Friday, 22 July 2011
They DO make them like they used to!
Having worked in a fountain pen store, I am perhaps a little biased about what a great store this is. One look at the antique Waterman logo behind the counter brings me right back to working in my shop. I loved selling fountain pens. Waterman was my favorite brand because the pens are made so sturdy. They have brass barrels and beautiful lacquer paint. You can just feel the quality in your hand. I can't tell you how many customers came in to my shop with a broken Mont Blanc, and I sent them home with a shiny new Waterman.
Them: "The plastic barrel of my Mont Blanc just cracked in my purse!"
Me: "Yes, the plastic is not very strong and cracks easily. Bummer."
Them: "But I paid so much for it!"
Me: "That's called perceived luxury. You bought a prestige pen, not a good pen"
Them: "help me Obi Wan, you're my only hope..."
So I would show them how sturdy the brass barrel of a Waterman is, usually by making them hold a plastic Mont Blanc in one hand and a metal Waterman in the other. They could feel the difference in their hand. By this time, another customer would have come in and whipped out his sterling silver Parker 75 that he bought in the 60s and say, "My Parker has lasted for years!" I would begin to drool and the other customer would take over the sales pitch, this time for Parker.
Ah, working at the pen shop... those were good days.
The Pen Corner in Dublin does more than bring back memories; this pen shop has everything you need! They sell Crane paper Thank You cards and they make custom stationery by order. They also sell greeting cards and blank journals.
I discovered a new brand of journal called Rhodia. They are made in France and they look like a good replacement for Moleskine. I was extremely disappointed when Moleskine journals stopped being made in Italy. Moleskine moved their production to China and the journals were just not as good; they suffer from cheap paper and overall lack of finish. Writing in a journal is an aesthetic endeavour, and writing on cheap paper just feels wrong. So it looks like I'll be buying French journals from now on.
Have you ever tried writing with a fountain pen? You might really surprise yourself by how much you like it. The nib flows over the paper on a cushion of ink like an ice skate glides across the ice. Fountain pen ink is water-based, ball-point ink is oil based. Writing with a ball point is like pushing a fry pan around on a greasy stove. Again, its all about aesthetics.