After my bizarre pen experience yesterday, I hastily ordered a replacement. In fact, I got so carried away and was so vigorously cursing my old Safari that I ordered several replacements (“muttering “I wont be fooled again”). Another Lamy Safari extra fine, a second Lamy Safari pen with a broad nib (and a refill converter), and finally something pink called a Noodler’s Ink Flex Nib Piston Fill Pink Panther Fountain Pen.” It was a mad burst of self-indulgence brought on by grief, I’ll admit.

Then, this evening, reading the comments on my last post, I came upon a link recommended by Lisa Ridolfi which led me to a video explaining how to swap out nibs on Lamy pens.

As I watched the video, I thought, “Huh, so Lamy pens don’t usually have black plastic points, they have metal nibs. The black plastic bit is just the thing that the actual nib slides on to. Which could only mean that ….”And sure enough, after scrabbling around on my desk, I found the metal nib that I had accidentally yanked off as I tried to vigorously wipe down my newly filled pen. I slid it back into place, gave it another more delicate wipe down and the Safari is back on course. Huzzah!

Any day now, I shall have an embarrassment of new pens arriving in the mailbox which will fortunately will force me to draw all the more. I hope you will absorb you this pathetic anecdote as a cautionary tale, and that you will forgive any aspersions I have cast at the Lamy company and their fine products.



  1. Cheryl

    Well, one can really never have too many pens. :)

    • Kaisa

      Hear, hear! I prefer Faber-Castell PITT artist pens (size S) for both writing and drawing, but for some reason individual S-size pens are hard to come by in Finland. So when I do manage to find them I usually by several – even when I still have one or two left. I used to use fountain pens, but good ink is even harder to come by and I’m dangerously lazy when it comes to cleaning them.

  2. nikiraa

    This is really funny story, I like to have one old tool, but keep getting more art tools because they so attractive. I knew about black thing with feeding ink channel on what you slide the nib from amazing Brian Goulet’s videos how to take care of pen. ( I don’t do it the right way, too lazy or busy). :-)

  3. Irene Hamil

    Welcome to the wild and wooly world of fountain pens my friend, lol! Check out Fountain Pen Network sometime…you’ll love the forums on inks and pens and you’ll never be the same….lol!

  4. Rebecca Marie Galardo

    I am so very happy your pen didn’t die :) YAY!

  5. gypsysnail

    Lol ur a classic mr clippy! :-D can totally relate to u on that. Happened to me once with a similar product but the extra will be an aporeciated spare down the track

  6. tamhanley

    Well now that’s a happy ending!

  7. Eve

    Wow Danny! It’s almost as if your pen is the lead in a very dramatic soap opera! The suspense, the grief, the elation… What’s next for our hero Lamy Safari?

  8. jendy63

    Good to know they are so durable. I haven’t ventured into the realm of the fountain pen yet, but am thinking about it, especially aftering hearing the whole story!

  9. Seth

    No doubt those new pens (and that old one) will be put to good use!

  10. carolyn

    Glad to be forewarned about vigorously wiping down my refilled Safari.

    However, rest assured, new pens can never be an embarrassment, but surely a pleasure! Keep one in every room, always within reach.

  11. Greg

    After your first post yesterday I was so inspired I went to three different art supply stores here in Monterey/Carmel and even a stationary store looking for said pens. No luck. So I ordered them on line. I hate the wait, however I’m really looking forward to drawing with them.
    Lamy should cut you a check Danny, I’m sure you inspired others to make the same purchase.

  12. Christine

    I can’t believe you only had one pen to start with!! Like Cheryl says, you can’t have too many pens…. you need lots of them… lots and lots!!!

  13. Lee Kline

    All of this sounds like a back door endorsement of my inexpensive, lowly Sharpie Thin! Glad you got the problem resolved, however, and were brave enough to tell us how it really happened. Your honesty is what people love about your work. Keep at it.

  14. Pauline Leger

    pens and underwear… you can never have too many. ;-)

  15. Marie

    I ordered 11 tubes of French Ultramarine paint rather than 1 last year. Oops.

  16. Nita

    I love my Lamy Safari(s) and never knew they could be so vigorously rubbed apart! Thanks for the warning! And yes, you needed more than one. As for quickly buying replacements, “add to cart” is my favorite activity right after drawing!

  17. Matthias

    Congratulations Danny! I’m happy, that “you and your pen” come to an happy end!:-)
    I can understand you very well, because I at once get mad, when something of my “drawing & painting-stuff” don’t works as usual…hahahaha… and yes you need replacement stuff for everything: pens, watercolors, brushes, sketchbooks…:-)

  18. Anthony Zierhut

    Yes, I too have a dark charcoal gray Safari, and yes, I’ve pulled the black nib off while vigorously wiping it. Your new blue Safari probably has a chrome nib instead of the neat matte black one that the charcoal models have, and therefore will be a bit more obvious when this happens again.

    On the positive side, it’s good to know that your old Safari is sturdier than you thought and will probably be around for many years to come. I’m currently drawing with a TWSBI and I friggin’ LOVE it. Clear body, so you can see the inner workings and it’s designed to suck up the ink through the nib — no converter needed and a massive reservoir for that wonderful Noodler’s bulletproof ink!

  19. QuinnCreative

    I love this story. I’ve done similar things, and reading about other people’s goofs, makes me feel more human. As a pen freak, I so relate to this story. And I have no ideas what a Noodler’s Ink Flex Nib Piston Fill Pink Panther Fountain Pen” is, but I may have to have one.

  20. Andrea thompson

    Ok here’s my shameful pen story, first I have to admit i just use sharpies, which now I feel like is a sin in and of itself, but they run out so fast that i just keep buying more…. and here’s the shameful bit, i can’t bring myself to throw them away as there’s still ink in them. You just need to hold them straight up to get a decent line so I keep them thinking I’ll use them on something less important, but of course i don’t as they are just no fun when the ink is so low. I think I have at least 6 “mostly dead” pens in my purse right now!

  21. Sheryl Kessler

    That was funny! Next time you place an order from Goulet, order the syringe to fill your pen by filling the converter, not drawing the ink through the nib. No wiping, no ink on the plastic barrel. Really easy peasy!

  22. Larry Marshall

    This is funny, Danny. Thanks for sharing the story. I second Sheryl’s suggestion of the pen syringe. These are invaluable to a fountain pen enthusiast for the reason she suggests (cleaner way to refill a pen) and for lots of other things (eg – clean a pen, get ink from bottom of bottle). I even refill cartridges for some pens rather than buying converters. It’s, as Sheryl says, “easy peasy.”

    Cheers — Larry Marshall

  23. Cornelia Eybisch-Klimpel

    Hi Danny, this is Berlin! Watching your hand drawing a black, shiny line on the blank white Paper calms me down immediatly and makes me happy – as if I did it by myself. I just switch into a kind of mindful mode. Is it a question of ink and pen and brandmarking? I am not sure. As a psychologist I call it “symbolic self-completion”. However: the shop assistent at Kaufhaus Karstadt just smiled at me, when I told him what I saw in your blog and asked for the Lamy safary … And now I smile as well. Its nice to have a fountain pen again, its good. I just put it into my bag, to see the Brücke-Postcards http://www.bruecke-museum.de/aktuell.htm. But I will listen to what the salesman told me, not to fill the waterresistent ink in it. It will ruin the pen, he warned, when the ink dries (I am not so activ as you are). I take the normal lamy ink and then I can wash the drawing with the waterbrush …

  24. celia clowe

    that’s interesting – you like to sketch with a lamy pen. what kind of paper do you like to use? i’m heading on a ‘sketching’ safari in september. it’s out of my comfort zone (yah!), need tools!

  25. Joan

    Oh, I’m so relating to this story. Glad you told the humbling truth about the “fix.” Maybe the Universe decided to teach you a lesson…Haha We all need that once in a while. I’d certainly make use of all the new pens, one in every room, different ink colors, oh yeah! Wallow in them.

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