Sunday, December 31, 2023

                        ~    Happy New Year 2024
                from the Vancouver Pen Club!
   ~       

  ~ Wishing you & yours all the best in the New Year ~ Hope you can join us at a meeting in 2024!

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Photos from our December meeting!

Fourteen members, including three newcomers (David, Julian ---a fellow Blackwing pencil fan! -- and Oscar), were in attendance for our December meeting, held on Thursday December 21st. The meeting was held at the Vancouver Public Library's new West Point Grey branch , which just opened this past summer. As it was so close to Christmas, I wasn't expecting a huge turnout, so I chose one of the smaller VPL Branch Meeting Rooms for this get-together (as you can see, it was quite cozy lol). A good time was had by all and I remembered to snap a few photos during the meeting, so without further ado, here they are....

(all photos by Maja, except where noted ~ please click on images to enlarge)
Left to right: Andrew M, Sherman, Yang, Asifa, David, Oscar, me (Maja), Julian, Stuart, Jerred (leaning forward), Peter, Phil, and Andrew W. (photo taken by Liz)

We weren't planning to do a "show & tell" this month, but a lot of our members seemed to have new acquisitions to show, so Asifa kicked the "show & tell" off with one of the two lovely Sheaffer fountain pens above (Stuart's is the other one--see below). They're both part of Sheaffer's "Friends of Winter" line--a special edition of the Sheaffer '100' line from 2011-- and Asifa's was a gift from her friend (and our fellow pen club member) Renz.

The bottom pen is Asifa's 'Friends of Winter' "Plum" fountain pen, and the one above it is Stuart's "Pine" version (there was also a third one produced called "Bamboo"; all three designs had their corresponding names silkscreened in Chinese characters on their barrels). Pine, plum and bamboo are known for their hardiness in wintry conditions and symbolize fortitude and perseverance in difficult times, qualities that are highly-regarded in Confucianism.

New member David (a big vintage fountain pen fan) brought some great pens to show, including the group above -- a Parker 'Duofold' (top pen), two striped Parker 'Vacumatic' pens, and a black vintage Waterman.

More handsome vintage fountain pens belonging to David, including (top to bottom) a Parker '51', a Parker 'Duovac', a Parker 'Vacumatic' , a vintage Kaweco 'Transparent' model, and Waterman.

David showing one of the many vintage pens he brought to the meeting...

New member Oscar (sitting to David's left) brought in some wonderful modern Japanese fountain pens, including this giant Platinum Izumo Tamenuri fountain pen (below):This impressive fountain pen is made of multiple layers of urushi, a natural product that's actually the sap of the urushi tree. Over time, the urushi lacquer becomes more transparent, allowing the beautiful base colour to show through (you can see that process already starting at the pen's cap-barrel junction).

The photo above shows just how large the Platinum is, when it's next to Jerred's Montblanc '149'!

Above: Oscar's black Sailor 'Pro Gear' fountain pen (I'm not sure of the exact model) and Stuart's striped vintage Sheaffer 'Balance' with military clip. Sheaffer's clever clip design allowed the pen to be clipped onto a uniform's breast pocket without the clip being visible when the pocket was buttoned up; this ensured that the pen adhered to U.S. military clothing regulations.

Jerred always has some interesting pens to show at our meeting and this month, he brought his new pink Delta 'Stone' fountain pen. The pen has Swarovski crystals that match the colour of the pen's resin body embedded in the cap ring. Blingy, but tasteful!

(sorry for all the crazy shadows in some of my photos--I was /not/ trying to make shadow puppets during "show & tell" lol)

Here are three of the four TWSBI 'Diamond 580' clear demonstrator fountain pens that Liz brought to the meeting, filled and labelled with various inks. Liz was kind enough to bring in a bunch of free ink samples for us (thanks, Liz!) ... and in a karmic coincidence, she was the lucky winner of the evening's door prize! (a vintage Sheaffer 500 “Dolphin” desk set that Stuart generously donated --he'd previously reviewed it here).


Phil came back from Europe with some very nice modern fountain pens --- a Pelikan M200 (bottom pen) and a lovely handmade fountain pen (I didn't catch the name of the maker). I believe he acquired both pens at the UK's London Pen Show, which was held in October.

Phil also showed us this bright red fountain pen made by Scrikss, a manufacturer based in Turkey (lots of info on the company in this article), that he acquired in France. Phil also brought some yummy Toblerone chocolates for us to snack on---thanks, Phil!

The only thing sweeter than the Purdy's chocolates (that I got from Stuart--thanks, Stuart!) in the above photo is the fantastic gold nib on Andrew M's vintage Parker 'Vacumatic'! Andrew bought the pen at a local antique store and had it restored by fellow VPC member Christopher. The nib is a true joy to write with, with lots of flex and character.

Above: Some fountain pens I acquired in the last few weeks/months (left to right:) - Platinum '3776 Century' "Chenonceau" and Lamy 'Al Star' "Graphite" (both from my fellow pen club member Skye--thanks, Skye!), a Cross 'C-Series' "Champagne" (from my fellow VPCer Lawrence ---thank you, Lawrence!), a modern Conklin 'Endura', a Sheaffer '300' "Checkered Flag" and a modern Parker '51' in Teal. On the right-hand side of my pen case are: (L-R) an anodized blue aluminum Karas Pen Company 'Vertex fountain pen', two Retro 51 winter-themed rollerballs ("Cozy Penguins--a Goulet Pens exclusive---and "'Tis the Season", a Goldspot Pens exclusive made of a Diamondcast resin; both pens), a Papier "Wave" fountain pen (a Selfridges department store exclusive), an all-black Faber-Castell 'Hexo' ballpoint, and a pink Conklin 'Mark Twain Signature' fountain pen.


Well, that's all the photos from our last meeting of 2023! We'll be back in January 2024 with another in-person meeting at a Vancouver Public Library branch (Meeting location & date: To be announced)

Many thanks to everyone who came to our meetings this year -- both new members and old--- as well as the good folks at the Vancouver Pen Shop and Buchan's Kerrisdale Stationery for hosting two great meetings at their stores, and the Vancouver Public Library for allowing us the use of their Branch Meeting Rooms. If you didn't have a chance to come to one of our meetings in 2023, please try to come to one next year--we're very casual and you don't have to RSVP beforehand --just drop in! 😃

Thursday, November 30, 2023

December 21st meeting at VPL West Point Grey branch!

For our last meeting of 2023, I thought we'd try a new location  --  the brand-new (opened in Summer 2023!) West Point Grey branch of the Vancouver Public library -- so here are the full details:

 What: Vancouver Pen Club's December 2023 meeting

Date: Thursday December 21, 2023

Where: Branch Meeting Room at the Vancouver Public Library's WEST POINT GREY branch at 4566 West 10th Avenue (between Sasamat and Tolmie)
, Vancouver, BC (parking & transit info here: https://www.vpl.ca/location/west-point-grey-branch).

Time: 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm (please note: we have to leave the room by 7:30pm, as per the library's room rental policy,
but we can start setting up the room at 5:15 pm)

Theme: "Jingle & Mingle" !

Chat with others about your recent finds and/or favourite acquisitions of 2023, or whatever you want to talk about!😁 (ie. this will be a casual gathering, not a sit-down / "show & tell" meeting)

Bonus: INK SWAP
!
It's completely voluntary, so if you have any ink(s) you're not using and would like to trade with fellow members, this is your chance! Bottles do not have to be 100% full and ink cartridges are allowed.

Hope you can make it! (no RSVP required, either)

Monday, November 27, 2023

A lost treasure found

Our November meeting topic was "Fountain Pens Marketed to Specific Genders" and Christopher brought the fine example that's featured in today's blog post! The meeting was very hectic and I didn't have a chance to photograph it, so I'm glad he sent in this blog post because it's a great story. Our thanks to Christopher for sharing it with us!

Christopher writes:

"In 2010, in my early days of vintage pen collecting, I was visiting Vancouver Island on business and with a wee bit of time to spare, visited a used book shop. Since I had attended a boys’ prep school in my more formative years on the Island, my intentions for visiting this book haunt was to see if they had in fact, a school year book for the period I was in attendance at the school. This they did have, but the book store attendant was good enough to inquire if there was anything else I was interested in. With this, I asked him if he had any books on old writing instruments and in particular fountain pens. “No”, was his answer, “But I do have a cigar box with a few old pens in it.” To which I asked him if these old pens were for sale? He then turned and disappeared into the catacombs of his book shop, then returned with a colourful box which had definitely held cigars. This he passed on to me with the comment, “If you want to buy just one pen from this box, my price will be twenty five dollars. But if you see virtue in several, my price would be fifteen dollars per.” Well it was truly a surprise when I opened the box because of the nine pens made available, there wasn’t one that could be overlooked. Still I had visited the Antique Mall on Fort Street and bought a old Meccano outfit, so I really have to admit that I wasn’t flush. Still, I selected five of the nine which included a beautiful seemingly old store stock Parker 75, 23K Gold plate over Sterling, An equally mint Parker VP, a Parker 51 Vacumatic with a sterling silver cap band Circa 1943 -also unused- and best of all, a Sheaffer PFM III in blue and finally a PFM IV.

Years later-- in 2012--  regarding the introduction of a new Sheaffer line up, Patrick the importer of Sheaffer pens into BC (who was also the brother of Richard, the owner of the Perks stores) attended a Vancouver pen club meet at the Cambie Street location. During the meeting I showed Patrick my PFM IV, and he was so taken with it that he gifted me the Sheaffer inlaid nib in store advertising counter top display piece. Needless to say, I was thrilled. Well when I got home I wanted to stow my PFM, but did not have a proper box for it so I simply put the pen in the Sheaffer inlaid nib display box and put it in a safe place in my study. So safe, in fact, that for years I just could not find it. Then the other day while digging out a vintage 1930s Meccano manual in the back of the drawer, there was the box with the advertising piece and my Sheaffer PFM. But to my total surprise it was not a PFM IV but a PFM V! And in the same mint shape as those vintage treasures I picked up with it on Vancouver Island many years ago."

"So, a quick overview of this PFM. Well it has a Gold filled cap and clip with the Sheaffer white Dot designation. The cap is also vertically lined, but a second type with the lines not extended. The barrel and grip section are jet black and inlaid into the section is a beautiful 14K Gold nib. There is also a 14K Gold filled cap on the end of the barrel and the Main pen cap sports the date inscribed as 1960. This a big pen with a equally big Sheaffer Snorkel filler which is in good working condition. If you like big pens, this one sure fills the bill. Hopefully I will not misplace it again and go on to use it often."

Info about our December meeting will be posted here by the end of this week!
Have a good week, everyone!
~Maja

Monday, November 20, 2023

November meeting photos!

Our November 2023 meeting was held on the 16th at a brand-new venue for our club -- the Renfrew branch of the Vancouver Public Library, in Vancouver's north-east.

Our meeting theme was supposed to be "Fountain Pens Marketed to Specific Genders", but the meeting wound up being a lot more unstructured lol (we had a very large turnout and I was really late in arriving). From the feedback I got, though, it sounds like most everyone had a great time just chatting about pens and showing each other their newest acquisitions & current favourites.

I snapped some photos during the meeting and Sherman sent me the ones he took, so without further ado, here they are!

(photos 1-13 & 20 from Maja; photos 14-19 courtesy of Sherman ~ click on images to enlarge)

It was great to see both of our club's co-founders at the meeting! 😃 That's me (Maja) between Tim Conklin (on the left) and Bill Kempton. Tim and Bill co-founded our club back in 2006 -- time flies!

Bill remembered to bring something for our meeting topic--this lovely swirly dark pink vintage lever-filler by the British company Onoto. Bill said he acquired the pen in Australia and that it came with its original box & paperwork, as well as a note indicating the name of its original owner, a Miss/Mrs. Mountbatten.

Bill also brought a couple of modern fountain pens to the meeting-- a Blue-Striped Pelikan 'M215' and a glossy Conklin 'Cresecent-Filler" in chased black plastic and rose gold trim, both gifts from our mutual friend Glenn G. in Australia  (and no-- our co-founder Tim Conklin is not related to the Conklin Pen Company lol). I love Bill's classy monogrammed leather journal cover...

 

I also brought something for our meeting's primary theme--a black Sheaffer 'Pen For Men' (PFM I) and a Wearever 'Lady Fair'--two vintage pens definitely marketed to specific genders.

Many thanks to my fellow VPC member, Nathan, for the
wonderful 6-pen case--which he personalized for me himself (love it!)-- in the photo above. His excellent pen review YouTube channel "Doodlebud" is highly-recommended if you enjoy intelligent, concise pen reviews done in an engaging style by someone with a good sense of humour and an engineering point-of-view.



Stuart (who suggested our November theme) brought in this stunning vintage Sheaffer desk set (which fellow VPCer Karen rightly called a "showstopper")...


The fine bone china base was made by the famous American manufacturer Lenox, makers of tableware for several U.S. Presidents.

I love the base's subtly scalloped, delicately-upturned edges.....

(photo above) From the sticker affixed to the bottom of the base, we can see that this Sheaffer desk set is model 2710L, the "Lenox China Writing Set" and that its original price was $27.50 (most likely in the late 1950s). This would be close to $300 USD in today's dollars, a not insignificant amount. The desk pen accompanying the base is a lovely Lady Sheaffer fountain pen in the gold "Moire" pattern.



Another wonderful vintage desk set made by an American company---Karen's Parker 51 double desk set with a white & brown veined marble base...


The desk set was acquired by Karen from an antique store in southern Manitoba. Karen joined our club during the early part of the pandemic, and attended her first in-person meeting this month!


Dana --who we hadn't seen in ages (welcome back, Dana!)-- also acquired something from a far-flung part of Canada, the lovely modern fountain pen that's second from the right in the photo above - a Franklin-Christoph Model 46 "Stars on Sapphire Lakes" special edition made for Gourmet Pens, a well-known Canadian "penfluencer".

The pen's resin material (specially made for this LE pen by Stormwinds Creations) was inspired by the West Kootenay hiking trails in British Columbia --from Gourmet Pens' website: "The upper and lower lakes boast shimmering turquoise waters, waterfalls, exquisite flora, and breathtaking views. When night falls and the sky is clear and glowing, the reflection of the stars in the crisp water is a peek into another world right here on our planet."

Dana bought the pen in person at Scriptus, the annual one-day pen show held in Toronto each October. She also acquired another Franklin-Christoph special edition
at the pen show (not shown), a Model 20 fountain pen made for Canadian retailer Wonder Pens. The other pens in the case are: (L-R) Dana's Pelikan 'M805' Transparent English Etchings, Pelikan 'M805' Blue Dunes, Pilot 'Custom 823', a green-striped Pelikan 'M800' (with a fantastic reground nib), and a Leonardo 'Momento Magico'.

Keen vintage pen collector Grant also brought a recent acquisition to show -- a handsome vintage Parker 'Duofold' Senior (a/k/a "Big Red") with a very crisp barrel imprint --and a sentimental pen, his great-grandfather's vintage Waterman fountain pen (unknown model) with a "Made in Canada" imprint and accommodation clip.


It was brand-new member David's first Vancouver Pen Club meeting, but he brought a bevy of very nice vintage fountain pens to show. In the photo above, there are several by Parker (left to right:a black & pearl 'Duofold' flat top, four Vacumatics, a '51', a Striped Duofold, and a '45'), as well as a black vintage Waterman '94' and a Wahl-Eversharp 'Skyline' (far right of photo)-- a great sampling of classic vintage models!

And speaking of new members, that's Sherman taking a selfie with (left to right) newcomers Nicole, Maria and Rumi! (longtime members Sabrina and Jerred --far right--can be seen in the background)

Skye (waving) had a huge pen & ink sale going on during the meeting! This downsizing-sale-prior-to-a-big-move benefited many of our members, who got some amazing inks and high-quality fountain pens for rock-bottom prices 😁,

Sherman took home a couple of nice bargains himself -- a bottle of Montblanc ink and a pen by Leonardo Officina Italiana.

(Above) Sherman's new Leoanrdo 'Momento Zero' in Turqoise Green/Black Pen Chalet special edition, made for the well-known American online retailer. The pen was an even better deal because the nib suffered a tragic accident while Skye owned it. Hopefully, Sherman can get the nib fixed (or acquire a replacement nib) to get this Italian beauty up & running!


Sherman's new ink--a bottle of Montblanc 'Modena Red'...



Many other members acquired new pens and/or inks during Skye's sale, like Amy who acquired one of her "grail pens":

...this gorgeous Pelikan M600 'Violet-White' fountain pen! (yay, Amy :).


Many thanks to Sherman for sharing the photos he took during our November meeting, the Vancouver Public Library's Renfrew branch for allowing us the use of their Branch Meeting Room, and to everyone who came to the meeting!
~December meeting info will be posted here by the end of November~

(~Blog post by Maja~)

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Reminder - meeting tomorrow! (new time & place)!

Just a little reminder about our meeting at the Vancouver Public Library's RENFREW branch tomorrow (Thursday November 16) from 5:30pm to 7:30pm !

All details in this post  + no need to RSVP. Hope to see you there! 😁

Friday, November 3, 2023

Happy Fountain Pen Day 2023!

From the official website: "Taking place on the first Friday in November each year, Fountain Pen Day is celebrated by enthusiasts worldwide as a time to embrace, promote, and share the use of fountain pens."

Not that we need an excuse to buy a new fountain pen 😀, but if you want to shop locally, here's an (updated) list of local pen stores that carry fountain pens.

Have a great (fountain pen) day, everyone! 🖋️

(~photos & blog post by Maja~)

Thursday, November 2, 2023

November meeting info (NEW place, NEW time!)

What: Vancouver Pen Club's November 2023 meeting

Date: THURSDAY NOVEMBER 16, 2023

Where: The Branch Meeting Room of the Vancouver Public Library's RENFREW branch at 2969 East 22nd Avenue, in Vancouver, BC (on 22nd Avenue, between Renfrew and Nootka).

Time: 5:30pm to 7:30pm (please note: we have to leave the room by 7:30pm, as per the library's room rental policy)

Primary Topic: FOUNTAIN PENS MARKETED TO SPECIFIC GENDERS

Secondary Topic: NEWEST ACQUISITIONS

(If you don't have anything for our topics, please come to the meeting anyway and see what others brought; our meetings are meant to be fun & educational, and we certainly don't expect people to have stuff to show at every meeting :)

Hope you can make it! (no RSVP required, either)

Monday, October 30, 2023

Photos from October meeting at Buchan's! (part 2)

(* Note: Part 1 of the photos was posted earlier today - link)

And now, here are Sherman's photos from our pen club event at Buchan's Kerrisdale Stationery last Thursday night!

(all photos below taken by Sherman ~ please click on images to enlarge)

Sherman (with the sleep mask on) participating in the Great Canadian JoWo Bake Off Nib Test organized by our fellow VPC member Nathan (who was recording the event for his excellent YouTube channel "Doodlebud"), with VPC members Stewart and Jayne looking on (this was before it got really busy with onlookers!). 

(And in case you're wondering... No, Nathan wasn't being cruel; Sherman chose to wear that particular mask --instead of the plain black one that was also provided-- for the testing lol).

Buchan's also provided a variety of snacks (and Starbucks coffee!) for us to nibble on and drink during the meeting...

           

That's me with my door prize--a sweet Faber-Castell 'Grip' fountain pen in the satin-y "Pearl Turquoise"colour (I'm a huge fan of their steel nibs, so I was very pleased to have won the pen). Buchan's and the L.S.F. Group of Companies generously donated a bunch of nice fountain pens and inks for as door prizes -- many thanks to them both!




(Sherman won the same nice door prize as I did, but in the "Pearl Mint" colour!)

Sherman with some old & new friends (left to right): (Sherman), Rumi, Reem, Melanie, Vladan, Maria and April.

The folks at Buchan's set up tables and chairs around the store for attendees to use -- very handy, as they made it easier for us to show each other the pens/inks we brought/bought that evening ;)


That's Sherman again with (L-R) Rumi, Reem, Maria, (a lady whose name we don't know--please email us to let us know!), Rose, Shirley, and Oscar.

        

There was no meeting theme as it was primarily a social event, but Sherman brought an assortment of very nice fountain pens-- both modern and vintage- to show his fellow attendees. From left to right, in photo above:

élysée En Vogue (50 Line) Laque Leather Red 14K M Nib
élysée Parthenon (10 Line) Laque Trajan Blue 18K M Nib
Conklin All American Courage LE Red EF Nib
Hongdian Qin Dynasty Red 0.5mm Nib
Esterbrook J Blue Pearl & Chrome 1555 Nib
Esterbrook Estie Honeycomb Oversize GT F Nib
Hero Iridium Gold Postscript Gold Arrow Red 329-2 (Defect)
Narwhal Schuylkill Porpita Navy LE F Nib
Leonardo • Officina Italiana Furore 'Mosaico Hawaii' Vancouver Pen Club LE B Nib
Montblanc Slim Line Gunmetal F Nib


     

Above: Sherman's impressive Hongdian 'Qin Dynasty' fountain pen photographed against a complementary background--the festive napkins that Buchan's provided at the refreshments table.

Many thanks to everyone at Buchan's for making this evening so enjoyable and memorable! (and of course, our thanks to Sherman for all the photos he took ;)

(~Blog post by Maja~)