Sunday Notes and Links – October 30, 2016

It was another week without a lot of writing. Work related notes has probably gotten most of my ink. I’ve fallen out of the habit of writing every night which has severely limited my ink usage. I’d typically ink up some pens today in preparation for the month ahead but will probably hold off for now.

Pen Shows & Clubs

There’s only one U.S. show left this year – Columbus, OH from November 10th through the 13th.

Those of you near Toronto can get to the Scriptus Toronto Pen Show running today from 10am to 4pm. Some folks have already made plans. 

Wonder Pens at Scriptus Toronto Pen Show 2016 – Wonder Pens

Scriptus 2016 – Toronto’s Pen & Writing Show — Pendora’s Box

The Madrid Pen is running November 18th through the 20th.

Gourmet Pens: Madrid Pen Show 2016

What Others Are Using

Currently Inked #19 | 27 October 2016 // Video

Currently Inked: Loadout for Weekend Hockey Tournament — Pendora’s Box

Currently Inked: Loadout for Scriptus 2016 – Pendora’s Box

A Collaboration of Talents: The Fisher of Pens Ares Fountain Pen | From the Pen Cup // I had the chance to see this pen at the show and it is gorgeous.

Sunday Notes and Links – October 23, 2016

I didn’t do too much writing this week, much less than normal. Yet, a couple pens went dry and were cleaned out. Much to my dismay my newest pen, the Shawn Newton leaked a bit and I cleaned it out. I suspect I need to be more liberal with the silicone grease. It did seem like the ink creeped along the section threads. I’ll be refilling it later this week although I haven’t decided which Esterbrook nib to use. I also added two pens to the mix since I needed colored ink. The King of Pen got an orange and the Hermes got a green.

Not too many links this week, but let’s get to them.

Pen Shows & Clubs

There’s only one U.S. show left this year – Columbus, OH from November 10th through the 13th.

What Others Are Using

I’ve been trying a Traveler’s Notebook recently so found the following videos and articles interesting. Like The Purl Bug, I’m not getting a Hobonichi for next year, although my reasons are different.

Analogue System – 2016 Review — The Purl Bug and Analogue System – 2017 Preview — The Purl Bug (Videos)

Traveler’s Notebook and Me – Oct 2016 — Alt. Haven

Lamy Lx vs. Lamy Al-Star — Pendora’s Box // I was surprised to find that these are a bit more than new Safari colors. Some other subtle differences

A Quick Guide to Coping with Crappy Office Paper — The Gentleman Stationer // Good advice, although I admit with my thin nibs and fondness for Montblanc inks I never resorted to “Don’t Use Fountain Pens”. I also second the notion that yellow legal pads seem universally hostile to fountain pens, especially compared to the white legal pads.

Sunday Notes and Links – October 16, 2016

Pelikan M805 Stresemann with Papier Plume Burgundy writing sample

Again, the post is later than usual but it’s still Sunday, at least where I am. I did write one pen dry during the week. My Pelikan M805 Stresemann ran out of Paper Plume Burgundy earlier this week. Speaking of the Stresemann, Pelikan is bringing the Anthracite finish to the smaller M405.

Pen Shows & Clubs

The Michigan Pen Show is over, running just Friday & Saturday this weekend. There’s only one U.S. show left this year – Columbus, OH from November 10th through the 13th.

The Appleton Pen Club is meeting this coming Wednesday (Oct 19th) with the theme “Clean Your Pens”. The meeting is at the Anderson Pens store in Appleton, WI.

What Others Are Using

Planners for 2017 – What I Plan to Use – scribbles and stationery

Currently Inked: Addition to October 2016 Line-Up — Pendora’s Box

Currently Inked: Loadout for Short Cottage Escape — Pendora’s Box

1 Week, 1 Pen/Pencil: Week 5 Review — The Finer Point

Waterman’s Ideal No. 56 (Semi-flex)

Nib Novice, Part 6 – Vintage Parker 51 | Pens and Junk

This Just In: Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche (2016 LE)

Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche in Box

Pilot releases a Limited Edition Vanishing Point every year, the limit being determined by the year. So this year brings 2,016 Vanishing Point Guilloche fountain pens. “Guilloche” is a ornamentation resembling braided ribbons. The pens are black with silver trim and the guilloche pattern slightly raised along the black portion of the metal barrel. It has the look of vintage chased hard rubber pens and when it was announced I had some small hope it would be rubber (or ebonite) as the initial announcement didn’t mention the material. I immediately signed up to be notified when it was available.

Of course and in stock notification isn’t the same as buying it. I ended up mulling it over for a couple days after getting the in-stock notification. The Vanishing Point clip has never bothered me but the metal bodies weren’t my favorites and I sold all but one of my metal Vanishing Points. Did I really want another one? Well obviously I did and I hoped the raised design would alleviate my distaste of the cold metal.

The Guilloche Limited Edition Vanishing Point lists for $240 although there’s the usual 20% discount from most online sellers. Despite being a limited edition I haven’t seen any out of stock notifications and two thousand pens seems like a lot, especially at this price point. I didn’t feel the need to rush the purchase, especially since the “Storm Trooper” Vanishing Point was now available in the US and would probably be more popular.

The Guilloche is only available with a medium nib, which is typical for the annual limited editions, although some retailers may offer to swap the nib unit. Mine has the stock rhodium plated 18-karat gold medium nib. Since the nibs are easily swappable I can use any of my nibs and was happy to take the medium. I prefer fines or extra fines but this medium is a nice writer and I’ve been using it since I got the pen. Plus, part of my calculation was that the standard nib would make it easier to sell if I didn’t like the pen.

For the record, I received #200 of 2016. The packaging is new and I like it more than the previous limited editions. It’s a nice design but doesn’t seem to be a huge expense for something I’ll never use again. The pen also included the new Con-40 converter which isn’t widely available here in the States.

As for the Con-40 converter – I was going to say “it sucks”, but the problem is it doesn’t suck up enough ink. The converter seems over-engineered, with three small agitator balls and a stopper to keep those balls in. When extending the plunger to expel the air in preparation to pull ink in there a full half-inch of air still in the converter where the plunger can’t reach thanks to that stopper. This leaves more air above the ink than the typical converter. I made a mess trying to get the last of the air out. A syringe would work of course but that seems to defeat the purpose of using a converter, although seems easier than repeated attempts to get the air out. Hopefully there’s a secret I’ve yet to stumble on. Here’s a thread on FP Geeks about the con-40 converter issues. Officially the con-40 holds 0.4ml of ink.

I picked Montblanc Toffee Brown as the first ink for this pen. The writing was nice a smooth, a typical quality Pilot nib. The ink didn’t last long and I didn’t want to deal with the converter so I popped in the blue cartridge that came with the pen and have been using that since. There hasn’t been any skipping or hard starts.

While the Vanishing Points are ideal for jotting quick notes on the go the medium nib doesn’t suit that purpose, at least for me. So I’ve been using the pen for longer writing sessions at my desk (or a table) and find it delightful to use. The raised Guilloche pattern gives it a nice tactile feel that eliminates the cold feeling I get from the typical metal VP. I like using it as much as my wooden Vanishing Points, although some of that may be due to the new pen glow. Some people hate the clip, I really like it. It fits naturally with my grip and provides some stability. With small or mostly hidden nibs such as this one I have a tendency to rotate the pen over time, the clip completely eliminates this.

I’ve seen some online comments that Pilot changed the internal design below the clip which has affected people who remove the VP clips. This isn’t something I’d ever do but if you do expect to remove the clip you may want to do some online research before buying the pen. The review linked below has photos.

The Guilloche pattern is subtle and very nice. Last year’s Twilight Limited Edition VP was a hit among the pen community and if memory serves, it sold out quickly. While I appreciated the looks of the Twilight, and it certainly caught my eye, I never considered a purchase. On the other hand, the Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche 2016 Limited Edition was an easier decision once I knew the Guilloche pattern was raised. I’m very happy with the decision to buy. I like the simple design aesthetic along with the functionality provided by the raised pattern.

Additional Reading

Pilot Guilloche Vanishing Point (2016 Limited Edition) | No Pen Intended

Sunday Notes and Links – October 9, 2016

Shawn Newton Eastman with Packaging

I was happy to received my latest fountain pen as the week came to a close. It was a custom pen from Shawn Newton and arrived a bit earlier than expected. It’s his Eastman model but set up to use Esterbrook nibs. The vintage Esterbrook pens are too small and light for me to use comfortably on a regular basis. Now I have a great pen that uses all 31 of my Esterbrook nibs. The picture up above is my pen and packaging, Shawn also posted pictures of the completed pen. I’ll have a post with my first impressions later this week.

If you missed it, the TWSBI Eco giveaway is still running.

Pen Shows

The Colorado Pen Show is almost over while the Michigan Pen Show is next weekend.

Gourmet Pens: Field Trip – Tilburg Pen Show 2016 Recap

A recap of my first Pen Show — The Finer Point

Links of Interest

Currently Inked: October 2016 — Pendora’s Box

Ethics, Bias, and FP reviews — Pen Economics // Excellent article with lots of food for thought. Like Dr. Deans, I’m an “old cynic” and consider every review biased in some way, if only by personal likes and dislikes.

In Praise Of Habits | From the Pen Cup // Excellent article, which happened to appear as I had broken a 2 month long habit of writing at least two journal pages every day.