Wednesday, November 9, 2016

November meeting info----important! (Venue & Date change)

Our November meeting will NOT be held at Perks on November 17. Instead, it will be held on Thursday November 24th (ie. one week later) at the Oakridge branch of the Vancouver Public Library in a meeting room I booked for us to use. Please see details below.

November VPC meeting details:
Date: Thursday November 24th, 2016
Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm (we have to leave the room by 8:30pm, so we can't stay late....the library closes at 9:00pm though)
Topic: BLACK FOUNTAIN PENS & our twice-yearly INK SWAP (bring any ink you want to trade with other members. Ink cartridges are OK and ink bottles do not have to be full). Our secondary topic is always Newest Acquisitions.
Place: The Community Room (Meeting Room) of the Vancouver Public Library's Oakridge branch (at the back of Oakridge Mall), 650 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver, BC.

The library entrance is near the Oakridge Fish Market, on the west side of Oakridge Mall. The library is below ground level, so take the stairs (or elevator) down to the library level. Please note: we're not allowed to eat or drink in the meeting room, so if you're hungry before the meeting, Oakridge Mall has a nice food fair and the Safeway inside the mall has hot dinner items that you can get "to go" & eat at the food fair.

We don't have December meetings, so the one on Thursday November 24th will be the last of 2016, but we will be back with regular meetings in January 2017 (Thursday January 19). Meeting place (venue): to be announced. The topic for January 2017 will be "OLD FRIENDS"---fountain pens that you haven't used in a very long time, but "rediscovered" (I got the idea from Paul of the Calgary Pen Club, who used the topic in August 2015---thanks, Paul! :)

No need to RSVP for the meeting on the 24th at the library, but I hope you can make it! The Ink Swap is totally voluntary, by the way, and if you don't have any black fountain pens, don't worry----just come and see what other members have brought. If you have any new acquisitions (pen-related)---e.g. new pens, new inks, new pen accessories---please bring them along for us to see. Hope to see you there!

My new Lamy

A quick shot of my new Lamy LX in the Rose Gold colour.
(click on image to enlarge)
My photo doesn't do it justice but I wanted to post it here because I bought it with some birthday money given to me by my wonderful aunt in Europe :)

October meeting---"Paper View" (a special presentation on paper)

Twenty-two Vancouver Pen Club members were on hand at our October 20th meeting to hear an informative and very entertaining talk about paper by Tracey Pitt of Veritiv Corporation, a Fortune 500® company that is "a leading provider of packaging, print and paper, publishing, facility solutions and logistics" (from their LinkedIn page).

That's Tracey in the middle of the photo during her talk (~ Click on images to enlarge ~):

The talk began with a brief history of the making of (what we'd call) "modern paper". I was surprised to learn that many modern paper-making machines still use the principles of the Fourdrinier system (patented in 1806) which uses a moving wire mesh belt to create large paper rolls. I was also surprised by the vast variety of paper made, and the specificity of its uses by some large companies (e.g. The Gap and Tiffany & Co). We then learned about the recycling of paper (apparently Canada does quite well in that regard, achieving around a 80-86% recycling rate) and the reuse of this recycled material in papers of various grades.

Each member who attended the meeting was given a complimentary notepad from Veritiv. These "PaperPal" pads were made by Domtar, a company that is heavily (and cleverly) promoting the educational and cognitive benefits of handwriting (check out this page on their website about this topic---it's fascinating----and this one too).
(this was the image on the back of the "PaperPal" notepads we were given; image borrowed from Domtar's website----you can find an enlarged image of it on the first link above)

Tracey's talk ended with a short video about the work of Dr. David Eagleman (official website here ), an American neuroscientist and author and his study of haptics. Fascinating stuff!

In addition to her excellent audio-visual presentation, Tracey brought along samples of fine writing paper from various companies for us to try and compare (it's not pictured but my favourite was the Astrolite PC 100 paper made by Monadnock, which is made of 100% recycled material...amazing). Here's a quick shot of some Neenah paper, specifically their 70-lb "Royal Sundance" paper:
Members trying out paper samples:
A flurry of activity!
Many thanks to Tracey for taking the time to prepare and present such a fun and educational talk, as well as for the paper samples and notepads! Thanks also go out to Christopher, who put me in touch with Tracey a few weeks ago to arrange her talk with our pen club. Christopher brought in a very old German advertisement for ladies' hats that was printed on paper (I believe it's from the 1400s). My blurry photo (apologies!) of this paper treasure below:

Some more September meeting photos

Some more September meeting photos, this time all ones of our members (all pics by Christopher---thanks, Christopher!):
(~ Click on images to enlarge ~)
(Above) Long-time pen collector and VPC member Dave M trying out a fountain pen.
Harry brought in a bunch of fountain inks for us to try---thanks, Harry!
That's Harry with me and June (in the middle). June's lovely new Franklin-Christoph Lucky 13 Penvelope pen case is on the table in front of her (photos of it on the company's official website can be found here ). Bart brought in his cool Franklin-Christoph 6-pen Penvelope to the August meeting to show us, and it got me thinking---they're really nice pen cases and have been on my wish list for quite a perhaps a Christmas self-gift ??? ;)
Jerred taking a water break (it was fairly warm in the store that night) and Leo.
Mark H. hard at work repairing pens
That's newer member Marzieh (on the right) with me (Bill M is in the background). We always welcome new members, whether you are new to the fountain pen hobby or a long-time collector or fountain pen user. Have questions about our club? Send us an email at

September meeting photos---Blue Fountain Pens!

We had good attendance for our September meeting (18 members) for our topic---Blue Fountain Pens. Many thanks to Jerred for the theme idea!

Some photos below...
(~ Click on images to enlarge ~)
Photo above showing some really nice blue fountain pens brought in by Jerred (from left to right): Platinum 3776, Monteverde Catalina (in a uniquely blue colour...just gorgeous!), Delta Vintage, Levenger True Writer Select, Delta Journal, Retro 51 Tornado, Delta Indigenous People's Hawaii model and his Pilot Legance.
A couple of cool-but-inexpensive blue Jinhao fountain pens in the photo above---the light blue clear pen is Harry's Kaweco Jinhao '599' fitted with a Kaweco nib he bought separately, and the darker pen below it is Justin's Jinhao X450. Justin also brought in his newest acquisition, the beautiful Platinum Moon & Rabbit maki-e fountain pen (not pictured).
Leo's colourful blue-marbled Laban Sceptre fountain pen and his Cross Verve, a discontinued model with an interesting nib design.
Some really nice vintage fountain pens brought in by Christopher R--from L to R: Parker Burgundy Pearl Marble Vacumatic, a couple of Parker '51' Vacumatics, a Parker Vacumatic (in Azure Blue Pearl, I believe), a Sheaffer flat top model in Jadeite plastic, a blue Sheaffer Cadet, a Parker '61' in Vista Blue colour, and last but not least, a lovely Parker Vacumatic in the desirable "Golden Web" design!
Some of Dave M's amazing blue fountain pen collection--from L to R: Waterman 'Hundred Year' Pen in transparent blue Lucite, a Parker Duofold replica, masterfully-made by Chris Thompson, and a boxed Parker '51' set. Dave also brought in a few other wonderful blue pens (a vintage Parker Duofold in Lapis colour, a Waterman Edson and an OMAS 360) that are not in the photos.
Two modern German classics---a clear blue Pelikan "Pelikano" and a Lamy Safari in the hard-to-find light blue with red clip colour combination (nicknamed the "Smurf" Safari). I'm trying to remember who brought them in but I can't recall!
New member Terry brought in some of his pens, including (from L to R) a blue marbled Waterman Laureat for our theme, a Parker '51' and an attractive Waterford Beaumont.
Longtime VPC member Stuart always brings in lots of pens for our themes, so in the photo above you can some blue pens (jumping from L to R)-- a Kaweco Student fountain pen, a Sheaffer Imperial, a Waterman C/F, a Sheaffer Admiral, a Sheaffer Crest, a Sheaffer Sentinel, and a Sheaffer Tuckaway model.
Some more of Stuart's blue fountain pens (jumping from L to R)--a blue Pentel Tradio, a blue vintage Ever-Ready fountain pen, a blue Pilot Prera and a Sheaffer Intensity in the striped Cornflower design.
We always have "New Acquisitions" as our secondary topic, so I snapped a quick photo of two exceptional ones brought in by June---her vintage Wahl-Eversharp in Jet Black, and Visconti Ragtime.
A photo of Bart and June's newest acquisitions----their "his and hers" Ragtime Visconti models. Bart's is the bluish marbled one and June's is the brown marbled version. My photos cannot do them justice, but they are gorgeous writing instruments!

I try my best to capture all the examples brought in by our members for our topics, but our meetings often get verrrrry busy, so in addition to not photographing my own blue pens, I also forgot to snap a photo of Mark's British Parker Duofold, Andrew's blue Pelikan Technixx & modern Parker Duofold in blue, as well as Bruce's amazing collection of blue Italian fountain pens (an old-style OMAS Paragon, an OMAS Novelli limited edition, a Visconti Van Gogh, a Visconti Aida, a Visconti Homo Sapiens in blue crystal swirl, and Visconti Voyagers from three different generations: a Lapis model, the Anniversary model, and a Kaleidoscope) as well as a cool TWSBI Vac 700 in clear blue and a Pelikan M805. Great collection, Bruce!

Many thanks to all who brought examples of blue fountain pens and to everyone who showed up for our meeting! Even if you don't have something that fits the theme (or don't have any new stuff to show), please come anyway to have fun, listen and learn :)