Posts filed under Atlanta Pen Show

2015 Atlanta Pen Show Recap

#NockBros Jeff and Kevin

#NockBros Jeff and Kevin

They say better late than never, right?

The 2015 Atlanta Pen Show was a full week ago at this point, and I feel like I am still coming down from the high. It was such an amazing experience that it has taken me this long to get the words out, much less get back on a normal schedule.

There are so many things to discuss about show weekend. Much of it we have covered on the podcast and there have been several wonderful recaps, but I wanted add a bit to the conversation, especially around the several hats I wore for three awesome days in April.

The Host

If there was one thing I was excited about above all else it was meeting people that I had only met online before. Myke Hurley and I were thrilled that our Kickstarter backers made this happen for us. After three years of recording it was about time we met! And that included having Ana Reinert fly in for the show as well, and the huge contingent of friends and readers who made the trip into town. This crowd sure knows how to travel!

The people were the highlight of the weekend for me. Talking, sharing, drinking, eating, and just being around a group as great as this provided me memories for a lifetime. Words fail to capture how truly great this experience was.

The Retailer

The pen show marked another first of course - the first ever Nock Co. table! It was thrilling, but not nerve racking. Ok, setting up Friday morning was nerve racking, but I am so confident in Jeff and the entire Nock team I knew we had plenty goods to sell through the entire three days of the show.

And sell we did. Being our first adventure I had no idea what to expect and therefore had no expectations on how it would go, much less how much we would sell. As it turns out, we sold a ton of goods and only ran out of one or two small items. That is a huge win all the way around.

Manning the show table wasn't the only Nock Co. activity scheduled for the weekend. We had a party to throw too! We wanted to make sure everyone who was in town for the show got a glimpse of where the magic happens, and despite the constant rain it was big fun. The Nock shop was packed, beer and pizza were consumed at a high rate, pen testing was going on, Field Notes were traded, raffle prizes were awarded, cases were sewn, and I even gave an impromptu little speech. It was nuts in all the right ways.

The Attendee

Finally, something I have done before! This was my third time attending the Atlanta Pen Show to shop, although I spent less time doing that this year than in years past. I think it is pretty obvious why at this point, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

My shopping was broken down into two parts: specific items I came for and general browsing. Friday was the day to handle the first part, and I am glad I did. I had my eyes on two new Franklin-Christoph pens they launched recently - the Model 66 Pocket and the Model 20 Marietta - and luckily they still had both available Friday afternoon. Yes, the show was that busy that F-C was getting low on stock Friday! I went with the Ice 66 or course, with a Mike Masuyama needlepoint nib. My 20 was all black, clipless, and sports a Masuyama fine cursive italic. Actually, the nib had to be sent to me post show, as they only had a few available since it is a new grind for them.

After that, I picked up a bottle of Sailor Bung Box Silent Night that my friends at Vanness Pens were holding for me. It is a rich, dark blue that I think I will like. And that's it for Friday. There was no time to browse with how busy the show and the Nock table were, and we had a party to get to anyway.

Saturday was a day I planned on no shopping as I knew it would be the busiest day of the show. That absolutely turned out to be the case. The only shopping I did was after seeing a nice used Lamy 2000 ballpoint bought by Joe from Gentleman Stationer. He mentioned the vendor had more, plus a 2000 multi pen, which after seeing the old school W. Germany stamped on the barrel came home with me.

A much needed rest day was had on Sunday, at least as much rest as one could have while manning a pen show booth. Traffic was steady all day but not crazy, so that afforded me the time to wander the show and see what else was out there. This is the best part of the show as an attendee. What will you stumble upon that you would never expect? For me, it was a pristine Pilot Custom black stripe steel barrel with an 18k nib from 1971. I did a double-take, thought about the price ($200) and decided to go for it. It was in such great shape I would have kicked myself if I left without it. Plus, I had the opportunity right there to have Masuyama give it the once over. At least that's how I justify the purchase to myself.

Four new pens, a bottle of ink, and three nib grinds later, my pen show shopping was complete. I'll be posting more on all of these pens in the future, as well as the amazing pen Mr. Hurley bought for me.


My only regret the entire weekend is that I didn't take more pictures. That's what happens when you are as busy as I was, but luckily everyone else who was there took some great shots. Everything else lived up to - and exceeded - any expectations I had. I'm not sure this weekend can be beat!

Posted on April 27, 2015 and filed under Atlanta Pen Show.

The Pen Show Experience

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

The Atlanta Pen Show was just this past weekend, and I'm already looking forward to the next one. This was my second pen show, but a totally different experience from the first. Through the incredible community we're lucky to call home, the year's show was an incredible example of how utterly fantastic the pen community is. Yes, there were numerous pens and stationery products, but the real treat and highlight was the people.

One quote comes to mind that perfectly sums the weekend up for me:

If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.

— Kurt Vonnegut, In These Times

It all started for me on Friday afternoon with a 4-hour drive through the backcountry of the Alabama/Georgia hills. After driving right by the Nock shop on the first try, I eventually parked and made it inside out of the rain. As many probably felt, it was surreal to be in the shop and see the people that resembled their avatars.

After about 10 minutes, I shook off the "I know you but it's super weird to actually see/hear you in person" feeling and started talking to people. I've met people from the internet 3 times now, and it's only gotten a little easier to comprehend in those first minutes. But, after a short while everyone is best friends and having a grand time.

There were several friends from last year that I already knew, but there were so many new faces this time. I was really excited to meet Myke and Ana since they're practically our cult leaders, and all the people I knew would be making the trip. I had the pleasure of meeting both Brad and Jeff at last year's show, but I was pleased to also meet Jeff's beard this year, as it wasn't able to attend last year. You can get lost staring into that thing...

The Nock party was fantastic. It was a bit rainy, but that didn't stop us from having a great time. There was pizza, beer, and so many great people. It was awesome to look around the room of people who only just met and see that everyone was lost in conversations about pens and other random topics. Don't know about everyone else, but it was extremely easy to find common ground outside of our shared fascination for writing instruments.

To be honest, I'm terrible at taking pictures at social gatherings. I get lost in a conversation and don't think to pull my camera or phone out for a quick snap. I didn't take any photos at the party, but luckily some other attendees had that covered. My Instagram is full of photos from the night, and Ana's Flickr page is full of awesome goodies.

Now, on to the pen show. Saturday was about the same size as I remember from last year, but there was a Nock booth in the first room to mix things up. I started off at the Franklin Christoph table to check out a Model 19, only to discover that it was a lot bigger than I had anticipated. After trying one out, I decided against it — which is a huge advantage of shopping at the show. Sometimes you have no idea that a pen is huge, tiny, or just awkward from the pictures you see online. This is a great opportunity to try things out and form opinions for later.

I stopped by the Karas Kustoms booth to check out the Ink (I hadn't bought one through Kickstarter or their store yet). It didn't take me long to pick out an Ink model — Joe Lebo commented on a red pen that I had picked up to try out. He said it was the Ironman, which confused me until I uncapped it and saw the copper section. It was an instant sale. Oh, and it was awesome to meet Dan in person. Super nice and funny guy.

After the Ink purchase, I headed over to the Nock table to say hello and pick up a few items. One of my favorite items was the Nock tri-camo TechLiner (short model). I never really saw the appeal of this pen until I handled one in person. It's such a cool pen because of the magnets and feel, and it actually is really comfortable to write with.

To speed things up a bit, just imagine walking between two large banquet halls several times and looking at hundreds of pens, inks, papers, and accessories while also talking to a couple dozen people along the way. It was exhausting. Once it was time for lunch, I had also acquired a nice Akkerman No. 8 ink - Deep Water Blue (gorgeous).

At some point, I had the pleasure of going to lunch with Dave, Sarah, and Doug. Everyone was super interesting and a pleasure to hang out with. In my mind, most conference-type events you attend are solitary. You go to the events and participate in any of the event-led discussions and then retreat back into your own world. This isn't the case at the pen show — you're always surrounded by friends.

Saturday afternoon/evening was all about showing, borrowing, trying, and talking about pens. We had a 15-foot table full of stuff. Like Brad explained on the podcast, it didn't matter what kind of pen it was, everyone was free (encouraged) to try it out and pass it along. Ana had her collection of Esterbrooks and Esterbrook nibs, there were $3 disposable fountain pens, dozens of inks, and even several Nakayas at some point. The full gamut of fountain pens was represented at this table. We love our pens, and we also completely trust each other with our treasures. It was a fantastic time, and we spent hours at that table talking and playing with pens.

For me, that was the highlight of the show. Hanging out with a dozen or so people at a time and talking about pens and life. The pens brought us together, but there was a deeper connection than that, and that was amazing and completely enjoyable.

I stuck around for a couple hours on Sunday morning before heading back. Like I told several people, I had mentally cut myself off from any more purchases on Saturday, but I somehow walked away Sunday morning with a new Franklin Christoph Model 40 Pocket (with a Masuyama fine cursive italic) and a Masuyama-tuned Ink nib. Not really sure how that happened (that's more story, and I'm standing by it).

The 2015 pen show was phenomenal, and easily one of best things so far about my 2015. It will take a lot to top this. I had so much fun meeting everyone and talking about the different things that came up outside of pens and paper. So many great memories, and I look forward to next year with happy anticipation.

In case you're wondering, here's what I walked away with after the show:

Posted on April 22, 2015 and filed under Atlanta Pen Show.

The Pen Addict Podcast: Episode 150 - Live from the Atlanta Pen Show

The first ever live and in person Pen Addict Podcast recording took place this past Saturday at the Atlanta Pen Show. This was the one event this past weekend that I was the least nervous about, and I think Myke, Ana, and myself delivered one of our best episodes yet.

Show Notes & Download Links

This episode of The Pen Addict is sponsored by: An easy and affordable way to help individuals and organizations learn. Free 10-day trial.

Pen Chalet: Use the code PENADDICT to save 10% on your order or click the ‘podcast’ link at the top of the website and enter the password 'penaddict' for even more savings, as well as your 10% off.

Massdrop: An online community for enthusiasts of all kinds.

Posted on April 21, 2015 and filed under Podcast, Atlanta Pen Show.

I Know It's Over, Still I Cling...

The 2015 Atlanta Pen Show is in the books, and it was amazing. Truly one of the best experiences of my life. I've just made it home and started to catch up on things, but it will still be slow going around here for a couple of days.

Jeff Abbott's pen show recap will be posted Wednesday this week, and mine will be up on the weekend. Until then other attendees reviews have started to roll in, so be sure to check them out:

Gentleman Stationer: Day 1, Day 2

The Well-Appointed Desk: Day 1, Day 2, Flickr Album

Johnny Anypen: Recap

Jeff from The Pen Addict: Recap

Dave Rea: Recap

Love Romance Tales: Pen Community and Acceptance

Reverenced Writing: Recap

Gear Compass: Recap

Pens'N'Coffee: Recap

Leigh Reyes: What not to do at a pen show

I'll add more as they pop up and definitely send me a note if I've missed one.

Posted on April 20, 2015 and filed under Atlanta Pen Show.