Handwriting: With ink & fountain pen

There’s something new on my desk. A bottle of exquisite beauty. Filled with ink from Japan. iroshi-Zuku – which from the Japanese words iro (color) and shizuku composed (droplets) – paint droplets. I chose the color ina-ho , which is inspired by the Japanese rice ear. A shade that is somewhat reminiscent of liquid gold. I soak up the paint with my piston fountain pen and start the virtuoso game of letters …

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Feather dance
The pen swirls across the paper like a dancer. The flowing golden brown ink gives shape to my thoughts. The thoughts become traces. They become visible … readable. Handwriting – an expression of personality.
I fish in the vast sea of words. The pen becomes a border wanderer between thought and writing. She gratefully collects what the head produces. Isn’t there a certain musicality in the fluent handwriting? You follow a rhythm, a swing. Traces of ink that have something to say…. Letters that are more than characters. Maybe the beginning of a story …?
Some time ago a reader wrote to me that she had written a text quote from my blog as a reminder with ink and a fountain pen in her little notebook. How nice! What an appreciation for the words. That inspired me. I imagined the reader picking up her fountain pen and putting the words on paper with beautiful swings. With midnight blue ink? Or maybe with ruby red?
Ink heart
I remember how proud I was back in the 80s when I got my first fountain pen in elementary school – a pelican. With ink cartridges in royal blue. How wonderfully it glided over the paper. In the years that followed, I tried different fonts. Ornate, angular, inclined to the right, tilted to the left. As a child you need time to develop your own handwriting.

Expression of individuality
Is there anything more beautiful and personal than an ink letter, greeting or handwritten invitation?
The handwriting reveals a facet of one’s own personality. Graphology – the study of handwriting as an expression of character.
As different as we humans are, our writing is just as different – similar to our fingerprints. This is probably the decisive difference to a digitally written text – it tells us less about the person with whom we are communicating.
And by the way, I could never do without the flexibility that pen and paper bring with them.
The joy of wielding a pen grabs you quickly once you get involved with it. And I think the letters are allowed to dance out of line. With the joy of experimentation, curiosity and creativity, anyone who thinks that their handwriting is not worth seeing can actually acquire a more beautiful handwriting. This is more about a style of its own than perfection. Sometimes talent only comes about by trying something out. Perhaps you will also discover the grace of the imperfect?

An interesting experiment and good exercise is, for example, writing with a pen and ink to a piece of music. We may take time, the Overture from the ballet The Nut kna-cker of chai-Kovsky or Passage of Time by Rachel Portman from the movie Chocolat . You quickly pick up the swing of the music by hand, venture into extreme heights or depths, strike capers or become very soft and quiet … because writing also has a lot to do with the movement of the body and posture. Is there something dramatic about your handwriting? Something solid or something romantic?

Just a little note …
Why not write shopping lists, daily plans or similar fleeting notes with a fountain pen and ink? I find that handwritten notes are simply easier to sort through, and I take every opportunity to use my various fountain pens and inks. Doesn’t that have something to do with appreciating a small, everyday moment?

Ink tones
I am always fascinated by what fantastic inks there are! In colors as optimistic as the dawn or as mysterious as a full moon night. The variety of blue tones alone is beguiling!

S.o I write down a baking recipe in beautiful, deep oxford blue, the birthday card in golden brown and the draft text in moonstone gray. Yes, there is even a keg of scented ink on my desk – vanilla. The color is reminiscent of that of a vanilla pod and when you write, a delicate fragrance creeps tentatively into your nose. There is also ink that smells like a good Bordeaux – maybe a nice gift for a wine lover?

Make letters sparkle
The range of ink is huge. In addition to a variety of colors and scented inks, there are also shimmering versions with glitter particles. Especially when the Christmas season is approaching, I can imagine a shimmering ink (e.g. “Rouge Hématite” from the French ink manufacturer Jacques Herbin) very nicely for writing Christmas greetings. However, regular cleaning of the fountain pen is mandatory once it has been filled with glitter ink.

Everything flows…
Text written in ink looks so alive. Good ink flows wonderfully and dries relatively quickly. The different intensity of the lines is called shading . This incomparable look can only be seen in handwritten texts.

ZA variety of colors are of course available as ink cartridges. But with all these beautiful inkwells, who should resist?
And if you have previously operated your pen with ink cartridges, you can use any pen as a piston filler and fill it from the inkwell thanks to a suitable converter.

The strength of the spring also plays an important role. Fine, medium or wide, beveled, maybe even made of gold? Everyone can find the right nib for their own handwriting. I like to write with a broad pen. However, if the handwriting is small and filigree, a finer nib is better.

Ink gives you wings
Every now and then it’s fun to design a few ink butterflies or beetles. Dead easy. Simply fold a piece of paper in the middle and apply a few drops of ink to one side (with the pipette or a fine brush). Fold up the paper. This creates a symmetrical motif. If you like, you can add a few feelers, legs or an interesting mouthpiece. Interesting fantasy creatures emerge from simple ink blots.
A nice idea for greeting cards or simply for your own pin board. So you can conjure up an overview of the available ink colors, on which you can also see the shading .

Beautiful ink for beautiful handwriting – or for butterflies!
“ Royal Blue” from Pelikan – an absolute classic that many probably know from school.

Beautiful ink for beautiful handwriting – or for butterflies!
“ Oxford Blue” – a rich, very beautiful blue for every occasion by “Diamine”.

Handwriting – expression of personality
Especially now in autumn there are wonderfully quiet moments when you sit at home and write. Whether it’s Christmas cards, letters to people we can’t see at the moment or just small, real and very analog “likes” for dear friends.
With a beautiful writing instrument and special ink, you may even find it difficult to come to an end.

Und if your fountain pen doesn’t already have a permanent place in your life, dig it out! Take it out of the drawer, clean it with warm water and give it a good swig from the inkwell! You’ll see, it’s worth it…
Tips & Recommendations:
(Unsolicited advertising)

A large selection of inks, converters and writing implements are of course available in stationery shops or online, for example here

Is the handwriting more beautiful with a special ink? YES!
With a converter, a cartridge filler becomes a piston filler. It is inserted like a cartridge and then filled using the spring. This tiny is for the small “Sport” fountain pen from Kaweco.

Make greeting cards something very personal by hand.
Greeting card from “Rabe von Pappenheim”. The high-quality paper can be wonderfully written on with ink. The Parker fountain pen is a vintage piece.

Alexandra von Pappenheim produces individually designed printed matter such as letterheads, cards and envelopes with her print shop “Rabe von Pappenheim”. It offers various high-quality paper qualities and a multitude of beautiful designs, which you can then complete with your handwritten greetings. Everything is available online via

Write more beautifully …
If you enjoy your handwriting and would like to refine it a little, there are interesting workshops for modern calligraphy or hand lettering. For example here:

I also found a recommendable little video from “ONLINE writing instruments”. Australia’s leading handwriting expert Barbara Nichol shows how you can improve your handwriting with a few simple tricks. This way please…

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