Thursday, March 26, 2020

London Town

Nestled among its ballpoint cousins lies my brand-new Parker 'Jotter' fountain pen in "Royal Blue", a very recent purchase from my local Staples. The rest of the 'Jotters' are all (with one exception) ballpoints named for or inspired by famous places in London...
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Left to Right: a Parker 'Jotter-London Architecture' model in "Modern Blue" (whose etched barrel was inspired by London's skyscraper "The Shard", the tallest building in the U.K), a 'Jotter Premium' "West End" (London's famous theatre district) with Gold Trim model, a Parker 'Jotter' in "Bond Street Black" (named after the London street known for luxury shopping) with chrome trim, a 2004 Parker 'Jotter Premier Edition' in "Saffron Yellow" with sterling silver cap and filigree overlay that I blogged about here, a 'Jotter' fountain pen in "Royal Blue", a 'Jotter' in "Chelsea Orange" (named for a trendy area of South West London) and a 'Jotter' in "Waterloo Blue" (named after a district in Central London).

The Parker 'Jotter' ballpoint came out in 1954. Since then, over 750 million Jotters have been produced, first in Janesville, Wisconsin and then (since 1999) in Newhaven, England. This affordable icon is one that, in my humble opinion, every writing instrument lover should have in their collection :)

(blog post by Maja)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Thoughtfulness

A few days before the U.S-Canada border closed to all non-essential traffic, I received three parcels from the U.S. I'd been eagerly awaiting. Since I didn't have any March meeting photos to post, I thought I'd snap a couple of shots and share them with you...

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The first parcel to arrive was from Teri Morris of Peyton Street Pens in Santa Cruz, California. Inside the box was my beautiful new purple Levenger 'Facets' fountain pen (a hard-to-find discontinued model) and two unexpected gifts--a black Sheaffer 'Imperial 330' mechanical pencil and a Pentel eraser! It's not the first example of Teri's thoughtfulness - my previous order contained a lovely Sheaffer '300' ballpoint (which I really enjoy using---thanks again, Teri!).

The second package contained another Levenger writing instrument---a 'True Writer' ballpoint in the cool "Purple Mosaic" pattern. The pen came from Shawn Newton of Newton Pens (located in Hot Springs, Arkansas), a talented penmaker who has been raising scholarship money for high school students by selling writing instruments and art through his website and eBay (he's raised over $58,000 USD since he started in 2012). My new ballpoint was one of several charity auctions Shawn was running on eBay that week, so I was happy to add to my "True Writer" collection, and help a worthy cause at the same time.

Last, but not least, was a parcel from Hyatt's, an art supply store in Buffalo, N.Y. Inside it was a limited edition Retro 51 'Tornado' rollerball in the "Gone Fishing" design, one of only 777 pieces made by this Richardson, Texas-based writing instrument company. I narrowly missed the opportunity to buy one---they sold out very quickly---but thanks to one of the good folks at Retro 51 (who spent a fair amount of time helping me track one down), I was able to find a dealer who still had some left for sale. It's a great-looking rollerball with a clever design made by a company that pays attention to small details... and its customers.

Many thanks to all three of you for your thoughtfulness and generosity towards me and to others - they brightened my days during a rough patch :)

It saddens me that our common border is now no longer open...well, not as open as it once was. The Peace Arch monument which straddles the U.S-Canada border at Blaine, Washington and Surrey, B.C, has the words "May these gates never be closed" inscribed on its east gate. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the gates between our two countries are closed...not completely, but to the vast majority of us. I believe, though, that this global crisis is one that we can overcome if we think not only of ourselves, but of others as well.

Stay safe, everyone, and (at the risk of sounding preachy) please try your best to slow the spread of the virus by practicing social distancing, staying home when sick (or if you suspect you're sick), and washing hands frequently.

Take care,
~Maja

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

More vintage goodies!

A few more photos from VPC member Christopher R, these being some new acquisitions that he would have brought to our March meeting...

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Thanks for the photos, Christopher!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Vintage writing instruments galore!

I know how disappointing it was for many of you that we had to cancel our March meeting. Longtime Vancouver Pen Club member Christopher R, however, was kind enough to send me some photos of his wonderful vintage writing instruments to post on our club's website. It's not the same as seeing them in person, but hopefully we'll be back to having regular meetings in the not-too-distant future.
In the meantime, please stay safe and enjoy this virtual show & tell, courtesy of Christopher, from the comfort of your homes :)


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...and last, but not least, this beautiful Wahl-Eversharp boxed set ca. 1931:
For more information on vintage Wahl-Eversharp writing instruments, I'd highly recommend checking out W-E expert Syd Saperstein's website.

Many thanks to Christopher for sending us these photos!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

March meeting CANCELLED

Due to venue unavailability (and other factors), the March 19, 2020 meeting of the Vancouver Pen Club has been cancelled.

~ Information about the next meeting will be posted sometime in April ~

Take care,
~Maja

Monday, March 9, 2020

Photos from our February meeting (Theme: Multi-coloured Fountain Pens)

We had a full house for our February meeting, with 26 VPC members (including two newcomers--Jaime and Gary) in attendence! Our meeting theme was "Multi-coloured Fountain Pens" (including crazy colour combos & shimmery, iridescent pens), and we saw a lovely array of them that night.
I snapped some photos during & after the meeting, so without further ado, here we go!

(~please click on images to enlarge~)
(Standing, L-R): Isaac, Glenn and Jim. (Seated, L-R, clockwise around the table): Ben (lower left corner of photo), Daryl, Armando,Chuck, Jerred, Christopher, Tony, Julienne, Natasha, Louise, Melodie, Nathan, Tristan, Justin, Stuart, me (Maja), Rene, Dave, Jaime and Gary (photo taken by Candice)
(L-R, clockwise around the table, L-R): Natasha (lower left corner of photo), Louise, Melodie, Nathan, Tristan, Justin, Stuart, Maja, Rene, Dave, Jaime, Isaac, Jim, Armando, Chuck, Glenn (standing), Jerred, Christopher, Tony and Julienne (photo by Candice)
(Above) A lovely selection of colour-shifting fountain pens belonging to Candice (L-R): three inexpensive Chinese-made fountain pens (Lamy Safari clones/"tributes") from AliExpress.com, the aptly-named Benu 'Chameleon' and a LIY 'MITU' fountain pen.
(Above) More cool-looking iridescent fountain pens belonging to Candice (L-R): three Waterman 'Kultur Reflectics', a Diplomat 'Magnum' and a Parker 'Frontier' "Chromaflair".
(Above) "Newest Acquisitions" is always our secondary theme, so Isaac brought his new Pilot 'Vanishing Point' fountain pen in "Blue Carbonesque" pattern to show us. It's a great fountain pen---a modern classic---and one that's well-suited to those who don't want to worry about losing their fountain pen's cap.
(Above) Glenn's new fountain pen made by Leonardo Officina Italiana---the "Messenger" model in orange ("arancio" in Italian). This large-but-well-balanced fountain pen (approximately the same length as the 'Momento Zero Grande' model) is made of a beautiful semi-translucent resin and currently comes in five colours. With 2020 being a leap year (366 days in length), the Leonardo pen company created 366 pens of each colour. Glenn posted a review---with much better photos than mine---of his 'Messenger' here on his website.
(Above) A fine collection of colourful fountain pens by PenBBS, owned by Dana.
(Above) Some new vintage acquisitions belonging to Christopher--a handsome black & cream no-name fountain pen, a black vintage fountain pen and a green Sheaffer 'Cadet' fountain pen.
(Above) A mix of new purchases and pens Rene brought in for our topic (top to bottom): vintage Parker Striped 'Duofold' (a/k/a the 'Duovac' because of its vacuum-filling mechanism), vintage Eagle fountain, vintage President fountain pen, vintage Traveler fountain pen, and a gorgeous modern fountain pen--the Edison 'Beaumont' in "Bedrock Flake".
(Above) More of Rene's great fountain pens! From top to bottom: a classic Waterman '54' in red ripple (red and black hard rubber), a Onoto de la Rue 4601 B8 plunger-filler (the prototype for the vacuum-fillers later produced by Sheaffer et al), a vintage Sheaffer 'Balance', a Sheaffer 'Imperial' model "444", an attractive Eclipse fountain pen in gorgeous green marbled plastic, and an unmarked ringtop in chased black plastic (most likely an Eclipse).
(Above) You can't see it in this photo, but Liz's Kaweco 'AL Sport' in "Petrol" finish *does* change colour depending on the light! This particular material finish was a Benelux Special Edition (made for retailers in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) as well as a Limited Edtion (only 500 pieces were made world-wide).
(Above) Two wonderful pens belonging to Melodie. The large one is a beautiful custom-made fountain pen made by 18111.com featuring two rabbits, and the smaller one is an Opus 88 'Fantasia' eyedropper-filler.
(Above) Jerred's nice collection of PenBBS fountain pens on the left side of the pen case (and one Campo Marzio fountain pen in blue and yellow---last pen in top row), and on the right side (L-R) are his compact LIY "Future" fountain pen in the "Blue Coral Sea" material, a PenBBS '456' model in "Tiny Happiness" resin material, a Moonman N3, and one of Jerred' newest acquisitions--a Delta 'Fusion 82'.
(Above) A lovely pocket Sailor half-demonstrator fountain pen-Jaime's Sailor 'Pro Gear Classic' "Angel's Delight" Limited Edition (LE). The "Angel's Delight" was the eighth in Sailor's popular "Cocktail" series of LEs and was made for the Japanese domestic market only.
Jim's newest pen-related acquisition---a ensso "XS" minimalist pocket fountain pen made of black aluminum. When posted, this 12-sided pen becomes the size of a regular fountain pen (it also makes a delightful popping sound when you take its cap off ;)
(Below) Two of Nathan's newest pen purchases---a modern Fuliwen '017' fountain pen (with cool snake clip) in the "Starry Night" material, and a vintage Esterbrook 'J' fountain pen:
(Below) Some pens brought in by Stuart for our topics -- a colourful vintage Arnold lever-filling fountain pen and some Muji ballpoints he recently acquired:
Natasha's gorgeous Tailored Pen Company (formerly JRLPens) 'Churchill' model in "Lava Explosion". My photos don't do this lovely fountain pen justice...
(Below) New VPC member Gary's fountain pens. Gary just started collecting a few months ago, but he already has a really nice collection of fountain pens! In the top row of his pen case are (Left to Right) a nine-function Monteverde 'Tool Pen', a Franklin-Christoph model '02' in "Antique Ice" material, a J. Herbin 'Clear' fountain pen, a Lamy 'Safari', a Lamy 'Lx' Marron brown (special edition) and a Lamy 'Lx Studio' "All Black" (special edition). In the bottom row are (L-R) two Kaweco 'Liliput' fountain pens, a vintage Sheaffer Lady Skripsert 'VI' (Paisley) model, a Kaweco 'Sport', a Kaweco Brass 'Sport', a Kaweco 'Supra', a Graf von Faber-Castell (GvFC) 'Classic' "Guilloche Rhodium" . a GvFC 'Classic' "Sterling Silver", and two Pilot 'Vanishing Point' fountain pens:
Gary's very first fountain pen---a Kaweco 'Liliput', pictured next to a Hershey's "Kiss" candy (for scale):
I've been collecting colourful modern fountain pen for many years, and here are some I brought for our topic...Top row (L-R): ThINK fountain pens in the "Shag", "Punch Bowl", "Bee Bop", "Bayou", "Tigerlilly", "Iceland", "Sahara", "Mojito", "Poolside" and "Lobster" patterns, and two Levenger 'True Writer' fountain pens in "Carnval" and "Sea Glass". Bottom row (L-R): Levenger 'True Writer' in "Kyoto" material, Laban 'Mento' fountain pens in "Autumn Flake", "Celebration Red", "Celebration Blue", "Pumpkin Seed" and "Terazzo Pumpkin", a handcrafted fountain pen in swirly red, black & white made by Chris "Appleman" Hughes , a Noodler's 'Naponset' "Jersey Devil", a Conklin 'All-American' in "Yellowstone", a Parker 'Frontier' "Chromaflair" in purple & red, and a Sheaffer 'Mini Agio' in iridescent dark purple shades:
Some of the new fountain pens I brought to the meeting: (L-R) a green Yiren (Lamy Safari clone/"tribute") whose section and nib are both multicoloured, a Pelkan "Level" 'L65' model, a Schneider "Ray", a Visconti 'Saturno' "Black Rhea" (a Limited Edition--only 88 pieces made), a ThINK 'Gatsby' model in "Derby" material (which is the official name; others call it "Chaplin"), and a pink "Tornado" rollerball by Retro 51:
I was saddened to hear about the uncertain future of Retro 51 on their official blog but decided it would be wise to acquire a few more now (before the prices went up!), so here are my most recent Retro 51 purchases-(L-R): 'Tornado' rollerballs in the "Birthday Greetings-Yellow", "California" (special edition made for Goldspot Pens), "Elephant and Rhino Rescue" (first version) and "Lincoln" designs, "Lincoln" fountain pen and a "Santa Jaws" fountain pen (special edition made for Goulet Pens...and yes, it's an image of a Great White Shark wearing an ugly Christmas sweater ;):
I forgot to snap a photo of my new leather 12-pen case by Four Pines Supply company as well as the two great inks (Leonardo Officina Italiana "Purple" and Diamine "Skull & Roses", a shimmer ink made for the German market) I bought from Louise at the meeting, so I took a quick pic of them at home (photo below):
(Below) Last, but certainly not least, a few photos sent to me by newcomer Jaime, who brought some wonderful fountain pens for us to see. It was such a busy meeting that I forgot to take photos of them, but Jaime was kind enough to send me her own photos after I contacted her:

(~click on images to enlarge~)

Jaime's diminuative "Pocket 6" fountain pens in the "Unicorn" and "Dark Unicorn" by Schon:


Jaime's handcrafted 'Norsemen' fountain pen in "Raven Black", made by Genesis, a team of penmakers located in Hong Kong:


Jaime's "Westminster" model fountain pen made of "Oil Slick" resin, handcrafted by The Tailored Pen Company in Kentucky :


Friday, February 28, 2020

8th Annual Northwest Pen Round-Up! ~ Saturday July 11, 2020

What: The 8th Annual Northwest Pen Round-Up!
When: Saturday July 11, 2020 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Where: The Lucky Labrador Brewing Co. at 1945 N. W. Quimby Street, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A (very close to downtown, in the Northwest section of Portland).

This annual, one-day pen extravaganza is free and open to all! There will be writing-instrument-related items for sale and/or trade for everyone---from beginners to advanced collectors. It's the closest pen-related event to Vancouver and the largest pen gathering in the Pacific Northwest! (photos from previous Round-Ups : the 2016 event and the 2014 event)

Many Seattle and Portland pen club members have come to past events. They've had collectors from all over Oregon and the Northwest, B.C, California, Arizona, Iowa and other states that have attended the Round-Up. There's been plenty to see, sell, trade, admire, learn about and discuss, and it's great opportunity to meet other collectors. If the past is any guide, there should be quite a number of extraordinary vintage pens for sale, as well as lots of modern pens!

There is a nominal fee for vendors who want to set up a table/tables. If you would like to reserve table space, please contact Stuart Hawkinson at s.hawkinson@comcast.net early, as space is limited. It's a very casual event, so you can sell pen-related stuff even if you don't have a table. And don't forget---there is no sales tax in Oregon!

The Lucky Lab pub is a converted old truck manufacturing plant in one of the hipper areas of Portland. The event room has air conditioning and the pub will have a variety of food and beverages for folks attending the Round-Up (there's lots of free parking nearby, too).

The Round-Up! is also being held on the same weekend as the largest antique show in the Pacific Northwest, the Christine Palmer Antique Show. This huge show attracts dealers from all along the West Coast. The antique show has Friday early admission and runs up to and including Sunday July 12th.

Hope you can make it!