Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects.
The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.
— Charles Eames
What moves you to acquire certain things? Is it need? Is it a particular look? Or is it something more personal, like a memory or a dream?
The articles we choose call to us — because an intrinsic part of ourselves identifies with a certain quality they have. Yes it can start with what we require, but usually our selection process does not simply end with that. Beyond the basic need lies further consideration, or else just anything will do. If you are given a host of choices, what you particularly want also comes into play. Our wants are primarily determined by who we are. What we bring into our lives is a reflection of ourselves. Our objects mirror what we value — what is important, pleasing, and meaningful to us.
For us, fountain pens and accessories speak of what we recognize to be enjoyable. This transcends the basic need for a useful object. That is why our collections have a certain personality to them. When others see our paraphernalia, they get a sense of our identity. We are attracted to what we perceive to be akin to ourselves, or what we feel would enrich our lives.
Consideration 1 〜 The Pen Roll
This is one of the accoutrements that I feel is essential to the fountain pen enthusiast. Aside from it simply being a receptacle for our pens — the materials used in its construction, the way it is designed to be used, and the experience we get from it all determine which one we deem worthy to be among our personal objects. To illustrate, I present you with two choices —
The Lochby Tool Roll - This is a classic piece that has been updated to transport our modern tools. It works well as a pen roll, dopp kit, cycling tool kit, artist roll, or first-aid kit. The possible functions are limited only by your imagination. Made of rugged waxed canvas, it is water and abrasion resistant. An aircraft-grade aluminum hook locks everything in. Its three pockets and looped elastic holds various items in place. Double stitching and bartacking throughout enhances its sturdiness. It is 100% Vegan.
For this one, adaptable functionality is fused with a minimalist, industrial aesthetic. Durability is a key component in its design, as evidenced by the materials used and how they are built together. The elastic loops allow for some leeway in fitting items of different sizes and shapes. Top and bottom flaps ensure that contents are kept enclosed. The 3 pockets and a zippered compartment add more room for other elements for your everyday carry. A lock system is enhanced by a hardy aluminum hook that is easy to use, complemented by an adjustable strap.
I can see how this pen roll would call to an adventurous spirit. It can be folded or rolled to fit a writer’s backpack before exploring the wilderness, or an artist’s satchel before stepping out into the urban jungle. It does come in one color only, further emphasizing its focus on what is essential and efficient. Upon opening it up with ease however, you are greeted with a pop of bright color that hints at youthful playfulness.
The Peg and Awl Mini Artist Sendak Tool Roll - The Mini Sendak is a compact companion for the minimalist adventurer who wants a lighter haul. It has all the charm of the classic Sendak: waxed canvas, vegetable-tanned leather, lots of pockets, and a zip pouch. We’ve made the pen pockets a little wider to accompany water brushes and fountain pens. Roll it up, throw it in your bag, and set out on an adventure.
This one is a worthy alternative to the first option. It is constructed to be quite sturdy as well, with an old-world aesthetic designed to deepen with time and use. Its leather strap, brass rivets, and antique steel buckle take us back to earlier times when everything was crafted by hand. Compared to the Lochby, the Mini Sendak’s slots are predetermined, since they don’t stretch. However, its 2 inner pockets allow larger fountain pens to fit, while the brass-zippered and outer 2 pockets add more space for miscellaneous items. A top flap ensures that your everyday-carry tools do not fall out. The buckled leather strap lets you adjust the thickness and tightness of the pen roll to your satisfaction.
I can see this among the objects laid out on a table outdoors or on a writing desk, along with a cup of tea or coffee and an open journal. It evokes a sense of slowness, of taking time, as you ponder what to write or sketch. Maybe the design of the pen roll itself — how the simple act of unbuckling the leather strap, softened and darkened by the fingers — is a tiny reminder of a complete experience. For those of us who are drawn to the old-fashioned and nostalgic, this pen roll can add that finishing touch.
Consideration 2 〜 The Fountain Pen
As we consider the available slots in our pen roll, what we choose to fill them up with is determined by both need and want. These are our tools for the day — those we bring along not just for their basic functions, but also for the personal satisfaction they give as they accompany us on our journey. What we carry points to a nuanced decision even if it often feels like an automatic one.
When it comes to fountain pens, Lamy and Pilot spring to mind as two of the most trusted brands we know. Each one has its own unique identity, shaped by years of meticulous craftsmanship and valued for its performance. With these iconic examples, let me elucidate —
LAMY - Innovation coupled with German-made quality underlines the identity of the LAMY brand for over 90 years. Since its reinvention by Dr. Joseph Lamy, its reliable writing instruments and distinctive sense of style continue to appeal to a wide community of fountain pen users. It is famous for collaborating with prominent product designers in crafting fountain pens elevated by a timeless and functional beauty.
The Lamy 2000 embodies the brand’s creative philosophy of form always following function. Bauhaus and other German Modernist principles are imbued in the Lamy 2000’s singular, unconventional design. Durable materials and meticulous ergonomic features make it a pleasure to use.
The 2000 — and other models of the Lamy brand — would appeal to those who appreciate fountain pens built to last with a subtle boldness enhanced by modern functional design elements. Whether you’re an intrepid explorer or a stylish professional (or both), Lamy has a fountain pen suited for you.
Pilot - Renowned for its Japanese craftsmanship and innovative design, this brand has established itself as one of the giants in the fountain pen world. Since its inception more than 100 years ago, Pilot has been consistent in producing fountain pens recognized for their superior quality and classic appeal.
With the creation of the Pilot Vanishing Point in 1963, Pilot established its name as synonymous with ingenuity. Known as a groundbreaking combination of luxury and technology, it has captured the hearts of curious fountain pen enthusiasts worldwide. Over the years this model has undergone several iterations and modifications, but its unorthodox functionality remains true to the spirit with which it was made. Other models of the Pilot brand reflect this dedication to superior quality, with some higher-end fountain pens exhibiting the artistry unique to Japanese culture.
Consider this brand when you are drawn to fountain pens which perform beautifully, with minimalist elegance and classic appeal. On the other end of the spectrum, if fun and innovative fountain pen designs are your thing, Pilot has got you covered as well.
The objects we choose for ourselves carry with them our individuality. Given the myriad options we are inundated with — what is important is how each of them could further enrich our fountain pen journey. When we employ mindfulness as we use our tools, the path will be much more meaningful and pleasurable.
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Written by @lekzumali
Check out her musings on Instagram!