Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Seeing red - February meeting report! (with lots of photos)

February's meeting was our second best-attended (31 is the record) --26 VPC members including seven brand-new members (Akemi, Gurmeet, Lisa, Luc, Mandy, Sally, and Syd -- a new record!) -- came to our meeting at the Kitsilano branch of the Vancouver Public Library on February 16th. I took lots of photos, so without further ado.....

(~please click on images to enlarge~)
Our meeting theme that night was "Your Favourite Red Fountain Pens and/or Red Inks" and we saw many wonderful examples, including these four Italian-made beauties (top to bottom): Jerred's Filcao 'Roxi' (reviewed by Jerred here),  Glenn's brand-new Leonardo 'Supernova' "Star Light", Jerred's modern Conklin 'Nozac' "Toledo Red" and his Delta 'Oblo' ("oblo" being the Italian word for "porthole").

Brand-new member Akemi brought a bright red Jinhao 'X450' and her uber-cool Benu 'Skull and Roses' "Red Rose" fountain pen for our meeting theme!

(From Benu's official website: "Inspired by one of the most popular motifs that represents the eternal struggle of good vs evil, the Red Rose fountain pen has been crafted in the dramatic red color.")

We also saw several very nice vintage fountain pens at our meeting, including this red Esterbrook 'SJ' model (photo above) belonging to Phil ...

We also saw a modern red Esterbrook fountain pen---Julienne's aptly-named Esterbrook 'Estie Oversize' "Sparkle"! Below it is her new London Pen Company 'Christopher 13' fountain pen, made by Sean Allott, a pen maker located in London, Ontario.

Sally--another brand-new VPC member---brought her own London Pen Company fountain pen to the meeting- a 'Christopher 14' model (which is the same length as the 'Christopher '13', but chunkier) in Jonathon Brooks' amazing "Primary Manipulation" resin. Sally's pen is shown sporting a custom (reground) nib.

Above: Julienne's London Pen Company pen next to a stylish burgundy Pilot 'Elite 95S' fountain pen belonging to new VPC member Mandy. The Pilot is a pocket pen, but when posted, becomes a full-sized pen.

Hadi's handsome Pilot 'Custom 845' (made of ebonite and coated with urushi lacquer) which he purchased in Japan...

Rene brought a multitude of red fountain pens to show us, including this stunning Platinum ' 3776 Century Limited Edition - Kinshu" (which came out in 2021), and a vintage flat-top made of mottled red hard rubber.

More of Rene's red pens (top to bottom): a nice mottled red hard rubber vintage pen with a domed cap, a Jinhao '5000' dragon fountain pen, a mysterious hand-painted fountain pen marked "Secap" and "Made in Japan" that Rene found in Paris several years ago, a Kaweco 'Special Red' (part of Kaweco's 'Collection' line) and a vintage Parker '45'.

Alejandra's elegant Pilot 'Decimo', a slimmer version of Pilot's ever-popular 'Vanishing Point' model...

Above: Chris' Pilot 'Custom 74' "Wine Red" and his new Faber-Castell 'Ambition' "Rhombus" fountain pen

Chris' beautiful 'Platinum '3776 Century' "Bourgogne" and my brand-new Platinum '3776 Balance Maestro' in black below it...

They might look very similar but, unlike the '3776 Century' model, the lower-priced '3776 Balance Maestro' comes with a gold-plated steel nib and doesn't have Platinum's "Slip & Seal" cap closure mechanism to prevent the capped pen from drying out (I'll do a review of it in the near future, but I wanted to show it next to its "rich cousin" in this blog post!)

Peter's gorgeous Nakaya 'Long Cigar' Kuro-tamenuri fountain pen , handmade of urushi lacquer over ebonite. The pen has a double broad nib that was ground to a 0.8 mm stub---nice! (Peter actually did a video review of this beautiful fountain pen on his YouTube Channel a few years ago -- link)

Over time, the semi-transparent natural urushi lacquer matures and becomes more transparent, allowing the base layer colour (in this case, a deep red) to become visible --a wonderful, natural transformation...

Next to my new Jinhao 'X450' (top pen) is a Aurora 'Optima' in "Bordeaux" resin that I brought in for the meeting's primary theme (your favourite red fountain pens/inks). I bought the Aurora from a fellow Fountain Pen Network member in 2010, and it was probably the most I'd spent on a fountain pen up to that time. 
Although I have many red fountain pens, the Aurora is among my favourites because of its classic, timeless design... and its slightly-toothy 14K gold nib; Aurora makes their own fountain pen nibs and I've always liked writing with this pen because of the feedback you get from the nib. I forgot to bring it with me, but my favourite red ink is Robert Oster's "Australian Shiraz", a gift from my fellow VPCer Alejandra (thanks again, Alejandra! :)

We also saw some really nice red inks...and ink swatches! Our thanks go out to John for bringing in the swatches above; there's nothing like seeing how an ink looks on paper! (the way ink looks on a screen can be very different, as we all know :/

Anna was good enough to fill her new "Mint Blue" TWSBI 'Eco-T' (oops!) with Robert Oster 'Australian Syrah' ink, so I wrote a few words with it. As you can see, it's a lovely, rich colour...

Our secondary meeting theme is always "Newest Acquisitions" so I brought my new Jinhao 'X450' in spiral red lacquer, and my little orange and white Kaigelu '316 Mini' fountain pen (purchased from one of my favourite sellers on Etsy - 'esybuy')

More new acquisitions brought in by our members! (top to bottom): Jerred's brushed stainless steel Sheaffer 'Targa' with factory italic nib, an Italian-made syringe-filler owned by Rene, a Sheaffer Levenger 'Connaisseur' (not sure whose it is, but it's a very nice pen), and two eye-catching fountain pens recently acquired by John--- a cheery TWSBI 'Eco-T' "Saffron" and an iridescent TWSBI 'Diamond 580' "Iris".

More new pens - (above photo, bottom to top) Anna's new Kaweco 'Sport' in "Smooth Sage" and her black vintage Pilot 'Elite' (which she filled with Diamine "Strauss" ink), Alejandra's vintage Eversharp 'Skyline' and a TWSBI '580 ALR' "Punch Pink" (I can't remember who brought it in, but I own one and love mine!)

Above: Some of Rene's newest acquisitions--two tiny vintage fountain pens, a vintage fountain pen with a snake clip, and a vintage Parker 'Duofold Senior' Lapis" that Rene bought as a "self-gift" for his birthday (happy belated birthday, Rene! :)

A closer look at that cool snake clip...

Alvin's classy stainless steel Pilot 'Elite' with crosshatch pattern, which came out in the 1970s. For more info on Japanese pocket fountain pens, check out this superb article on Richard Binder's excellent reference site.

Phil's modern Kaweco 'Original' (top) fountain pen and Anna's vintage Montblanc '32' fountain pen...

The Montblanc '32' has a 14K inset nib and was first produced between 1946 and 1970, according to the informative CollectibleStars.com website...

Last, but certainly not least--a charming miniature silver notebook and mechanical pencil belonging to Stuart! The inscription reads: "Compliments of Bauman-Massa Jewelry Co. Commercial Building St Louis, MO"). Stuart thinks it was made around the turn of the previous century.

Stuart also brought in some items he previously reviewed for this site --a gorgeous Sheaffer desk base made of Norwegian marble (reviewed here
), a Sheaffer ballpoint counter set (reviewed here), a handsome Sheaffer 'PFM V' fountain pen in burgundy (shown here), and one of his Faber-Castell 'Ambition' fountain pens (this one) that he filled with his favourite red ink--Graf von Faber-Castell's "India Red". Stuart also showed us two new fountain pens---a brand-new Parker 'Sonnet' in brushed stainless steel he bought from the Vancouver Pen Shop at their new location's grand opening and a vintage Waterman C/F.

Many thanks to all of our new members for coming to your first Vancouver Pen Club meeting, and for bringing some pens for us to see. I didn't photograph them, but I remember Gurmeet's lovely Parker 'Jotter XL' "Rose Gold" ballpoint, the beautiful vintage (ca. 1929) Morrison fountain pen with gold overlay that Lisa showed us, Luc's marvelous red fountain pens (a Penlux, a Conklin 'Duragraph" "Elements - Fire", and a Pilot 'Vanishing Point'), as well as a wonderful vintage Waterman '52' with gold overlay that Syd brought in.

Thank you to everyone who came to our February meeting ... whether you brought in anything for our topics or not! I'll be posting our March meeting info here on our website --as a blog post, and also at the top of each page in big red letters--- as soon as I confirm the venue and date.

(~Blog post and photos by Maja~)

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