As a child I had to write with a fountain pen at school, that messy ink-stained affair with fingers, exercise books and blotting paper. Fortunately, by then ink cartridges had been invented. My grandfather used pens needing manual filling from a bottle of ink. I am the proud owner of one of his beautiful fountain pens that refuses to work, no doubt because of caked ink in the nip and in the reservoir … I am still looking for a master fountain pen craftsperson to clean it. YouTube may be the answer or a trip to The Repair Shop in the UK.

Over the years I have used fountain pens (I do have a tiny collection) but never consistently. Those inky fingers! The pull of the ball point often proved stronger.

Recently though I have been on the hunt for a special fountain pen, one I would gift myself for no particular reason. On a day trip to Wānaka in the South Island while holidaying in the Lake Queenstown district, browsing the shops, my eye fell on a corner in a glass cabinet with writing tools made by YSTUDIO, a design firm in Taiwan “dedicated to sharing the beauty of words, writing and manufacturing stationeries”. I circled the shop a few times to return to the cabinet and ask the shop assistant to open it. We had an animated conversation about YSTUDIO’s designers and fountain pens. Her boss carries one of their portable pens around her neck. The shop assistant noticed that I kept touching the copper version. Choice made!

Oh, the box itself is a piece of beauty. Who would not be enticed to look inside with the weight of words pressed in gold?

The pen comes with a black case and leather strings to be attached to the top of the pen so it can be carried by itself or inside the case. It is a clever design. The pen has a converter and reservoir; cheers to stained fingers, stained paper and surfaces and to, surprisingly, blotting paper that had been patiently sitting in my stationary drawer for years. Initially the writing was scratchy and feeling frustrated I was starting to regret my purchase. Until I bought a new bottle of ink, refilled the reservoir … to produce words like black magic! One more detail about the copper casing: the colour of copper will change by its user and environment. This pen is truly unique as it will reflect only my finger marks as its sole user.