The Handwriting’s on the Wall…

Putting pen to paper is always such a nice change to pounding on a computer keyboard, I feel. However, years of heavy typing have left me with a good deal of pain when trying to write on paper these days. I do best with a fountain pen, since it skims over the page with the least amount of resistance, therefore requiring the least amount of pressure. My sister, who is a fountain pen aficionado, sent me a fountain pen several years ago and at that time I was hooked. I bought several pens over time and enjoyed using them, but I still had pain and eventually just stopped writing almost anything other than signing my name. And since the quality of my writing had suffered, I started printing instead when I had to write anything at all.

Lately, however, I’ve wanted to try again, and decided much of my pain probably comes from scrunching my hand and fingers to write, instead of using larger arm and shoulder movements. That change in position does seem to help, though I’ve just started.

pensampleAnd I’d like to improve the quality of my writing, and I think that’s possible even at this late date. But here’s where I am now (please click on the picture to see it LARGER):

I have two fountain pens left from my burst of enthusiasm several years back, the original my sister gave me and another I picked up along the way. I recently bought two more inexpensive pens, and those are all I intend to get for now.

So here are the pens, and the ink I intend to use in them (again, click on the picture):

pens11.  Sheaffer fountain pen, the gift from my sister, using Sheaffer Skrip green ink cartridge
2.  Pelikan GO! pen, another oldie but goodie, in which I’ll be using J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen ink (which hasn’t arrived yet)
3.  Pilot Kakuno pen, using Namiki purple ink cartridge (I used this pen for the writing sample above)
4.  Pilot “Preppy” pen, using Platinum red ink cartridge, later on brown ink

I am considering getting converters for the pens so I can use bottled ink in all of them, as I feel using the cartridges, while convenient, isn’t very environmentally responsible.



This is the ink for the GO! pen, which didn’t arrive in time for this post.

Lastly, not to jump too far into the should-we-still-teach-cursive-in-school debate, but putting a toe in, yes, I do believe it should still be taught. Penmanship is good for training fine muscle coordination and is a worthy discipline. If it can’t be taught in the regular classroom, it should be at least taught in art class (assuming most schools still do have some art classes, or am I dreaming?).

Anyway, I’m going to be working on my handwriting, and I’ll give an update in a few weeks to show my improvement over time. Here’s to legibility!

10 thoughts on “The Handwriting’s on the Wall…

  1. Patricia, I see you’re in Portland, Oregon — two of my colleagues (Barbara Getty and Inga Dubay) run a better-handwriting business there. Maybe you’ll take some moments to stop by, in person and/or through their web-site: — tell them I referred you!

  2. Kate has referred you to Getty/Dubay. I am very familiar with their approach to handwriting, and believe it to be very fine. Just to let you know that italic is larger in the US than one company, You may be interested in viewing Aside from any one alphabet, my big focus in instruction is on writing with relaxed hand and fingers. I agree that fountain pens are great as an assist. We sometimes forget to maintain a loose hold on the pen as we focus on legibility.

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