Friday, August 4, 2017

Lots of photos from our July meeting!

Many thanks to Richard C. for hosting our July meeting! Twenty-one VPC members (including three newcomers--Hugo, Lenal and Zelda) came out to show & talk about their demonstrator (clear) fountain pens---our topic for July's meeting---and newest pen-related acquisitions...
(counterclockwise, from lower left) Bob W, Lenal, Justin, Marzieh, Bruce, Richard, Glenn M, Stuart, Zelda, Alejandra & daughter Natasha, Mindy, Hugo, Ricardo, Paul, Anne, Jerred, Barry K. Not pictured: Mark H, Ralph, Stanley C and myself (Maja--photographer)
We saw a wide array of demonstrators (across a wide price range!) during the meeting, so I snapped some photos of them. The writing instruments below were brought in by Ricardo, Ralph, Mindy and Bruce:

~Click on photos to enlarge ~

(from upper left corner, going L-R) Ricardo's trusty blue Pelikan M205, Sailor ProGear Slim, and Lecai fountain pen (filled with orange ink). The Lecai pen resembles a Franklin-Christoph 'pocket 66' model and, as you can clearly (ha!) see, is an eyedropper filler.

To the right of that group are Ralph's two colourless demonstrators---a Lamy Vista (also brought in by Alejandra, Anne and Bob) and (to its right) a TWSBI 580, a very popular piston-filling model also brought in by Paul, Ricardo and Stanley.

At the bottom of the photo is Mindy's demonstrator mechanical pencil, made by Pelikan. I think it's a M250...or D250? And yeah, it's not a fountain pen, but it's still cool ;)
Mindy also brought in a Wing Sung '659', and her Pilot 'Prera' and Pilot 'Penmanship' fountain pens for the topic (not pictured).
(photo below) Three great demonstrator fountain pens brought in by Bruce---(from top to bottom)---a Visconti Skeleton Limited Edition (#11/25 pieces made, worldwide), a CONID bulk-filler, and a Visconti 'Verona' Rebecca Moss Limited Edition. Bruce also brought in a Lecai demonstrator that he recently purchased (not pictured).
New member Zelda brought in a wide assortment of goodies, including some free ink samples in black and brown colours, as well as some pens (including a demonstrator Noodler's Ink fountain pen---more on that further down this post) and inks for trade:
I was surprised to discover the subtle differences in shade that some of the black inks displayed on paper (not every dark black ink looks the same, believe it or not), so thanks for the ink samples, Zelda!
(photo below) Alejandra's pens & pen cases---They're not visible in the photo, but Alejandra brought in three pens for our topic---a Lamy Vista, a TWSBI Mini-Vac and a Noodler's Nib Creaper, which was the first fountain pen produced by Noodler's and is (currently) their smallest and slimmest fountain pen.
Our secondary topic is always "Newest Acquisitions", so Stuart brought his new "Speedball Text Book", a vintage Sheaffer flat-top in Jade (with really nice colour), a Waterman C/F with black barrel/gold cap (all pictured in the photo below), as well as a new Waterman Expert in the "Ombres et Lumieres" design (not pictured). For our July topic, he showed us his clear Sheaffer Cartridge Pen (aka "School Pen")---the 3rd pen from the right---and a couple of TWSBIs---a 580AL and an 'Eco' (TWSBIs not pictured).
We're not snobs, so we don't mind if our members bring in interesting non-fountain pen writing instruments, such as this bright blue Palomino 'Blackwing' pencil (see photo below) that Justin brought. I actually did a post on wooden pencils here back in March, that featured this iconic model.

The "73" on the pencil denotes its limited edition (LE) model # (they've been releasing a new LE quarterly), which in this case, is the "Lake Tahoe" model. The raised wavy design gives it a topographical-map look, and the number (73) was chosen because it is the lake's last measured Secchi depth , in feet. This depth is related to the clarity of a body of water---an interesting coincidence, as our topic for the meeting was clear fountain pens! But I digress...

Below the Blackwing pencil are Justin's new black NoNonsense fountain pen and demonstrator Dollar fountain pen. The latter model is an inexpensive piston-filling fountain pen made in Pakistan by Dollar Industries, which was founded in 1954.
New acquisitions don't necessarily have to be pens or inks---they can be pen-related accessories as well, such as Anne's lovely lime green leather portfolio by Laurige:
This handsome zippered portfolio securely holds an A5 writing pad & pen, and has several storage compartments for documents and cards:
My pens (for the topic + new stuff)---(L-R): TWSBI 580AL, TWSBI Diamond 530, TWSBI Vac 700, Gate City 'Belmont', Padrino demonstrator, Wing Sung '698', Jinhao 599A (yes, I realize I brought in >3 pens for the topic!), Cross 'Beverley' & Cross 'Aventura', Jinhao X750, Speedball Calligraphy pen, Pentel 'Tradio', Lecai fountain pen (inspired by Ricardo's purchase), a vintage Yard-O-Led sterling silver hexagonal mechanical pencil from the 1950's and a Pelikan 'Stola'. The pen roll was a gift from my mother-in-law (a talented quilter) and features a Schnauzer dog motif:
Two fountain pens I acquired in a trade with Zelda at the meeting---a vivid green Jinhao 159 and that Noodler's Ink demonstrator fountain pen I'd mentioned earlier. The latter is actually a re-branded Platinum Preppy. Actually, it's a modified Preppy---since it was meant to be used as an eyedropper-filler, it lacks the ink cartridge 'nipple' but has an O-ring added to its barrel (the latter is to ensure a tight seal when the barrel is filled directly with ink):
(photo below) Two Wing Sung '698' fountain pens brought in by Jerred (Stanley and I also brought one in for the topic). The earlier version of this model did not have a locking feature for its piston-filling mechanism. Jerred brought in both the earlier version and the updated one for us to see:
The nib-reshaping material Jerred uses when he works on his fountain pens...
Jered's new acquisitions---a pink Delta 'Unica', a clear blue Daiso fountain pen (also a demonstrator!) and a wooden fountain pen purchased on Jerred also brought in another new pen--an early version of the Waterman 'Expert' (not pictured):
The wooden pen is a bit of a mystery---Jerred thinks it might be made of Wenge wood , a difficult material to work with as it splinters easily. Whatever it's made of, it's an attractive-looking wood pen that has a nice weight to it...
I'm sorry I didn't take photos of everyone's pens, including Lenal's new Lamy Safari fountain pens (which she got in the UK for a mere £17 each!) and Stanley's demonstrator pens (he had two I hadn't seen before---a Jinhao 991 and a SKB fountain pen made in Taiwan).

I also forgot to snap a photo of Glenn's wonderful OMAS Vintage 360 demonstrator in Teal. Glenn, however, has some lovely photos of his 360 (that he took himself) on his own website here. At the meeting, Glenn told us he spoke to someone at OMAS about the relatively high price of demonstrator fountain pens vs. non-demonstrators and was told that demonstrators actually take more time to produce, as the inside of the pen has to be as highly polished as the outside. That's something I didn't consider, so it was enlightening and made me appreciate my demonstrator fountain pens even more. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you to everyone who came to the meeting in July, whether you brought pens or not; it's your enthusiasm and participation that makes this club the fun group that it is :D
And thanks again to Richard for hosting our meeting, and to Brian for the pen magazines!

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