Monday, October 13, 2014

Female Heron Sighting (and More Praises for the Petit1)

10/13/14 water-soluble ink, Petit1 fountain pen, 100 lb.
watercolor paper
This morning on my walk around Green Lake, I spotted what I think was a female heron near the shore. She was quietly stalking something, so she gave me maybe as long as a full minute for this sketch.

I’ve already discussed the Pilot Petit1's extraordinary “idle time” (the length of time a fountain pen can be left unused but filled with ink) in several other posts, most recently in June when, after several tests, I declared it the idle time champ. This is just a brief comment to sing its praises again:

The Petit1 I used this morning to sketch the heron is one I keep in the small bag I carry only when I’m fitness walking, when I rarely stop for a sketch. I filled the pen so long ago that I’ve forgotten which ink I used, but I think it’s the standard Pilot water-soluble black ink that comes in a mini cartridge refill. The last sketch I had made in a small sketchbooklet was dated July 28, which means the Petit1 pen hadn’t been touched for two-and-a-half months. When I pulled off the cap this morning, it worked like a charm from the very first stroke – no skipping or blobbing. Now, that is a reliable pen at any price, let alone one that costs less than $4! I think of all the much-more expensive Lamy pens that have gone dry on me after only a couple of weeks of idle time, and I can’t help but wonder what it is about the Petit1 that seals so well. . . ? And why can’t they all perform that way?

The mighty Petit1's idle time belies its tiny size and price.
I would recommend the Petit1 to:
  • Any infrequent, sporadic sketcher who enjoys using a fountain pen.
  • People who want a fountain pen that they can treat like a cheap ballpoint: Throw it into a bag or a desk drawer, never do anything to maintain it and yet expect it to write reliably after months and months of non-use.
  • Anyone who wants a fountain pen for less than $4 that happens to be better than ones that cost many times more.
Now if only I could get a Petit1 pen with a Sailor “calligraphy” nib, I’d have my Grail. . .


  1. It is amazing that a $4 pen works so well. Glad you were able to use it!

  2. Thought I couldn't be tempted.... but this is an icon of a little steam engine that could sort of pen! I'm going to calm down and pretend I don't want to try one! (this has been a Huge fancy pen week, sanity is leaking away as I wait for them to be delivered! )


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