Welcome to Raven’s Pens!

This website houses a running catalog of my Fountain Pen collection, along with a list of my fountain pen inks. I have created this page largely for my own information and enjoyment, but I welcome the pen-curious, the pen aficionados, and the nib-nerds alike.

So, why fountain pens?

h065I have been asked that many times, in particular on those off days, when a random mishap leaves me with inky fingers, inky papers… in short, an inky mess. Or when I have to stop, mid-page, and switch pens because I only *thought* I refilled my Opera, only to run out of ink mid-lecture. Even in those moments, mutter as I may under my breath, I wouldn’t trade my pens for a Bic for love nor money. But why? What’s the attraction?

It’s hard to quantify, especially if you yourself haven’t caught the pen bug, but I can say some things about the lure of fountain pens. For one thing, there is an elegance to laying down ink with a fountain pen. It’s part nostalgia, part the gleam of the nib, part pure fussy snobbery, I suppose. It’s not even always about the beauty of the pen; some of my best writers are not showcase material. Some are, to be sure – the marbled gleam of vintage celluloid, the glint of gold trim, the warm glow of a fine 14K nib.

rm-pens-41There’s just something about the way I write with a fountain pen. My handwriting is smoother, more graceful, more elegant when I use a fountain pen. The nib (if it’s a good one) glides over the paper, words flow, my hand doesn’t get nearly as tired (you should never have to press down with a fountain pen like you do with a ballpoint). As I have begun experimenting with different pens, broader or more flexible nibs, I have found that some of my love of calligraphy has begun to creep into my daily writing. I like that. I get all sorts of compliments on my handwriting now that would make my gradeschool teachers think you were speaking of a different person altogether!

rm-pens-14There’s also something very meditative and grounding about the little ritual of filling a fountain pen, and of caring for them. Grabbing the nearest disposable doesn’t seem to have the same gravitas that picking up a fountain pen does. And it’s green; how many pens will you buy and throw away this year? How much cardboard and plastic packaging will go into the trash with them? Granted, at well over 100 pens, I may have exceeded the idea of no waste, but still, none of them will end up in a landfill, and many of them will (I hope) become heirlooms. But in terms of my daily usage, I don’t generate writing waste. I don’t add plastic or packaging to landfills. I like that, too.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings, you came here to see pens. The pen pages have been broken into brand, and you can select a brand to view at the main page, Pens by Brand, or from the links to the left. Each pen is listed with my own (pretty darned good) photos, most with reviews or at least comments. I also have several pages listing my Fountain Pen Inks, each with scanned swatch and a short description. If you are a pen lover, enjoy! If not, I invite you to stay a while, and sample the addiction!