Friday, April 29, 2016

Yes, modern flexy nibs *do* exist!

In honour of my upcoming birthday, I acquired a wonderful new fountain pen from Kim at Meet my new Stipula Duetto in the "Cognac" colour:
(~click on images to enlarge~)

The pen is made of Cellocride®, Stipula's name for the cellulose acetate they used in the Duetto and some other pen models, such as the Ventidue '22' (sadly, both of these pens are no longer made). The placement of the Cellocride® slabs creates a lovely effect when light hits the pen. My photos don't do it justice, but trust me, it's a stunning writing instrument.

In addition to being a gorgeous fountain pen, my Duetto has a wonderfully flexy Titanium nib, as you can see in the writing sample below (ink: Noodler's "Galileo Manuscript", created exclusively for the Fountain Pen Network ):

Thanks again, Kim, for this wonderful addition to my Italian pen collection!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Akkerman ink

A couple of photos of some Akkerman ink I acquired from an online store in The Netherlands last November with the help of Ken C (thanks again, Ken!). The ink bottle has an elegantly simple system for trapping the ink in the upper part of the bottle, thus allowing for easier filling.

From their official website : "To mark our 100 years of existence, PW Akkerman introduced in 2010 his own ink line. This ink’s came in large 150 ml bottles, these large bottles are now completely sold out.
Due to the worldwide success of this unique bottle we decided to continue, but now with a smaller sized bottle with a content of ca 60 ml. The new bottles will be available in the same 31 colors as before. The Akkerman inks have been given names related to the city The Hague."

Here's my bottle of "Shocking Blue" ink:
(click on images to enlarge)

My Akkerman ink, my favourite pen case (by Delta) and two of my all-time favourite pens, the orange and black Delta Dolcevita Slim I received as a present from Delta Pen, and the special limited edition Delta Dolcevita that was made for our pen club in late 2014 in a gorgeous chocolate light and dark brown celluloid. :
I reviewed these lovely fountain pens here and here.

April meeting photos

Our April meeting was held on Thursday April 21st at the Community Room of the Terry Salman branch of the Vancouver Public Library (due to Perks being closed). Turnout was uncharacteristically low (10 members) but our enthusiasm wasn't, and we had fun seeing, showing and learning about OMAS fountain pens. Many thanks to all who attended and special thanks to the VPL (esp. Karen at the Terry Salman location) for graciously allowing us to use this room for our meeting. Congratulations to Bruce on winning the door prize---a copy of the PCA (Pen Collectors of America) magazine "The Pennant" (generously donated by Christopher R)!

From L to R: Natasha, Maja, Alejandra, Glenn M, Tony, Jerred, Graham and Mindy (not pictured: Bruce R and Christopher R)

Longtime VPC member (and Italian fountain pen collector extraordinaire) Glenn Marcus got the ball rolling by telling us about his experience visiting the OMAS factory in Bologna, Italy in 2007 (you can read about it on his wonderful pen blog here). Sadly the company closed its doors a few months ago (Glenn posted an eloquent piece on this topic here) so there won't be any new OMAS writing instruments being made in the forseeable future. Glenn brought his extensive OMAS collection to the meeting and spoke about the different models---first and foremost, the 'Arte Italiana' line, the beautiful, faceted (12-sided) fountain pens that immediately spring to mind when one thinks of OMAS (examples shown were: the old- and new-style Paragons and the new-style Milord, beautiful examples in celluloid---Bronze Arco, Green Arco, Royale Blue and 'Wild'---and black vegetal resin), the new Bologna model in the 'Burkina' celluloid, a gorgeous Ogiva limited edition made for the Novelli Pens store in Rome, the lovely 'Extra Lucens' model (the 2013 Limited Edition), an old-style '360' in the 'Magnum' size, along with its new-style counterpart, and several of the 'Vintage 360' models (the clear models that came in a variety of colours). I could have taken photos of Glenn's OMAS fountain pens, but his photography is so much superior to mine and you can see almost all of the pens I mentioned when you click on the individuals links on this page of his pen-related blog.

We went around the table and those who had OMAS fountain pens to show and discuss did so---Graham brought his Milord in Aubergine with beautiful rose gold trim (he forgot to bring his OMAS '90 Italia'), Natasha brought her new-style Milord in that wonderful Bronze Arco celluloid and two Ogiva Alba fountain pens, Bruce (another Italian pen enthusiast and collector) brought two old-style 'Bologna' models (including the version made for MoMA) along with a lovely OMAS in Blue Royale celluloid and a small 'Dama' (the Gentleman's model). Christopher R had an older OMAS fountain pen from 1957/1958, and some very old OMAS ink from 1938, but unfortunately he left them at home.

I wish I'd taken some pen photos that night---my apologies for the oversight--- but when I got home, I snapped a quick photo of my old-style Milord in black vegetal resin and my new-style 'Bologna' in the swirly blue and white cotton "Aqua di Bologna" resin (the colours of the Adriatic sea ,which borders Italy as well as the country of my birth, the former Yugoslavia):
(Click on image to enlarge)

We also saw some of our members' newest fountain pen acquisitions (which is always our secondary topic) including Mindy's cool vintage Pilot Murex, Christopher's very old Caws pencil holder from the 19th century and an Eclipse 'Hooded Knight' model in seafoam green, Alejandra's glossy black Parker '51' set with gold-filled "converging lines" caps (a heck of a bargain for what she paid---well done, Alejandra!)and two new pens that Jerred acquired recently---a Delta 'Unica' and a Pilot 'Seremo' FCM-500. The latter pen can be found (new stock) for $40 USD and sports a 14K gold nib, an amazingly low price point for a gold-nibbed pen.

Our next meeting will be held on Thursday May 19 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm or so, and will almost certainly be held at our usual venue---Perks pen store on Cambie Street in Vancouver---but check our blog for any updates. The topic will be "Extra-Fine Nibs", so bring your examples (both modern and vintage) of fountain pens that have this type of nib. Thanks to Mindy for the theme idea. Hope to see you then!

Monday, April 25, 2016

March meeting report

I was in California for most of March, so I missed our March meeting, but wanted to share some of VPC member Stuart's thoughts on it (with his permission, of course) with those who were also unable to attend. The topic of the month was "Green Pens" (one we've done before, but since the meeting fell on March 17th, it seems apropos).

In Stuart's words: The St. Patrick’s Day meeting went well - smaller turnout but a good array of green pens. Glenn Marcus showed some beauties, including a three-piece Pelikan set, and he confirmed the sad news that Omas is gone. Louise had a gorgeous Mabie Todd Swan in a wonderful iridescent celluloid, apparently very rare.

Sorry, no photos for the March meeting, but I'll post a couple from the April meeting in a day or so.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Venue change for April meeting!

Richard (owner of Perks) informed me this afternoon that, unfortunately, he can't host our meeting this Thursday. I tried to book a room at the Oakridge VPL branch (where we met in July 2011---time flies!) but it was all booked up...however, I did manage to book an alternate venue that I think will please everyone.

Our meeting on April 21st, therefore, will be held at the TERRY SALMAN branch of the Vancouver Public Library at 4575 Clancy Loranger Way (on the lower level of the Hillcrest Community Center) in Vancouver, BC. The meeting will take place in their Community Room. The library is located by Queen Elizabeth Park, so it's not that far away from our original venue. There is parking at the Center, but I'm not sure if it's pay parking or not, so it might be wise to bring some change, just in case.
For those of you taking transit, there is a #33 Bus (29th Avenue Station) that leaves from the SW corner of Cambie & King Edward (right across the street from the Canada Line "King Edward" Skytrain station).... and that bus will take you right to Hillcrest Park, where the Hillcrest Community Center (and library) is located.

The meeting will be from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, but we have to make sure we're out of there by 8:45pm in case we run over our allotted time, because the library closes at 9:00pm. There will be tables and chairs provided, so I'll arrive a bit early to arrange them so we can hear each other talk while seated; we did that last time, and I think it worked out well (the library's a lot quieter than a restaurant ;) Make sure you eat beforehand, because I believe the library doesn't allow food or drink.
No need to RSVP for this event, but make sure you bring your OMAS fountain pens (if you have any) for our April theme.....and/or your Newest Acquisitions (new pens/ink/paper/accessories) to the meeting.
Hope to see you there!
Cheers, ~Maja

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April meeting info (and Seattle Pen Club meeting in Bellingham)

Info re: the next Vancouver Pen Club meeting:

Date: Thursday April 21, 2016

Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm (members may arrive a little bit early--at -6:00pm---to chat beforehand)

Place: Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie St, Vancouver (the usual meeting place)
The TERRY SALMAN branch of the Vancouver Public Library, 4575 Clancy Loranger Way (the library is on the lower level of the Hillcrest Community Center) in Vancouver, BC. The meeting will take place in their Community Room. No need to RSVP.

Topic: OMAS Fountain Pens

As many of you know, sadly, OMAS has gone out of business so please bring your OMAS fountain pens for us to see, since they won't be making any new ones (unless someone takes over the company)
Our secondary topic is always Newest Acquisitions so if you've received any new pen-related items, please bring them for us to see.

Many thanks to Richard of Perks pen store for hosting our meetings. Please note Perks' new store hours are Wed - Sun : Noon to 5PM (changed from 11am to 5pm). The store is still closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Seattle Pen Club meeting: Saturday April 16th from 10:00am to 2:00pm at the Bellingham Public Market, located at 1530 Cornwall Avenue in Bellingham, Washington, USA. This meeting will take place in the conference room, located diagonally from the market entrance.

Twice a year, the SPC has meetings in Bellingham to make it easier for members who live farther from Seattle and Vancouver Pen Club members to attend. Attendance is completely voluntary, and if you are interested in attending, there is no need to RSVP--just show up, if you're interested. Some vendors at the Market do not take credit/debit cards, so bring U.S. cash if you plan to buy food/drink at the food fair. The SPC meetings in Bellingham usually don't have a theme--just bring pens to show/trade/sell and have fun chatting with the friendly members of the SPC.

Hope you can make it to the meeting this month! No need to RSVP for any meeting held at Perks. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at
Cheers, ~Maja