2016 Triangle Pen Show
I managed to miss the Atlanta Pen Show this year, but fortunately, I was in North Carolina for the Triangle Pen Show in Cary, June 2-5. It was somewhat smaller and more intimate, but no less fun. Only one room of tables (plus a couple of hallways), but the contents of those tables was no less mind-blowing.
This time I did manage to see Susan Wirth’s seminar on “How some pens can make anyone’s handwriting look good. How to find them at a Pen show.” Unfortunately, I have developed the complete inability to remember the third item of any list of three things, so I don’t remember what the last suggestion she had for a pen to improve my generally horrifying writing; the first two were a fine italic (a smidgen of line variation makes everything prettier) and an extra fine or needlepoint (for those situations that call for very small writing). She also had lots of tips for enjoying a pen show.
I had counted on Andreas Lambrou being at the show, and he did not disappoint. As a result, I quickly found myself carrying around 15lbs (6.8038856 kg) of autographed, beautiful pen books. There’s a funny story there: I didn’t have the cash for such a grand purchase, but Andreas had recently started using a Square card scanner. Unfortunately, he added an extra “04” to the price without either of us noticing. A couple of weeks later, I got a bill recording a purchase of roughly $3000. I got on the horn with Bank of America and contested the charge, then went to track down how to contact Andreas. I discovered that he’d already sent me email and had reversed the excess charges through Square. I think all the counter- and counter-counter-transactions have settled down, but my credit card at one point was showing I owed $6000. Whee.
The other attendee I was counting on was Franklin Christoph, which is a pretty sure thing: they’re based in North Carolina. If they didn’t show up, I could drive over to their location and pound on the doors. After fooling with some of their testers at Atlanta, I could not stop thinking about their Model 66, so I decided to combine my strange attraction for their pens with Susan’s pen suggestions (at least those I remember). I bought a Model 66 with a Masuyama fine italic nib and a Model 55 with a Masuyama needlepoint. Both are very nice to write with.
While the Franklin Christoph folks did have some of their standard colors there, they also had limited edition, non-production colors: the Model 66 is in flaming, Corvette red and the Model 65 is in a mottled reddish-brown and black. Both are pretty, but very hard to take accurate pictures of.