Nifty demonstration of a glass dip pen

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I mean, that’s cool and all but I don’t believe any dip pen is easier to use than a fountain pen. I mean, they give fountain pens to children and I don’t want to know how many ink pots would have been spilled in my school if it had been dip pens instead. Plus, I guess, broken glass in this case.

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I’m old enough that when I first went to primary school our desks had a hole for an inkwell, although we never used them.

They would have been used with steel-nibbed dip pens. Steel nibs are flexible and available in a wide range of widths. I didn’t watch the whole video, but does the narrator explain how the glass pen has any advantages over a steel one?


I did use them with little porcelain inkwells, and once every two weeks I was ink monitor – under close supervision.


Mostly in cleaning: glass pens can be used with inks that would clog the channel or degrade a steel nib (and ruin a fountain pen’s feed.) Oak gall ink comes to mind.

They are slow and scratchy in my limited experience. I have one, and it mostly stays in its box. I much prefer buying more piston fountain pens to reduce the frequency of refills. Hiya, Twsbi Eco; I wish I could quit you. :heart_eyes:


We have a black oak tree in the back yard that drops a prodigious amount of inedible walnuts. I’m planning on making ink with the kids soon. Do you have recommendations on simple pens that would be good to use with it?

I guess we could probably also use it like paint? I’m guessing whatever we make will be closer to a watercolor than an ink.


Basically, anything you don’t care too much about – I think the corrosive effects will ultimately ruin most inexpensive materials.

If you’re doing a kid project, why not go for feather quills as well? I know I’ve seen directions for DIY with turkey feathers bought online. There’s some prep work, like boring out the shaft with a pin(?) and hardening the quill end a bit first, but it would certainly be a memorable project, and it won’t matter if you damage the pen.


Coincidentally, I made quill pens for my granddaughters and myself two weeks ago (plenty of goose quills available along the Toronto waterfront) and now I need some ink to see if they work.

I picked up some black walnuts the other day, and the hulls are rapidly turning black, so I’m going to find a YouTube video and try making ink. Some sites say you need a thickening agent like gum arabic, others not, depending on how thin you like your ink. You can also boil to reduce it.

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I remember doing that in primary school.

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Really? There’s some fairly precise and intricate cutting you have to do to get a quill nib and you need a very sharp pen knife. I’m surprised they let elementary school kids do that.

I can’t honestly say for sure how much of the process us wee’uns were permitted to undertake. It was a bit ago.


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