Pen and Paper

2016 SF Pen Show

A week has already passed, but I feel I should still do my due diligence and write about my experience at the SF Pen Show. This was only my second pen show after my first, the 2015 SF Pen Show. So, I can’t offer any comparisons between different pen shows. However, I can say that this show was a well organized bundle of joy and my weekend of pens was completely amazing.

Highlight #1: Meeting New Pen Friends!

I started the experience by going to the Pen Addict meetup on Friday night. Since I went alone and didn’t know anybody there, I felt awkward and out of my element. That was quickly remedied when I met the delightful Brad Dowdy of The Pen Addict, who then turned my attention to Ana Reinhart of The Well-Appointed Desk. I was pretty star-struck, but the awesome didn’t end there. I also met Daniel, Jason, Joey Feldman, Cathy and many others who helped kickstart my beautiful pen show experience.

Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, I got to talk to my newly found pen people about the nuances of vintage pens, try awesome inked pens, and just bond over our mutually shared nerdiness. On Sunday night, I even had dinner with several of my new pen friends. (Special thanks to Daniel for looping me in!)

Highlight #2: Parker 51 & TWSBI Eco & a variety of stationary goodies

To be completely honest, I only bought 2 things at the pen show. The first was a Parker 51 with a beautiful dark green body and gold-filled cap. It was my first “expensive” pen (around $100), but it was worth every penny. I bought it from the charming Greg Minuskin, who stuck with me through my indecisiveness. I am so happy because it is the perfect Green Angel pen, which is code for a color that looks black from afar but is clearly green once you look deeper at it.

The second pen I bought was a TWSBI Eco from Sunny, a retailer from Singapore. He had a lot of products for really good prices, but I bought the TWSBI Eco from him because he offered a free grind. I got a broad stub grind and it turned out great. I am so happy to finally have the awesome Eco and with such a special nib, too. I suppose that’s what is so amazing about pen shows.

Highlight #3: The Ink Testing Station

Although my main objective was to buy a pen, I probably spent the majority of my time at the ink testing stations. There were over 600 inks to try out and I am sure I tried more than half of them over the course of Saturday and Sunday. I love inks and, honestly, I felt like I was in heaven. Sure, my hands got tired. Sure there were a lot of inks I wasn’t crazy about. However, all the colors were cool and I found a lot of gems. Some examples:

  1. Akkerman #27 Bezuidenwoudgroen Ink
  2. Blackstone Barrier Reef Blue, Sydney Harbour Blue
  3. Caran d’Ache Vibrant Green
  4. Diamine Blue Lightning, Purple Pizazz, Blue Velvet, Bach, Safari, Merlot
  5. Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts, Saguaro Wine, Shah’s Rose
  6. Pilot Iroshizuku Asagao, Tsuki Yo
  7. Sailor Sapphire, Yama-dori
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