2016 Chicago Pen Show: All The New Stuff

Curnow Bookbinding Tomoe River Journal Chicago Pen Show 2016

A5 “Chicago” Journals by Curnow Bookbinding & Leatherwork. These are new to me, but I could not resist when I saw them on the Vanness table. I mean, look at that cover: Chicago’s lakefront. Nice.

Neat binding, too.

Curnow River A5 Journal binding

It’s a set of three journals with a lined guide insert.  The pages are Tomoe River paper, which is great for fountain pen ink. I bought the larger size, A5. Very happy with this.

Montblanc Golden Yellow ink cartridges

Montblanc Golden Yellow Ink Cartridges. I don’t use much any yellow ink. So it was an easy decision not to buy a bottle of Montblanc’s limited edition Golden Yellow ink this year. But when I saw a box of the cartridges at the Andersons’ table late Sunday afternoon, I went for it.

I’ve been on a cartridge kick lately: I’m gone that route with Lamy’s new inks, too. A box of cartridges is a smaller commitment. I’m pretty happy with this.

Lamy Pico Laser Orange

Lamy Pico Laser Orange ballpoint. This Pico is going to be my new purse pen. The color is a fairly eye-poppingly extreme neon orange. “Laser Orange.” Like a laser to the retina. Compare it with Rhodia orange in these photos.

But I actually like it. I can easily find it in my purse. And no one will ever borrow it and forget to return it, right? They’ll probably run after me, pleading that I take it back.

Lamy Pico Laser Orange

And the fun factor is high with the Pico. It’s so tiny, but then you click that thinner part on top, and whoosh — I mean that: you actually get a “whoosh” sound — then whoosh that top part extends. While the ballpoint refill shoots out the other end.

So, it’s good.  And the design is very Lamy.

older Lamy Safaris with black nibs and cartridges

Lamy White and Yellow Safaris with black clips. Okay, I already own both of these, so these are duplicates, too. But (i) these came with the older hard plastic boxes, and (ii) they were on Joel Hamilton’s table. So, boom, purchased.

Lamy Safari yellow with black clip older box style

But note from these photos that in the old days, not only did you get that genuine plastic box with your Safari, but the pens came with converters included. Damn. Those “get off my lawn” guys may really be onto something. Civilization really may have gone down the tubes over the last two decades.

Then, on Monday, after the pen show, I pulled the pens out of the boxes, and looked at them for basically the first time. The nib on the white Safari isn’t marked with the size, which is common on older Safaris, but the box says it has a medium nib.

In contrast, the nib on the yellow Safari is marked. It says “F,” for fine. But actually, it looks funny, maybe a little mangled. Not that it matters: I’m not going to use this pen. So, whatever. Still, I turn it over and try to figure out the damage.

older Lamy Safari oblique fine nib detail

Hey. That looks like an oblique nib — an oblique fine nib.

I think I might just use this one after all.

Oh, and it’s not like anyone should be counting, but it seems I now own six yellow Safaris. Up from the five I counted two months ago. When it hit me that I don’t actually use yellow pens.

But I’m sure that increasing the number of something that’s completely unnecessary is really very normal, and not at all insane. Let’s just go with that thought.

Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil detail

Lamy 2000 Mechanical Pencil. I’ve been intrigued by these for a while, and Bob Nurin had a bunch of them near the Picos. And it turns out that once I could look at the 2000 pencil in person, boom, purchased. I love it.

That went well.

KWZ ink samples from Vanness Pens

KWZ ink samples. More KWZ inks to try. I ordered thmem from Vanness before the show,  and they brought them with. I really am looking forward to trying more of these.

Rhodia dot pad. The Andersons had these with black or orange covers. Of course I chose the orange. It was rainy all weekend, and I’m thinking maybe that made bright and sunny colors extra-appealing. Or maybe my body is trying to tell me I have scurvy.

Lamy Safari Dark Lilac. I already own one, so this is a second.  But (i) this one has an extra-fine nib, and (ii) Lamy fans know that if you like a limited edition Safari, you buy two. Because that is perfectly normal and not at all insane.

7 thoughts on “2016 Chicago Pen Show: All The New Stuff

  1. yeah, this seems positively ~restrained~, as shopping sprees go. Then again there’s something about shows that makes me feel kind of choice overload and I wind up buying next to nothing even when I have a mile-long wishlist/shopping list for the types of things sold there. It’s certainly happened with craft supply shows (never been to a pen show yet!).

    That Pico would make a great purse pen I think. I’m still holding out for a short clicky fountain pen, that’s my dream purse pen, but seeing as there’s still only just one brand and model on full size ones, it looks like I’m going to be waiting awhile yet 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can I just tell you? The weirdest thing has happened with that Pico. Everyone who sees it absolutely loves it. They love the insane color. They love how it expands to a full size. They love it when I demonstrate the “jab out the eyes of your enemy” potential. Which, okay, I do for me. 🙂


  2. Pencils are wonderful, too. Especially when you feel the love for them. I got a very standard Faber Castell mechanical pencil years ago and still love it, so I know what you mean 🙂 I think when I go to a pen show, I have to go help out, too. The limited shopping time really sounds like it is helpful. 😉 And you had fun, which is the most important thing with it.
    Thank you for the congrats. And I love my new pen, so thanks for that, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on the new job! And the new pen!

    Normally, I buy one very nice pen at the pen show, as a special splurge. But this year I just wasn’t feeling it. Plus I was helping out, which left less shopping time. But mostly, this year, there was an embarrassment of riches. Every single pen I’d ever wanted for even one moment was right there in front of me. And more!

    So I got a pencil. Which I love! 🙂


  4. That looks like you had some serious fun, but didn’t go too overboard, so congratulations. 🙂
    In comparison, I was -not- on a pen show and bought a new Lamy 2000 fountain pen yesterday (to celebrate my new job, I said to myself. I’ll go in there and only get a notebook, I said to myself. See what happens… but I really wanted a M nib). So I think you were better keeping to your good intentions than I was. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to some serious ink tests the next few weeks and months here. That looks like it will be a lot of fun. 🙂

    And those Chicago Journals are gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

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