Friday, April 27, 2012

Fountain Pen 101 Friday, Introduction

As a part of my new blog format, Fridays will now be reserved for Fountain Pen 101, a series of videos on elementary fountain pen education. The idea behind Fountain Pen 101 is that there is a desperate need for education for those who are interested in fountain pens but who need to learn the basics.

The world of fountain pens is vast and very rewarding, but it can certainly be intimidating unless you have some guidance. Rather than send you off to random forums and blogs to piece together bits of information, I'm going to step you through all of the things you need to know to begin learning and growing as a fountain pen enthusiast.

These videos will all be compiled into the Fountain Pen 101 section of the Fountain of Knowledge on GouletPens.com. The Fountain of Knowledge is an emporium of all the best pictures, reviews, and online tools that we've built over the last two years to help fountain pen enthusiasts make the most out of their writing experience.

Some ideas of FP 101 videos that I will produce include:
  • Explaining the differences between ballpoints, gel rollerballs, and fountain pens
  • How paper can affect your fountain pen writing
  • The 'Trifecta' of pen, ink, and paper
  • Pen filling mechanisms
  • Explaining different ink characteristics
  • How to fill piston pens
  • How to load an ink cartridge into your pen
  • Elemental fountain pen terminology
  • How to properly maintain and clean your pens
  • and a lot more!
These are just a few of the basic ideas I have, but I am always looking for more. I've been immersed in fountain pens for several years now, and I sometimes overlook the basics in my own daily pen use, so please don't hesitate to contact me or post in the comments below if there are burning questions you have about how to use your pens. I may very well make an FP 101 video on it!

See the other Fountain Pen 101 videos here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet


  1. The service you provide to the fountain pen community cannot be overstated. Thanks for all you do, it is much appreciated!

  2. Hooray! this is a great idea. I can't wait to get started.

  3. As you build up videos, I'd suggest quite seriously it may be best to make different course offering headings (like Fountain Pens 201: Filling mechanisms).

    The only topic idea I have is a topic that reinforces to new users to not give the pen a death grip and to not put pressure downward from the nib into the paper like is necessary with a ballpoint. 

  4. Love the idea of FP101! I'd like to see a video on how to fix start-up issues with a pen, and the role the ink may play in that. More advanced FP users might be interested in nib tuning, adjusting ink flow and so on.

  5. Could you please do one explaining what a flex pen is? Thanks so much for doing this series!

  6. Great suggestions! I've thought about trying to organize the whole thing ahead of time into a 'course' type structure, but that'll be a surefire way to kill the whole project. I'm definitely not good at structuring, believe it or not, I'm much more comfortable coming up with a loose plan and improvising as I go. I think coming up with general courses/categories after the videos are produced will be a better way to do it. I'll post topics week-by-week in a somewhat progressive fashion, starting out very simple and building upon it, but I am going to have to jump around a bit as there's a lot to cover. The real power of the FP101 will be once I have a good catalog of FP101 videos built up, then I can better organize them under the Fountain of Knowledge in a progressive fashion. Keep in mind though, fountain pen users are almost always self-taught, which means that some people will not need all of the information I lay out. So keeping topics concise and in separate but well organized and easily referenced videos will be key ;) 

  7. Great ideas, I imagine there will be a lot of 'troubleshooting' type topics to cover, as the way most of us learn our fountain pen use techniques is through the school of hard knocks! 

  8. Can do! I may just touch on it during a 'nib' overview first, then perhaps dedicate a future video just on flex nibs. 

  9. Oh wonderful! I'm a complete newbie who's just recently started to be interested in pens in general due to acquiring a new planner. I'm looking forward to your vids, Brian. I'd be particularly keen on seeing a 'favourites' videos broken down into categories if you wish maybe towards the end so I can actually follow when you talk about specific caracteristics. Thanks for thinking of newcomers, I'm really excited for this!

  10. Hi Bryan, my name is Javier I am from Chile, and I am relatively a newbie in this Hobbie. However, I would like to ask you something in the subject of brushpens. The thing is I am using a lot of highlighters, because I read too much, and I like to highlight the important parts of a paper. The problem is they run out of ink very quickly. So I would like to know if a brushpen could be a solution for this problem.


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