Pen Show Prep: Inky Stuff

ink sample filling tools

I’m helping out at the Chicago Pen Show this year, and we’re only two weeks away from opening day. So I’ve spent the last few days filling dozens and dozens of pens for the ink sample table. We’ll have a total of 300 pens for people to try different inks.

I’ve been using syringes or disposable pipettes to put the ink in a sample tube, then I fill the pens from that. Here was some interim progress, with filled pens on the left, and some used pipettes on the right.

ink sample pens and pipettes

It’s been messy. I wiped off each pen after filling, but a fair amount of ink still ended up on my fingers. However, miraculously, I didn’t spill any ink, and the kitchen table survived unstained, so I’ll take the inky fingers and stained paper towel.

inky rag and ink sample syringes

I’m done now, thankfully. I need a manicure, a massage and probably a night on the town. I think I may stay away from ink and pens for a few days, too.

But, on the bright side, the ink towel makes a nice piece of modern art.

inky rag


6 thoughts on “Pen Show Prep: Inky Stuff

  1. They are inexpensive piston fillers with steel nibs, I believe from Pakistan. The pistons work beaufully; unfortunately, the nibs are not that great, and very variable. But they are a great value and very good for this.


    1. I think it’s actually perfect that they’re demonstrators! It would be cool if the company decided to specialize in making pens for ink testing – make the nibs a little better and more standardized, and sell these primarily to ink retailers but also a few direct to the consumer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, this is wonderful! I’d love to be at the pen show. And I would totally help you fill these! What kind of pens are they though? I don’t think I’ve seen them before!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s obvious that you’ve done fantastic work. You *do* deserve all those treats you mentioned.

    And people are gonna love the ink testing stations, believe me. Just make sure there is a volunteer or two around to remind people to “unscrew” the pens rather than pulling straight up. They seem to mostly survive, but you’d be surprised how often I saw that in SF.

    Liked by 1 person

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