Saturday, May 18, 2024

May meeting pics! (Topic: Design Features You Like in a Fountain Pen)

Our May meeting was held at the Kitsilano branch of the Vancouver Public Library on Thursday the 16th. Seventeen members were in attendance, including two brand-new members (Christina and Mmina).

The meeting's primary topic was "Design Features You Like in a Fountain Pen" and we saw several examples, as well as some new fountain pens that our members recently acquired. I took some photos during our meeting, so here they are!

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)
Clockwise around the table, from lower left corner: Asifa, Nathan, Stuart, me (Maja), Grant, Christopher, Phil, Peter R, Paul, David C, Hadi, Jerred, Peter H, and Christina (missing from photo: Mmina, Shona and James, who arrived later).

The design features mentioned by our members (for our primary meeting topic) ranged from favourite filling systems and materials to decorative elements and favourite colourways. For my examples, I brought the top two pens above - my Magna Carta 'Sapphire Grand' brown demonstrator fountain pen (because I love how its coppery-brown nib colour matches the pen's metal trim--an aesthetically-pleasing design choice) and my Penlux 'Masterpiece Grande' Blue Swirl fountain pen, whose grip section matches the rest of the pen body (another feature I love). Grant brought in a handsome Parker 'Vacumatic' Golden Pearl (third pen from the top) because he's a huge fan of the Vacumatic's patented filling system, and he likes the size of this Vac model. 

Our secondary topic (which is always "Newest Acquisitions") was also well represented; among other new writing instruments we saw were Christopher's beautiful sterling silver vintage mechanical pencil, also seen above. I should have photographed both sides of it because I believe it’s a demonstrator model, used to show customers its inner workings.

Two more new purchases --a very cool modern Wahl-Eversharp 'Skyline Technik' fountain pen in shiny black aluminum belonging to Phil, and my bright red Kaweco AC Sport, which I bought online from Blades Canada this week.

The lovely vintage Pelikan in the middle is Shona's '400NN' model. Shona said that she likes it when piston-filling fountain pens have an ink view window, so you can tell how much ink is left in them. Some pen barrels---like her Pelikan's---are translucent, though, which also allows the pen's user to see the ink level.

Another new acquisition belonging to Phil---a vintage Parker '51' fountain pen in the rare Plum colour! Phil found the pen --in its original cardboard presentation box--- at the annual Fraser Valley Antiques & Collectables Club Show last month. I love the shape of the box's sleeve, which is a tribute to Parker's famous "arrow", a design feature found on Parker clips.

Peter R's gorgeous new Aurora '88' (top pen) and James' new Asvine 'P20' fountain pen.  This attractive (and economical!) piston-filling Asvine has been getting great reviews, including this one on YouTube, done by our fellow pen club member, Nathan.

Above: Paul's newest acquisitions, including two fountain pens he found at a Muji store-- a white plastic Muji-branded Platinum 'Preppy' and the well-known & well-loved Muji metal fountain pen (middle pen). The shiny hammered copper pen was given to Paul by his nephew, who made the pen using pen kit parts (the barrel and cap body were made by hand, though, not pre-made).

That's James' eye-catching Opus 88 'Demo' Red fountain pen at the top of the photo (James loves that the pen is a bulk-filler, but wishes there was an all-ebonite version) and, below it, Jerred's newest Delta fountain pen, a beautiful green marbled ‘Write Balance’. This unusual Delta model has a weight-balancing system -- a small metal weight hidden in its barrel's blind cap, which allows the user to adjust the pen's balance to their liking. Jerred mentioned that he liked pens with hourglass-shaped grip sections, such as the one on his new Delta.

The pen on the bottom is, of course, a classic vintage Parker 'Duofold' belonging to David C., who is an avid fan of vintage Parkers. David is a huge Parker 'Vacumatic' fan, but he said he brought in this 'Duofold' for our primary topic because he liked its girthiness. David also brought a Sheaffer 'Snorkel' (not pictured) and told us how much he admired its unique filling mechanism.

Above: Another Opus 88 fountain pen —new member Mmina's nice blue 'Koloro' (she likes the ink shut-off valve feature, as it allows you to prime the nib)  — and one of Hadi's favourite fountain pens, the sterling silver Parker '75' Cisele that was his first fountain pen.

Hadi also showed us an Asvine V200 fountain pen (top pen), a Titanium and clear resin-bodied demonstrator that uses a vacuum-filling system. Hadi's particular example has a replacement Bock Titanium nib. You can purchase the pen with a stock Asvine nib or pay extra for a Bock steel nib. Hadi opted for the latter, bought the Bock Titanium nib separately, and then swapped the steel one out. It's a very cool nib on a cool-looking fountain pen.

The three pens below it belong to Asifa, who got them for free from Jessica at our last meeting! The attractive red fountain pen with cream-coloured ends is the ubiquitous Jinhao 'Century 100'. I'm not sure what brand the other two pens are, but the cute light blue Lamy Safari clone has a rainbow-coloured nib

(a closeup of Hadi's Asvine V200, showing the Titanium trim and section)

Above: My little red Kaweco 'AC Sport', next to another pocket pen, Nathan's stainless steel Gravitas ‘Pocket Pen’. Nathan explained how well-made the Gravitas was, with its expertly-machined cap & barrel threads, and excellent cap seal --  features crucial to producing a well-performing pen. 

Nathan also brought a newer pen to show us, his Ensso 'Bolt' (not pictured), a bolt-action capless retractable fountain pen that was introduced via Kickstarter. The pens haven't been shipped out to Kickstarter supporters yet (that's happening this summer) , but Nathan got a sneak preview for his YouTube channel and did a review of it there.

  Last, but not least, here are some of the fountain pens that Stuart brought! (I didn’t photograph his newest Parker ‘51s). The middle one is Stuart's brand-new Graf von Faber-Castell 'Tamitio', purchased from the Vancouver Pen Shop. Flanking it are two pens that have design features that Stuart really likes--a glossy black Sheaffer 'Snorkel' with a wide cap band (Stuart said that it makes the pen look longer when posted...and it does!) and a stunning Montblanc 'StarWalker Doué' (pen at top of photo). Stuart liked how Montblanc cleverly incorporated its famous snowflake logo into the cap's finial as a snowflake suspended in clear resin.

Many thanks to everyone who came to the meeting on Thursday! Special thanks to VPC member Steve --who couldn’t make it to the meeting-- for the door prize fountain pens and free ink flush (both of which he also gave away at April’s meeting), as well as to Christopher for donating a cancer charity novelty ballpoint prize.

I'll post the details about our June meeting once I finalize the venue booking. Have a happy & safe Victoria Day long weekend, everyone!

( ~Blog post by Maja~ )

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