Pelikan Hubs 2018, the Year of Pelikan Edelstein Olivine

Pelikan Edelstein Olivine

This was very different Pelikan Hub experience for me. In 2016 and 2017, I happily attended the Chicago Hub, which was a blast. But this year, I acted as Hub Master for a new Hub in Evanston, just north of Chicago. Despite the fact that I was merely theย Bad Moms version of a Hub Master, the location was a big success. We had 24, but more wanted to come after they’d heard about it; and I’m afraid I’m going to have to find a bigger space for next year.

The only thing is, as Hub Master, I really didn’t get to sit back and socialize at the Hub like I normally do. So that means not much to say about the Hub itself. But you could click above for previous years, and I hope folks who went to other Hubs will comment below about their own Hub experiences.

Here’s what I did see and hear: lots of Pelikans. You don’t need to own a Pelikan to attend the Hub, but it’s nice to bring them, if you have them — like wearing red or blue on the Fourth of July. At the Evanston Hub, lots of people brought Pelikans both vintage and modern.

I am a modern Pelikan fan, so my contribution was a sort of “Tester Tray” — 10 modern Pelikans to try, with nibs from EF to BB, plus some architect’s nibs, and inked up mostly with Pelikan inks. My buddy Karl added two of his modern Pelikans to that. A lot of folks brought treasured vintage Pelikans to show, and of those, the trusty, and reasonably-priced 120 seemed the most popular

Here’s my tray. I bet you won’t guess which is my favorite.

assorted Pelikan fountain pens

We had Pelikan inks, too: I brought bottles of Edelstein inks from Pelikan for folks to try, sample and ultimately take home. Andย Pelikan gave every registered participant a bottle of the current Edelstein Ink of the Year — Olivine — together with a pad of paper and a magazine called Pelikan Passion.

I’m not sure about everything passed around by attendees. I only had fleeting glimpses. I saw Michael’s pens, made of beautiful materials. I saw Haoran’s and Toni’s vintage Pelikans, and Karin’s treasured 120. I saw Fred’s Lamy Safari and Safari-like pens. Mary Jo and Alex were sketching. And I saw Ralph from Regalia Writing Labs performing heroic volunteer nibmeister work on people’s pens. He’s the best.

Pelikan 120 fountain pen

What pens did our Hubsters like? Any pens with materials made by Jonathon Brooks — because, of course. Architect’s nibs by Dan Smith, which were on two of my tester Pelikans. And, surprisingly, a lot of people preferred the fine architect’s nib, instead of the smoother and more showy medium architect’s nib.

There was much love for the Pelikan M600 Green o’ Green fountain pen — of course, because it slays. And the Pelikan M450 Green Tortoise — ditto. Finally, the Pelikan gold BB (double-broad) nib on one of my M600-size pens seemed popular. Those three, unfortunately, all are items Pelikan no longer makes and sells. Cue Joni Mitchell: Don’t it always seem to be, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

But here’s the Green o’ Green looking stylish. The photo is less accurate on the color of the Olivine ink, which is a touch lighter and yellower in real life.

Pelikan M600 Green o' Green and Pelikan Edelstein Olivine

Most popular among the Edelstein inks I brought or had inked-up seemed to be Topaz and Aquamarine. Also Olivine. Good call. Topaz and Aquamarine are standouts, and I already adore Olivine.

About Olivine, sigh. Now, the practical side of me knows it’s too early to be definitive: I am not yet sure how it does on poor paper, or how easily it cleans out, or really much of anything. I have only used it since Friday night. In fact, I still have it in only one pen, a Pelikan with an extra-fine nib. But at least in that pen, Olivine is lovely. The color is a medium, sort of olive- or avocado- type of green, but with more blue. So it’s crisper than you’d expect. It’s also more complex. For me it looks different on different papers and in different lighting.

One unfortunate thing, however: I think it is pronounced “Olive – een,” instead of “Olive – ine,” which would have rhymed with divine, and therefore been most excellent.

For ink name mavens, Olivine is named after a mineral that becomes the gemstone peridot, the August birthstone — and the color is probably close enough, though I find the ink darker than the gemstone. Maybe it’s more like the mineral? Alas, I do not know: my rock expertise ends at jewelry, because jewelry is better.

Olivine’s color is both hard to photograph, and also hard to classify. At first you think it’s a typical yellow-green, but it’s actually more blue than the typical yellow-green. I think it’s kind of a medium-dark green with some gray or brown maybe. But it’s not muddy, so that’s not really descriptive either. And then there’s the shape-shifting on different papers. My friend Jon was reminded of Montblanc Racing Green, and I can see why he thinks that, though I’m not so sure. I like it much better than Racing Green, anyway.

Pelikan M600 Green o' Green and Pelikan Edelstein Olivine

See that photo? That’s Olivine on the Pelikan paper. But, really, the ink isn’t that dark-looking on every paper. Also, on my monitor that photo makes Olivine look bluer and more saturated than in real life. So, okay, this is a tough ink to accurately depict.

But if you like green inks, I highly recommend trying Olivine. Usually Pelikan keeps the Ink of the Year available only for a year. I’m glad I have my bottle.

Which reminds me that in these posts I always like to thank Pelikan for doing the Hubs, and also thank the Hub Masters. Except now I feel funny saying “Thanks, Hub Masters,” when I was a Hub Master — though of course, I’m obviously not talking about myself. But you should thank your own Hub Master, because this is the kind of a job that reminds me of being the parent of a teenager: heavy on the work and worry, chockfull of complaints and light on obvious personal reward. Your Hub Master probably did a lot of scut work to make sure everyone had a nice time — so thank her or him.

Mostly, though, we should thank Pelikan. Now that I’ve seen this process from the inside, I am going to double-down on something I’ve said the last two years: Pelikan deserves all the credit in the world for coming up with the Hubs, and continuing them. I can’t believe how much work, time and quite frankly money Pelikan must devote to this. It’s a great thing they’ve built here, especially for those who don’t or can’t go to local pen meetups, but will make the effort for a once-a-year Hub event (with gifts).

Pelikan Edelstein Olivine

Great job, Pelikan. Thank you.

And I want to go a little farther. Is it possible that we should all put a new Pelikan on our wishlists? Pen or ink. Maybe we should support this company that support fountain pens and fountain pen users? It’s not even that hard, because, while Pelikan products aren’t always inexpensive, they are always excellent. Pelikan pens, in my, ahem, extensive experience, last forever and work well; and Pelikan inks work really well, too.

Think of the money we’ve all squandered over the years — $40 of this, and $80 of that, all of which looked splashy or sheeny or “flexy” online but turned out to be ink that’s hard to read, or ink that dried out in our pens, or pens that leaked ink all over us or were awkward to hold or were just garbage. Or just that we never use, in the end. Forgo three of those impulse buys or internet sensations or things that “sound useful,” and boom, you’ve got enough for a new Pelikan. And you’ll have something good.

Reader, consider yourself hereby enabled.

No, that is wrong.ย Consider yourself more than enabled: consider yourself deputized, even entrusted with a sacred charge. This is a matter of duty, and honor, not for yourself, but for the entire community, nay the whole world. You must, by order of Fountain Pen Follies, buy something new from Pelikan before the next Hub. Feel free to blame me. (I made you do it; and you promised. I’m in charge of all pen decisions. It’s not even for you, for goodness sake: you were giving back to the community.)

Go forth and buy new Pelikans and ink, and report back to me. Do it not just for yourself, but for all humanity.

Pelikan M600 Green o' Green and Pelikan Edelstein Olivine

33 thoughts on “Pelikan Hubs 2018, the Year of Pelikan Edelstein Olivine

  1. I just saw this on a local blog earlier today, that there was one here!! I didn’t know about it in time so I didn’t get to go, but I’m definitely going next year. It sounds great! At first I thought it was just for Pelikans but it looks like it’s broader than that. I don’t think I’ll be able to stretch to a Pelikan pen anytime soon, unless it’s like a Pelikano ๐Ÿ˜› (or maybe a second hand pen?) but the inks are definitely a go ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hubs are open to all who sign up, and Pelikan definitely wants everyone to attend, whether Pelikan owners or not. Watch Pelikan social media in the summer for sign ups.


  2. The Toledo is your fav.

    I didnโ€™t make it to a Hub this year, but if I had I would have gone to yours and you would have been my Hub Master. So, thank you for being Hub Master and putting in all that time and work to make it (from what I hear) such an incredible event!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The funny thing is that at our Pelikan Hub in Makati, Philippines, half of the inks sent to us by Pelikan were Smoky Quartz inside Olivine boxes! (Same thing happened at the other three hubs in the country.) I was fortunate that I got an Olivine, and I really like it. It matched my green stripes Pelikans (M400, M600 and M800). I like Olivine more than Aquamarine, which I raffled off at the Hub. But then I love green inks ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ewwww. To think you’re getting Olivine and end up with Smoky Quartz. ๐Ÿคฃ I love green inks, too, but I’ve never been a huge brown ink fan. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜‰


  4. Pelikan Hubs is such a great idea. I attended my first this year and had such a great time. A chance to see other Pelikans and their humans, some great cake ๐Ÿ™‚ and some ink to take away too. My first but definitely not my last Hub.

    It’s really impressive how Pelikan managed to make this happen. A unique and really wonderful way of bringing lovers of the brand together.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I haven’t seen before the pen that is second from the right in your tray. What is it, and is it your favorite? It looks great! (They all look great, of course.) Also, glad to hear you are coming to the Ohio Pen Show!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The pink Pelikan is your fav!
    This was my first Hub and my first time hosting and Cleveland’s first Hub. It was a great time, but I agree with watching all the fun but not always participating. However, all left with smiles on their faces, so hopefully they were pleased. I was hoping my M205 Olivine with an italic nib might arrive before the event, but Pelikan must have been too busy with the Hubs to get them out. Or, Chartpak. So, I purchased a 1950s tortie 400 to have a bit of a fun and complete a grail pen covet. My next will be the white with the gold-green bindi…love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cleveland! How fun!!! And you deserve a lot of thanks for stepping up and starting that. I’m sure everyone had fun — how can they not?

      Oh, the Olivine M205 looks too tempting. I’m torn between desperately wanting to see some at the Ohio Pen Show, and sensibly wanting to avert my eyes. ๐Ÿ™ˆ

      I do adore the Pink Pelikan, yes! Great taste. But my favorite is actually one no one ever talks about, so I think it’s possible that no one else even likes it. Which cracks me up. ๐Ÿ˜„


  7. I just found out that there were two Pelikan Hubs even all the way out here in Godzone. Next year, despite no longer owning any Pelikan pens or ever having seen/used a Pelikan ink, I may have to make arrangements to join in (if they’ll let me!).

    Frankly speaking it would be nice just to meet another flesh and blood person who uses a fountain pen (any kind). We are that starved of such things.

    Anywho, fabulously entertaining blog as usual Laura. You have quite the character in print! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank for this lovely entertaining read. It is good and noble of you to be hubmaster. I was interested to see your Pelikan collection too. I also have the blue demonstrator M205 which is special as it was my very first Pelikan, in 2016. I am now up to five including a Pelikano Up.
    You are way ahead of me in assessing the Olivine ink. I have inked one cheap ยฃ2.00 pen with it so far and like the colour very much but have not had time to experiment with it much yet. It is my third Edelstein ink, after Tanzanite and Smoky Quartz, both of which are very enjoyable. I do approve of your suggestion that we all buy another Pelikan before next hub. Now…which will it be?๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi. Love getting your messages. Attended my 2nd Hub in Philadelphia. The previous one was hosted by Josh Danley of The Pelikan Perch. I discovered that one has to be a masochist to pull it off! This year it was hosted by Frank Limper of Federalist Pens and he also did a great job. My daughter,Kate, won the drawing and received a Pelikan Stolia as her prize. She is thrilled. All in all everyone had a great time.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Glad to hear your Hub was a success. Columbus had our first also, and it was well attended with plenty of “pot luck” food brought by attendees. The proverbial good time was had by all.

    Regarding supporting Pelikan, your wish is my command. Or maybe it’s just that after 48 years of marriage (all to the same woman!) I have gotten used to saying “yes dear”. In any case, I have completed the task – I ordered the new 800 Stone Garden. I hope to receive it before the Ohio Pen Show.

    I haven’t been a fan of Edelstein inks, which are a bit dry for my taste. But I am looking forward to trying the Olivine, as I do like green ink. It will be going in my favorite Pelikan an 800 with custom binde by Shawn Newton and a B Architect Point ground by Dan Smith.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great job! ๐Ÿ†

      Pelikan inks do run a little dry, to match their pens — vintage Pelikans are absolute gushers. In fact it was my extensive collection of vintage Pelikans that started me on my quest for dry-writing inks, which led me to iron gall inks and probably started me down the ink rabbit hole in the first place. But … Pelikan Edelstein inks are, with a few exceptions, slightly wetter than 4001 inks, and with no exceptions that I’ve ever found, very well-lubricated.

      That said, I’m not sure Edelstein inks in general are saturated enough for your tastes, with a few exceptions. ๐Ÿ™‚ I like them so much because they tend to be lower in saturation (a look I like), and incredibly smooth and silky feeling, yet easy to clean out of a pen and easy on my pens. Even colors like Turmaline, the beloved bright pink. I think you’d like Onyx, Topaz and Aquamarine, and maybe Aventurine. Olivine is going to look amazing in some of your “adjusted to an ink flow of 11” pens, though I’m not sure it’s your color. But I know someone who’d take it, if you don’t love it. ๐Ÿ˜


  11. Your friend Jon has had 2nd thoughts on Olivine and Racing Green. Why? Well, because there is ink from a nib, then ink from a really broad stub nib, and then there are ink swatches. And, dammit, inks don’t all behave the same. Bottom line: Olivine and RG share similar traits in the written word but a wider nib or a swab will show significant differences. Such is life, and the reason we have banker’s boxes full of inks.

    Our San Diego hub was quite fun, with new folks, old friends, and repeat customers from last year. It even looks like it will jump-start more pen gatherings during the year, huzzah! Plenty of Pelikans and our hubmaster, Marta, had some very nice gifts that were raffled off in addition to the Pel swag. Fun night. Oh, and pie, too.

    I was stoked with how good *Black Panther* was. Excellent all around.

    Glad your Hub was a win!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the main thing about Olivine is that it looks really different on different papers. And I believe it will end up looking different from different nibs. I love inks like that, but it does make it harder to compare to other inks.

      I included your Racing Green comparison in there because it’s so interesting, and also because I think you are on to something. Not in terms of color or tint — I do not think Olivine is really like MBRG in terms of color (as you don’t either, now). But on a deeper level, apart from the simple question of just looking for a similar color: MBRG is another ink that looks different in different contexts, is hard to photograph and is very complex. Both are unusual green inks that are hard to categorize or describe.

      Now with MBRG, once I started using it, as opposed to seeing it in others’ pens or online, for me MBRG was “meh at first sight.” Whereas Olivine seems like “love at first sight.” But with a large dose of “slow down, you haven’t seen enough of it.” ๐Ÿ˜Š I have turned into someone who really likes green inks, thanks to fountain pens. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This was my third Hub, and this time I brought all my Pelikans, vintage and modern. Those who saw them seemed to enjoy them, especially the rarer special editions. We had a great time in Dallas, in spite of wretched, horrible weather.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow! That sounds so excellent. I had one rarer special edition in my tray, but it attracted zero interest in itself, perhaps because it was the one with the BB nib, and the nib got a lot of attention. Isn’t the Dallas show coming up soon? I almost went last year, and want to go some day. ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. It really is pretty, but it doesn’t look exactly like that, unfortunately — in real life it’s a little less saturated and a little yellower. I just find this one very hard to come out the same in photographs. I’ll be taking some better photos, though, when my work schedule gets a little lighter, so stay tuned. ๐Ÿ™‚


  13. I’ve always wanted to try a Pelikan. I think they are cool looking. You did a great write up on them. I think the ink has great potential. I haven’t tried it yet, but hope to before too long. I do like the Edelstein inks I’ve tried to date. I have Jade in one of my pens now. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just tell him you had no choice, you had to. Also, “for the community.” You’re being unselfish. He will see that. ๐Ÿ˜†

      I finally saw Black Panther! It was so good!

      I do love the white one, it’s so great, but … not my absolute favorite. (That said, all the ones starting with the Green o’ Green are tied, in a way. But if I had to pick just one, it would be: _______________?)

      Liked by 1 person

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