A few more words on the subject of the dip pen. I have come to the conclusion that a large part of my recent success is down to preparation of the nib. I had been putting a new nib in my mouth as a method of preparing it but I read that some of the coatings used were not conducive to good health if licked so I looked for another way of making the nib ready for use.
I read somewhere on the internet that one method was to pass the nib through a flame. I hunted through the house and found a cigarette lighter that had been kept since my husband stopped smoking ten years ago. I never throw anything away that might be useful which is why we live in incredible clutter.
Anyway, I immersed a nib in the gas flame. Burned my fingers the first time and held the nib with pliers after that! It was a resounding success! I then tried it with a nib that did not have any kind of reservoir: an Esterbrook Relief. On immersion it picked up a good supply of ink and delivered it to the page as evenly as one could wish. I’m delighted as this suggests that I can use most nibs.
At first I used a vintage ink, a very old Stephens in a glass bottle, which might have evaporated a little over the 90 or so years it has been around. That was quite messy and not really a success. I might take advice I have kindly been given and water it down. Waterman’s Absolute Brown was my next choice and that worked perfectly.
This blog is about fountain pens and I don’t intend to be a bore about the dip pen but I am enjoying learning something new. I may report from time to time about my progress in the hope that it may help others who take an interest in the dip pen but that will be all. It might be indicative of where my real interest lies that I’m drafting this article with a 1980s Platinum long-short rather than a dip pen.