Craftsmanship Quarterly Features Fountain Pens
I opened the latest issue of Craftsmanship Quarterly, an online magazine dedicated to what the hand can create. This winter issue has a large segment on fountain pens and the crafts involved in specialty nibs. Several of our photos and ideas are beautifully presented here. Tim Redmond is a pen enthusiast who has done his homework and written the lead articles, pulling in information from a number of great pen people. The publication is a service to all those craftspeople who have put their dedication to craftsmanship ahead of financial security. Here is a link to support this remarkable nonprofit magazine and the videos that celebrate craftspeople: https://craftsmanshipinitiative.org/donation-drive/
I recommend a particular video, The Pen Shaper, which features Michael Masuyama, a master nib grinder. It was produced for Craftsmanship Quarterly and is an example of the quality videos they are making.
I recognize that in this digital age there is a hunger for a physical connection to the non-virtual world, the world of paper, ink, nibs, and tangible objects. It is little wonder that fountain pens are seeing a revival. They can offer just the right level of messiness to engage our visual, tactile, and auditory senses. Unexpected drips, bleeds, dry-outs, and blotches remind us that we live in a world subject to the laws of gravity, humidity, air pressure, and flow dynamics. The fountain pen is about as far as one can go from the keyboard and still occupy space on ones desk. A fountain pen engages the surface between paper and the tip. Add to that the flow of our own little river which originates deep in the pen and runs past a thicket of fins and out onto a broad plain of paper. There we can create swirls, whirlpools, and currents. Such a wealth of physicality can either be a distraction or an inspiration to write, to draw, and to express.
So many people have told me that the first draft, the idea part, the first tug of inspiration, is much easier to find in hand writing than on a keyboard. It is a privilege to be able to make a living by providing pens that perform for people who put them to such good purpose.