Whoa. It’s been a couple days now, and I’m already excited for 2017 — August 25 to 27! Mark your calendars!
To recap, I was loosely looking for an Omas, vintage flex, cool materials, but if I had money left in budget, I said I’d get a Pilot Custom 823 with an FA nib. What did I actually buy? A Franklin-Christoph p66 with a Masuyama Needlepoint in a cool translucent swirly orange and cream color (cool material, check!), and a second generation Wahl Eversharp Doric in striated black with an adjustable semi-flex medium stub (vintage flex, check! same shape as the Omas pens I like… check?)
Here’s my entire haul. Yep, that’s it. Just three things. I’m very proud of coming out of the show UNDER budget.
Now the long version…
I woke up on Friday at 5:45am to pick up a friend at 6:15, despite flying in from Hawaii the night before. I thought I’d be super sleepy (~8 hours of sleep in the two nights before) but I wasn’t. I guess pen show excitement does that! I ran a little bit late (got distracted posting about the new Noodler’s ink to Reddit) but made it to the show in good time.
We arrived at around 7am, before most of the dealers had set up. It was a nice time to walk around before everyone was set up since that was a lot less overwhelming. I met Troy from Brute Force Design and admired his pens (I love the look of all-copper pens, but unfortunately they’re just too heavy for me!) while we both kept an eye on the Franklin-Christoph booth and talked about pen turning (my lathe is showing up in the mail today…).
Scott (of FC) showed up sometime between 8 and 9am with the hand carry suitcase full of prototypes and I pounced. I picked out a lovely “prototype” in a unique orange-and-cream swirl material. FC never gave it a name since they only made 1-3 pens with it. This is my first time buying a pen from FC at a show — and getting the nib tuned with Jim was fantastic! I had opted for the Masuyama needlepoint and he asked if I preferred fineness or smoothness. I went for fineness, and the nib isn’t scratchy at all but has an enjoyable amount of feedback that I can best describe by calling it “pencil-like”.
After this, I made my rounds taking a look at each booth, handling pens, and testing out inks. I had my eye on flex pens and Omas pens and Wahl Eversharp Dorics — I really like the 12-faceted shape. I found my second pen also on Friday morning with Cliff Harrington, who was very, very friendly, helpful, knowledable, and had a great selection of Dorics. But, it was only Friday morning — so I thanked Cliff and swore I’d think about it a little longer. By Saturday afternoon I was legitimately stressed that someone else might buy “my pen”, so I went back and bought it. It’s a second generation Doric in a striated black material with a #9 adjustable nib. It goes from a smooth medium stub to a a wet BB-BBB. I’m very happy with the pen and Cliff was great to work with!
In addition to my pens and ink (I picked up a bottle of Kingdom Note’s pink jellyfish ink from Sunny at Straits Pens) I had a lot of fun meeting some great people and looking at interesting pens. Cliff had Waterman’s World’s Smallest Pen which was neat to see and handle in person. John Corwin had some crazy flex nibs, including a smaller-sized Doric with an adjustable full flex nib (out of my budget). The ink testing station had over 600 inks — and after trying every Akkerman ink there, I decided not to get a bottle (upsides to getting to try before you buy!). I met many folks who were fairly new to pens and many more who had years of pen knowledge to share with me. So many pens, so little time! 🙂
Pens aside, Pam and I hosted a Planner meet up on Saturday afternoon. We spent Saturday morning putting together grab bags of washi tape samples, stickers and cute sticky notes for grab bags — but despite making two dozen, we ran out! It was a fun-filled hour and a half of oggling each other’s planners, sharing supplies and, most importantly, making friends. After the session I have some ideas for a planner experiment I’m going to kick off in a couple days when September 1 rolls around! (Starting with a new month is just easier… I think)
All in all, I had a great time and I managed to stay under budget*! I’m very excited for next year and am full of ideas for new workshops and maybe even being a vendor!
Did you find the pen of your dreams at the SF Show?
* Sidenote: Staying under budget was hard — but I’m really trying to limit the number of pens I own. So this doesn’t at all reflect on a lack of amazing pens at the show, but instead my IRON self-control. Yep. (Real reason? My pen carrier only has 15 slots, so I can’t own more than that without buying another form of pen-transport… and I’m too cheap to shell out $60+ on a nice leather carrier)