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! 😃

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