chased my curiosity and I’m building my home in the rabbit hole for now.