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Anthony Newman


Anthony Newman

We have the great honour of chatting with Anthony Newman of UK Fountain Pens about his history as a fountain pen lover.

 

Read a transcript of the interview below:

Hello and thank you to everyone at Iguana Sell for coming to chat with me today about my fountain pen background.

HOW DID YOU DISCOVER THE WORLD OF FOUNTAIN PENS?

Well, I used fountain pens in school, so in a sense I've always been a fountain pen user, but I actually came to my current hobby of fountain pens really through the three letter acronym edc or everyday carry. I started out carrying machined metal pens, and then gradually that got me interested in machine pens in general and fountain pens through the tactile twist and other machined metal fountain pens, so that was the gateway drug for me and really the rest is history.

WHO ARE YOUR INSPIRATIONS IN THE FOUNTAIN PEN WORLD?

A bit of a cliché answer, firstly I thoroughly enjoy and what keeps me driving this hobby is hearing from my blog readers a couple of times each week I will have someone write to me thanking me for a recommendation that they have discovered an amazing pen or asking for my help or just sharing their story with me and I find it really powerful. I also learn from many of them. The other voices in the community, people like Brad Dowdy, the pen Addict, their continued enthusiasm for fountain pens really helps me keep going as well. I also have a lot of great interactions with fountain pen companies, like Ben Wolf, Ian Shaw, as well as Luca from Scribo, Fabio from Goia, many others and finding out what they have coming up is always really exciting as well.

FOR YOU, WHAT IS THE PERFECT EVERYDAY PEN?

I have two answers here and they won't come as a surprise to anyone who has seen my collection. The Montblanc 149 and the Lammy 2000, I don't think either of these pens have any flaws as a daily user, although they are chalk and cheese in terms of design. Both have great firm, uh, smooth nibs, piston fillers, great capacity, don't dry out, good clips and are very comfortable, I think those are the criteria you need for any fountain pen and I would be quite happy stranded on a desert island with either of those modelss.

WHAT ABOUT THE FOUNTAIN PEN OF YOUR DREAMS?

What is really difficult, I have had the pleasure and privilege of handling some of MontBlanc's super limited or masterful editions, like the Montblanc gypto mania 72, which is a pen inside a sarcophagus, or the Purdy 81, which has a safety catch that you have to remove from the cap. When you get to look at those kind of pens up close, even though they cost tens of thousands of euros, it just makes you giggle like a child. I also have a great love for some of the more decorated Japanese. Pens like the La Nakaya Raden galaxies like in particular um moving more towards europe I love the look of the enamel under the Aurora 100th anniversary so it's been on my list for a long time and of course uh the Celluloid Arches. I've wanted one of the classic Arco Verdi's for quite some time, actually, the fountain pen is too big for me, but I still dream about it a lot.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT THE WRITING WORLD?

Well, I'm an investor, buyer and seller, so for me the thrill of the chase is a great motivator. I find myself daydreaming about a pen I have coming and that unpacking of feelings is really addictive, but I'm learning to love the collection in front of me so much more and for me now with two young children to actually just have a quiet moment to sit down with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and just that's the real pleasure, um, to feel the ink flow on the paper and just express my thoughts on the page, that's really what it's all about, it's not about the pens, it's about the writing.

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO INTRODUCE TO THE WORLD OF WRITING?

Well, the easy answer is my two daughters, one of them just turned nine, one of them is two and, uh, uh, they really are my world and right now I wouldn't let either of them hold my expensive pens that often, but uh, I'll take my oldest daughter to the Pen Show and hope she catches the love.

ANY ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS?

Two pieces, one is sort of practice and one is more cultural. I would say remember that the ink and the paper are just as important as the pen and its nib to give you a good writing experience. If you find that you have problems or you don't like the way a pen feels, um, try different ink, try different paper, personally I can't stand rhodium, that's how it works, the second, one piece of advice is to use this wonderful community that we have. You don't have to buy all the pens yourself. You can go to clubs. You can go to pen meets and try them out. Find out what you like because there's so much variety in terms of millions of inks, thousands and thousands of nibs, all the different nibs, that you can choose from, and it can be a bewildering journey, so there are some fountain pen Facebook groups, blogs instagram communities that I take great advantage of and I think any beginner would as well.

WHAT TWO MISTAKES WOULD YOU NEVER MAKE AGAIN?

I thought a lot about this question and actually I don't regret it too much, I mean I have certainly sold a lot of pens that I miss from time to time. I sold two king size Conid before they stopped making them and I kick myself for doing that sometimes, but actually I think every pen you buy, every ink you try and then don't like is a lesson you've learned, it's an experience you've gained, so um, yeah, I'm very happy with that and with the pens that turned out well, there's an infinite amount of pens out there and always new special editions that you have that fear of missing out on, so I've learned to be at peace with that and I'm in a very good place at the moment, so thank you very much.


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