I meant to post this a long time ago, but got distracted: a nice piece in the Times about fountain pens and the community around them.
I work mostly with brushes and, uh, computers, but fountain pens are my favorite tool for making fine lines. When I’m inking a new drawing, I usually pick up a pen to finish it off. With the right nib, a fountain pen can be more expressive than a felt tip or ballpoint. Lines can be thinned or widened depending on pressure, or the angle of the pen. There’s a learning curve but in a practiced hand they offer a bit more control and subtlety.
But aside from all that, there’s something about fountain pens themselves that feels compelling. It’s just a thing that makes marks on paper, a pretty innocuous job that a chewed-up No. 2 pencil accomplishes just as well. A lovely pen somehow makes that simple act feel a little more special. I dunno: my wife and I have certain attachments to anachronisms like pens and vinyl records and canning jars and film cameras that make no sense but make life feel a little more interesting nonetheless.
It’s nice to see we’re not alone in that.