Women and Fountain Pens: Celebrating Women's Month with EndlessPens

This is the month for celebrating women. The 8th of March specifically is International Women’s Day, promoting women's rights and issues and honoring women’s achievements. In 1975, the United Nations formally sponsored this date, and since then different countries have marked this day. In the United States, this observance lengthened into a week of commemoration, and eventually into a whole month. By 1987, the US Congress established Women’s History Month as a yearly, federally recognized celebration of the role of women in making history.

 

At EndlessPens, we would like to celebrate this month for women by sharing the insights of a selection of fountain pen enthusiasts from Instagram. They have been inspired by this hobby we all share, and in turn continue to foster creativity among others within the fountain pen community. We hope you can take a look at their creations to get to know the artistry behind these women.

 

Here they are —

 

Women of the Fountain Pen Community

 

 

 

@adventuredenali

 

How would you describe your fountain pen collection?

My collection feels all over the place in my mind. The more pens I collect, the more diverse it has become. That being said, my favorites have always been: Vintage and Japanese -  I even have Vintage Japanese fountain pens! Anyway, I love the early American fountain pens, primarily from the 1920s and ‘30s. Captivated by their history, the uniqueness of each pen, the materials (ebonite and celluloid, silver, and gold), I can’t seem to get enough. I’ve grown more protective of my little Vintage collection over the years and admit they’re less used than they once were, but loved all the same. My second infatuation has been Japanese pens: Sailor, Platinum, Pilot. I now have plans, hopes and dreams to own some Namiki, Wancher, and Nakaya too!

 

How has the hobby and the pen community enriched your life?

Honestly, this is one of those questions that feels impossible to answer in sum. I could probably write pages and pages. I will try to put it all in a nutshell: This hobby, and this community, have encouraged creativity, inspired socializing and sharing, and taken me on new adventures I never thought possible.

 

What is your hope for all women?

To never hinder oneself from doing something because it’s not what “women do.” Growing up, there were so many things I wanted to do, and still do. To name a few: work as a car mechanic, be a firefighter, learn to work with wood and metal. Ultimately, what always stopped me was my gender. I grew up believing that women simply didn’t do those things, and was fearful of intruding on those male-dominated spaces. I’d like to believe I wouldn’t limit myself so much these days, but those early childhood beliefs run deep and are difficult to conquer sometimes. So, just do it - whatever it is, just do it.

 

 

@aina.kristina

 

How would you describe your fountain pen collection?

I have struggled starting with my fountain pen collection. I needed a pen that could take how small my handwriting is. That need was met when I got to try the Pilot Kakuno. I loved the body of the TWSBI Eco and Mini -- so I tried the EF nibs. Sadly, it was still not enough. Fast forward to three years, I met a nib smith here in Manila and the rest is… well.. Hello, Sailor Pro Gear Slim! Looking at my pens, they're all very simple, almost half of them are demonstrator bodies. I am drawn to whites, blues, nude, and rose gold. Green has been a recent addition though! Most importantly though, each and every pen has a custom extra extra fine custom nib grind!

 

How has the hobby and the pen community enriched your life?

It may not make sense but being in this community, I felt seen, I felt heard and I felt recognized. Writing has given me the chance to appreciate that I am different and I learned to embrace that, because eventually, you will find a group out there that enjoy the same things you or I do.

 

What is your hope for all women?

That we learn and appreciate mutual respect towards one another. Clapping for someone else's success or achievement does not lessen the chances of any personal growth. If not that, then I hope that we all find the courage to be exactly who we are and who we want to be without compromising our morals. It's a tough world out there, it won't make anyone less of a person if you are kind to one another.

 

 

@eggbunni

 

How would you describe your fountain pen collection?

I’d describe my fountain pen collection as “Girly AF”. Throw sparkles, pink, gold, and anything traditionally feminine into the mix, and I’m all over it! My collection has an embarrassing amount of pink in it (it’s my favorite color), and you’d really have to tie my hands down to keep me from buying new cute pink fountain pens that come out. Spring is really hard on my wallet because that’s when all the Sakura-themed stationery and fountain pens come out!

 

Being an artist, I used to think I’d only collect Extra Fine nib types (the tinier nib size allows for more detailed illustration work), but now that I use my fountain pens for pretty much EVERYTHING (penpal letters, planners, journals, etc), I’ve begun collecting nibs of all kinds! My absolute favorite nibs are the 21K Medium-Fine and Medium nibs from Sailor. They’re pretty much perfect for everything from illustration to handwriting, and they show amazing shading with multi-chromatic shading inks (my favorite ink type).

 

I originally began collecting fountain pens in October 2021 when I wanted something more convenient than a dip pen for lining my illustrative work and paintings. But that first LAMY Al-Star was a slippery slope, because I then discovered the cute colors of Kaweco (hello, Vibrant Violet!), which then led me to Sailor, the brand mecca of adorably girly and elegant fountain pens. I keep telling myself I’ll stop buying pink fountain pens, but I CAN’T HELP MYSELF. The heart wants what it wants, right?

 

How has the hobby and the pen community enriched your life?

I have met so many people who are at my speed through the fountain pen community. People who appreciate the tactile feel of stationery, the microscopic details of ink shading and sheen, and the coating/absorbency/weight of paper (geeky details I could never discuss with my “normy” friends who’d rather text than write a sentence). This hobby attracts people who enjoy taking their time making things beautiful, who appreciate art when they see it, that value aesthetic appeal, and find the idea of analog creativity romantic & cool. Who knew I’d meet so many people just like me through fountain pens? It seems like such a niche subject matter, but it’s one of the most active (and rabid) communities I’ve ever been a part of! I’ve noticed the community is also very “mature”, and that’s pretty rare, especially online which can be a cesspool of wildly varying opinion. It’s wonderful to think we can all come together without much head butting over a mutual appreciation for fountain pens.

 

What is your hope for all women?

I feel like society expects a lot from us. To be perfect examples of womanhood. To be mothers, homemakers, CEOs, popular with friends, constantly out getting brunch with people or doing exciting things. My hope for women is that we remove ourselves from the pressure society puts on us to be human superstars and get back to appreciating “slow living”. My hope is that women take a moment to breathe, remove themselves from anxiety-causing social media apps that make them feel like they need to “keep up with the Joneses”, and focus on nourishing themselves and what makes them truly happy. For me, that’s fountain pens, illustration, and stationery. I’m all about that cozy life, and I hope more women slow it down and “smell the flowers” (then press those flowers into wax seals or their journals to appreciate again later). Life’s too short to rush through. Better to cruise.

 

 

@gourmetpens

 

How would you describe your fountain pen collection?

My fountain pen collection goes with the flow - it grows and diminishes depending on how I’m feeling and what’s going on. Currently, there is a lot of color, a lot of custom makers have contributed with their own logos engraved in what would be otherwise plain ol’ nibs. Colors, sparkles, light-catchers - these are the pens that are in my heart right now. Especially if they have a juicy, smooth, broad nib of any material!

 

How has the hobby and the pen community enriched your life?

The hobby and pen community has changed my life. For years, I hid myself and what I was struggling with because of shame, fear of judgment. Finally I opened up and the wave of support was beautiful and uplifting, and I found happiness in sending notes and connecting with pen lovers. There’s something about gushing over how an ink behaves or how a nib sails across a page that makes a stranger a kindred spirit as well. I am happier for it.

 

What is your hope for all women?

My hope for all women is that they can find truth in knowing they deserve to take up space, they deserve good things, they deserve to have wants and needs, to ask for what they want and need, to make decisions that aligns with their values without being insulted, to be safe, and to find fulfillment. This sounds wild and vague in some ways, and overly specific in others, but it’s what I would love to gift my younger self, and I think that’s what many women could benefit from.

 

 

@inksample

 

How would you describe your fountain pen collection?

My pen collection is generally made up of purples, followed by teals, and then some brass pens, white pens, and a few others that don't fit the aforementioned categories.

 

I have nibs of all sizes, but I prefer writing with either an architect grind (broad or medium) or the usual round tipping in Fine. I cannot, for the life of me, write with a cursive italic or a flex nib, being a leftie overhand writer.

 

In terms of aesthetics, I like modern pens. I've yet to add a vintage one to my collection. If it's pretty or elegant-looking and in my favorite color, I'll add it to my ever-growing wishlist!

 

I bought my first fountain pen, a purple Pilot Metropolitan, a few months after my boyfriend showed me his small collection of LAMY Studios (in an attempt to impress him by dabbling in his hobbies). I soon fell deeper into the rabbit hole than he did, and now 5 years later, I have just under 50 pens and he has about a quarter of mine.

 

How has the hobby and the pen community enriched your life?

I wanna say stationery gives me the "escape" I need from life, but that's not really fair to my stationery because it's the very thing that gives me life, especially through these difficult few years. The hobby helped me rediscover my love for arts and journaling. It keeps me grounded, helps me appreciate the little things, and gives me something to look forward to (stationery happy mail lol). Through this hobby, I've met some very valuable lifelong friends who inspire me every day. I love my tech, sure, but nothing beats the charms of the analogue lifestyle.

 

What is your hope for all women?

My hope for all women is that we never have to plead for our rights and our place in society, and that we don't have to fight twice as hard to get the respect and recognition that we deserve. My hope for little girls is that they never get discouraged from pursuing a dream because of their gender. Women are just as powerful, capable, and deserving of every opportunity offered in this world.

 

 

@jjuliejjeon

 

How would you describe your fountain pen collection?

The first few years of my fountain pen journey are probably best described as minimal. It’s hard to believe that my collection only consisted of 2 LAMY fountain pens. Fast forward another decade, my collection has grown, and I’ve probably gotten older and more sentimental too! My pens now evoke memories of my childhood, commemorate life events, or remind me of my family. The only constant characteristic is probably how fine the nibs are to suit my small handwriting. You’ll see I also have a soft spot for good craftsmanship, warmth, and sparkles.

 

How has the hobby and the pen community enriched your life?

I love that there’s so much more to this hobby beyond the initial excitement and geekery about pens and paraphernalia. If I had to pick one aspect, it’s the correspondence that this hobby has opened up for me. I’ve received so much generosity, support, and life advice from some of my closer friends in the community over the years. I’m eternally grateful for the incredible friendships I’ve made all over the globe, thanks to this rather obscure obsession of ours.

 

What is your hope for all women?

On a fundamental level, I hope for a world where women can participate in society feeling empowered, respected, and safe. On a more personal level as a woman working in tech, I hope that our industry will strive for more diverse teams and follow through with equal opportunities in career progression and pay, regardless of gender or how one might identify themselves. And I hope that maybe one day, we can get to a place where all of these things will be perceived as a given rather than something extra.

 

 

@kraftykace

 

How would you describe your fountain pen collection?

I love anything Turquoise, Mint or Aquamarine but I think I’m willing to explore other colors this year (can’t believe I purchased a yellow pen! YELLOW! It’s such a happy, bright color. Too bright for my personality) In nib size, always EF or F. Began with Pilot Prera and achieved my pen grail which is a Pelikan M600 Turquoise last year.

 

How has the hobby and the pen community enriched your life?

The pen community is very friendly! And is the best community for me. A dangerous community also  but in a fun way. They’ll help you achieve whatever pen or ink your heart desires. They’re just the best, helpful and very generous in all terms. Enriched my life? I guess I gained new friends, experience, and learnings.

 

 

What is your hope for all women?

Is gender equality too cliche? Lol. I hope they’ll respect women who choose not to have or want a child, let’s normalize it shall we? It’s not a responsibility.

 

 

@mel.naujoks

 

How would you describe your fountain pen collection?

My fountain pen collection doesn’t really have a theme or aesthetic. And I’m not entirely sure what draws me to a pen. I suppose it just depends on my mood.  My collection includes so many different colors, nib sizes and styles that it would be hard for me to pick just one. But I think what I have the most of is demonstrators with EF nibs. I can’t say no to the Twsbi Eco limited edition colors! They were my first love when I got into the fountain pen hobby and continue to be one of my favorite pens. And I do love how the ink looks in them.

 

How has the hobby and the pen community enriched your life?

The fountain pen community has been wonderful to be a part of. I’ve met so many wonderful people and new friends because of it. And on top of that it has helped my art style evolve and change over time.

 

What is your hope for all women?

My hope for all women is to know your worth and follow your passion.

 

 

@nibsandflourishes

 

How would you describe your fountain pen collection?

 My fountain pen collection got started with an Osmiroid calligraphy fountain pen with an italic nib and the classic Speedball textbook that my aunt gave to me on my 12th birthday. I was an artistically inclined kid, and that wonderful gift set off a lifelong interest in lettering of all sorts. I got into dip nibs, worked on my calligraphy for many years and even made some extra money addressing wedding envelopes in calligraphy when I was a young adult. During a year abroad in college, I discovered that using a fountain pen for regular, everyday writing was a superb experience, even with a cheap student grade pen. I collected some pens in the couple of decades that followed but it wasn’t until maybe 10 years ago that I noticed the variety of colors and materials and inks and nibs that were available had really exploded. My collection exploded along with it. About 3/4 or more of the pens in my collection are either shades of turquoise, purple, or some combination that includes one or more of those colors. I like having a variety of materials and looks and brands but my collection is unified primarily by color. I am currently curating my collection a bit, selling some pens that don’t really fit in the collection or just never get used and replacing some unremarkable nibs with more interesting ones that will get used. I am very focused on new nib experiences at the moment.

 

Nib preferences: 

My "regular" fast handwriting is rather spidery-looking and it looks best in a good Japanese Fine nib, but I own and enjoy almost every type of nib, from Extra Fine, to Broad, to Italic, to Architect and to Fude. I truly enjoy learning the characteristics of each type of nib, finding a perfect ink to match and finding a lettering style that shows off what the nib can do. I write in a number of different handwriting styles depending on the nib I use. My favorite grinds are skinny italics like a fine cursive italic or a Franklin-Christoph S.I.G., architect nibs of all sizes from tiny to huge, and flex nibs. I have a variety of flex nibs in both gold and steel.

 

How has the hobby and the pen community enriched your life?

 I have three primary hobbies - pens, gardening, and photography. My Instagram account has allowed me to express myself using all three hobbies. I include garden flowers in my posts at least once a week on Fridays.  I rediscovered my pens once my son was old enough to be self-sufficient and I have had a lot more time to spend on hobbies now that we are empty nesters. Fortunately all three hobbies have been easily accessible to me during the pandemic, and each one has a calming and relaxing effect on me.  There is something about slowly forming loops and letters and flourishes that soothes me. I have made many pen friends via Instagram, and there are a few I know well enough to be counted among my "real life" friends. In several cases the friendship began with the sale of a pen.  I enjoy going to pen shows, where almost everyone there seems like a kindred spirit.

 

What is your hope for all women?

 We are living through a difficult era, including a pandemic and war in some parts of the world. Being able to play with pens and inks often feels like a luxury. My hope is that all women can find a little space in their day for themselves and for some form of self-expression that is meaningful to them. It might be journaling, writing, correspondence, artwork, music or even advocating for a cause they believe in.

 

 

@vanleigha

 

How would you describe your fountain pen collection?

My fountain pen collection, like my journaling style, is experimental with a tasty flavoring of elegant eye candy.

 

As for body style, I like my pens the way I liked my cigarettes when I smoked -- long (120 mm) and slender. If I can't post a fountain pen, I'm not a happy camper. The length is critical to my writing enjoyment. My ideal pen length, tip to tail is 6.75" (175mm) and NOT cigar shaped if at all possible. My favorite writer from an ergonomic standpoint is the LAMY Studio or newer LAMY Ideos. Both are long and slim and with the right ink can keep up with stream-of-consciousness-speed handwriting. My favorite writing nibs currently are the 18K Pilot Vanishing Points followed by the Pelikan M600. I've dabbled a bit with vintage pens and am looking forward to trying flex at this year's San Francisco International Pen Show.

 

I've had fountain and calligraphy pens since high school but college and graduate school note-taking led to a career dependent upon writing which made fountain pens an impractical choice. For decades I used rollerball and gel pens. It was only fairly recently that pen envy overcame me when I saw social media photos featuring the TWSBI Diamond 580 RG II. But what led me down the fountain pen collecting path was an antique glass and brass inkwell sent to me by a friend in Denmark. It was THAT desk accessory that required a Kaweco Special Brass and the aforementioned TWSBI fountain pens to complete "the look". Followed quickly by the YStudio Brassing fountain pen. And so on and so forth.

 

I've been on a mission to collect colors, nibs and brands ever since. I tend to lean towards the "newest" model but do try to balance my acquisition list with the classics as they become available at a discounted price. Appearance always attracts me first but a pen won't stay in my stable unless their writing performance lives up to their price point. I'm a lot more forgiving of a $100 fountain pen than I am of a $400 one.

 

Over the last 20 months have built my collection to number nearly 30 higher quality fountain pens ($100+ pricing) from a dozen different manufacturers; have swatched over 375 different ink color samples ; attended a 3-day pen show; ordered custom grinds for my pens; received and returned damaged and inferior nibs on several pens; and only now am I beginning to feel I have enough experience to even discuss with any degree of hands-on expertise. Or know how to ask an expert a reasonable question.

 

I write every morning as part of my creative process. If a more expensive pen produces page after page of scratching or skipping or other general slow-poke writing nonsense and I've been through several ink changes, I show no mercy. I return the pen if at all possible. I write quickly with a flourished, cursive writing style that can't tolerate nibs that aren't smooth or pen feeds that cause railroading. I usually use an EF or Fine nib but on occasion in a Japanese writer, I will choose a medium size nib.

 

How has the hobby and the pen community enriched your life?

This is an interrelated community with enthusiasts, manufacturers and retailers across the globe. And that's what I love most - it brings the world closer. I have acquaintances from many many countries, who share knowledge, good wishes and sometimes even friendship, bonding over our love of fountain pens and their inks.

 

What is your hope for all women?

My hope for all women is that we all lean into JFK's famous quote to change the world for good and address injustice, poverty, hate and climate change: "A rising tide lifts all boats," said John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1960 when addressing one state to remind them that they were a part of the union of the entire United States. With women's sense of justice and compassion, voting and purchasing power, I think within a generation we can change the world, beginning with the children inside our spheres of influence.

 

 

Food for Thought

These women’s experiences are as varied as the pens among the different collections. However, within their narratives there is a unifying thread -- how this hobby has enriched their lives, and the supportive connection within the fountain pen community that binds us together. Their hopes for themselves and for other women can be distilled in one foundational aspiration -- to have the freedom and self-empowerment to just be.

 

 

 

Women's Day Giveaway

Wait, there’s more…

EndlessPens would like to announce the winner of our Women’s Day giveaway!

Congratulations—

 

@alitucker_rn

Please send us a direct message on Instagram to claim your prize!

 

Nominated by her good friend @inkaday

May this EndlessPens Exclusive Cocoa Cafe, handcrafted by Tailored Pen Company and designed by @micahfinds, serve as your trusty companion on your journey to crafting your own story.

 

 

Use the code LEKZ10 to get a 10% discount!
* Not applicable for HopDrop, Clearance, On Sale items, and select brands.

 

Written by @lekzumali
Check out her musings on Instagram!

Author: Lekz

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