I do hope you all had a happy and safe Christmas despite the Omicron pestilence stalking the land. It was just us two and phone conversations with my mother in Pennsylvania and Gordon’s daughter in Cumbria.
I didn’t buy pens over the Christmas period as they would just get hung up in the madness of the Christmas mail but I’ll be hunting down Swans and Blackbirds come the New Year. I’ll also have some restored pens to upload to the sales website in the New Year.
This week I’ve been making use of my own pens, catching up on correspondence and just generally enjoying them. Best of course are my vintage pens of all brands and dates. I have two moderately expensive modern pens, a Waterman Carene and a Platinum 3776 Century. Both are good pens which work well with great ink delivery – no hard starting or skipping but both are too smooth and slippery for my taste. A little nib work is in their future. Some careful, gentle work with Micro Mesh will improve them to the pencil-like feedback I prefer.
I have several Sailors, Platinums and Pilots from the later decades of the twentieth century. The Japanese pen makers of those years understood that over-slippery nibs made for hard work. All of those pens that I have captured from that country and time write just the way I like.
I realise it’s just a matter of preference and choice but we are provided with so many pens, vintage and modern, that suit our hand so well, whatever our nib preference. And even those of us who hesitate to broach nib-work ourselves can find nib-meisters who can change a nib to suit exactly our requirements. I suspect that in previous decades people bought a pen with the nib of their choice – fine, medium, broad, stub or oblique – and just got on with it. Does that mean we are spoiled and pampered? I don’t think so. I think we’re lucky to live in a time when a nib can be customised to our requirements.