Hi there everyone, my name is Ria and I’m a fellow pen enthusiast. My love of pens first started when I was in primary school, where it was mandatory to use a fountain pen. I grew up in Trinidad so most students used fountain pens back then. When I moved to the United States in 2000, I started using ball point pens. My handwriting went from bad to worse, in fact, I was the only one in my family with horrendous hand-writing. I was quietly ashamed but didn’t care enough back then to do anything about it. I just kept writing my chicken scratch, lying to myself that I would become a doctor and have a legit excuse.
It wasn’t until I became pregnant last year did I renew my interest in all things fountain pens/writing. I had an awful pregnancy. I was dehydrated, in constant pain, overwhelmingly nauseous for nine months, became a recipient of a wonderful stomach virus, and got sick twice. Then I got the PUPPS Rash. Only 1 in 150 women get this! I was done. In between snow cone outings/cravings with Des, I decided that there was only so much more I could take. I went on Amazon because you can find everything on there, bought the Spencerian practice books and did the drills throughout my pregnancy. It was the only thing that kept me sane (in-between the nausea and itching, I didn’t have that much choice of hobbies left). Ever since then, I’ve just been slipping down the slippery slope of fountain pens/stationery. Des has recently joined me so we decided to do a blog on what we love. We hope you enjoy! ☺
Hello! My name is Desirée, but please, do call me, Des. I, too, am from Trinidad, and like Ria I grew up writing with fountain pens. I still remember my first fountain pen, it was cigar shaped with a silver clip and a green, plastic body. I remember the bottles of ink we had to keep on top of our desks, the ink was always blue. I remember coming home with ink stained fingers and the scolding I got from having ink stained shirts. I remember a class experiment where we dropped a few drops of ink in a plastic pot containing a philodendron and we watched it turn blue over the course of the week. I also remember the weird kids who would drink the ink from their inkwells when the teacher wasn’t looking to get their teeth blue. I laughed but I always thought there was something wrong in the head with those kids, and after drinking that ink, I’m sure there was something wrong in the head with them. Those were great days!
Then I moved to the U.S. in the early nineties and pretty much forgot about fountain pens as soon as I got here. It was all about ballpoint pens which I transitioned to quite easily. OMG, erasable pens were my jam back in the day! But I always found that while writing, the ballpoints would slide around on the paper but never really thought of it as a problem, it was just something that happened. It wasn’t until I was at Ria’s house playing around with her pens that I realized that the pen wasn’t sliding around on the paper and figured it was time for a change. Ria started me off with a cheap introductory pen, a Pilot Metropolitan that I filled with Noodler’s Golden Brown and that I absolutely adore and still use (it’s my Spencerian workbook pen), because that medium nib, at that price point is what dreams are made of. And during Christmas of last year she gave me a TWSBI Eco that she filled with that hardcore drug of an ink, J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor. Of course now I need to own all the 1670’s inks or the completionist in me won’t be able to rest. Same with the TWSBI Ecos, I need to collect them all.
All of my current pens are under the $40 price point but I’m not complaining, I’m quite happy with what I have. I won’t say I don’t want more expensive pens, it’s just that I’m trying to ease my way into the hobby, not jump in cannonball style. I’ve actually purchased one of my, hmm, not Holy Grail pens but a pen that’s over the $100 price point but under the $199 price point and I’m so excited to get it! I’m not sure what I’ve gotten myself into and I’m not trying to say Ria is my dealer but Ria is my dealer. I only have eight pens and of those, Ria gave me five.
Below you’ll see my first two fountain pens, the Pilot Metro in orange and the TWSBI Eco in white.