My 2018 Ohio Pen Show Haul

Ohio Pen Show 2018 Purchases

I know I’m late with this. But I’m always late. It’s the Follies.

And are we going to let being late deter us? No! As Bluto Blutarsky, our Churchill, says, “Nothing is over until we decide it is!”

So here’s my “Here’s my Haul!” report. And, because it’s almost Thanksgiving we’re going to garland the pen talk with holiday trimmings. We’re stuffing ourselves. I do love a theme.

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A Peek at the Pen Cup: New Year, New Me Edition

pen cup

You know how some people love New Year’s resolutions? Yeah, not me. But you know how some people love pen-cleaning? Okay, also not me. But, you know how some people are procrastinators, and they will do anything to avoid a disagreeable task? Me!

So over the last few days I’ve avoided cleaning off my desk by cleaning out my two pen cups instead. Instead of the long, hard slog that desk-cleaning would entail, I’ve chosen to redo my roster of inked pens. Fun.

“New Year, New Me.” Or, at least, New Year, new pens and inks. Plus, I’m down to one pen cup now. Wow.

pens in pen cup

I know, all this excellence and accomplishment is probably intimidating. But I did keep some holdover pens. And not even out of laziness, but out of “I still like these.”

Here’s what has stayed inked: Lamy Safari with Pelikan Brilliant Black (as always); Pelikan M710 Toledo with Papier Plume Pecan; Pelikan M200 with Papier Plume Bayou Nightfall; Pelikan M600 with KWZ Warsaw Dreaming; Parker 75 with Waterman blue; and Parker 75 with Waterman blue black.

Also in there are two Parker Jotter ballpoints. I like them, and they give me something to hand to those people who look at my desk, look at my pens, and desperately ask, “Is there anything I can use to sign this form?” (Those people are relatives, which is why I cater to their whims. Occasionally they feed me.)

For the new pen, I decide to do another ink from Ink Dips, an occasional series where I randomly pick an ink sample from a bag of leftovers. Fun.

So I stick my hand in a bag of leftover ink samples, close my eyes and pull out … Caran d’Ache Ultra Violet. The first Ink Dip of 2018. Ta da.

Now, here’s the thing: I very much like Caran d’Ache inks, but that one is a purple sort of color. I am an honorable person. But this is the first Ink Dip of 2018, and I don’t think purple is a nice thing to do to people (at least, not to me). Especially early in the year, before I’ve had enough coffee. So I cheat, and pick again.

And this time, I pull out … Callifolio Violet. Also purple.

2018 is trying to kill me, and it’s only Day Two.

I say a word, which happens to be a swear word, and I pick again. This time it’s Callifolio Inti. That one is golden yellow, not purple, and looks very nice. Though if this were Russian Roulette I’d already be doubly dead. Not fun.

But I am an honorable person, and don’t have many pens inked, so I find three Pelikans, enough for all these inks, even the purples. I tell myself, “I can do this. The Pelikans will pull me through.”

But can I do this? Two purples in a row?

I don’t know that I can. At least, not without resorting to huffing.

So I go back in the ink area and spend another half hour searching through many other ink samples, to find a special ink. The one I have in mind is ink that’s no longer made, that people seem to love, but I’ve never tried. My friend sent me a small sample of this ink, just so I could try it.

And I put it somewhere really safe. “Somewhere safe” means “I have no idea where.” Duh. But, finally I find it. I pick a beautiful Pelikan for this special ink, too.

Pelikan M620 Stockholm and Montblanc Racing Green swabs

Montblanc Racing Green, finally. In my Pelikan M620 Stockholm.

I’m up to four new pens. Also, I’m not huffing yet. So, a modestly successful New Year, so far.

True Confessions, Ballpoint Edition: Parker Jotter Jubilee Premier Edition Saffron

Parker Jotter Jubilee Premier Edition Saffron Yellow

This is my new ballpoint, which is actually old, and kind of dented and scratched, so it was a bit overlooked, thrown in at the bottom of a box that was part of a large collection of fountain pens.

The pen bears the official name of the “Parker Jotter Jubilee Premier Edition ” in Saffron Yellow. Quite a mouthful of nouns.

These were part of an anniversary edition of Jotters from 2004, as set forth in this excellent article by Len Provisor. Coincidentally, Len was in the room when this particular Jotter came out of the big box of pens. But he didn’t find it. It was Rich who found it, then told me about the edition, and then was nice enough to leave it for me to buy. Thanks, Rich.

Thus, my first Jotter.

Parker Jotter Jubilee Premier Edition Saffron Yellow

Mechanically, it’s just a regular Jotter, in regular Jotter size, made in the UK. The pen body is sterling silver with an inlay of saffron yellow. Mine clearly has been used pretty heavily, and it has some discoloration and dents and such, but that’s perfect for me, because that made it affordable, and I want to use it anyway. It came with a Jotter gel refill, which writes a very smooth line, albeit fairly broad.

I actually bought this pen for my younger daughter, who likes ballpoints and Jotters, but by the time I got home, I decided it was so good we should share it. “Look what I got for you! And we can share it!” was how I put it.

So now, I actually have three nice ballpoints. Although they were all bought at different times, I had them all out today, and something became clear. I had a theme.

Parker Jotter Jubilee Premier Edition Saffron Yellow & Caran d'Ache 849 Tropical & Lamy Pico

Or at least a color scheme.

Those are, from the top, the Lamy Pico in Laser Orange, which I carry in my purse, the Jotter and a Caran d’Ache 849 in Tangerine-Pink Tropical.

That Lamy Pico is an outstanding design, and the best purse pen ever; and in real life it’s even brighter than a photo can convey, so it’s impossible to lose. The Caran d’Ache 849 is a classic, and attractively subdued in color, and so is the Jotter. I’m pretty happy to have them all.

Plus, since they are ballpoints, I can stop right here. Right?

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Plain Fountain Pen and Pencil Set

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Plain fountain pen and pencil

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Plain. This Parker 75 set has a fountain pen and mechanical pencil in a finish called “sterling silver plain” on Parker Pens Penography. I hadn’t noticed this finish before, and I couldn’t find photos online, so here we go.

The look is posh, elegant and formal. Mine was manufactured sometime between 1966 and 1970. It’s fun to think that in those same years the Rolling Stones were releasing Aftermath, Between the Buttons, Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed. This pen set is for Mr. and Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, not Benjamin.

And still, I’m totally into it. It’s a beautiful object, sleek and stylish. The un-ornamented sterling silver is simple and feels almost contemporary. Next to this plain sterling silver, the iconic 75 finish, sterling silver ciselé, looks much more traditional.

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Plain and Cisele

The plain sterling silver looks lighter and brighter. It’s shiny, but in a restrained way, because it’s sterling silver.

And here’s a nice touch: Because the smooth silver finish is liable to show scratches, fingerprints and tarnish, Parker provided two little pouches made of silver cloth.

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Plain set

My pencil and pen are filled and in use right now, but I love having them in their pouches. I’m sorry, it’s adorable.

The sterling silver ciselé 75 makes a good companion, and a good contrast.

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Plain and Cisele

The ciselé is crosshatched, which gives it texture. This grid makes the finish easy-care, with no polishing or special precautions needed, whereas I suspect the plain silver may need a light polish every now and then. The plain silver finish may pick up some marks of use over the years, too, just like the Kaweco AL-Sport in raw aluminum.

So even if the plain silver 75 were commonly available, it wouldn’t be for everyone. But it is for me. I wasn’t kidding that I am not interested in buying fountain pens these days. But when I saw this one, boom, interest.

Parker 75s are great user pens if you don’t mind a thinner pen, and the nib is a pleasure to use if you write like I do — quickly and without flex. A Parker 75 isn’t very expensive, either: in fact, the more common ciselé is a veritable bargain, and has always been one of my favorite pens. Now I will enjoy using them both.

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Plain and Cisele detail

Ink Dips: Diamine Blaze Orange

Diamine Blaze Orange

Ink Dips is a more casual, and potentially unsettling, ink evaluation than is normal here at Fountain Pen Follies. Instead of carefully evaluating an ink I’m interested in, the point of Ink Dips is to blindly pick an ink sample from a box of the sadly not loved and not blue. Then I fill that sample into a pen and see what I think. It’s an ink experiment that’s a bit dippy.

Diamine Blaze Orange. This is just a magnificent orange ink, at a great price. It’s hard to think of an orange ink that is easier to recommend. If I may, the ink may be orange, but Ink Dips has struck gold. (Thank you, I’ll be here all week.)

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Ink Dips: Pelikan Edelstein Onyx

Pelikan Edelstein Onyx and Parker 75 Silver

Ink Dips is a more casual, and potentially evil, ink evaluation than is normal here at Fountain Pen Follies. Instead of carefully evaluating an ink I’m interested in, the point of Ink Dips is instead to blindly pick an ink sample from a box of dullards and discards. Then I ink up that sample in one pen and see what I think. It’s sort of like the feeling you get when you leave for the airport during a snowstorm: you don’t know what’s going to happen, but you’re prepared for it to be painful.

Pelikan Edelstein Onyx. I’m pleased to say that Pelikan Edelstein Onyx turns out to be an awesome performer. It’s a black ink, on the lighter side, and although it is premium-priced, the more I use it, the more I think it’s worth it.

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Inks Chris Bought in 2016

Ink Bottles

I asked my friend Chris to tell us what inks she bought in 2016. I love her lists, because they always contain such interesting things. On the one hand, we both love Caran d’Ache and Montblanc inks. So, we’re practically twins. But Chris has much broader ink interests than I do. Occasionally I will insert an Editor’s Note in her text, because silence is not my forte. But here’s Chris.)

I think I’ve bought a similar number of bottles to last year, but I’m not counting any inks that I received for free. Like last year, I bought some more inks that I intend to sell, so I haven’t included those either.

I still haven’t kept very good records of inks I have bought, but I’ve gone back through PayPal and credit card purchases to compile a list for the purposes of this post. I buy inks from quite a few sources so my new years resolution for 2017 will be to keep an accurate record. (Editor’s Note: Good idea. I think my resolution will be to “forget” half my 2017 purchases.)

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