During the month of April we will bring you a series of articles contributed very kindly by various people, all around their love of fountain pens and how they started using them, why they use them and generally why fountain pens are something worth owning and using. We started off with Maria Berry's story, and now we bring you Mourad Dekiouk. He's a 17 year-old studying A levels and is a friend of Henry, one of Jo's sons. By chance it turns out that his friend Mourad was a stationery-obsessive and loves fountain pens, so one thing led to another and he offered to write a short piece on his love of pens for us.
Fountain Pens - A 17-Year Old's Perspective
After hours of writing one would expect a rather sore wrist and a dull throbbing pain emanating through the forearm; well not me. This is not because I am some sort of literary bodybuilder, a forearm fitness freak, but rather because I use a fountain pen. The main benefit a fountain pen has over a ball point is that it requires almost no pressure to write. The ink flows out through the nib and your pen glides over the paper.
As a sixth form student in my first year of A-Levels, being able to write quickly and efficiently for long periods of time is a great asset. I don’t think I would have been able to get through my 2 hour, 12 page long history GCSE exam without the aid of my trusty Lamy Vista fountain pen. My fountain pens also draw the eyes of many of my peers who look at me as if I have pulled out a quill and parchment when I go to refill my convertor. This is great for striking up conversation but another benefit of using fountain pens is that you can fill them with whatever ink you choose be it black, blue, red, orange, scented or gold flaked, if you can imagine it, the ink probably exists. I find it perplexing that a greater amount of students are not using fountain pens as, for me, they have greatly increased my presentation and pace of work. An unintended side effect is that I find myself wanting to make extra notes as it provides an excuse to use my pens.
Some may think that a fountain pen is reserved for the stuffy bureaucrat in his three-piece suit and penthouse office. In reality fountain pens range in price from £5 to over £500. For most school work I use a Lamy Al-Star which ranges in price from £15-£20 depending on the colour and the nib although I do have a rather special gold-nibbed pen made by the company Platinum that cost me £30. That’s another appeal of the fountain pen, once you buy your pen(s), you are likely to keep them for so long that you form an attachment to them. I was more upset than I should have been when my Lamy Vista broke. I had used that pen for three years and through all of my GCSE exams but there it lay cleft in two before me.
Overall, the experience of using a fountain pen is one that has me hooked on the hobby due to the fact that they are practical, eloquent and hardy pieces of stationery.