Not content with fountain pens and WWII-era typewriters, I’ve started using dip pens when I write letters. Actually, I am not new to them. When I was a teenager, my best friend gave me a glass dip pen for my birthday, and I used it for several years (mostly to write in my journal, as I wasn’t into the whole epistolary thing back then) until the tip broke off.
I bought a pewter dipping pen at Papier Plume shortly after I moved to Louisiana, mostly for aesthetic reasons. (Side rant: I’ve gotten pretty sick of the ubiquitous fleurs-de-lis since moving to Louisiana, but I liked it on the pen. Mine has an olive green feather.) I bought a couple bottles of calligraphy ink (walnut and moss green–earth tones seem to suit the medium better; PP makes and bottles their own) and did use it a couple of times. But the nib they stuck on it was super sharp and pointy–like, you could put someone’s eye out with that thing–and I had too many problems with it catching on the paper and spraying ink all over it (and my hands and the desk and whatever shirt I was wearing at the time).
I figured they could probably recommend a better nib for someone who a) prints, rather than writes and b) tends to hold a pen like they’re trying to strangle it. But I didn’t get back to the store until this past Labor Day weekend, although I’ve been buying sealing wax and fountain pen ink off their website. The woman who works there suggested 2 different nibs: one with a flat tip, like a calligraphy pen; and one with a ball-tip. They both worked out beautifully, and the flat nib can even be used on ordinary lined binder paper.
So when I went back last weekend, I bought another of each type, just so I have spares–dip nibs don’t last forever. I also bought a bottle of their peacock blue ink, which is hands down my favorite shade of blue–and since joining the Goulet Pens Ink Drop, believe me when I tell you that I have tried a LOT of different blues. I’ve been using the fountain pen ink and wanted it in calligraphy ink. And I bought a bottle of gold calligraphy ink, which is not as frivolous as it may sound, as I actually use metallic ink quite often, to address dark-colored envelopes. Also fine, maybe I have some half-assed idea of doing illuminated letters in my correspondence.
I also bought this dip pen (in bronzed pewter with a burgundy feather), which I am not even going to try to defend, I don’t in any way need a second pen. Design aside, it’s the exact same pen. I APOLOGIZE FOR NOTHING! In fact, I plan on buying this pen as well, just as soon as I can get it with a dark blue feather.