Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians! I have a lot to be thankful for this year, and I wanted to share a new pen I recently acquired. A friend was in town and we went to a local shop called Into the Mystic Folklore. It’s a beautiful space in Dartmouth that sells crystals, jewelry, tarot cards, tea, etc., along with psychic readings and singing water bowls. It’s a magical place and I am thrilled my friend introduced me to it.
Nestled between healing bracelets and gargoyle bookends were glass dip pens. A local artisan, Janelle Tyler, makes and sells them through her company Gypsy Road Glass, Silver & Stone. To my delight she also makes ink in the cutest bottles, so I grabbed a couple of those too.
There were multi-coloured pens with different types of nibs, from broad to fine. I chose a clear one with a medium-fine nib.
The pen comes with a pamphlet that talks about the history of glass pens. I did not know that in the 17th century there was a shortage of feather quills for writing. The average London banker would use up to 20 feather quills a day – can you imagine?! And the average goose was only capable of producing 8 to 10 good feathers for quills. Through trial and error German glass blowers perfected the spiral nib seen on glass pens today. The original ones would have been brittle and fragile but the pens made by contemporary glass artisans like Janelle Tyler are made from a harder material, the same glass that modern cookware is made from.
I also bought two bottles of ink, both with the colour Deep Ocean. I do not know if she offers any other colours. The appeal of the glass pen to me is the fearlessness you can have with new inks – there is no chance that a questionable ink could muck up the mechanism, because there is no mechanism to muck up! And you could write a letter with a different ink for each sentence. The nib wipes clean quickly with water and a paper towel. And you are not limited to fountain pen ink – any ink will do. So much fun!
Here you can see both the ink colour and the nib. I wrote in my Things Remembered Engraved Journal with stone paper. I love this journal but have read with misgiving the fibres can sometimes clog up the works in traditional fountain pens. So the glass pen was perfect for this writing session.
I love the ink colour. It’s a rich blue green perfectly named. The actual writing experience was a little challenging. The paper is a little toothy and on the upstroke the nib would sometimes catch and stop moving. But you can see there was no skipping and one dip would last for almost three sentences.
This little ledge is the perfect resting spot for my glass pen. I haven’t photographed this desk before but as I unpack my office there are only so many clear spots available to shoot! I will do a proper room tour when I am all set up.
So if you are wondering about glass pens I would recommend one, for their beauty and versatility with ink. I can’t believe I have waited this long to buy one. And if you are in the Dartmouth area check out Into the Mystic Folklore. You will find something that catches your eye, I guarantee it!