I have always liked pens. I’ve always liked office supplies, paper, and other related products too, but the pen aisle in the office supply store was always the most exciting to me. Why? I have no idea.
I loved when my dad agreed to buy me some new pens, even though I really didn’t need any. In high school, my best friend was named Beau. He liked pens too. We’d try each other’s pens to compare how smooth they wrote or how comfortable the grip was. We were into rollerballs back then, although Beau was enamored with the Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pens. They were cool, but it was not the right time for our pairing.
At some point during high school or college, my dad gifted me with his old Parker 45. He had bought it new, used it for a short while, and then kept it in the drawer for the next twenty-something years.
“Here, I don’t use this anymore. Maybe you’d like to have it.” he said.
“Sure, thanks.” I replied.
Not only did he give me the pen, but he also gave me a box filled with never-opened packages of vintage Parker Quink ink, in washable blue. I liked the pen and used it for a short while before also retiring it to my drawer where it patiently waited until I was ready.
Several years later I thought, “I never use this pen, I should try it again.” This time, I was ready. It wrote smoothly, the ink looked vintage (the color had faded through the years), it made my handwriting look better, it had a romance about it… I was hooked. I started using the 45 a lot and started researching more about fountain pens on the Internet. I started seeing many different kinds of pens and thought some of the vintage pens were gorgeous. I bought a cheap, but very attractive, Hero on eBay.* It was nice, but didn’t write as well as I’d hoped. Then, came the first of many “must-have” pens, a Parker Vacumatic. It wasn’t in perfect condition as the barrel was not clear and there was some brassing to the metal, but it didn’t matter — I loved it. I still love it and consider it to be one of the most attractive pens in my collection.
After acquiring the Vacumatic, I was officially addicted. I bought some more pens online, did more research, and found the Fountain Pen Network. I discovered other pen blogs, saw the wide variety of ink choices, and learned how different inks had different properties. I went to my first pen show. From then on, it wasn’t just about pens. I became addicted to inks, fine paper, stationery, journals, sealing waxes, handwriting, calligraphy, and everything else that goes with the pen hobby. Even today, I can be in a store looking at something and go, “wow, that color is the same as __________________ ink!” Then, I started La Plume Etoile as a forum to learn more about and share my thoughts on all the pens and related paraphernalia mentioned above.
Some people think my hobby is weird, others think it’s cool and interesting. I just love the romance of the items, their beauty, and the way they allow a person to express his/her own personal style and creativity. I love how the vintage pens have survived and still work well today because they were built to last with a craftsmanship we don’t see in many mass-produced items today.
My love of vintage continued to expand to classic films, cars, décor, style, and everything glamorous. La Plume Etoile literally means “The Pen Star.” Stars have also been a longstanding part of my life. I feel the combination is an accurate reflection of me.
Thank you for reading and sharing this hobby with me. Thank you for visiting my blog, La Plume Etoile. I hope you enjoy your visit.
If you have something you would like me to review, please contact me at plume dot etoile at gmail dot com.
* I have since altered the Hero’s nib and it now writes very nicely!