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How to Use a Glass Dip Pen

Dip a glass pen into your favorite ink.

Inking a glass dip pen is perfectly intuitive.

Glass pens are simple to use. No set-up is necessary beyond unpackaging the pen and opening your favorite bottle of ink. Follow these instructions to start writing.

  • Dip your pen into the ink bottle. To avoid storing excess ink and causing blots, submerge the tip only partially.
  • Glide the tip against the edge of the bottle opening to remove excess ink.
  • Write! As you write, turn the pen in your hand so you use the ink stored on all sides.
  • Dip again as necessary.

A glass dip pen writes with a line around the width of a typical broad nib. Unlike metal nibs, line width can’t be controlled through varying pressure, and trying could break your pen. Lines will be thicker right after dipping and thinner when your pen needs a refill.

If your pen isn’t writing, the tip may have been damaged. Clean and dry your pen and gently rub it over very fine sandpaper. We recommend either 2000-4000 grit or micromesh. Try one or two passes holding the pen perpendicular to the sandpaper, as well as some figure-eights while holding the pen in your normal writing posture.

Don’t try to form a sharp or perfectly rounded tip, as a glass pen works best when the end is a little blunt. Like a mechanical pencil lead, it needs an edge to make contact with the page.


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