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How to Use a Glass Dip Pen

As some of you know, I’ve made this the year I will actually use some of the beautiful journaling, stationery, and art supplies that I’ve hoarded  collected.  One of these beautiful items is my glass pen (glass dip pen.)  I love using a glass dip pen, especially when I want to enjoy a special writing experience.

Using a glass pen

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Have you seen these pens yet? I got  mine on Amazon a while back, and it is currently unavailable, but this one seems to be very similar. I fell in love with glass pens the first time I saw them (probably at Barnes and Noble.)  If you love pens, you  might fall in love with these, too.

These glass pens are absolutely beautiful. Made of glass (obviously!), they are all one piece, so there is nothing else to buy, other than ink, to get started. Some have a tip like the one above, and some have more of a teardrop shape.  

I have read that most of the thinner calligraphy inks made for dip pens will work with these, as well as fountain pen inks and liquid watercolors. So far, I’ve only used the Ecoline Liquid Watercolorswith mine, and they work beautifully. I plan to try some of my other inks, too. I have heard that the metallic watercolors can be a little bit difficult, as well as the thicker calligraphy inks. 

Using a glass dip pen

Not all of them do, but mine came with a little heart shaped pen-rest.

 


Tips for using a glass dip pen:

  • Dip the pen in the ink, and watch as the ink climbs up into the grooves.  Let any excess ink drip off.
  • Hold the pen at a slight slant.
  • You don’t have to know any particular kind of lettering to use these.  Your own handwriting will be just as fun, if you haven’t learned any different lettering styles.
  • The pen writes in a monoline (single line), with no thick and thin variations.  You can, however, thicken your down strokes with a few extra lines, to creat “faux calligraphy,” if you like.
  • I have read that you may have to rotate the pen to find a sweet spot.  Mine, though, writes the same, no matter which way I rotate it. These are all made individually, so they vary.
  • To clean, simply dip the pen in clean water, and wipe with a paper towel.

Papers

I’ve used my glass pen with Ecoline watercolors on HP Premium32 paper and my Strathmore Mixed media notebook, with beautiful results, and I think it would perform well on most papers.  A rough textured paper would be difficult though.

How to use a glass dip pen

The beauty of these, over a simple pen, is that if you already have different inks or watercolors, it’s like having many pens in one.  Plus, the simple joy of writing with a lovely pen is so satisfying.

How to use a glass pen
How to use a glass dip pen

 If you love fountain pens or just writing with a beautiful pen, I think you’ll love a glass pen!

Linking to:

Wonderful Wednesday at OMHG, Wow Me Wednesday at Gingersnap Crafts, Wonderful Wednesday at Eclectic Red Barn, Your Whims Wednesday at My Girlish Whims, Creative Muster at Fluster Buster, Tuesday Turn About at My Wee Abode, Creatively Crafty at Try It, Like It, Blogger’s Pit Stop, Artsy Fartsy Mama, Create Bake Make at Shabby Art Boutique, Home Matters at Modern on Monticello, Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy, Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do, The Really Crafty Link Party at Keeping it Real, Inspire Me Monday at Mostly Blogging, Creative Mondays at Claire Justine, Little Cottage Link Party at Love My Little Cottage, Craft Schooling Sunday at Creative Jewish Mom, Handmade Mondays at Sum of Their Stories, Thursday Favorite Things, Traffic Jam Weekend at My Bijou Life, Happy Now at Jenerally Informed, Creative Craft Linky Party at Creatively Beth

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37 Comments

  1. Yes, so beautiful! I am very careful not to drop it, haha! It lives in its own padded box that it came in. From what I've read, they are pretty sturdy in use, and I've found that to be true. As long as I don't put a huge amount of pressure on it, I think it should be fine! Yes, it cleans up so beautifully and simply.

  2. Oh, my – it's gorgeous! Scarlet would love this. She loves dipped pens from watching too much Harry Potter – ha. I'm not sure she wouldn't drop it, though!

    1. Haha, it does sound like Scarlet would like it then! And, it would definitely break if dropped! (Well, maybe not on a soft surface…)

  3. Our daughter and ex-SIL got me a replicate glass pen from a fort in Florida. Now, I'm wondering if you can actually use it as writing pen. The tip on mine is nowhere near as pointy as yours, so now I'm wondering if it would work or not. Hmmm…I will have to ask her. It's probably just for decorative purposes. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Pam,

      There are little grooves in the tip. Perhaps, I can use it. 🙂 I guess it won't hurt to try it. I'm sure I could clean the ink off if it fails. Thanks!

    2. I've been using glass pens for fifty years, and I've read everything I could find about them. I've never even heard of one made only for decoration. It wouldn't make much sense because people like to use what they buy, and it's actually easier to make one that will write than it is to make one that won't.

      That said, the tip on glass pens is EXTREMELY fragile, and the tip on yours may be
      broken. This could even have happened before it was sold.

      But very good glass pens don't have to cost much. I've had fifty-dollar pens that wouldn't write at all, and three-dollar pens off Amazon that wrote like a dream, and that are still writing years later.

      There really isn't a good reason why glass pens should cost a lot of money. I've watched glassblowers make beautiful pens that wrote perfectly, and do so in almost no time at all. They even polished the tips to make sure they were smooth.

      Anyway, if yours has a problem, check Amazon. You'll find a lot of choices for very little money.

  4. These glass pens are really beautiful looking. Thanks for the blog visit and have a great day and week!

  5. I didn't know there was such a thing but how fun to work with an age-old technique of writing. Thanks for sharing with us at #HomeMattersParty

  6. I never even heard of a glass dip pen. Even the pen, itself, is beautiful!. Thank you for sharing with the #Blogger'sPitStop and #askdrho

  7. I'm an old ticket writer and calligrapher from back in the 80's and I've actually never used a glass pen. You have me quite intrigued Pam and I need to try this out now.
    Thank you for sharing your tips at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I'm delighted to be featuring your glass dip pen post at tomorrow's party and pinning too.
    Hugs,
    Kerryanne

  8. so interesting! thanks for sharing on craft schooling Sunday! Now try a feather! Did you know that all kosher Jewish Torahs and mezuzahs etc. are written with a feather, just as they always have been!

    1. Thank you for hosting! That's so interesting about the Torahs and the mezuzahs – I didn't know that! I should definitely try a feather!

    2. Well, the Torah has been around a lot longer than feather writing instruments, about three thousand years longer, actually, so not always. For most of history, the Torah was written with a reed pen. Any writing instrument is fine, as long as it isn't made of metal.

  9. Wow… talk about lovely in so many ways! The glass pen is a piece of art all by itself! Thanks for sharing… This is the first time I've heard of these type of pens!

    1. Thanks, Julie. That pesky Pinterest button has been giving me problems for a while, but I think the others are working. You can still pin from the photos, though!

  10. This just sounds so elegant. I only dabble in calligraphy and letter art but I can just imagine myself having a go with this, sitting at my writing desk in a sunny corner like Jane Austen! – I may be getting a bit carried away now, but I could sit at the kitchen table couldn't I?!

  11. I bought 2 of them many many years ago in barcelona. I found a small shop with handmade paper an gorgeous glass pens. I don't use them a lot. But I still like them a lot, they are so beautiful! Now I have read your blog, I'm in the mood to use them again. :°

  12. I love dip pens, thank you for this post, i immediately got the pen out and filled some pages in my journal using liquid watercolour paints

  13. The main reason to rotate your pen is to use more of the ink in the grooves, which also means you can write longer without dipping again. Finding a sweet spot is secondary.

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