My Rugged Art Case for Fountain Pens

I have several fountain pen cases I use for travel. For my everyday writers or EDWs I like using my 3-pen case from Franklin-Christoph. I use my EDWs for my daily/weekly/monthly BUJO, for journal writing, and taking notes for online courses.

For my “durable” artsy fountain pens (e.g. TWSBI GOs), I have to use a completely different pen case. I like having several different ink colors available when the sketching urge hits me. This is where function overrides a nice looking case. I mentioned some time last year I was using a pouch like case like this one pictured below.

This case had served it’s purpose as it could hold a number of fountain pens in the main zippered pouch. I think at one point I was able to cram about 20 TWSBI GOs. Over time I found the pouch was cumbersome to use.

The main issue I had was I could only see a few pens on the top and I had to dig around inside the pouch to look for an ink color. Many times I had to dump all my pens out to see what I had or wanted to use.

I did some research (because that’s what I enjoy doing) and followed a few other artists to see what tools and cases they had in their art bag.

I came across a watercolor artist who was using a Maxpedition Beefy Pocket Organizer case. This case looks quite rugged and durable. I actually bought two of these when I came across a BOGO sale at the manufacturer’s site. One in black (shown here) and another in a pretty olive green color that I use to carry my watercolor brushes and paints.

Here’s the front of my case. I lightened the picture slightly to show off the stitching and how well made this case is. Remember I am a sewist and I look for good stitching. The front has two velcro pieces at the top if I wanted to add a personal patch. There is also a front pocket made of netting that is secured with velcro behind the Maxpedition logo. I added two fountain pens and a blotter card to show the pocket size.

Let’s start with the left side of my case. Immediately you can see the horizontal elastic loops. There are two sets of elastic loops with the narrower loop sewn on top of the wider loop. The top narrow loops (six of them) hold my individual pens in place. Behind the narrow loops are three wide loops. There’s an open pocket behind my pens that can hold more pens, pencils, a small notebook, or folded paper towels.

Here’s the right side of my case and there is another set of elastic loops. It’s a similar set up to the right side except the loops are sewn in vertically to maximize storage space. It also looks like the elastic loop space is wider. I removed my pens to show the configuration better. There’s a zippered pocket behind the loops for another small notebook or other accessories.

There’s a horizontal elastic loop at the interior edge of the case. This is a large loop that holds my three water brushes and my Platinum Preppy filled with Carbon ink.

I went ahead and put my pens back into the case. Again I’m only using the upper loop configuration to hold my pens. I can slip two pens into each loop.

Here is the backside of my Maxpedition case. It has a grab handle and another set of loops to hold more stuff. The loops on the back are not elastic and made out of webbing material just like the handle.

Since I use mostly TWSBI GOs for artwork, I have no issues with throwing those pens into this case and hit the road with them. My GOs are durable and can take the jostling around in my backpack.

This is a rugged and durable case. Think tactical gear. The material in the Maxpedition feels a bit rough. The elastic loops are stiff and have a rough feeling. I found the roughness eventually lessens the more I use my case. As you can see in the pictures, there is no padding in the case.

It’s perfect for my use to hold and carry all my artsy fountain pens (TWSBI GOs). When I open my case I can see all my pens and art tools and can quickly get to work creating art.

I will be back with another review on how I use my green Maxpedition case for my watercolor supplies.

Case: Maxpedition Beefy Pocket Organizer in Black

Pens: TWSBI GO, Eco, and Diamond 580. Monteverde Innova Carbon Black with Rainbow trim. Conklin All American Lapis Blue and Duragraph Matte Black with Rainbow trim. Maiora Impronte OS Posilippo. Esterbrook Estie OS Dreamer Purple. Turnt Pen Co Pynchon PM4. Pilot Stargazer Black and Prera Pink. Lamy 2000 Makrolon.

Other: Pentel water brushes. Pentel Energize pencil.

Year End Thoughts for 2021

So I ran out of time to do a pictorial collage of all the things I was involved in this year. One could say I was all over the place. Sometimes the mood or an idea would hit me and I would switch gears on the fly. This month had been an extremely busy time for me as I had to take care of year end tasks and long to-do-lists . I also had 30+ blog post entries for the month of December. Yes, I had a lot of inks to chat about as well as share a few pieces of my artwork.

I started the year creating lots of pen & ink artwork. That was mostly because I had too many fountain pens filled with shimmering inks and I had the overwhelming urge to just sketch with my fountain pens. It also helped that I sketched my pens dry. Used up more ink!

I also entered an art contest over at Pen Chalet. I received honorable mention for my Sedona sketch using the three Robert Oster Exclusive Pen Chalet ink colors: Sedona Red, Saguaro Green, and Monsoon Sky. They used my artwork to create some stickers.

I also started 2021 with a lovely Benu Euphoria called Bora Bora that Hubby gave me for a Christmas present at the end of 2020. I also ventured into and acquired a few unique fountain pens made by a few boutique pen turners.

I played around with pointed pen calligraphy and tried out different flex nibs. I attempted to do my daily calligraphy practice until I got bored. This hobby likes to come and go throughout the year.

I did a few reviews on fountain pens (Esterbrook, Franklin-Christoph, Pilot, Opus88, SchonDSGN, Maiora), inks (Vinta Inks, Birmingham Pen Co, Private Reserve, Rohrer & Klingner, Van Dieman’s), papers and journals, graphite pencil holders, watercolor paints, paint palettes, carrying cases/pouches, and art tools that caught my interest.

Let’s not forget my fiber arts where I remembered to squeeze my yarns and fabrics as they were feeling neglected from the lack of attention. This was the result of having too many hobbies and therefore no blog posts were created in this area.

I was invited to teach a pen & ink wash workshop at the DC Pen Show. The one workshop turned into three workshops. I felt blessed to be able to share what I know about fountain pens and inks and how to create art with these tools. Oh and use up more ink! 😂

I had some time to get back into my Cricut hobby. I created lots of stickers of my artwork, personalized many water containers, mugs, coasters, journals, and accessories. I also ventured into engraving acrylic (future blog post).

In my artwork, I tend to see too many details and want to sketch everything I see. I made an effort this year to practice sketching loosely and quickly. I just focused on the main shapes and what was important to show on paper. This way of sketching is something I’ve always wanted to do well with and this will take me into another adventure in the new year.

Here is my last artwork for 2021. This morning I spent a few minutes with “drawing my day” or DMD which I will refer to in my future blog posts. My theme for this morning was what I had for breakfast. My hope is to do a daily sketch of my day. Practice sketching techniques and develop my muscle memory. Fill up a page or two. Write a description. Tell a story.

Pens: Turnt Pen Co Pynchon in Primary Manipulation 4 (F-C Fine nib) and Peacock (Esterbrook Medium nib). Lamy 2000 in Makrolon with Extra Fine nib.

Inks: Rober Oster Thunderstorm. Diamine: Seize the Night, Winter Spice, Candle Light, Party Time, & All the Best. Van Dieman’s Ink: Morning Mist, Parrot Fish, and Devil’s Kitchen.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha

Journal Cover: Lochby Field Journal

My Christmas Pen

Way back in August I mentioned that Hubby hand picked a beautiful fountain pen at our local pen show. I was able to spend a minute or two with this pen. I put the pen in my hand and gave it a twirl. Then I had to give the pen back to Hubby.

The remaining weeks in August were hard for me as I knew there was a brand new pen in the house and I could do nothing but wait.

Four months later and I can finally blog about my new beautiful Christmas pen hand turned by Turnt Pen Co. But wait! I need to find an ink color to match!

I flipped through my swatch cards and gravitated towards the swatches of Van Dieman’s Ink colors. Parrot Fish turned out to be a perfect match.

Okay. Now I can show you my lovely new pen!

This is the lovely Peacock resin by Dupras.

When Hubby purchased the pen, I had selected a Fine JoWo nib to go with it. Since I’m using a shimmering ink, I wanted to go with a slightly wider nib. I swapped out my Fine nib unit and replaced it with an Esterbrook Medium nib.

This is my second pen from Tim (Turnt Pen Co). I had purchased my first one in a PM4 from the same pen show.

Did I mention I’m having a wonderful time with my pen? It’s comfortable in my hand and I feel as though I could write for hours.

Right now, my Peacock is sitting in my EDW (everyday writing) pen case along with my PM4 and my Lamy 2000.

My Hubby is the best! He did a great job selecting this pen. Maybe I can penable him in the new year.

Pen: Turnt Pen Co Pynchon (model) in Peacock (Bob Dupras) with Esterbrook Medium nib.

Ink: Van Dieman’s Ink Parrot Fish (shimmer) from their Underwater Series.

Paper: Rhodia

Just Three Pens for Now and Other Things

We are just a few days away from the month of December and I have something brewing in my studio. Well not literally brewing, but it’s something that is sitting inside a brown box and waiting for December 1st to arrive. I ordered this at the end of August and received it at the end of September. So for two whole months the excitement has been building up. That’s all I will say. For now. 😃

I’m also contemplating doing a sketch/drawing a day in December. We will see how that works out as I’ll need to allocate two hours a day depending on the art medium I use. Lots of ideas and very little time to do all of my favorite hobbies. Sigh!

I wanted to share my three currently inked pens: Leonardo, Pilot, and Visconti.

I would classify these three pens as the oldest pens I have in my collection. I purchased them when I first fell into this fountain pen rabbit-hole. I thought it would be a great time to bring them into my pen rotation. They are amazing and fine writing tools. They write beautifully on all types of paper I use including plain notebook paper.

I had three bottles of ink sitting on my desk and it was easy to figure out my matching pen and ink scheme. As I’m typing this post, I’m wondering if Pilot will ever come out with other pen colors in their 823 model. I could easily enjoy an olive green or a copper colored 823. That would be so cool!

Earlier this week I was dabbling with Urban Sketching. Mostly from photographs I’ve taken. It’s a different style of sketching for me and basically learning to look and sketch quickly. I’m learning to loosen up and not worry about the details or shapes too much.

I’m hoping to take this new sketching adventure outside and in the public areas. Since it’s around 40-something degrees outside, learning to sketch quickly would be most beneficial. Now that I’m thinking about it, sitting in a warm car and sketching sounds even better. 🤣

Pens: Leonardo Momento Zero Pietra Marina (Fine). Pilot Custom 823 Amber (Fine). Visconti Vertigo Orange (Fine)

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Tamar Pinot Noir and Eucalyptus Regnans. Robert Oster Aussie Brown.

Paper: Rhodia

Happy Fountain Pen Day!

I’ve been intentionally staying away from my computer today and avoiding the pen sales that are popping up everywhere. That’s why I’m late in wishing my fellow fountain pen friends a Happy Fountain Pen Day!

I thought I would celebrate by sharing a sketch I did from last year. Lovely pens and wonderful writing experiences.

Here’s my currently inked pens. Yes, only three filled with ink. I’m doing well in managing this goal. Easier to clean three pens versus a dozen or more.

I still have a few Van Dieman’s Ink swatches to share with you. When I was playing with my new inks a few weeks ago I took some pictures as a reminder to update my blog. At that same time, my watercolor mojo was found and needed some attention. This is what happens when I have too many fun hobbies fighting for my time in my studio.

I have to say I did spend a few minutes checking out the fountain pen deals. I allowed myself to put one in a cart and then removed it five minutes later. I’m getting good at this. Hahaha!

Hope you are having a fantastic Friday! Enjoy your weekend!

Another Van Dieman’s Ink

You might have noticed that I’ve been accumulating several bottles from the Van Dieman’s Ink brand. They have some gorgeous and vibrant ink colors that I could not pass up.

Here is Black Tongue Spider Orchid from their Wilderness Series line.

This is one gorgeous deep magenta & pinky purple color! Beautiful shading with a bit of dark sheen that almost looks black to me. This is a wonderful wet ink that I’m sure will be lovely to sketch with.

I have three other colors from this Wilderness series including Azure Kingfisher (a gorgeous shimmer), Eucalyptus Regnans, and Devil’s Kitchen. Devil’s Kitchen might sound familiar as I wrote about this ink color a few days ago.

In all, I have around 15 bottles from this brand. That clearly shows how much I enjoy using Van Dieman’s Ink for writing and journaling.

I’ve been filling my TWSBI GOs with the my new Van Dieman’s Ink. So far, I’ve been using three colors in my pen and ink wash sketches: Eucalyptus Regnans, Beetroot Relish, and Devil’s Kitchen. They’ve been performing beautifully. Lovely wet inks.

I’m hoping to dump use up my current inks in my remaining seven TWSBI GOs and fill them all with Van Dieman’s colors. I will have to keep one TWSBI filled with Robert Oster Thunderstorm (my fave) to use for base shadows in my sketches.

I enjoy seeing an ink plan come together and I can’t wait to use these vibrant and stunning colors in my creative journey.

Pen: Esterbrook Estie OS Dreamer Purple with Franklin-Christoph 14k Extra Fine Flex nib

Ink: Van Dieman’s Ink Black Tongue Spider Orchid

Paper: Rhodia

Another Pen & Ink in Rotation

I have another ink to show off. I had this bottle of Robert Oster ink sitting in my queue waiting for some action. I can’t tell you how many bottles of blue ink I have in various shades and tones. Let’s just say I have a lot! I’m sure some of you are in the same boat.

This one particular blue ink color has really caught my attention. It’s called Midnight Sapphire! I think this would be perfect for an everyday blue color. It’s vibrant and has a bit of character.

Here’s my writing sample and swatch. I have my lovely and beautiful Turnt Pen Co Pynchon PM4 pen filled with this gorgeous blue ink.

Midnight Sapphire is a dark blue ink that leans a bit towards purple. When touched with water, this ink color leaves behind a pinkish undertone depending on the paper used. It has some lovely shading and a bit of sheen. I’m trying to figure out the sheen that I’m seeing. Depending on the angle of my swatch card and lighting, I can see a dull copper-pink sheen along the edges.

This ink would be lovely to use in a pen & ink wash sketch. It feels a bit on the wet side. You can see from my mini swatch to the left of my swatch card how well the color pulls across the paper with water. I know my fellow workshop friends will understand and enjoy this bit of information.

My Turnt pen has fast become my favorite writing pen. It now has a slight edge over my Franklin-Christoph pens and closing in behind my Esterbrook Estie pens. I have to admit I keep twirling this pen and enjoy seeing all the lovely colors.

Pen: Turnt Pen Co Pynchon in Primary Manipulation 4 with Franklin-Christoph #6 HPS Fine nib

Ink: Robert Oster Midnight Sapphire

Paper: Rhodia Swatch card: Col-o-ring

Day 4 at the Pen Show

Last night I was looking for my Ink Journal and could not find it. I’m pretty sure the last time I saw it was in the room, but it was no where to be found this morning. Did I accidentally pack it away in my car last night?

Good thing I had another blank journal with me. A different brand, but the page size was the same. I planned on punching “disc” holes later and creating a disc-bound journal so I can swap around the pages and organize them by ink manufacturers.

After an early breakfast and seeing Hubby off (a work day for him), I went back to the ink tables to see if I was missing any ink swatches. I kept walking by this one table that had some interesting ink bottles that I never saw before. I took a seat and looked at the labels on the bottle. They looked like Akkerman ink names. Yes! I grabbed a sheet of leftover paper and wrote the name “Akkerman” for those who will be following behind me and wondering the same.

The Akkerman inks were bold and bright. I noticed my efficient ink swatching process was bogging down. It took me awhile to write out the ink names. Then I noticed most of the bottles had a number on them and so I had to go back write in the numbers in my journal. I stopped swatching long enough to take a selfie.

It was getting late and I still had to pack a few things, drop off my suit case in my car, gather my workshop supply bags, and check out of my room. Whew!

An hour later and back at the pen show venue, I had some time to walk around and take additional pictures.

I was so glad to see an array of Robert Oster Signature ink colors at the Vanness table.

Private Reserve had a table that included the new Infinity line of ink colors. I do not recall seeing any of their new shimmering inks on the table.

Here is Pen Realm:

The crowds were smaller than the day before and I had some time to try a few pens.

I saw the Platinum 3776 Century test pens and decided to do another writing sample. The testing station was missing the UEF and Music pens.

I stopped by Dromgoole’s table and saw a Leonardo Momento Zero Grande in Golden Rule with an Elastic nib. I had to try it out. What a gorgeous pen and nib combination! That pen wrote beautifully across the paper.

I headed towards the back wall and stopped by the Visconti table. I must have had the deer in head lights look and wasn’t sure what I wanted to try. I was handed a Homo Sapien Dark Age with an 18k medium nib to try. OMG! I fell in love with this pen! It was so comfortable to hold in my hand and the grip warmed up nicely in my fingers. This is what fellow Visconti pen-folks were talking about! Now, I know that feeling! That pen has made its way to the top of my list. Sigh!

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of this wonderful pen. I do have a writing sample to share:

I made my way to the Esterbrook table and asked about Gena’s Journaler nib. I was given the new Estie Sea Glass pen with the Journaler nib to try out.

This Journaler nib was a wet writer with a smooth writing experience. I might be biased, but I think I prefer the Franklin-Christoph SIG nib. The Journaler nib did not create that “I must have this nib” experience for me.

I made my way back into the small ballroom and spent some time chatting with the exhibitors. Did I mention I really enjoyed my time in this room?

Mythic pens:

Hinze pens:

There was a lot to see at Hinze’s tables. So many wonderful and colorful pens!

At the Devine Island Design table, they were introducing a new pen model at this show:

This dyed Abalone ballpoint pen caught my eye. Apparently if I wanted this Abalone pen, they could convert it into a fountain pen. Something to think about.

SCHON DSGN pens:

Earlier this year, I had purchased a multi-colored Pocket Six pen from Ian. I was glad to see him here in person and showing all his lovely pen colors.

After my workshop was finished, I quickly packed my workshop gear and headed back to the pen show venue one last time.

Many of the Exhibitors had started to take down their exhibits and tables.

Many Exhibitors were still busy with potential customers and last minute sales.

I walked by Stylosuite and Les was still busy with two customers. Les had mentioned that I was his first customer at the start of the show on Friday. Since then he was always busy helping folks find the right flex nib and pen. It did not hurt that I highly recommended his pens/nibs. Les had mentioned to me that he would stay late to help a customer get the right pen.

I made my way out the double glass doors and headed to the garage. I was sad to leave the Pen Show. I had a wonderful time meeting many of the Exhibitors and pen folks sitting at the ink tables. I also made many new friends. There was a lot of learning and sharing of information about fountain pens and inks that weekend. Even Hubby commented and was amazed by the number of Exhibitors on hand and the number of people showing up for this event. He’s an amazing husband and very supportive of my creative adventures. He braved the Saturday crowds to find me a beautiful fountain pen. I could not ask for anything more.

Day 3 at the Pen Show

Conveniently located near the entrance to the small ballroom…if you need cash right away!

I was up early again and had another early breakfast in the hotel restaurant. I made sure I had extra protein (eggs) for another long day. I was pretty sure a lot of people would be showing up for today’s show.

Before I forget, there were signs posted at the entrance into the show. It was good to see everyone wearing a mask.

After my breakfast I headed back to the ink tables to see what I missed from the previous morning.

I saw Barbara (one of the show managers) setting up a new ink table with Private Reserve Inks. Clearly she needed some help and I rolled up my sleeves which is a must if I’m anywhere near all things inky. I opened the boxes and then had to unseal the bottle tops and removed the caps and placed the bottles on the tables. My mind wasn’t too happy to see colors haphazardly strewn about on the table. I started to move the bottles around and arranged them by color. I tried to. Most of the bottles were full to the brim with ink and I had to be careful. I did manage to spill a doggie bowl full of pen flush across the table. Oooops! Initially it did not look like it was full of any liquid. That’s how clear the bowl was. Better that than valuable ink, right? Hahaha!

After rearranging the jars of ink, I grabbed my ink journal and proceeded to swatch all the Private Reserve colors in front of me.

I could sense people had started to arrive in the main hallway as the chatter of noise grew bigger. I checked my watch and the pen show had officially started for the public. I took a quick glance inside the main ballroom and could not believe the number of people.

I stopped by Stylosuite to say “good morning” to Les. A rare moment when his table was not busy.

Another picture of his beautiful pen displays.

As I walked around the tables and took pictures, one of the things I tried not to do is interfere or disturb people who were looking at pens. That’s why my pen pictures are scattered across several days during the long weekend.

Here are some Trenche pens on display:

The Laban tables were full of colorful and shiny pens.

Diplomat pens:

Diplomat Aeros

Maiora

Esterbrook pens

I tried to walk around and get my laps in and steps counted, but even little ole me had a tough time walking through the crowds.

I wandered around the main hallway and snapped a couple of pictures where I could.

Taccia table:

Narwhal table:

Apparently I heard some folks missed or did not know about the small ballroom. I spent a lot of time in there.

Carolina Pen Company:

IronFeather Creative:

Riggs Pens:

I decided to head back to my room and unwind until it was time to haul my bags down to the meeting room for my second workshop.

In the meantime, I received a text from Hubby that he left the house and was on his way back to the hotel. I warned him about the crowds of pen-folks he might encounter.

Apparently at some point, the line to get into the pen show had extended to the double doors that led to/from the garage. I cannot confirm this, it’s just what I heard.

I was down in the meeting room getting the workshop setup when I see Hubby coming into the room. He asks “Okay, so what pen did you get?” Startled, my eyes must have gone big and wide as one of my workshop attendees started giggling. I immediately pull out my pen case and show Hubby my Stylosuite pen and the fancy flex nib. He thought that was the coolest thing. Before he left the meeting room, he mentioned that we were going shopping. I asked “where?” and he said upstairs. I was laughing as I thought we were going to the Mall.

After the workshop was finished, I quickly packed up my supplies and journals and headed up to the room. I had no idea what “shopping” meant to my Hubby and he does not like being around crowds.

Apparently he wanted to get me a fountain pen. I already knew which table I wanted to go back to. Hubby was brave as there still was a large crowd, but folks have told me it wasn’t as bad as the late morning/early afternoon crowd. We made our way to the small ballroom and we were in front of the Turnt Pen Co table.

Tim Crowe owner of Turnt Pen Co.

Besides creating/turning pens, Tim also creates his own blanks. They are absolutely beautiful and stunning.

I showed Hubby my PM 4 pen that I had purchased the day before and he loved the colors in that pen. That helped him figure out the next pen for me. Hubby saw a Peacock (Bob Dupras) pen with lovely swirls of blue and green. He said it reminded him of the Caribbean Sea. Tim immediately knew my process and asked which nib I wanted and installed it along with a converter into the pen. I did my imaginary writing and knew that all was well in my fountain pen world. Hubby purchased my Christmas present and not to be seen again until December 25th!

Now, that’s just plain rough for me for the next few months. Knowing there’s a new pen in the house and I can’t touch it. Hahaha!

Hubby wanted to leave the hotel and get some dinner. At that moment, I did not realize how good it felt to be outside. Besides having dry eyes from forgetting to blink while looking at all things pen and ink related, I was lacking my daily dose of Vitamin D.

I could not eat all of my meal. See the empty chip basket?

Later in the evening I started to pack up the supplies and clothes I no longer needed and packed a few things in my car. Less is better in the morning when I’m ready to check out.

More to come.

Day 2 at the Pen Show

Did this get your attention?

I was up early with Hubby and we went down to the hotel restaurant to have an early breakfast.

My gluten-free breakfast

After breakfast, I walked Hubby out to the garage as he was heading home for the day and then coming back the next day to check out the pen show and to take me out to dinner.

I had my ink journal with me and decided to head to the Ink Testing Tables to swatch some inks. Back in 2019, the ink tables were located in the small ballroom. This year, they had relocated the ink tables along the hallway outside the main ballroom. That was a brilliant idea! That meant the smaller ballroom had the custom pen turners and and fountain pen blank designers all in one room. How convenient!

Also, there was a lot more room in the main hallway to jump from table to table to test out the inks from different ink manufacturers. One of the reasons for getting up early is I had the ink tables to myself. Each table had a few nib holders, q-tips, small pieces of paper to swatch on, empty cups for used q-tips, dog bowls filled with pen flush, and cups filled with water.

I came prepared with my ink journal, regular pen, and my water brush. I have my own efficient process for swatching inks and I don’t enjoy spending the time to clean out the nibs in between ink colors. That’s why I bring a ballpoint pen to write out the ink names in my journal. Time is of the essence when at the Pen Show. Hahaha!

I made sure I to swatch the Pilot Iroshizuku inks. The small bottles are so cute!

Pilot Iroshizuku inks…look at all the beautiful colors!
Noodler’s inks
J Herbin inks

I knew I only had a small amount of time to myself at the tables and selectively picked certain brands to swatch from. I still had two more days (early mornings) to circle back and get the remaining colors swatched.

I checked my watch and knew I had to walk around, get my laps in and stop by a few tables before getting ready for my workshops. I immediately headed over to the Franklin-Christoph table. Scott’s tables are alway busy with fellow pen folks.

One of the busiest tables during the show

I inquired about a specific pen model and saw a pen that caught my eye. It did not have a clip, but I was told I could have one installed and they could mail the pen to me. I decided it was time to do a few laps and not make a commitment as I had other tables to visit. My gut instinct told me to move away from this table. Little did I know there was something else for me a few tables down.

Who could not resist the colorful pens at the F-C table!

I strolled along the back wall past BG Artforms, Bexley, Wahl-Eversharp, ASC, and Bittner’s tables.

A few months ago, I read about some lovely flex pens from Stylosuite. I saw some gorgeous writings with the lovely line variations as well as the interesting nib with the cut outs. Based on my personal experience, I knew some modern nibs could flex a bit with some amount of pressure like my Pilot 912 with FA nib. After writing a few lines, my hand would get tired and my writing would get sloppy.

I came across a tray of lovely pens. They were absolutely gorgeous to look at. I immediately recognized a few brands. Can you name the brands in the following picture?

I introduced myself to Les (owner of Stylosuite) and took a seat at his table. I answered a few questions about my writing style and pens I tend to favor. Les handed me an Opus 88 Omar with a JoWo nib that had fancy cutouts along the nib’s shoulders and sides and a cut that goes past the breather hole. The minute I put pen to paper, I realized I became one with this pen! Very little pressure and effort was needed to make this pen write with broad lines on the downstroke. I immediately had that “rhythm” and bounce in my handwriting.

Les laid down a few more pens in front of me that had different nib sizes (Fine and Medium) and also one with a cursive italic nib. I tried them all, but I still came back to the first pen I tried. That Omar had the Stylosuite Extra Fine Xwing Harpoon nib. It was an extremely smooth writing experience. Les complemented me on my writing. I told him it was the pen and his lovely nib in my hand that allowed me to write effortlessly across the paper.

All the nibs I tried at his table kept up with my fast writing. Les modifies the nibs and then tunes it with the particular pen that will house the nib unit. This is important to remember and I do not plan on swapping this nib unit around with my other pens. His Xwing Harpoon nib was perfect with this particular Omar. Oh and let’s not forget that the Opus 88 Omar has a “tank” that holds a lot of ink!

Not knowing how Les handles purchases and orders, I asked if I could buy this particular pen. When you become one with a pen, it’s the one that you have to take with you, right?

My Stylosuite Extra Fine Xwing Harpoon nib! Stunning & gorgeous!

A writing sample with this flex nib with very little pressure. Amazing!

I was done with my shopping for the day. Or so I thought. I still had to get ready and grab my bags and head down to my meeting room to setup for my workshop.

After my first (of three) workshop was finished, I immediately packed up my supplies and papers and dropped them off in my room. I still had to do a few laps around the main venue and to also check out the small pen turners and pen blank designers in the small ballroom.

I took a few more pictures and then stumbled upon another table. Turnt Pen Co. His trays of pens were shouting my name. I slowly scanned each pen in their trays and came across one that caught my eye.

I asked and Tim confirmed that his pen was made from a Primary Manipulation 4 blank by Jonathon Brooks. I needed to feel the whole pen in my hand and Tim was gracious enough to install a JoWo #6 Stub 1.1 nib unit and a converter into the pen. He wanted to dip the pen in some ink and I told him no need to do that. I can sense how good a pen will be by just holding it in my hand and going through the motions of writing on paper.

Then a very familiar sensation hit me! I became one with this pen! It’s a similar feeling as I had with the Stylosuite pen, but that pen will be used for my fancy handwriting. My Turnt pen was about the “whole package” for an EDW (everyday writer) including comfort, balance, and weight. Could I write with this pen for hours? Yes! This feeling almost reminded me of holding a Franklin-Christoph pen in my hand. It was that good! The writing experience was just lovely and it did not hurt that this particular Turnt pen was just absolutely stunning. I can’t believe I managed to get a PM4 pen that was on my wish list. The stars were definitely in alignment and I was meant to be at Turnt’s table. I was so thrilled to have met Tim. (Thank you Tim for a wonderful pen show experience and I enjoyed chatting with you!)

After my second purchase for the day, I had to wear “blinders” and walk by many more tables. I did see some fun Esterbrook patches with the lovely Aqua Fun! theme and the Esterbrook clip. Next thing I knew I was given a lovely Esterbrook tote bag, washi tape, and a plain white nautical hat to along with my purchase. When I was wearing the hat the next day, Hubby said I looked like I belonged on Gilligan’s Island! Yeah, I’m not sharing any pictures of me wearing the hat. Hahaha!

My Esterbrook accessories

I was so tired from the day’s activities that I ordered a meal to go from the lounge and spent some quiet time in my room. I ended up practicing my fancy handwriting with my Stylosuite pen and twirling my Turnt PM4 pen. Okay, not at the same time.

Here are additional pictures I forgot to add when I published this post.

More to come….