Friday, August 31, 2018

VPC Summer Dinner 2018 photos (part one)

We had our 2018 Summer Dinner at the wonderful Irish Heather Gastropub in Vancouver's historic Gastown district on August 16th. Eighteen VPCers showed up for some good food, and even better company :)
Without further ado, here are some photos that Ralph took that evening (thanks, Ralph!)...

Photo above: Seated in the front row (L-R): René, Kelley, Grace, Jerred, Ricardo, Justin. Standing (L-R): Sabrina, Natasha, Maja, Melodie, Jim, Marey, Tony, Stuart, Glenn M, Barry K, Ray and Ralph. (photo taken by our server)
(~Please click on images to enlarge~)
Stuart's reaction to his "Posh Grilled Cheese" dinner order:
(center) Longtime VPC member and connoisseur of fine Italian pens, Glenn Marcus, who has a great pen website with beautiful photography called Glenn's Pens:
Barry pointing to something in Maja's pen case:
Ricardo and his wonderful camera (I'll be posting Ricardo's photos from the Summer Dinner in a separate blog post--Update: I posted them here):
Our members enjoying the food (and pen talk)...
Ray snapped a few photos of some of the pens folks brought to show at the dinner (thanks, Ray!), like Jim's PENBBS '308':
Stuart's pen case with some old pens and newer acquisitions---a vintage Aurora '88', a Waterman 'Concorde', a Waterman 'Corinth', a Waterman 'Taperite Crusader' (hey, I sense a pattern! ;) and a small Wearever ringtop:
Kelley's fountain pens---I see a few Lamy 'Al-Stars', a Noodler's 'Standard Creaper' pen in the cool "Pumpkin Poltergeist" colour, a lovely purple Kaweco 'Sport', a Pilot 'Metropolitan', a Pilot 'Parallel' pen...
Ricardo enjoying the festivities...
Ricardo brought a couple of beautiful fountain pens (newer acquisitions) with him to the dinner---a Graf von Faber-Castell 'Guilloche Burned Orange' and a translucent brown Sailor 'Pro Gear Slim' (aka the Sailor 'Sapporo'):
Many thanks to the good folks at The Irish Heather for their warm hospitality, friendly & attentive service, and for accommodating our large group at their "Long Table" again this summer !

September meeting details


When: Thursday September 20, 2018

Time: 6:00pm (or so) to 8:30pm

Where: Where we met in June --- the TERRY SALMAN branch of the Vancouver Public Library, 4575 Clancy Loranger Way, Vancouver (on the lower level of the Hillcrest Community Center) by Queen Elizabeth Park & Nat Bailey Stadium.
The meeting will take place in their Community Room (meeting room). Tips on how to get to the library via transit are in this old post.

Theme : OPEN FORMAT! Please bring whatever pen-related stuff you want to show that you haven't brought to a previous meeting and shown to the club. It's open format, so it's up to you what you bring! Oh and please try to limit it to 2 - 3 items per person, so we don't run out of time :)

Our secondary topic is always NEWEST ACQUISITIONS (pen-related)---eg. new pens/inks/paper/pen cases/other accessories/etc, so if you have any you wish to show, please bring them with you. No need to RSVP for this meeting. Hope you can make it!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Photos from our July meeting!

Twenty-four VPC members (including newcomers Bruce, Candice, Colleen & Daniel) came to our July VPC meeting, held on July 19th at the Kitsilano branch of the Vancouver Public Library. I left my camera at home, but Christopher and Ricardo snapped some photos during the meeting for our blog (thanks so much, guys!).

First, four group pics, courtesy of Christopher...

It was a packed house that evening!
The rest of the photos were all taken by Ricardo, except where noted (~click on photos to enlarge)...

Ricardo's illustrated journal...

Our theme for July's meeting was "BUYER'S REMORSE & NON-BUYER'S REGRET"--ie. fountain pens you bought but later regretted buying (Buyer's Remorse) and fountain pens you didn't buy and regretted not doing so (Non-Buyer's Regret).

Though lovely, Julienne regretted buying the small Delta 'Capri' fountain pen on the right...
It's a beautiful writing instrument, but the smaller version (called the Marina piccola) was simply too small for her...
When the opportunity to buy its larger counterpart (the Marina grande) came up, she jumped on it...
...and now has a matching set that she doesn't want to break up :)

Buying pens that were too small for one's hand was a fairly common reason for buyer's remorse---June, Ruth-Erin and I (Maja) also regretted buying small fountain pens (Sabrina had the opposite reason--buying pens that were too large for her hands) Also, buying cheap pens just because they were cheap was another regret--Tony, Jim, June and I fell into that category! Some members regretting buying certain pen brands that they seemingly had no luck with--Monteverde in Ricardo's case, and TWSBI in Jerred's case---and some buyer's regret was simply from buying pens with previously unseen/unnnoticed flaws---e.g. Stuart's Sheaffer 'Valor' with barrel issues, Barry's vintage Waterman with cracked nib, Christopher's Parker 'Slim Maxima Vacumatic' that fell apart, Tony's Martemodena 'Federico' whose barrel came unglued, René's Parker 'Urban' with flow problems, and Kelley's wooden kit pen with nib issues.

As for Non-Buyer's Remorse (those pens that you wished you'd bought at the time but didn't) there was plenty of that, too--e.g. the special edition turquoise Lamy 'Safari' Sabrina regrets not buying, the turquoise TWSBI 'Eco' & 580 that Melodie didn't acquire, the green TWSBI 580 Ricardo passed on buying, the celluloid Montblancs Bruce R wishes he'd bought, the Delta pens Jerred regrets not buying before the company went out of business, et al. There were a few happy cases where the pens that weren't bought were eventually acquired the Pelikan M200 Café Crème Special Edition that Dana found a year later... and my own two pens below---a Romet 'Asia' and a Franklin-Christoph 01 IPO :

(these two pics taken by Maja) I first saw both pens at pen shows---the Romet at the 2015 LA Pen Show and the Franklin-Christoph at a Portland Pen Show---but didn't buy them because there were so many other pens I wanted to see first. I got lucky in the case of the Romet, because I bought it the next day (story here)... but I had to wait a few years before I found the F-C again when a fellow pen club member was selling it. The Romet has a replacement Conklin 1.1mm stub nib on it, but I don't mind :)

Onto our secondary theme---NEWEST ACQUISITIONS now!

Since we had such good attendance for our meeting, we saw a lot of new acquisitions, such as René's dazzling new Platinum 'Century 3776' "Kumpoo" Limited Edition fountain pen:
My (Maja's) LIY 'Future' fountain pen in the "Blue Coral Sea" colour (right) and the exotically-named "Blue Enchantress" colour (left) belonging to Jerred:
Another new acquisition of mine---an orange 'Ink' fountain pen made by Karas Kustoms in Arizona:
My particular pen is made of shiny aluminum and comes with an aluminum section. You can choose another type of section (copper, brass, tumbled raw aluminum or black) and there are 19 nib options, depending on material (steel, gold or titanium) and nib width. My particular nib is a smooth-writing Fine steel nib:
A lovely Visconti 'Homo Sapiens' in the limited edition "Jade" colour, owned by Ruth-Erin:
This LE is limited to only 188 pieces worldwide:
Not a new pen, but a new acquisition--Ricardo's Visconti "Opera Club" fountain pen in the hard-to-find "Cherry Juice" colour. The pen was originally purchased as a rollerball and then converted to a fountain pen with the new nib-section unit Ricardo ordered:
Group shot (L-R): Bruce T (one of our brand-new members), Christopher, Stuart, Julienne, Melodie, Maja.
I'm sorry we didn't photograph them because Bruce showed us an amazing lot of vintage writing instruments he won in a local estate auction. They included a Wahl-Eversharp 'Fifth Avenue' fountain pen in the "$64 Question" Special Edition (with solid 14KT gold caps and barrel ends!), a Sheaffer 'PFM', a Parker '75' set and a Sheaffer 'Triumph' fountain pen. Bruce also brought another classic vintage fountain pen---an oversized Wahl-Eversharp 'Doric' that belonged to his father.

Continuing with new pen-related acquisitions....

Two beautiful piston-filling pens by PENBBS belonging to Dana (left pen) and Jerred (I think...):
Well-made, beautiful...and affordable!
Some cool Pilot fountain pens! Pilot 'Vanishing Point' (far left) with two Pilot 'Decimo' pens next to it. The Decimo came out after the VP and is a slimmer, lighter version of it:
Brand-new member Candice came with plenty of beautiful fountain pens to show...
...but I think my favourites were her colourful Sailor 'Pro Gear' and Sailor 'Lecoule' pens in the foreground:
Candice's shiny Waterman 'Kultur Reflectics' fountain pens (with matching nail enamel!)...
...all with a lovely iridescent finish that changes the colour of the pen, depending on the light source:
Two gorgeous Visconti pens--Ricardo's Visconti 'Opera Club' (left) and Rohit's Visconti 'Opera Master' Luna Limited Edition (made for Goulet Pens--only 188 pieces made worldwide) :
The 'Opera Master' is a larger pen and uses Visconti's "Double Reservoir Power Filler" system which allows you to transport fountain pens safely during airplane flights (ie. avoiding ink leakages) and also provides an extra reservoir for extended writing sessions.
Melodie's Platinum 'Century 3776' fountain pen in the "Nice Lavande" colour:'s description of this colour: "Inspired by the beautiful fields of lavender that blossom across the French Riviera in early summer, this pen features a transparent purple body complemented by rose gold trim."
Our pen club meetings have a "show & tell" format, where we go around the table and people talk about what they brought for the monthly theme and/or new acquisitions (pens/inks/accessories/paper, etc), which is always our secondary theme (but no worries if you don't have anything to bring for either theme, though!)
Pens are passed around for others to see and/or use (but please ask the owner first :) and, honestly, time seems to fly because we're having a good time...and before you know it...the meeting's over!
Thanks, as always, to everyone who came to the meeting! (whether you brought stuff for the themes, or just yourself :)
Details about the September meeting will be posted later this week...

Friday, August 17, 2018

Local pen history...and more!

One of our long-time members (and long-time collector), Christopher, brought a couple of interesting 2nd/3rd-tier vintage writing instruments with him for our June meeting topic. I snapped a couple of photos but they turned out horribly, so Christopher was kind enough to send me his own shots, starting with this marbled Spencer’s "Write-Away" fountain pen:
( ~Click on images to enlarge~)
Christopher writes: "Further research makes this pen second-tier in name only. Spencer’s was a quality local department store until it sold out to Eatons....This pen was produced by Waterman and supplied to Spencer’s under their branding." The case in the photo above is an original Spencer’s Optical Dept. glasses case and cleaning cloth that belonged to a woman Christopher knew who worked for Spencer’s before they closed and sold to Eaton’s in 1955.
Old photo of Spencer’s Department Store in Vancouver, BC
Spencer’s Downtown Vancouver First Floor pen counter
Another item that Christopher brought in for our topic of 2nd- and 3rd-tier vintage writing instruments was this early ballpoint made by Wahl-Eversharp called the "Wahl Ball Pen"
Wahl Ball Pen ad ca. 1948
As for our secondary topic, Newest Acquisitions, Christopher told us about a vintage Parker 'Duofold' set he recently acquired in the lovely Lapis Lazuli Blue material (pictured above). Christopher's set has excellent colouration---ie. there is very little visible darkening of the material
The vintage set with a modern Parker Duofold pencil in Lapis (in the middle)
Last, but not least, another new find of Christopher's--a Sheaffer desk pen with a lovely marble base. Christopher removed the original plaque and replaced it with a plaque from a literary award he won.

Great vintage writing instruments, all of them! Thank you, Christopher, for sharing your photos and an interesting bit of Vancouver pen-related history with us :)