Sunday, July 2, 2017

Robert Oster "Fire & Ice" fountain pen ink review

A few weeks ago, I received a bottle of Robert Oster Signature ink in the "Fire & Ice" shade, courtesy of the Nikaido gift shop, to try out...
I was intrigued because I knew that this Australian ink was fast becoming a favourite among fountain pen aficionados. I had just received my Bexley Poseidon fountain pen (with stub nib) a few days beforehand, so I thought I'd try my new ink in it...(all photos taken in natural light with no photo editing used)
(~click on photos to enlarge~)
I loved the dark turquoise colour and the high degree of shading it provided. I'd heard of its red sheen (thus the "Fire & Ice" name) but couldn't really see it on the paper I'd used
("sheen" refers to the ink colour that you see on top of the primary ink colour, as the ink dries)...
What I didn't realize is how the ink could look so different, depending on the pen & paper used!
You can see it in these photos of Alejandra's test drive of the "Fire & Ice" ink during our June VPC meeting:
Apparently, the red sheen really shows well when the ink pools on higher-quality paper... but even on cheaper paper, it's a lovely turquoise ink.

Many thanks to Joe & Sara of Nikaido gift shop in Steveston (Richmond) for this cool new ink!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July meeting details!

~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ HAPPY CANADA DAY! ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~

July meeting details:

Date: Thursday July 20, 2017
Time: 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Place: The amenities room of the condominium building located at 350 East 2nd Avenue in Vancouver, BC (on the south side of East 2nd Avenue, between Scotia & Brunswick...two & a half blocks east of Main Street). Please note: this is the same venue we used for our May meeting. Just knock on the window to be let in, if we don't spot you first! There is free street parking in the area, but it's first come, first served, of course. The meeting goes 'til 9:00pm but if you have to leave early or arrive late, please don't worry. Many thanks to Richard for booking the room for us again!

Topic: DEMONSTRATOR FOUNTAIN PENS! (these are see-through/clear fountain pens...and they can be clear white or long as they are see-through).
Please limit the # of pens you bring to 2-3 per person, due to time constraints.

Our secondary theme is always Newest Acquisitions, so if you have any new pens, ink or pen-related accessories (pen cases, etc), please bring them to the meeting for us to see. Don't worry if you don't have anything for either topic---just come to the meeting and see what others brought! No need to RSVP for any meeting, except for our Summer Dinner.

VPC Summer Dinner --- Our Summer Dinner will be held on Thursday August 17 this year... Restaurant---to be determined.

5th Annual Northwest Pen Round-Up!: Just a reminder about this mini pen show being held on Saturday July 15, 2017 in Portland, Oregon. It's free to attend and open to everyone. Full details here on our website:

Friday, June 30, 2017

June meeting pics - part 2!

Some more photos (this time, of people!) from our June meeting, courtesy of Ricardo...
(Photo below) From L-R: Marzieh, Stuart, me (Maja), Bruce, Bill K and Justin.
(L-R) Angela, Linda (one of our newer members), Marzieh and Stuart.
(Left to Right) Justin, Alejandra, (Alejandra's daughter--in the background) Mindy, Peter, Jerred, Stanley and new VPCer Paul.
(L-R) Bruce, Tony (with glasses), Paul, Angela, Alejandra, Jenny, and Stanley.
The turnout for our June meeting was a bit smaller than usual, but not unusual for a summer meetup. Many thanks to the Oakridge branch of the Vancouver Public Library for allowing us to use their meeting room for our meetings this year!
My bottle of Robert Oster fountain pen ink, courtesy of Nikaido gift shop in Richmond, BC.
The ink got a universal 'thumbs-up' from our members, when I passed it around the room and allowed everyone to fill their fountain pens with it!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Photos from our June meeting

A grand total of 17 Vancouver Pen Club members (including newcomer Paul) showed up at the Oakridge branch of the Vancouver Public Library for our June meeting on the 14th.
Our monthly topic---"Sumgai Finds" (your best fountain pen bargains)---was very well-represented, so I snapped some photos of the pens my fellow VPCers brought:
(~click on images to enlarge ~)
Alejandra's Sheaffer 'Cartridge Pen' (commonly referred to as their "School Pen"), which she acquired for a mere dollar. Her best bargain, though, is a Parker '51' set (not brought to this particular meeting, but we've seen it before) that she acquired for $50 at a local antique shop!
"Newest acquisitions" is always our secondary topic, and this brushed chrome Sheaffer Imperial (with a great factory italic nib) is one of Alejandra's newest purchases. She also brought her new vintage Waterman 'Taperite' to show us (not pictured).
Bruce always has some interesting fountain pens to show, and this Visconti 'Metropolis' is no exception. It's a piston-filling safety pen made of silver and coated with Ruthenium! Bruce found this uncommon fountain pen on eBay for the bargain price of $160.
Angela brought her newest pen-related acquisition---a bottle of ink made for the pen store Papier Plume , located in historic New Orleans. This shade is called "Calle Real" and, according to their website, "is inspired by the blue in the street tiles and Spanish wall tiles throughout the French Quarter." Angela also showed us her new fountain pen book--The Book of Fountain Pens and Pencils by Schneider & Fischler (aka "the brown book")

Below the ink is Ricardo's blue Pelikan M205 (sporting a smooth new nib from the Pelikan factory, acquired under warranty), and Paul's Waterman 'Centurion' fountain pen (I thought it was a Laureat, but a fellow VPCer ID'd it for me---thanks, Jerred!)
(Photo above) Paul also brought the fountain pen that got him hooked on our hobby---his TWSBI Diamond '580'. Above the TWSBI is the bottle of Monteverde ink that he won in our door prize draw, donated by Perks pen store in North Vancouver (at Lonsdale Quay). The ink comes in their new 30 mL size and is a lovely purple shade called 'Charoite'.
(Pictured above) A blurry photo of a very cool fountain pen---Ricardo's new demonstrator (transparent) fountain pen by Chinese pen company Lecai. The pen fills with ink directly into the barrel (with an eyedropper or syringe) and has an elegant simplicity to its design. I liked the pen so much I ordered one for myself (from eBay) later that night :)
Speaking of elegant...Take a look at this gorgeous Lady Sheaffer in the "Damask" pattern that Stuart acquired for the bargain price of $60. The barrel is vermeil (silver over gold) and has a decorative band of brilliants. The pen is fitting with its original 14K gold Triumph (wraparound) nib, a wonderful Sheaffer design. The pen originally retailed for $35 USD in 1959, which works out to about $280 USD in today's money!
Another bargain that Stuart found online is this Sheaffer 'PFM' V in burgundy with gold-filled cap. He paid a mere $50 for this highly-collectible vintage Sheaffer that comes with another wonderful Sheaffer nib---their inlaid nib. Above the PFM is a bright red 'School+' Faber-Castell fountain pen, a recent purchase. Not pictured---a vintage Eversharp 'Skyline' acquired for $20 by Stuart.
Another new acquisition belonging to Stuart--a dark blue Borghini 'V40' fountain pen. The orange pen case is my own, an old purchase from a (now-closed, sadly) Campo Marzio store in Vancouver.
Justin's English-made Waterman fountain pen and mechanical pencil set. The set is in great shape and came with its original box. Total price? A mere $25...
Some quick photos of Alejandra's test drive of my new Robert Oster ink (in the "Fire & Ice" colour). This is an intriguing fountain pen ink that can look either a turquoise blue/teal shade... or a darker red colour, depending on the pen used. If the fountain pen has a wet-writing nib, the ink will have a reddish sheen to it!
The next three photos are of Stanley's gorgeous new Visconti 'Titanic' LE (Limited Edition) fountain pen. Only 1,912 of these pens were made (in the year 1999) as a limited edition tribute to the R.M.S. Titanic, which sank in 1912. You have to see the pen in person to really appreciate the colour and depth of the celluloid material...
The clip depicts the ship (at one end of the clip) heading towards a large iceberg (represented by the white crystal at the other end of the clip):
Visconti fan Bruce admiring Stanley's new fountain pen:
Stanley recently acquired an old-style Visconti Traveling Inkwell, a leak-proof, handy way to carry ink and refill your fountain pen with minimal fuss (photo taken by Ricardo):
Peter's Parkers---a 1930's Parker Duofold in marbled red and another Parker (a '51'??). The Duofold was acquired in a trade for a modern fountain pen, a TWSBI. Peter's best bargain, however, is a pen he didn't bring to this meeting---a striped Parker 'Vacumatic' desk pen (a difficult-to-find vintage desk pen) that he acquired for the princely sum of $11!
Here's something else you don't see every day---a Montblanc cookie tin!
Tony got this as a gift (which is the best kind of bargain ;)
Mindy's newest acquisitions (top three pens) and a Waterman Expert that she got as a gift. The pens with the cool snake clip are a tribute to Montblanc's "Heritage Collection" 'Rouge et Noir' Special Edition pens. Mindy also brought her authentic version of the coral pen (not pictured), which is a truly lovely fountain pen. The brown fountain pen is her new Pilot Legance Custom. She didn't bring it to the meeting, but Mindy's best bargain was a copper Esterbrook 'J' series fountain pen that her grandmother found for $5.00!
(photo above & below) Jerred's glossy new Martemodena 'Citizen' fountain pen (this one is the "Beijing" model). Jerred's best bargains were a Parker '180' (an amazing $3 eBay find) and a Porsche Slim Titanium fountain pen (bought from Amazon for at the bargain price of $100; reg. price $600)
(Below) A quick shot of the three "bargain" pens I (Maja) brought to the meeting---a 1920's gold-filled Wahl-Eversharp ringtop fountain pen and a black Rotring 'Core' that my Mom found in a thrift store for 10¢ and 25¢, respectively.

The pen in the middle is a no-name fountain pen I found in an antique shop in Fort Langley several years ago for $20. It's a very ordinary fountain pen, but take a closer look at the nib...
Yes, it's a 14K gold three-tined stub music nib! This is probably one of the nicest nibs in my entire fountain pen collection and I nearly passed on the pen because it was stuck in a cup with a bunch of non-descript fountain pens and pencils. You never know what you'll find in an antique store---it may be junk, or it might be your best bargain ever! In any case, happy hunting! :D

I didn't photograph them (sorry, Bill!), but one of our founding members brought a couple of really nice fountain pens that he received as gifts from a generous friend---a green-striped Pelikan M800 (I did photograph it at our March meeting here, though :) and a black-chased modern Conklin Crescent-Filler with rose gold-colour trim.

Many thanks to everyone that attended the June meeting---those that brought examples for our June topic and/or their newest acquisitions, and those that just brought their enthusiasm. Both were much appreciated! I'll post the details about our July meeting in the next day or two here on our blog...

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

If you're traveling to Vancouver....

(click on photo to enlarge)

So honoured to see our pen club (and the wonderful Vancouver Pen Shop) mentioned in the "Lonely Planet: Vancouver" travel books! My photo shows the 2014 edition, but we're in the 2017 edition, as well :)

If you're visiting Vancouver and are a fountain pen fan, please feel free to swing by one of our meetings. Details on upcoming meetings are posted on this website, and no RSVPs are needed for any meetups not held at a restaurant.

Many thanks to the folks at Lonely Planet for including us in their great travel guides!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Bexley Poseidon Magnum II

Some quick snaps of the Bexley Poseidon Magnum II fountain pen I brought to the May meeting (~Click on photos to enlarge~):
This particular Magnum II is the "Gold Bamboo" pattern, one of the non-production colours shown on this page. The Magnum II pens look exactly like the original Magnum line of Poseidons, but use a piston-filling mechanism (vs. a cartridge/converter).
My Poseidon with the Robert Oster ink I received from Nikaido. They are now carrying this line of fountain pen inks from Australia at their gift shop in Richmond.
My Poseidon came with a wonderful stub nib (in gold-plated steel), which is a joy to write with.

(photos below) Adding a couple of more photos of the pen in slightly brighter light:
Many thanks to Greg M. of Pentrace for selling this pen to me, and to Nikaido for the ink. I'll post a review of the latter in a separate blog post, because it's a very interesting ink!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Birthday present

Some photos of my beautiful new MarteModena "Chronicle" fountain pen, which I purchased with birthday money from my in-laws:

(click on photos to enlarge)

The "Chronicle" is a large (length: 14.2cm/5.59", maximum width: 1.55cm/0.61") acrylic cartridge-converter filler, which arrived in this handmade wooden box. My particular model is the "Country" pattern, a lovely mixture of warm brown and black swirls that create a light woodgrain effect:
The gold-plated steel nib is an interesting one; it's labelled "B" (for Broad, presumably), but it looks like a Fine and writes like a Medium! It is, however, one of the very smoothest fountain pen nibs I have, so I'd highly recommend this pen to others.

Oh, and I love how the section material matches the rest of the pen :)
MarteModena is a division of Delta Pens (located in Italy) and the pen is available for purchase directly from the manufacturer here, as well as on eBay.