In the months leading up to the San Francisco International Pen Show, I was good. I didn’t buy any pens or ink (aside from one sale on a Sailor Pro Gear Slim that was too good to pass up. I’m only human.) I budgeted and planned and saved so when the time came, I could fully enjoy the show experience and not have to worry.
And then some work things changed. And with them, my budget.
So here’s all the stuff I bought at the San Francisco Pen Show! It’s a lot, but expect more in-depth reviews in the coming weeks.
So my initial plan for SF was to go for quality over quantity, maybe even bring home a Lamy 2000, a nice Pilot, or one of the many other prestigious pens that eventually turn up in everyone’s collection. But the more I thought about it, I realized that you can get those pens from a number of retailers at any time. If you’re visiting a pen show, you really need to be spending time (and money) with the independent pen makers. Those other pens will always be available somewhere. I wanted to bring something home from this show that I couldn’t get anywhere else.
Franklin-Christoph Model 45 – Brooks Blank
The Franklin-Christoph brand turns out beautiful and unique pens on a regular basis, but their pen show selection is an entirely separate and distinct beast. They bring prototype material blends as well as pens turned from Jonathon Brooks blanks that seem to just get more stunning the longer you look at them. After much painstaking deliberation, I brought home one such pen.
This piece, from the “45” line, is a matte-finished screw-cap pen with a custom-ground broad SIG #5 steel nib. Returning readers will note that I usually swing toward the finer end of the nib spectrum, but I have enough F/EF Bock nibs sitting around that I thought I’d get a little wild with this one. Hopefully, I’ll find a way to properly photograph this pen by the time I get a full review written.
Peyton Street Pens Ranga Zayante
I’ve been eyeing several pieces from Peyton Street Pens for a while now, and I’ve very glad I was able to hold out until the pen show to make my purchase. I had originally considered one of the clipless models, but this Zayante model really caught my eye. It’s a real beauty of a pen and an absolute steal for the price.
Yookers 549 Refillable Fine-liner
This was the only “mass production” type pen I bought at the show. What can I say, my curiosity knows no bounds. Yookers advertises this as the “first refillable felt-tip pen” (the tip is actually plastic, but it’s fine.) I picked up the least expensive of the three models available at the show and I’ve got to say, it shows promise.
Blackstone Ink – Lemur Lime
I’ve seen Blackstone ink at a number of retailers before, but never tried it out until now. I’ve been looking for a new green for some time, so when I tried this one out at the Lemur Ink table and had to bring a bottle home.
Joey Feldman Mysterious Super Secret Writing Fluid
I’m a huge fan of Joey Feldman’s work so this was an easy buy. It may have been an impulse purchase, but it went immediately into my Sailor Pro Gear Slim.
Monteverde Sweet Life Birthday Cake & Mango Mousse Ink
I saw these colors just before the show so I knew I had to look for them in person. Luckily they were available at one of the ink testing stations so I was able to shop smart. (aka. NOT buy a whole set.)
Nanami Seven Seas A5 Microdot Journal
It’s a big ol’ Tomoe River notebook of impeccable quality. Not much more to say about these that hasn’t been said already.
Curnow Bookbinding Hand-made Journal
Curnow Bookbinding was smart/lucky enough to get their table set up right at the show entrance, so every day I walked past these gorgeous hand-bound notebooks. Some had very distinctive leather and hide wraps, some precision-etched wooden covers, and some (like the one I bought) had their covers made from hold books.
I was sold on a journal made from the cover of a first edition Hardy Boys book. The book is filled with smooth lined fountain pen friendly paper, and I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to fill it with.
Yamatomo Paper Ro-Biki Note Notebooks
At first glance, these looked like your standard “traveler’s size” notebooks. What caught my eye at the Yamatomo Paper table, aside from the good-looking covers, as what they’re made of. The notebook covers are made of a very nice waxed paper that I imagine is going to age incredibly well.
Rickshaw Bagworks Pen Case & Sleeve (And stickers!)
I’ve had a single pen sleeve from Rickshaw Bagworks with me since Fountain Pen Day a year or two ago. It was an absolute delight meeting the maker of these fine pen protection products, and I grabbed a couple fantastic pieces in the process! Keep an eye out for a full review of these soon.
Skylab Letterpress Spirit Board and Coasters
These are just fun, I couldn’t help myself.