Sunday, December 29, 2013

A recent acquisition (Hero 359 fountain pen)

~ Monty the Christmas Moose with my new Hero 359 fountain pen ~
Like many fountain pen users, I'm a fan of the iconic Lamy Safari fountain pen. A few weeks ago, I heard about a Chinese company that was making copies of this pen in non-Safari colour(s), so I ordered one of the purple fountain pens from eBay.
The pen arrived, safe and sound, and came with a converter and a free pack of Hero ink cartridges. A word about the cartridges---though they look like, they are not international cartridges. According to one online seller, though, you can use Parker or Aurora cartridges in this pen (note: I tried my Parker cartridges in the Hero after I posted this review, and they do fit. I don't have any Aurora cartridges to try, but I've heard many times that they are interchangeable with Parker's)
As for the pen itself, the plastic doesn't feel as sturdy as Lamy's ABS plastic, but it writes nicely, and its price point makes it the kind of pen you won't cry about losing (although I still prefer the construction & writing qualities of my Safaris :)
(review by Maja)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Missing (stolen) pens

One of our longtime VPC members (Mark H.) had some pens stolen from his truck on the weekend, and asked me to post a message on our club's website on his behalf.

Mark posted a message on Craigslist on which he wrote this:
Stolen from my vehicle were a number of fountain pens, mostly vintage, Parker Duofolds, Vacumatics, 51's, Also Sheaffer flat tops, balance, snorkels, and touchdowns, Soenneckken 111 Superior Set, MB 142 , MB149, Waterman's nurses set, Waterman's Sheraton Red Ripple. These pens are mostly equipped with 14K nibs that have far less scrap value than as intact nibs. Please send me a note if you come across any of these or suspicious persons selling pens that they have no clue about.

Here's a link to his Craigslist message with photos of some of the stolen pens
If anyone happens to come across these pens, or a suspicious sales listing for the pens, please contact Mark via Craigslist (hit the 'reply' button on the Craigslist page to send him a message). Thanks in advance!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy Holidays! (and January 2014 meeting info--updated!)

~ ~ ~ Happy Holidays & Happy New Year from the Vancouver Pen Club! ~ ~ ~

Hope to see you at our next pen club meeting on Thursday January 16th, 2014 at 6:30pm, at the usual place--Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie Street in Vancouver, BC! Theme: to be announced---still working on it! Our theme for January will be "Sumgai Finds!" (ie. pens acquired at incredibly low prices).

The lovely pen in the photo is my new Jean-Pierre Lépine 'Mini Indigo' rollerball, purchased recently at Simply the Best, a well-stocked pen & luxury goods shop located in Victoria, BC. Many thanks to Jim for his excellent customer service!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Edison Pen Company

The secondary theme for our meetings is always "Newest Acquisitions", and on Thursday, one of our members (Greg) brought a lovely example of a new handcrafted fountain pen he recently acquired. The pen was made by Brian Gray of the Edison Pen Company in Ohio, and it's a stunner:
(click on image to enlarge photo)

Brian makes both customized fountain pens for customers (sold through his website), and non-customized pens (sold through authorized dealers). The one above is from his non-custom line and is the "Collier" model in the Persimmon Swirl pattern. It's a large fountain pen (5.9 inches capped) that does not post, although the length of the barrel (5.1 inches) and width of the pen (0.59 inch) makes it unlikely you'd even need to post it. It's one of the largest fountain pens I've tried, writes beautifully, and, weighing in at 30 grams, is very comfortable to hold. Many thanks to Greg for bringing it to our meeting for all of us to see. It's definitely on my Wish list!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

"The Pens You'd Never Sell" -- November 21st meeting

Many thanks to all who attended our November meeting to see "The Pens You'd Never Sell", an old VPC theme that we decided to reuse, as many of our members found the topic of interest. The examples seen on Thursday did not disappoint; we saw irreplaceable pens that were gifts or inheritances from close relatives, pens that were valued for their impeccable writing performance (i.e. their nibs), and treasured pens that commemorated special occasions....and we got to hear the stories behind each pen (something I always enjoy). One of our longtime members, Glenn Marcus, wrote a nice piece about it on his blog here.

I snapped a photo of some of these examples here:
(If you enlarge the image, you can see Graham's Pelikan M640 'Sahara' in muted yellow on one side of his 12-pen case, and his lovely Visconti Divina 'Desert Springs' fountain pen on the case's other side. Those are Glenn's hands---busy scribbling notes for his website article---on the far left of the photo).

Winnipeg pen maker, Dr. Ken Cavers, dropped by to say 'hi' and brought some fine examples of his work to show us. I snapped a couple of photos (see below), but you really have to see the results in person to appreciate the care and craftsmanship that he puts into his work:
(from left to right: two nice examples of bamboo fountain pens, a greenish-blue ebonite fountain pen and a celluloid fountain pen---all handcrafted)

Ken's work is in high demand, so his wait time is over a year for custom commissioned pens, but he does occasionally sell non-commissioned examples on his website- Ken Cavers Custom Pens.

After I posted the above, I realized I'd forgotten to mention that we had two other first-time attendees--Tim's niece Kjensmo (who lives in the U.S) and new VPC member Crispin! New members are always welcome to join our club. If you have any questions, please email me at ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our November meeting is the last VPC meeting for 2013, as we don't meet in December. Fear not, though - our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday January 16, 2014 at Perks pen store on Cambie Street, so I hope you can make it! Theme/topic: to be announced.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

November meeting info ~ last meeting of 2013!

Many thanks to all who attended our October meetup at the White Spot restaurant. We're back at Perks for our last meeting of 2013 (as we don't have meetings in December), so here are the details!

Date: Thursday November 21, 2013
Place: Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC.
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
("early birds" welcome at 6:00pm to chat before the meeting)
Theme: "The Pens You'd Never Sell" (and Ink Swap--see below).
This is an old theme that Glenn C. suggested we bring back. Actually, our old topic was limited to just one pen ("The Pen You'd Never Sell"), but you can bring two pens this time :) Our secondary theme is always "Newest Acquisitions" (pen-related).

Ink Swap! We'll be having our twice-annual ink swap at the November meeting. It's completely voluntary, of course, so if you have any ink(s) you are not using and would like to trade with fellow member(s), this is your chance. Bottles do not have to be 100% full and ink cartridges are allowed.

Hope to see you at our November meeting! (no RSVPs required for meetings held at Perks)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Namaste from Nepal!

Just received an email with a letter from our pen club's founder, Tim Conklin, who is in Nepal visiting friends. Tim wanted me to share the letter with the members of our club, so here it is, written with a Parker '45' flighter fountain pen and Cross Black ink:
Thanks for the letter, Tim! Tim will be back in town for our November meeting, and I look forward to chatting with him about his adventures then.

Don't forget that our October meeting will be held next Thursday (October 17th) at the White Spot restaurant inside Oakridge Mall in Vancouver, BC. Meeting starts at 6:00pm and will go to about 8:30pm or so. Please RSVP (only if you'd like to attend) by October 12th at so we can save a seat for you. Our October topic/theme will be New Acquisitions (pen-related). Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Another one!

Mamma mia!

Glenn has just emailed me a photo of another new acquisition made recently on his trip to Italy! This one is the stunning new limited edition OMAS Vintage '360' series in smoke colour: (click on the photo below to see a close-up of this marvelous material)

Glenn writes: "These are stunning pens, with the incredible smooth OMAS nibs. The body and cap have a fine diamond pattern engraved in the cotton resin body." He goes on to say that this is apparently the last colour in the 360 Vintage series, and if you wish to get your hands on one before they sell out (only 360 were made), he recommends contacting Marco or Derick at (store website here), where Glenn purchased his own pen.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Glenn's (Italian) Pens!

Glenn Marcus, one of our long-time Vancouver Pen Club members, just sent me a couple of photos of two recent acquisitions from his trip to Rome. The fountain pens are so beautiful that I just had to post them on our website (with his permission, of course :)

The first is a scarlet red OMAS Ogiva limited edition in celluloid created for the Novelli Pen shop in Rome. Glenn's particular fountain pen is #2 of 30 pens made, and it "writes like a dream", he says:

The second pen is another OMAS limited edition--an OMAS Extra Lucens in celluloid . Only 331 were produced, and Glenn is one of the lucky few to own this gorgeous fountain pen. In his email, he called it "a sexy pen", and I'm sure you would agree:
(click on images to enlarge)

Many thanks for the photos, Glenn, and congratulations on your two spectacular purchases! You can find photos & reviews of many more great fountain pens (and fountain pen inks, fountain pen-friendly paper & some great pen stores) on Glenn's excellent & informative website, Glenn's Pens.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Venue change for October 17th meeting

The venue for Thursday October 17th's meeting has been moved to the WHITE SPOT restaurant inside Oakridge Mall, and will be held from 6:00pm to 8:30pm or so. Please RSVP your attendance for this meeting before Saturday October 12 as per the group email instructions (or if you wish to join our club, at

Because of the difficulty in doing our usual "show & tell" while seated, our October topic/theme will be New Acquisitions. These can be any pens, inks, or pen-related accessories that you've acquired and want to show those seated around you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thank you to everyone who came to our September meeting (last Thursday) with your "most frustrating & most improved" fountain pens. I forgot to bring my digital camera but we had 14 members in attendance and the meeting was enjoyable and informative. Valerie, the B.C rep for Staedtler dropped by with some information about their new line of fine writing instruments (which include fountain pens!) and we got to see a couple of examples in ballpoint form---one made of plum wood and another made of glossy black resin. Impressive quality and design! Looking forward to seeing more Staedtler products on pen store shelves later this year...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We will be having our biannual Ink Exchange at our November 21st meeting, when we will be back at Perks pen store. Our November topic will be "The Pens You'd Never Sell", an older topic that Glenn C. suggested we bring back. Many thanks to all members for their participation, enthusiasm and theme/topic suggestions! Cheers, ~Maja

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

September meeting details

We're back to our regular themed meetings next month, so here are the details about our September meeting:

Date: Thursday September 19, 2013
Place: Perks pen store at 5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC (ie. the usual place)
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm ("early birds" welcome at 6:00pm to chat before the meeting).
Theme: "Most frustrating fountain pen & most improved pen".
Thanks to Graham and Anne for this topic idea! Please bring the fountain pen that has been the biggest problem for you from the day you got it (e.g. a "hard-starting" pen, a pen with a scratchy nib or flow issues, etc) as well as a pen that has been made to write properly, either through your own efforts, or a professional's. I love hearing stories about other people's fountain pens, and I think I'm not alone in that regard :)
Our secondary theme is always "Newest Acquisitions", so if you have a new pen/ink or some cool new fountain-pen-friendly paper to show us, please bring it/them along.

Friday, August 16, 2013

VPC summer dinner at Moxie's!

A nice photo taken by Moxie's hostess Ruth last night at our summer dinner:
(click on photo to enlarge) From L-R: Tony, Charles, Sienca, Glenn Marcus, Nash, Maja, Anne, Greg S, Graham, Al, Richard, Brenda (Jim's wife), Bruce, Glenn Collins, Tristan and Jim. Many thanks to everyone who attended---a good time was had by all!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

VPC Summer Dinner

The summer dinner for VPC members will be held on Thursday August 15. Space is limited, so VPC members please RSVP me no later than August 7th, as per the instructions in the members' group email I sent on July 21st. Please note: this is not a regular meeting...We will return to our regular "themed" meetings at Perks on Thursday September 19th. Have a great summer, everyone!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pacific N.W. Regional Pen Round-Up! a smashing success!!

The first annual Pacific N.W. Regional Pen Round-Up! (of which I wrote about in this blog post) was a great success, according to organizers & attendees... and the folks in charge are already working on preparations for next year's Round-Up!
VPC member Charles (back to camera, light blue shirt) talking to pen seller Alan Brooking. Charles was one of two members of our pen club (Dave M. was the other) to attend the Round-Up... (Photo by Mike Rosen)

Co-organizer Michael McNeil posted a report on the event on various online pen boards, and allowed me to repost his thoughts here. In Michael's words:

We had the event Saturday July 13th at the Lucky Labrador Brewing Co., in N.W. Portland. I would like to thank all those who attended, including the vendors! We had a very good cooperative effort for our 1st attempt at the Pen Round-Up!

We had some pretty good local advertising and I saw a lot of faces that I did not recognize. We had a good turnout for the event. There were people who attended from British Columbia, Washington state and of course from around Oregon. There were vendor/collectors from B.C., California, Washington, Wisconsin and Iowa and several of us from Oregon.

Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. I enjoyed talking with everyone who wanted to chat and look at pens. I think I bought about six pens and did trades for a couple of others. There are three that will go into my own collection. I also bought nine pens and a mechanical pencil the day before, at the big local antique show.

Here are a couple of comments from people who attended Pen Round-Up: "I thought the event went very smoothly. It was friendly, relaxed, casual, and I have the feeling that people who came were satisfied. I really liked the fact that there was no admission charge, and only a very modest table charge too." And, about the location, "... it was truly perfect for this event. Location, food, parking, the room itself, access to the freeways, etc."

Ingrid Hansen wrote on her blog: "I had a fabulous time at the Portland Pen Round Up on July 13, 2013. It was a small as far as what I’ve heard of fountain pen shows, though it was not a pen show, and I liked it very much because of that. I met an old friend, Bill Sexauer and several new friends: Michele, Larry Jones, John Strother, Michael McNeil, Jim Leonard and Stuart Hawkinson. I bought some pens and was able to try many more. I’m impressed with the mid-80s Omas Paragon that Jim let me try. Larry has an extensive pen collection that he’s selling. Jim and Stuart spent the last hour talking pens, pen shows and drinking beer. What a perfect day." You can view her blog at:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Many thanks to all who organized the show (esp. Stuart Hawkinson and Michael McNeil), to Mike Rosen for the photos, and to Ingrid for her blog post. I'm already looking forward to the 2014 Round-Up!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Déjà Vu All Over Again...

Many thanks to all who showed up for our July meeting, which featured fountain pen "knockoffs", "look-alikes" and "tributes" ("homages"). This time, I remembered to snap some photos *before* the meeting got really busy! (click on photos to enlarge)

Dave M. brought in some fine examples, including: a Waterman Expert look-alike, MB Copernicus LE and MB StarWalker "clones", a cloisonné Hero fountain pen with a Parker '51'-like hooded nib, a Morrison lever-filler with an overlay reminiscent of a vintage Waterman, a vintage no-name Parker Duofold look-alike, a very Parker-like pencil made in Japan, some lovely Parker Duofold replicas (in colours not used by Parker) made by Chris Thompson, and a Parker '51' "homage" in rippled ebonite created by Howard Levy (of Bexley pen company fame).

Dave also brought in a Parker '61' mark II set (made in Argentina, I believe) with two small metallic "dots" on the fountain pen's shell, in place of the traditional "arrow" for this particular model.

To demonstrate how vintage pen design has carried over to modern pen design, Bruce R. brought in part of his amazing Italian fountain pen collection (including: an OMAS Paragon with its Wahl-Eversharp Doric-inspired Art-Deco styling, a Visconti Wall Street made of Parker Vacumatic-like striped celluloid, a Visconti Metropolis with retractable nib that harkens back to the safety pens of the early 20th century and some cool vintage-inspired Visconti Voyagers), a lovely green Retro 51 'Double Eight' model (with faceted body, reminiscent of Art Deco-era fountain pens), a Bexley Americana (undoubtedly inspired by the Doric model), a TWSBI Diamond 540 (or was it a 580??) & CONID Bulk-Filler, pens which, Bruce claim, remind him of the iconic Pelikan M800 model.

And on the cheaper side of things...I brought in some inexpensive examples for our topic (original---non-knockoff--- model names in parentheses): Left column (top to bottom): a Foster "High Class Pen" model (Parker Vacumatic), Baoer 388 (Parker Sonnet), Hero 200A (Parker '75'), Hero 336 (Parker '61'), Rainbow 231 (Parker '61') and the ever-popular Hero '616' Jumbo (Parker 51). Right columnn (bottom to top, this time): Baoer "Skywalker" (Montblanc StarWalker), Nine Rings Green fountain pen---no brand name on it (Montblanc Nicolaus Copernicus LE), no-name pen (MB Meisterstuck Solitaire), Wing Sung 237 (a variety of Sheaffer Triumph-nibbed pens). The top pen is a lovely Ariel Kullock-made Parker 51 'fantasy' in an iridescent blue finish (a colur never made by the Parker Pen Co.). Ariel makes these pens in a variety of finishes and sells them in his eBay shop here (no afilliation with his store, just a happy customer :)

Important note: Our August meeting will be our annual summer dinner for VPC members (info in group email to be sent to VPC members within the next few days). Regular (themed) meetings will resume on September 19, 2013 at Perks pen store at 5844 Cambie Street (our usual place).

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Portland + Pens = FUN !!

For those of you who can't make it to the Miami Pen Show, here is a cool pen-related event being held in Portland, Oregon in mid-July:

The 1st annual Pacific Northwest Regional Pen Round-Up!

Time: Saturday July 13th, 2013 - 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Place: The Lucky Lab Brewing Company, 1945 N.W. Quimby Street, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

As described by co-organizer Michael McNeil, the event is an opportunity to "buy, sell, trade, show, inform, talk, listen, learn, mingle, have fun and share our collective addiction to pens and other writing instruments"

The Pen Round-Up! will be held the same weekend as the Summer Palmer Antique (Expo) show, the biggest antique show in the Pacific Northwest (more details here, on their official website) so it's a good chance to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak (and take advantage of Oregon's tax-free shopping!)

If you are interested in reserving a table at the Pen Round-Up! please contact Michael at or Stuart Hawkinson at as soon as possible, as table space may be limited! For further details on this event, please check out Michael's post on Pentrace about the event here. The organizers hope to make this an annual event, so I hope you can make it there!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Canadian Waterman 100 Year fountain pen

A great, all-original score in the East for Christopher (Robertson)--- who found this lovely vintage fountain pen in Eastern Canada --- and another fine addition to add to his collection. Well done, Christopher!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Great attendance on a rainy night! (June meeting details)

Thank you to everyone (all 23 of you, including new members Barry, Joyce, Nash & Sienca, and visitor Tami from Nanaimo) who came to Perks for our June meeting on the 20th. We saw a wide variety of fountain pen models that came in various sizes, both vintage and modern. Special thanks to Dave M. for bringing his amazing Parker Vacumatic collection (well, part of it ;) to the meeting and giving us a mini-talk on this iconic vintage fountain pen. My apologies for the lack of photos---the meeting was very busy and we had four new members in attendance--- but I got new member Nash to snap a quick photo (thanks, Nash!), so here it is: (click on photos to enlarge)
That's Dave M. talking to Julienne on the left, and Al (facing camera) talking to Christopher R. on the left. We'll try to get a better group photo next time :) Since I didn't take any pen photos at Perks, I snapped this quick shot of the Parker 51's I brought to the meeting when I got home. They are (from L to R): a standard-sized '51' (aerometric), a Demi-sized '51' with an aerometric filling mechanism, and a Demi-sized '51' with a vacumatic-filling mechanism. Note that the aerometric Demi is slightly larger than its vac-filling Demi counterpart. Lovely pens, all three of them...
Our next meeting will be held on Thursday July 18, 2013 at the usual place (Perks pen store at 5844 Cambie St) and time (6:30pm-8:30pm or so). The July meeting topic/theme will be "Déjà Vu All Over Again", so please bring any fountain pen knockoffs/"tributes"/clones you own. Just to give you an example, the Chinese-made Hero '616' fountain pen looks remarkably similar to the famous Parker '51' ;)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cross fountain pens--May meeting

(click on photo to enlarge)

Many thanks to everyone who came to our meeting last night; we had 18 members in attendance, including one new member (Tony). I was a bit distracted by the Sheaffer Centennial celebration earlier that day (see blog post below)), having won a nifty Sheaffer "VFM" in the Strobe Silver colour, and almost forgot to snap some photos at our pen club meeting. The group shot I did take (see above), however, represents a nice cross-section (no pun intended!) of Cross' "early modern" fountain pens (from L-R)- my burgundy Cross Century Classic (aka Century I) & green Cross Metropolis, Dexter's white Cross Solo, my green Cross Solo (which is a darker green in real life) & black Cross Radiance, and Graham's chrome Cross Townsend Medalist (of which he wrote about here). I neglected to take photos of them, but we also saw nice examples of these Cross fountain pens:
  • Century I ladies' model
  • Century II
  • Verve
  • ATX
  • Affinity
  • Apogee
  • Aventura
  • Penatia "Lexington" (a Cross sub-brand)
  • Paul Smith fountain pen (made by Cross for the fashion designer's line of writing instruments)
Our next meeting will be held at Perks on Thursday June 20 and will feature fountain pens that came in more than one size---e.g the Parker 51 (made in a standard size & Demi size), Visconti Van Gogh (made in the Maxi, Midi & Mini sizes). You don't have to bring examples of *all* the sizes made for a pen model---one is enough! There are no RSVPs necessary for meetings held at Perks pen store. Hope you can make it to our June meeting!

Late edit: We will be having our twice-yearly INK SWAP at the June meeting as well. It's strictly voluntary and you can bring in partially-filled bottles of ink and/or ink cartridges (those must be full ;) too.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy 100th birthday, Sheaffer!

Ok, it's a day early as the official Centennial Anniversary isn't until tomorrow, but there is a special Sheaffer event happening at the Vancouver Pen Shop that I wanted to mention. The store will be having a one-day celebration on Thursday May 16 (9:30am - 5:30pm) to mark the occasion. According to Shannon, there will be cake, prizes and a special discount of 20% on all Sheaffer writing instruments in the store... but just on that one day. The Vancouver Pen Shop is located at 512 West Hastings Street, here in Vancouver, B.C. (additional info I discovered late May 16th---the Sheaffer sale at the store continues with a 15% discount on all Sheaffers during the month of May at the Van. Pen Shop!)

From Sheaffer's official website here

The year 2013 represents a significant milestone for Sheaffer Pen: its one hundredth anniversary in the fine writing industry and its birth in Fort Madison, Iowa. On May 16, 1913 the W.A. Sheaffer Pen Company was incorporated in Fort Madison, Iowa for $35,000. Its founder and President was Walter A. Sheaffer, the humble gentleman who formed an idea, tested it, staked his life savings, and against all odds created one of the most highly respected and honored organizations around the world. It was the invention of the lever-fill fountain pen in 1907 that ignited a dream and gave the W.A. Sheaffer Pen Company its favored position in the industry. Little did Walter know, his namesake company would become a worldwide symbol of quality, craftsmanship, and innovation over the next 100 years. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Don't forget our pen club meeting also on Thursday May 16! It's at the usual place (Perks pen store at 5844 Cambie Street) and time (6:30pm-8:30pm). Our meeting theme for May will be "Cross Fountain Pens". Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Calligraphy pens

We had a pretty good turnout for the April meeting, held at Perks on April 18th (16 members in attendance on a *very* wet night) which featured calligraphy pens. Special thanks to Julienne for her calligraphy demos and to Greg for donating the door prize, a Sheaffer NoNonsense calligraphy set (won by Mike M).

Our May meeting will be held at Perks pen store (5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC) on Thursday May 16 at 6:30pm, and our theme will be Cross Fountain Pens.

Now, here are some photos I snapped last Thursday:

Julienne showing us some examples of the calligraphy she does with her Pilot Parallel fountain pen, a type of pen whose nib consists of two parallel plates. The nib widths range from very wide (1.5mm) to extremely wide (2.4mm and 3.8mm) to "paintbrush" width (a whopping 6.0mm wide!!)

Our members watch with rapt attention to Julienne's talk on calligraphy pens....

(similar photo as above, but without the annoying camera flash!)

Our affable host, Richard Clarke of Perks pen shop! If you are ever in the Vancouver area, make sure to stop by Perks (at 5844 Cambie Street) and see the nice selection of writing instruments, paper and inks for sale. Perks is open daily, except Mondays.

Some lovely handwriting done by Julienne with a modern flexible-nibbed fountain pen, the Noodler's "Ahab" (poem by Wm. Wordsworth :)

Anne brought in a wide selection of dip pen nibs along with her Speedball dip pen. These type of dip pens use India Ink, a type of drawing ink containing pigments and gum arabic that is *not* to be used in fountain pens (India Ink will clog fountain pens terribly and is a challenge to remove!)

New member Ken brought in a wide selection of writing instruments used by architects. Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph them, but I did snap a photo of his "jumbo" fountain pen made by Tombow, as well as Louise's Parker Vector with calligraphy nib. The latter came as part of a set with several different calligraphy nib widths.

Some examples of the intricate Korean calligraphy done by Julienne on a special type of paper that felt a bit like papyrus to me.

Any of these look familiar?? The ever-popular Sheaffer NoNonsense calligraphy kit--various generations of the kits sold from the 1970s to the present day.

Friday, April 5, 2013

April meeting details (topic: Calligraphy Pens)

Date: Thursday April 18, 2013
Place: Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC (ie. the usual place)
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm ("early birds" welcome at 6:00pm to chat before the meeting).
Theme: Calligraphy Pens! Please bring a few examples of your own calligraphy (if you have any), along with the pen(s) you use. The store isn't an ideal setting for elaborate calligraphy demonstrations, but I thought it would be nice to see what our fellow VPC members are using to create their own "beautiful handwriting". If you don't do calligraphy but have some pens that can be used for calligraphy (ie. pens with italic nibs, dip pens with flexy nibs, etc) please bring them along!
"Newest Acquisitions" is always our secondary topic, so if you have some cool new pen, ink, paper or pen-related accessory to show, please bring it along, too. No RSVPs necessary for any meeting held at Perks. Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 29, 2013

more on mechanical pencils

Thanks Maja for the write up on pencils seen at our last meeting. It was surprising - or perhaps it shouldn't be - how much we enjoy mechanical pencils nearly as much as we do pens. I attempted to lower the tone of the meeting by producing my favourite el-cheapo Paper Mate Clearpoint, a rather ugly plastic thing I found walking across the school grounds near me, only to discover that other members also agree a good mechanical pencil doesn't have to be an expensive, high end one. This one takes a sturdy 0.7 lead which is advanced by the handy purple button in the middle, has a good grip, a generous eraser supply, and works like a charm. There Maja, you dared me to post this, so I did! Bill K.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March meeting photos

Just posting some photos from our meeting last Thursday taken by Bill K (first six photos) and Richard (last three pics). I didn't think we'd get as many members as we did, but 20 members showed up! Our March topic was mechanical pencils, and it was well-represented with pencils which ran the gamut from classic vintage examples & lovely but lesser-known vintage brands, to modern mechanical pencils used for drawing, drafting and carpentry. Many thanks to all who attended! The next VPC meeting will be held on Thursday April 18 at Perks (usual time & place) and the topic will be "Calligraphy Pens"!

(click on photos to enlarge)

Photo above: Derek (in denim shirt) talking about the amazing vintage pencils he brought in while Ken (far left), Dexter, and Mindy look on.

Photo above: Brian brought in his wonderful vintage Waterman pencil collection, as well as some classic mechanical pencils made by Wahl-Eversharp, Parker and others.

Photo above: Graham, Mindy and Glenn Collins listen while Maja shows her collection of vintage pencils from the "Big Four" vintage pen companies (Sheaffer, Wahl-Eversharp, Parker and Waterman) as well as some nice Eclipse pencils.

Photos above: A close-up look at the above pencils.

Photo above: Part of Derek's great collection of vintage pencils (yes, he has more!)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March of the pencils!

We're doing something a little different this month, and will be featuring mechanical pencils as our March meeting topic/theme. Mechanical pencils were often sold with fountain pens in sets (before ballpoints became popular), so we're going to shine our spotlight on them this month. Without further ado, here are the details about our upcoming meeting:

Date: Thursday March 21, 2013
Place: Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC (ie. the usual place)
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm ("early birds" welcome at 6:00pm to chat before the meeting).
Theme: "Get the lead out!" (Mechanical Pencils - Vintage & Modern)
"Newest Acquisitions" is always our secondary topic, so if you have some cool new pen, ink, paper or pen-related accessory to show, please bring it along, too.

No RSVPs necessary for any meetings held at Perks pen store. We're a very friendly, casual club with no membership dues or duties, and new members are always welcome! And please don't worry if you don't have any pencils to show---I'm sure we'll have plenty of examples to see. Hope to see you there :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lamy night at Perks!

February's meeting topic was Lamy Writing Instruments and drew 14 members plus a special guest---Michael Pons, a representative for the Canadian distributor for Lamy, Visconti, Faber-Castell & Diplomat. Michael gave an enlightening and entertaining talk on Lamy writing instruments & accessories and was kind enough to show us some examples of the brand-new Lamy Al-Star for 2013 in the Pearl finish, an attractive champagne colour: (pen photo by Mike M)

(Michael Pons--center, between Anne F. and Glenn M. in photos above)

Many examples of Lamy writing instruments were brought in by our members and a good time was had by all. Many thanks to Michael for coming to our meeting to talk about Lamy products. Grateful thanks also to Louise & Norm for the door prize, a pen-related book they acquired at the Melbourne Pen Show last year while in Australia.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday March 21 at Perks, and the topic will be "Get the Lead Out! (mechanical pencils-modern & vintage)". (rest of photos by Richard Clarke)