For a week starting that afternoon, I spent all my free time researching fountain pens on the internet. My lab partner had recommended gouletpens.com as a good source of pens, ink samples, and information. From there I found a whole fountain pen community on the internet. There are forums, blogs, stores... All the things I had come to expect from the internet foodie community, I found for fountain pens. I learned about proprietary cartridges, cartridge converters, and converting cartridge pens to eyedropper pens. I saw a range of 3 dollar disposable fountain pens to pens worth hundreds of dollars and inlaid with Japanese lacquer.
From pens I went to paper, and I read about super smooth French Clairefontaine paper that weighs 90g per square meter. I read at least 30 various notebook reviews. I found writing samples of different pens and inks on different papers. It was an obsession.
Finally, I deposited my paychecks and bought everything I needed to start my fountain pen experience: a $4 Fine Platinum Preppy, three ink samples (Noodler's Blue-Black, Private Reserve Purple Ebony, and Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrun) and a Clairefontaine notebook.
|The Platinum Preppy|
|The Preppy's nib|
|The Preppy came with a cartridge of purple ink.|
|Clairefontaine's A5 "Basic Life. Unplugged" Notebook|
|It is clothbound!|
Close ups of the various pens are here.
I also used my fountain pen on more standard papers. My "Evidence Ampad" recycled paper notebook actually fared very well. It had little bleed through although it did have some feathering.
Thin printer paper did not have as smooth strokes. Notice the feathering on the f.
In conclusion, the platinum preppy is a fun pen to use, the ink I got has pretty shading, and fancy paper is nice but not necessary. However, I do find the lines a bit thick. After a bit of research, the most thin but reasonably priced fountain pen I could find is the Pilot Penmanship with an Extra-Fine nib, it is the next pen I will get. It has a nice looking clear barrel that could be converted to an eye-dropper pen, although I might get a cartridge converter to keep it cleaner. Cartridge converters are basically refillable cartridges that can be used with any ink.
Now I want to go back to writing on random different types of papers with my Preppy pen :)
(Actually, I'm going to work on chem homework...)