Sunday, June 23, 2024

Pics from June meeting

 I wasn't able to make it to our June meeting (which was held at the Vancouver Public Library's Renfrew branch), but Asifa was kind enough to take a few photos 😊. There were at least 21 members in attendance (Asifa and Stuart aren't in the pics) so it was a good turnout...and we had a record-tying number of new members (at least seven), too! There was no theme/topic for this month's meeting, but I hope members enjoyed chatting about pens, inks and all things pen-related. Many thanks to all who attended!

(all photos courtesy of Asifa ~ please click on images to enlarge)

Many thanks to Asifa for being our June meeting photographer! Details about our July meeting will be posted on our website as soon as the venue is booked.

Have a good week, everyone!

Monday, June 17, 2024

Don't forget--- meeting THIS THURSDAY!

Just a reminder that our next meeting is THIS THURSDAY!

Where: The Branch Meeting Room of the Vancouver Public Library's RENFREW branch at 2969 East 22nd Avenue (on East 22nd Ave, between Renfrew & Nootka), Vancouver.

Date: THURSDAY JUNE 20, 2024

Time: 5:00pm to 7:30pm

Primary/Secondary Topics: NONE- this meeting is just a chance to socialize and chat about pen-related stuff :) If you want to sell/trade pens/inks/paper, please feel free to do so!

Any questions? Email us at

Monday, June 10, 2024

National Ballpoint Day ! (Newest Acquisitions ~ Virtual "Show & Tell" - part 519)

Happy National Ballpoint Day! Although we're primarily a fountain pen club, we've had meeting themes that included ballpoints (modern and vintage), so today I thought I'd feature some modern handcrafted ballpoints I acquired in the last year. All of the ballpoints use a twist-action mechanism, but some take Cross refills and some take Parker-style ones. One interesting thing about them is that nearly all are made of unusual materials. Intrigued? Read on!

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on image to enlarge)
The ballpoints above were all made by Dylan Swain of The Pen Den (in Gatineau, Quebec), who uses a variety of materials in pen production. Among these are pen blanks he creates himself (using a resin 3D printer) from 3D-printed molds filled with colourful resins and glittery mica powder. Examples of pens made with these blanks are the bottom three ballpoints in the photo above - (top to bottom) "Another Dimension", "Chromatic Wavefront" and "Rainbow Harmonics".

The gorgeous ballpoint at the top --the aptly-named "Wood and Waves"-- was created from a maple burl/blue resin hybrid blank. The material was polished to a mirror-like finish and it's one of the nicest ballpoints I own (although I really like the bright colours & playful designs of the 3-D mold/resin pens). As a little bonus, Dylan often includes a LEGO minifig (such as the one above) with the pens he sells :)

(Above: "Chromatic Wavefront" ballpoint by The Pen Den)

The newest acquisition in this blog post--my "Rainbow Harmonics" ballpoint by The Pen Den (love the purple metal trim!)

This stunning ballpoint was created by Jeff Hattrup of Rustic Star Woodworks in Texas. It uses Parker/Parker-style refills and is made of a very interesting material called Fordite...

So, what is Fordite? I'll let my friend Wikipedia explain - Fordite is "a lapidarist term for polished pieces of finely-layered paint masses from automobile factories. The masses consist of automotive paint which has hardened sufficiently to be cut and polished. It was formed from the buildup of layers of enamel paint slag on tracks and skids on which cars were painted with acrylic lacquer, which have been baked numerous times." Many different Fordite paint colour combinations were created over the decades; the combos ranged from the muted colours used in 1940s Ford autos, the brighter metallic tones in 50s and early 60s Fords, to the wilder colours used in the late 60s and 70s.

Since Ford now uses a different paint processes (one that doesn't result in paint overspray), there isn't any more genuine Fordite being made, so prices for it are going up. Fordite is also difficult to turn on a lathe, so that adds to the price of the finished pen. In case you were wondering, I don't know which particular Ford model used the paint colours in my ballpoint's Fordite, but I know it wasn't the 1954 Ford Mercury Sun Valley model (vintage car buffs -- forgive me for using the wrong model car prop in my photos!). In any case, I think it's neat owning a piece of Ford history via this cool ballpoint :)

From Fordite, we move to SpectraPly, another repurposed material used in pen-making. SpectraPly is a dyed birch veneer laminate material that was used to make old skateboard decks, among other items. I got these two striking SpectraPly ballpoints (above) from Penwerkz, a small pen & bowl maker in Corona, Californa. I'm glad the pens' maker chose not to add any cap bands to the pens -- I love how the SpectraPly "flows" uninterrupted along the length of the pens-- and I appreciate the care taken to line up the wood pattern in the red & black pen.

The bright blue and yellow ballpoint in the upper left of the photo is from Casey of Artisan Alley CA in Red Deer, Alberta, and it's made of a hybrid pine cone/acrylic material.

The model name for this lovely ballpoint is "Golden Skies with Pinecone", and when you see it in bright sunlight, the light really brings out the highly-polished colours of the material. The pen came with the wooden storage box above, branded with the pen maker's logo on the obverse side.

The other three ballpoints in the group photo were all made by Brian Tearne of Tearne Canada Turnings in Ontario. The two pens resting on the red pen pouch were made by Brian using acrylic resins, which are more traditional materials. I normally don't go for really weighty ballpoints, but I loved the orange acrylic and whimsical adornments of the "Bass Fishing" pen, so I couldn't resist buying it. The ballpoint above it (the "Maple Leaf" model) is made of a swirly orange, yellow and dark grey resin called "Burning Embers". All three ballpoints made by Brian use Parker or Parker-style refills.

(Above: the fishing-themed pen's metal trim looks a bit over-the-top, but I think it works here :)

This is the newest pen I bought from Brian, a handsome "Nordic Style" ballpoint made from a hybrid blank consisting of maple burl and epoxy. It's a hefty pen, but I enjoy using it ... and I like staring at the coppery sparkles in the resin which complement the wood and copper-coloured trim so nicely.

Many thanks to all the pen makers for these wonderful handcrafted pens! I hope you have a good National Ballpoint Day today, and don't forget--our June pen club meeting is on Thursday June 20 at the Vancouver Public Library's RENFREW branch (all details here).

(~ Blog post by Maja ~)

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Pacific Northwest Pen Show next month!! (July 12 - 14 )

(photo credit)
Yes, the 2nd annual Pacific Northwest Pen Show is just 41 days away! 😁

When: July 12 - 14, 2024
("VIP event" on Friday July 12th, followed by the actual pen show on Saturday July 13th & Sunday July 14th). 

Where: The Monarch Hotel & Conference Center in Clackamas, Oregon (suburb of Portland) (venue)

• Go to for more info & discounted advance tickets to the pen show!

• If you're a vendor interested in booking a table at the show, info is at this link.

• Want to get the latest updates about the pen show?
Check their official Instagram account and
sign up at this link for updates via email!

Saturday, May 25, 2024

June meeting at the RENFREW branch! (Thurs. June 20)

Where: The Branch Meeting Room of the Vancouver Public Library's RENFREW branch at 2969 East 22nd Avenue, in Vancouver, BC. The library is located on East 22nd Avenue, between Renfrew and Nootka.

Date: THURSDAY JUNE 20, 2024

Time: 5:00pm to 7:30pm (we have to leave the room by 7:30pm, as per the library's room rental policy)

Primary/Secondary Topics: NONE!
I thought we'd do a non-structured meeting in June, to give members more time to socialize. I think it's also a great opportunity to sell/trade pens/inks/paper as the meeting room at Renfrew is large and has lots of tables and chairs.

Hope you can make it! (no need to RSVP)
Questions? Email us at

Saturday, May 18, 2024

May meeting pics! (Topic: Design Features You Like in a Fountain Pen)

Our May meeting was held at the Kitsilano branch of the Vancouver Public Library on Thursday the 16th. Seventeen members were in attendance, including two brand-new members (Christina and Mmina).

The meeting's primary topic was "Design Features You Like in a Fountain Pen" and we saw several examples, as well as some new fountain pens that our members recently acquired. I took some photos during our meeting, so here they are!

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)
Clockwise around the table, from lower left corner: Asifa, Nathan, Stuart, me (Maja), Grant, Christopher, Phil, Peter R, Paul, David C, Hadi, Jerred, Peter H, and Christina (missing from photo: Mmina, Shona and James, who arrived later).

The design features mentioned by our members (for our primary meeting topic) ranged from favourite filling systems and materials to decorative elements and favourite colourways. For my examples, I brought the top two pens above - my Magna Carta 'Sapphire Grand' brown demonstrator fountain pen (because I love how its coppery-brown nib colour matches the pen's metal trim--an aesthetically-pleasing design choice) and my Penlux 'Masterpiece Grande' Blue Swirl fountain pen, whose grip section matches the rest of the pen body (another feature I love). Grant brought in a handsome Parker 'Vacumatic' Golden Pearl (third pen from the top) because he's a huge fan of the Vacumatic's patented filling system, and he likes the size of this Vac model. 

Our secondary topic (which is always "Newest Acquisitions") was also well represented; among other new writing instruments we saw were Christopher's beautiful sterling silver vintage mechanical pencil, also seen above. I should have photographed both sides of it because I believe it’s a demonstrator model, used to show customers its inner workings.

Two more new purchases --a very cool modern Wahl-Eversharp 'Skyline Technik' fountain pen in shiny black aluminum belonging to Phil, and my bright red Kaweco AC Sport, which I bought online from Blades Canada this week.

The lovely vintage Pelikan in the middle is Shona's '400NN' model. Shona said that she likes it when piston-filling fountain pens have an ink view window, so you can tell how much ink is left in them. Some pen barrels---like her Pelikan's---are translucent, though, which also allows the pen's user to see the ink level.

Another new acquisition belonging to Phil---a vintage Parker '51' fountain pen in the rare Plum colour! Phil found the pen --in its original cardboard presentation box--- at the annual Fraser Valley Antiques & Collectables Club Show last month. I love the shape of the box's sleeve, which is a tribute to Parker's famous "arrow", a design feature found on Parker clips.

Peter R's gorgeous new Aurora '88' (top pen) and James' new Asvine 'P20' fountain pen.  This attractive (and economical!) piston-filling Asvine has been getting great reviews, including this one on YouTube, done by our fellow pen club member, Nathan.

Above: Paul's newest acquisitions, including two fountain pens he found at a Muji store-- a white plastic Muji-branded Platinum 'Preppy' and the well-known & well-loved Muji metal fountain pen (middle pen). The shiny hammered copper pen was given to Paul by his nephew, who made the pen using pen kit parts (the barrel and cap body were made by hand, though, not pre-made).

That's James' eye-catching Opus 88 'Demo' Red fountain pen at the top of the photo (James loves that the pen is a bulk-filler, but wishes there was an all-ebonite version) and, below it, Jerred's newest Delta fountain pen, a beautiful green marbled ‘Write Balance’. This unusual Delta model has a weight-balancing system -- a small metal weight hidden in its barrel's blind cap, which allows the user to adjust the pen's balance to their liking. Jerred mentioned that he liked pens with hourglass-shaped grip sections, such as the one on his new Delta.

The pen on the bottom is, of course, a classic vintage Parker 'Duofold' belonging to David C., who is an avid fan of vintage Parkers. David is a huge Parker 'Vacumatic' fan, but he said he brought in this 'Duofold' for our primary topic because he liked its girthiness. David also brought a Sheaffer 'Snorkel' (not pictured) and told us how much he admired its unique filling mechanism.

Above: Another Opus 88 fountain pen —new member Mmina's nice blue 'Koloro' (she likes the ink shut-off valve feature, as it allows you to prime the nib)  — and one of Hadi's favourite fountain pens, the sterling silver Parker '75' Cisele that was his first fountain pen.

Hadi also showed us an Asvine V200 fountain pen (top pen), a Titanium and clear resin-bodied demonstrator that uses a vacuum-filling system. Hadi's particular example has a replacement Bock Titanium nib. You can purchase the pen with a stock Asvine nib or pay extra for a Bock steel nib. Hadi opted for the latter, bought the Bock Titanium nib separately, and then swapped the steel one out. It's a very cool nib on a cool-looking fountain pen.

The three pens below it belong to Asifa, who got them for free from Jessica at our last meeting! The attractive red fountain pen with cream-coloured ends is the ubiquitous Jinhao 'Century 100'. I'm not sure what brand the other two pens are, but the cute light blue Lamy Safari clone has a rainbow-coloured nib

(a closeup of Hadi's Asvine V200, showing the Titanium trim and section)

Above: My little red Kaweco 'AC Sport', next to another pocket pen, Nathan's stainless steel Gravitas ‘Pocket Pen’. Nathan explained how well-made the Gravitas was, with its expertly-machined cap & barrel threads, and excellent cap seal --  features crucial to producing a well-performing pen. 

Nathan also brought a newer pen to show us, his Ensso 'Bolt' (not pictured), a bolt-action capless retractable fountain pen that was introduced via Kickstarter. The pens haven't been shipped out to Kickstarter supporters yet (that's happening this summer) , but Nathan got a sneak preview for his YouTube channel and did a review of it there.

  Last, but not least, here are some of the fountain pens that Stuart brought! (I didn’t photograph his newest Parker ‘51s). The middle one is Stuart's brand-new Graf von Faber-Castell 'Tamitio', purchased from the Vancouver Pen Shop. Flanking it are two pens that have design features that Stuart really likes--a glossy black Sheaffer 'Snorkel' with a wide cap band (Stuart said that it makes the pen look longer when posted...and it does!) and a stunning Montblanc 'StarWalker Doué' (pen at top of photo). Stuart liked how Montblanc cleverly incorporated its famous snowflake logo into the cap's finial as a snowflake suspended in clear resin.

Many thanks to everyone who came to the meeting on Thursday! Special thanks to VPC member Steve --who couldn’t make it to the meeting-- for the door prize fountain pens and free ink flush (both of which he also gave away at April’s meeting), as well as to Christopher for donating a cancer charity novelty ballpoint prize.

I'll post the details about our June meeting once I finalize the venue booking. Have a happy & safe Victoria Day long weekend, everyone!

( ~Blog post by Maja~ )

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Our next pen club meeting is tomorrow (Thursday May 16th) at the Kitsilano branch of the Vancouver Public Library! All details in this post: