Right before graduating from university in 2009 I decided I wanted to have a nice fountain pen to write with. Something about them just felt “better” than things like gel pens. The one thing I wanted to have from my gel-pen-days, though, was a very thin line. For graduation, my parents then gave me a beautiful Parker Sonnet France I. fountain pen with a fine nib. I absolutely loved writing with it, especially how fluent it felt. I also had a couple of downsides, though, that I remembered only much later back from my school days:
- Fountain pens tend to get you dirty rather easily (luckily, that was not really the case with the Sonnet, though)
- If you only have a single cartridge left, it’s like you don’t have any cartridges at all.
- Ink tends to take ages to dry (my school notebooks looked like a mess even though my handwriting was always quite nice) unless you use blotting paper or something similar
These eventually over the years made me go back to gel pens (and later ink pens) but I always remembered how it felt to write with a fountain pen: fluent. No gaps! That’s the basic trade-off with fountain pens compared to others: Since they put more fluid on the paper, they feel much smoother to write with. More liquid also means more time to dry, though.
Two weeks ago I got tired of having to deal with gaps again using otherwise awesome pens like the Uni-ball Air or Uni-ball Signo and went back to using my good old (11 years by now) Parker Sonnet (F).
In order to deal with bleeding and just too much fluid I also got some blotting paper and, for the first time in my life, I intend to actually use it. So, with issues (1) and (3) being dealt with, I also wanted to tackle the cartridge-one. Cartridges are great but I don’t want to have to rely on them. They just hold too little ink and therefore create far too much waste for my liking. Instead, I’m giving proper ink bottles a try now. While a normal cartridge holds around 1.4 ml of ink, the common Parker Quink black bottle has 57 ml. So, ignoring a bit of spill for now, I’d get around 40 cartridges worth of ink out of a single bottle which costs around EUR 8 while five cartridges cost EUR 2.50.
Sure, refilling from a bottle will definitely take longer than just replacing a cartridge, but this will help me avoiding quite a lot of trash. I’m pretty sure that I’ll curse quite a lot during the first couple of attempts, though 😅