Thank you to umamom for submitting this pen show report. Umamom is also responsible for creating a Bad Cartoon that I very much enjoyed. Check it out here. Still waiting on that next cartoon, by the way. -Dan
Since the FPGeeks weren’t able to make it to the SF Pen Show, here is an unofficial, unsolicited, unexpected report from an unappointed and undeniably female field agent:
5 Things I learned at my first pen show
1. Pace yourself. Not every pen amongst thousands cannot be handled in a single day, just like you can’t try on every pair of shoes at Nordstrom’s in a single day.
2. Beware the shiny pens in the fancy wood boxes. There be lots of zeros there.
3. Flirt just a bit with the Nib meisters to maximize the butter factor on your adjustment: a smile goes a long way with men who’ve traveled a long way.
4. Do sample, handle, admire, and praise the goods. i.e. It’s OK to spend an hour trying out all 16 sample pens at the Sailor Specialty Nibs table (I hope).
5. If you bring money, curiosity and sensible shoes, you will leave with a smile that will make you look 5 to 10 years younger (relative to how many pens you bought, of course!)
And a word of advice to prevent the all too familiar buyer’s remorse:
Go home and complete this sentence in your diary or ink journal: Today I bought a _________ and a ____________ and a ___________ to go with my _______________ for the _________________ because a girl can never have too many ____________. Repeat as needed.
5 Things my boyfriend learned at his first pen show:
1. If you do not have a lot of time, send your girlfriend in early and receive Instagram dispatches from the front to stay in touch with the scene. A picture is worth a thousand texts.
2. Keep your eyes open for cool tools (as well as pens) on the list that you did not prepare ahead of time, despite your girlfriend’s advice. A guy who always needs tools never puts them on a ‘list’.
3. If you work near the pen show venue, don’t drop in at lunch and expect to be productive back at work in the afternoon. Just call in sick.
4. Don’t drool directly on the dorsal fin Maki-e … it’s frowned upon. Bring a tissue or use your sleeve.
5. There is more nibbage at a pen show than cleavage, so you do not need your bifocals. You can use that empty shirt pocket space for pens.
PS: The world’s greatest girlfriend will surprise you with a pencil to match your vintage Esterbrook J if you let her wander off on her own.
TWSBI 540 in Amber, with Pendleton ‘butter cursive italic’
Waterman 56 BCHR, NOS
Monteverde Prima with 1.1 Stub
Platinum Maki-e Cranes, with Mike Masuyama adjustment
Can you spot the misidentified pen?