Sunday, April 30, 2017

Postcard from Hong Kong

(photo courtesy of VPC member Stephen B ~ click on image to enlarge)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bart & June's 2017 Los Angeles Pen Show report!

Two of our fellow Vancouver Pen Club members attended the 2017 Los Angeles Pen Show, held in Manhattan Beach, California this February and were kind enough to send me a report to post on our pen club blog.

It was a 4-day show, but the only public day was on the very last day, thus the huge crowds. Pen aficionados who wish to attend the other three days must purchase a "Trader" pass, but it's worth it if you want to avoid massive lineups (I did this in 2015 :)
Anyway, here's Bart & June's report! (click on photos to enlarge)

This is the line up to enter the Pen Show. Pen show opened @ 10am, and we were in line @ 8:30am, second in line! By the time it was 9:30am, the line was all the way across the lobby, almost swinging around outside.
An early shot with a table with many many notable pens (There is a $40k solid gold Montblanc in the collection behind June). Shortly after this, it would be impossible to take this picture as it was so busy.
A shot just of the table behind June.
Dan the Nibsmith working on some of June's pens. He does beautiful grinds, we were very happy with his work.
Another crowd shot of the side lobby.
Vanness Pen Shop's booth ( Tons of ink from just about every brand I have seen, even the rarer Japanese ones. I bought myself some KWZ ink, but I am kicking myself now because I didn't buy more...
The LA Pen Show is incredibly popular! Just a picture showing how packed it gets.
We made reservations online for Dan Smith, otherwise known as Dan the Nibsmith ( We made 6 reservations back to back as recommended by you :)
This is an interesting pen. I cant remember the brand, but basically this pen splits into 2 sort of, if you want to change ink you just flip the pen around and you have a new nib!
Just a picture of the above pen splitting into 2. Its more like sliding into 2, they don't actually come apart.
Hirsch Davis with a Chilton pneumatic filler.
The Chilton pneumatic filler is a prototype of a filling system that was later "stolen/perfected" by Sheaffer. Yot you seal the end of the barrel with your finger while you pull the barrel sleeve back. This will cause negative air pressure, and then you dip the pen into ink and release the seal with your finger, voila! Filled pen.
There are a couple of downsides to this design, the only one I can remember is that you cannot fill with one hand. This design, however, was later perfected by Sheaffer when they created their Touchdown filling system.

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Many thanks to Bart & June for their wonderful pen show report! If any other VPC members have pen-or-ink related reviews or photos they wish to post on our blog, please contact me (Maja) and I can either post them for you, or add you as a blog "author".
Hope to see you at our next meeting, to be held this Thursday---April 20--- at the Terry Salman library branch, by Queen Elizabeth Park, 6:00pm-8:45pm (meeting topic: Your Favourite Japanese Pens...secondary topic: Newest Acquisitions). Full meeting info here .

Saturday, April 15, 2017

March meeting photos

Finally, some photos from our March meeting!

We had a good turnout---seventeen VPC members, including newcomers Alejandro, John V, and Stephen---for our meeting on March 16th. Many thanks to Jerred for the door prize --- a Jinhao X750 fountain pen with a great Medium Architect Grind nib (done by Jerred himself) which was won by Bruce. And thank you to Bruce for the evening's topic---Pens with Modified Nibs! Without further ado, here are the photos....

That's me on the left (light green tee), photographing some of the pens brought in by our members. Bruce is to my left and then we have (counter-clockwise around the table) Tim, Alejandro, Lionel, John V, and Jerred (~click on photos to enlarge~):
(photo above courtesy of Christopher R.)

Speaking of Jerred, here are the fountain pens he brought in for our topic----all nicely reground by himself. They're the top group in the photo below (from L-R): Jinhao X750 with Medium Architect Grind (the door prize!), Noodler's 'The Charlie' with Waverly modified nib, Visol Caseti Rorschach with Cursive Italic nib, Faber-Castell 'Ambition', Pilot 'Metropolitan' with Postal modified nib, $2 special from Daiso with Right-Hand Oblique Round nib, Ohto 'Proud' with Right-hand Oblique Italic nib, Schmidt 'Intrinsic' with Left-Hand Oblique Round nib, Jinhao X450 with Cursive Italic nib, Zebra FP, Sheaffer Prelude with Double Broad Architect Grind, and a Jinhao 599A with an XF (Extra-Fine) Architect Grind nib (I wrote about it in this blog post).

Below Jerred's fountain pens, we have two lovely fountain pens with reground nibs brought in by Bruce--a black Pelikan M805 with an 18K Broad nib that was stubbed by Richard Binder, and a gorgeous Visconti 'Voyager' 25th Anniversary fountain pen with a 23K Palladium 1.3mm stub nib which was narrowed and crisped by John Mottishaw.

In the lower right corner, we have a couple of New Acquisitions (always our secondary topic) of Angela's---a very cool Daniel Defoe fountain pen, and a white Faber-Castell 'WritINK' fountain pen:
From L-R: Alejandro's elegant white Lamy 'Safari', Tim's own Safari in yellow, along with his red Pelikan 'Pelikano Jr', red Pelikan 'Grand Prix' (not a model you see very often---ie. I don't own one...yet lol) and blue vintage Esterbrook.

Below that are a couple of pens brought in by Ricardo---a Monteverde 'Intima' in Glacier Blue (nib worked on by Jerred) and a new acquisition-a very nice Sailor ProGear Slim demonstrator.
Two wonderful new acquisitions belonging to Bill K---a green-striped Pelikan M800 and a Parker Sonnet in the crosshatched 'Cisele' pattern. New member John brought in a Sheaffer 'Snorkel' in the rare Fern Green colour.
David R. brought in six great fountain pens with expertly reground nibs. They're the group at the very bottom of the photo below --(left to right) Sailor Pro Gear Classic, Platinum Nice Pur, Platinum 3776 Century, Pelikan M805 Demonstrator, Pelikan M805 Vibrant Blue and Pelikan M800. The Pro Gear Classic has a medium cursive italic ground by John Mottishaw and the Pelikan Vibrant Blue has a medium stub ground by Dan Smith.

Stuart brought in some pens whose nibs were repaired, adjusted and/or reground by our own Mark Harcourt (I wrote about his pen repair business in this blog post ). They're the top group in photo below: (L-R) a Sheaffer PFM (Pen For Men) V model, a Parker 'Vacumatic', a vintage Wahl-Eversharp 'All-Metal' pen, and a Waterman C/F.
David R's fountain pens and two nifty pen cases by Nock ---the orange 'Lookout' model and a brown 'Sinclair' case. Nock is an American company that makes handmade pen cases in the U.S.A. They raised funds for their first product back in 2013 with a Kickstarter campaign, and have since expanded their line of pen-related accessories. The cases are well-made and I've only heard good things about them, so they're on my wish list!
Below are some new acquisitions that Stuart brought to February's meeting. It was a busy meeting and I missed the chance to photograph the pens, so I asked Stuart to bring them to the March meeting (which he did). From L-R: Campo Marzio 'Ambassador', an Ingersoll all-metal lever-filling pen, and a Faber-Castell 'WritINK'.
I also left without photographing some of Angela's fountain pens that she brought to a previous meeting, but she was nice enough to snap a quick photo of them for our club's blog after I asked her (thanks, Angela!). From L-R: Sheaffer 'Fashion', Parker '51', a couple of Jinhaos, Pilot 'Prera', a vintage Esterbrook and a stylish Montblanc Greta Garbo Limited Edition.
A quick snap of my own reground-nibbed fountain pens in the photo below. From L-R: a "Binderized" (nib tuned Richard Binder of Stipula 'Duetto', a Mottishaw'd (nib reground by John Mottishaw of ) Pelikan M800 with cursive italic nib, a Pilot Vanishing Point (my first pen show purchase) and a Sheaffer 'Award', both with cursive italic nibs ground by former longtime Sheaffer employee Letta of, an Italix 'Parson's Essential' with a stub nib from Mr.Pen (I wrote about it here), a Rosetta 'Magellan' with a nice italic nib (not sure who worked on it, though--I bought it from fellow VPCer Bob M.), and then a couple of pens worked on by two young nibmeisters (an ivory Jinhao X450 with a super 0.7mm stub done by Tyler Dahl and a blue Pelikan 'Pelikano' with a nice crisp italic done by Dillon Ang), followed by two pens with great stubs done by Vivek N of Pentrace---a Laban 'Mento' and a red Genius 'Bucky'.

The second-to-last pen on the right is one of my all-time favourite writing instruments; it's a Pelikan M215 with a juicy broad stub, done by a mystery nibmeister. The very last pen on the right is a Sailor Calligraphy pen I reground myself from a Fude nib to a stub.
A closer view of three of my pens mentioned above. My apologies for the blurry photo--it's hard to tell from the photo, but all three are wonderful writers! I highly recommend you consider getting a fountain pen with a regular factory nib (e.g. Fine, Medium, Broad, etc) reground by a competent nibmeister if you're bored with how your fountain pen writes; it will almost certainly improve your writing experience... and in the case of stubs or italics, make your handwriting both nicer and easier to read!
Three new vintage fountain pen acquisitions belonging to longtime VPC member Christopher--a Parker 'Televisor', and a couple of interesting third-tier fountain pens--a Cavalier and a Traveler (all photos below by Christopher). Christopher put a wonderful Wahl-Eversharp "Skyline" nib in the Cavalier (it's a bit difficult to see in the photos):
This is Christopher's newly acquired Parker '51' ballpoint (ca. 1958), a handsome gift from his wife Chris, as well as an original vintage Parker '51' Valentine’s card:
Chris’ classy dark blue with gold cap Parker '61' ballpoint and Christopher's "new" Parker '51' ballpoint, in an original Parker '51' box. Many thanks to Christopher for the photos!
A big "Thank you" to *all* members who came to the March meeting---those who brought in pens to show, and those who came without pens! Our club is all about seeing, talking about, trying out & learning about writing instruments in a fun, casual setting... so even if you don't have any new stuff to show or anything for the monthly topic/theme, please come to the meeting anyway ! Our next meeting is at the Terry Salman branch of the Vancouver Public Library (info here) on Thursday April 20 from 6:00pm to 8:45pm ~~please note the venue change~~and the topic will be "Your Favourite Japanese Fountain Pens". Secondary topic is Newest (pen-related) Acquisitions. Hope you can make it!

5th Annual Northwest Pen Round-Up! (July 15, 2017)

Summer is coming soon(ish), so I thought I'd pass along this information about a fun, free, one-day pen extravaganza being held in Portland, Oregon sent to me by co-organizer Michael McNeil. It's open to everyone and is the closest pen event to our fair city, so I hope you'll try to attend!

(Michael's email about the Round-Up!)
Hi all,
The 5th Annual Northwest Pen Round-Up! will be held on Saturday July 15th, 2017, at the Lucky Labrador Brewing Co. In Portland, Oregon, located at 1945 N.W. Quimby St.,from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. It is the same weekend as the largest antique show in the Northwest, the Christine Palmer Antique Show.

Last year the attendance by both buyers and sellers was very good. The attendance by vendors was better than we had anticipated and we had to make extra room for a couple of the sellers. There were pen people here from B.C., Washington state, Oregon, California.

There were plenty of fountain pens, mechanical pencils, and desk top items. There was plenty of commerce in writing instruments, plenty to buy, sell, trade, admire, learn about, discuss and opportunities to meet other collectors. There is no sales tax in Oregon and people can formally and informally sell writing instruments.

I saw quite a number of extraordinary vintage pens for sale. Also a number of modern pens that I had never seen before.

The event room has air conditioning, so that's cool, literally and figuratively.

A number of people have planned a Summer vacation around the pen show and the antique show. The Pacific coast always has nice cooler weather than Portland and seldom does it get above 75 degrees there. There are always lots of things to do around Portland. Portland prides itself in being a little off beat and it is always an interesting city to visit.

All pen collectors and users are invited, wherever you are. We do not limit this event to just people from the Northwest or the West Coast.

Admission is free. We only charge a nominal fee for vendors who want to set up. If you would like table space, please contact us early, as space is very limited.

If you would like to reserve table space please contact Stuart Hawkinson at

Link to antique show website:

Photos from the 2016 Pen Round-Up!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Local pen repair

Just wanted to let folks know that one of our pen club members, Mark Harcourt, is still doing local pen repairs (vintage and modern pens, mechanical pencils & ballpoints) as well as nib work. I've heard that Mark does very good work, so it's good to see that he's still in business!

Mark's contact info:
(click on photo to enlarge)

April meeting info & more!

April 2017 meeting details:

When: Thursday April 20, 2017 (ie. our usual third Thursday of the month)

Where: the TERRY SALMAN branch of the Vancouver Public Library, 4575 Clancy Loranger Way (on the lower level of the Hillcrest Community Center) in central Vancouver, by Queen Elizabeth Park. The meeting will take place in their Community Room (meeting room). Tips on how to get to the library here.

When: 6:00pm to 8:45pm. The library closes at 9:00pm, so we have to leave the room by 8:45pm.

Theme: YOUR FAVOURITE JAPANESE FOUNTAIN PENS (please limit to 2-3 pens per person, due to time constraints).

We did this topic in September 2011 and we've had a lot of new members since then, so I thought I'd use it again. As usual, Newest Acquisitions is our secondary topic, so if you have any new writing instruments, inks, accessories, cool new stationery/paper to show, please bring them to the meeting!

Seattle Pen Club meeting in Bellingham-April 22: The SPC will be having their April meeting in Bellingham, Washington, USA on Saturday April 22nd at the Bellingham Public Market's conference room from 10am to 2pm---Market address: 1530 Cornwall Ave. The SPC meets in Bellingham twice a year to make it easier for pen folks in northern WA and Vancouver, BC to attend. It's free, the SPC folks are super-friendly and they usually bring some interesting pens to show. No topic or theme for this SPC meeting, as far as I know----just a casual get-together around a big table. Hope you can make it to this meeting, and/or our own pen club meeting on the 20th!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

British Sweets & Pen Treats

Ok, so I'm on a bit of a pen-buying kick these days....

I'm not sure if it's because of this depressingly-rainy/cloudy weather we've been having (since, well...forever) but I found some really good deals on pens lately and couldn't resist scooping them up. As for the chocolate bars from Britain---I'd never sampled any of them before and had a hankering to try them (and I suspect that hankering was weather-related, too ;) Oh, and the 24-count Crayola box was a recent purchase in honour of National Crayon Day (March 31); I wanted to get one with the recently-discontinued "Dandelion" colour in it.

Without further ado, here's what I bought (click on images to enlarge):
My new white Nemosine 'Singularity' fountain pen, purchased from fellow Pentrace member Marie.
This is a Taiwanese-made fountain pen whose nibs are made in Germany. Mine came with a great 0.6mm italic (calligraphy) steel nib that writes very well.
A wonderful Sheaffer 'Balance II' rollerball in the Amber pattern, bought from Jim Mamoulides at . These writing instruments came out in the late 1990s (1997-1999) and were a tribute to Sheaffer's original 'Balance' pen from the 1930s, which was (I believe) the first streamlined fountain pen ever made.
The Balance II writing instruments are prone to cap cracks so I have to be careful with mine, but it's such a gorgeous pen that I can't imagine not using it. There's some good information on the 'Balance II' line here on and and on this page .
Next up: photos from our March meeting....and April meeting info!