Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dallas Pen Show 2014

The 21st Annual Dallas Pen Show was September 26 and 27 (Dallas, Texas, USA). What can you do at a pen show? You can:
  • meet and talk with the vendors. Rough estimate, 40 to 50 vendors were present, ranging from brick and mortar stores to web stores to individual sellers, although the lines distinguishing the categories can be blurry.
  • look at, fondle, and test pens. Very rough estimate, thousands of pens were present: vintage, new, new old stock, and pre-owned. One vendor had a display model of the yet to be released Noodler’s Neponset.
  • have nibs customized and pens repaired.
  • buy paper, ink, inkwells, books, and other pen stuff.
  • attend talks on pen repair, writing, and other topics.
  • participate in a silent auction.
  • buy a pen show t-shirt.
  • get a free bottle of ink; the special pen show ink this year was a Noodler’s green.
  • get a free copy of Pen World.
  • and, of course, BUY pens.
If you’re a fountain pen geek, there is nothing like the immersion experience of a pen show!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What’s So Juvenile About a Lamy Safari?

If you visit the Lamy website, you will find that Lamy has different classifications for its pens: young writing, modern writing, and high-quality writing. Was “young writing” once called “juvenile”? That sounds right, but I’m not sure. Regardless, I am distressed because I am no longer a juvenile, but I have a couple of Safaris, a Vista, and an Al-Star -- pens all in the “young writing” range. 

I like the Safari, in particular, for many of the reasons that others have noted: expense, performance, color options, nib options, design, comfort (for some users), and toughness. I suppose the pen is considered appropriate for young writers because of the ergonomic design and the plastic -- it is LEGO plastic, after all. Among all the characteristics of the Safari, though, my favorites are the color of the 2013 limited edition neon yellow and the ease of nib changing. There might be other pens where the nibs simply slide on and off, but I don’t know what they are. If you get a bum nib or damage a nib, it is easy to replace.

2013 LE neon yellow Lamy Safari

Perhaps in an effort to live according to my non-juvenile status, I bought a Lamy CP1, a “high-quality“ fountain pen. It is attractive and has the same easy-to-slide-on-and-off Lamy nib, but it’s just not the same; it’s not as fun. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Edison Nouveau Premiere: Autumn Harvest

The Goulet Pen Company and the Edison Pen Company are long time collaborators located in the United States. Their longest running collaborative effort is the Edison Nouveau Premiere. Last winter, Goulet and Edison went a step further and began producing special edition seasonal Premieres. So far, they have released Black Ice (winter), Cherry Blossom (spring), Caribbean Sea (summer), and now, Autumn Harvest (fall). All four pens are acrylic and, with the exception of Autumn Harvest, are “swirly.” Because these are special edition seasonal pens, only Autumn Harvest is available at this time, and eventually it will be succeeded by the new winter edition. You can hear the story of the Edison Nouveau Premiere special edition from the Goulets themselves. Although tempted by some of the other special editions, I took the plunge and bought the Autumn Harvest.

As the Goulets explain, Autumn Harvest is comparable to another Goulet-Edison collaboration, the limited edition Edison Nouveau Encore in Tortoise Flake (long gone), and the Encore is comparable to the Edison Pearlette in Aztec Gold Flake (available).

Several people have commented on the smooth Edison nibs. Out of the box, though, this nib seemed slightly scratchy. I might contact Edison to ask about an adjustment.  [UPDATE: I actually contacted the Goulet Pen Co., who suggested some nib tweaking.  Instead, I carefully removed the nib and feed from the nib collar, with some effort, then realigned and reinserted.  This seems to have solved the problem with no direct work on the nib.]   

Goulet is known for superb customer service and has made online shopping actually seem personal. In addition, browsing the Goulet website offers an education in the world of fountain pens. Edison is a small fountain pen maker known for quality work. And if you want a custom made fountain pen, Edison can help there, too.  In all, Goulet and Edison are a great team.

Edison Nouveau Premiere in Autumn Harvest

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Rosetta Magellan with Pendleton Point

The Rosetta Magellan is a pen about which I have not seen or heard much. The barrel and cap are an attractive flaked acrylic (at least the green pen is flaked). What makes the pen special, though, is that it can be purchased as is or with a “Pendleton Point Elegant Butter-line Stub~Italic.” What in the world? This is a nib customized by nib-meister Pendleton Brown. The Pendleton-ized nib can be ordered in fine, medium, and broad, which translates, respectively, into .3 to .4 mm, .6 to .7 mm, and .9 to 1.0 mm, according to Mr. Brown himself. 

When I ordered my pen from Mr. Brown, he explained that he had run out of the green model, so he put in an order for me with ipenstore, and he volunteered to tune the pen if necessary free of charge. That’s service. I took him up on the offer.

One disadvantage of the pen has nothing to do with the Pendleton Point. Although the pen comes with a card explaining that capping the pen (a threaded cap) is best done by first turning the cap counterclockwise, I still have trouble getting the threads to align and have to try several times.

The Rosetta Magellan with a Pendleton Point comes in several colors and uses a standard international converter (included) and cartridge. It is available through Pendleton’s Pens and ipenstore.

Rosetta Magellan