Posts filed under Atlanta Pen Show

2014 Atlanta Pen Show: The Experience

I know those people (Image via Mark Bacas)

I know those people (Image via Mark Bacas)

My Saturday at the Atlanta Pen Show was so great I feel that it deserves it's own title. I hereby dub it "The Experience", as in my experience was so awesome I will never forget it.

My day started out early. 5am alarm, out the door at 6am from Macon, GA to Sandy Springs, where I met my friend Aaron Mahnke from Wet Frog Studios and the Home Work podcast. We try to catch up in person at least once a year and I am glad we were able to make it happen again. I always learn a lot talking with him, but the highlight of our meal was when a group of guys rolled up in a Lamborghini, a Lotus, and two Aston Martins. The fifth guy rocked a Corvette - he must have been the personal assistant.

After my fill of blueberry granola pancakes I drove the 10 minutes over to the hotel where the pen show was located. I was a little early so I checked my Twitter feed and it was go time:

Pierce (@mysticalthing) @dowdyism just got my badge and waiting for the show to start! #atlpenshow

I headed inside around 9:30, paid my $8 entry fee, got my name badge, and headed over to talk to Pierce until the doors opened at 10. While we were chatting, long-time internet friend Grey Williams joined us, and I finally got to meet Heath Cates from Pen Paper Ink Letter in person. We were chatting about Field Notes and Heath's drive up from Auburn when the doors opened and we got our pen show on!

Mike Masuyama was in his usual spot - immediately to the left when you walk in the first door. I double-checked my name on his nib work list (#2!) and headed over to see Brian and Lisa Anderson to get my #LisaHug.

Meeting with the Anderson's was one of the highlights of my 2013 show and they were great again this year. We chatted for a while, I dropped off some Nock Co. goods and they gifted me a Field Notes America the Beautiful edition after listening to Episode 101 on their long drive down from Wisconsin. Hopefully Myke and I gave them a little entertainment!

Right when I left the Anderson's table I turned around to be greeted by the one and only Jeff Abbot, aka my savior. I'm not sure where this blog would be right now without his weekly post so I was excited he made the drive over from Alabama. He and I hung out for most of the day during the show as we browsed around.

Speaking of Alabama, John, aka Bamapen called me up to handoff two new cigar box storage cases I had on order. They turned out great as usual, and I guess you could say that was my first purchase of the day.

My second purchase came from Lisa Vanness from Vanness Pens. I had put two bottles of Akkerman Inks old hold before the show via Twitter and there they were behind the table with my name on it. Lisa and Wendi were super nice and liked the Nock Co. products I dropped of to them as well. I can't wait to see them again in the future.

By this time it is almost noon and I haven't looked a pen yet. I did get my Lamy 2000 nib tweaked again by Mike Masuyama, where my favorite picture of the show was taken by Heath:

Listen here Masuyama!

Listen here Masuyama!

Business was handled, now it was time to shop! I had my list committed to memory, which was easy because it was fairly short. I picked up two secret-for-now Franklin-Christoph pens and two nibs from the F-C table. Hopefully Myke will be happy with what I got him, but it is a secret until it arrives in London.

My largest single pen purchase of the day was a Visconti Opera Typhoon, a pen I have fawned over since its release. I actually had the Visconti Wall Street on my mind as my main purchase of the day but got a deal on the Typhoon I couldn't pass up. There is always next year for the Wall Street.

Typhoon warning

Typhoon warning

I also picked up a Waterman 52 with a flexy nib, another item from the shopping list. I'm in the process of giving it a good cleaning so I haven't fully tested it out yet. It looks great though.

The full loot list:

-- Visconti Typhoon Opera, F nib

-- (2) Secret F-C pens

-- Waterman 52, flex nib

-- (2) F-C nibs

-- (2) Bottles of Akkerman ink

-- (2) Cigar box pen cases

-- Mike Masuyama nib grind on Lamy 2000

-- Pendelton Brown nib grind on Pilot Custom Heritage 912 stub

-- Bottle of Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki

-- Bottle of Organics Studio Blue Merle

-- (2) Sailor convertors

-- (2) 12000 grit nib smoothing sandpapers

Bag Dump

Bag Dump

It was an amazing show for "stuff" but nothing I bought can compare with the experience I had and the people I met. I had several people introduce themselves to me throughout the day saying they read the blog and listen to the podcast. That was humbling, and cool. I am grateful for everyone who reached out and glad you came!

Post show meet-up. Getting WILD!

Post show meet-up. Getting WILD!

The pen show ended at 5pm, but the fun continued well after the doors closed. I set up an informal meet-up in the hotel bar where we showed off our purchases, nib work, and traded pen and life stories. Mark Bacas, one of the cogs in the wheel at the pen show and a friend of mine, showed up for a drink, along with the aforementioned Grey, Heath, Jeff, and Brian and Lisa Anderson. We were also joined by @heymatthew and my Nock Co. partner Jeff and his wife Rachel. What had tentatively been scheduled to end at 7pm went on until 8:30 when I HAD to get on the road. You can see more pictures of the meet-up on the Atlanta Pen Show Facebook page.

I learned more at this pen show than the last two combined. My most important takeaway is that friends and friendship are more important than any pen I own, or will ever own. Pens are the sideshow at an event like this. The people are the real reason to be there and even if I didn't have a dollar to spend it would have been an amazingly successful day.

What an experience.

Posted on April 14, 2014 and filed under Atlanta Pen Show.

2014 Atlanta Pen Show Meet Up

The 2014 Atlanta Pen Show is scheduled for Friday, Apr 11th through Sunday, April 13th. This will mark my third year in attendance and I cannot wait! Are you going to be there? If so I would love to meet you. I plan on being at the show all day Saturday (10a-5p) and will have an informal Pen Addict meet up in the hotel bar from 5p-7p.

Feel free to leave a comment here or get in touch via Twitter for more specifics. See you there!

Posted on April 6, 2014 and filed under Atlanta Pen Show.

2013 Atlanta Pen Show Recap - Part 2

(Read Part 1 right here)

One thing I have learned about fountain pens is that I don't want to buy without doing my homework. This sounds like common sense, but often times I get caught up in the moment, which is exactly why I went to the pen show with a plan. The Vacumatic was not part of that plan. Once I saw the amber glow of of this 3rd generation Silver Pearl model the plan changed quickly.

Parker Vacumatic

There were nearly as many Vacumatics available at the pen show as there were 51's, so I went into full research mode. The one I liked turned our to be a somewhat basic model, but the Silver Pearl seemed to be outnumbered by Emerald Pearl and Azure Blue models by about 10-to-1. The condition was great and I could not stop thinking about it. Welcome home my friend!

By now, it is almost 2 o'clock in the afternoon and it was finally my turn to sit with Mike Masuyama. I had a great talk with him and he was exceedingly helpful. He adjusted my Lamy 2000, my faceted Pilot Vanishing Point, and my just acquired Edison Pearl. I am thrilled with how all of them turned out. I learned a ton in my short time with Mike, so look for a full blog post on this topic alone in the near future.

This was a very successful show for me up to this point but there was a pen I had spotted earlier that I circled back on: the Pelikan M405. Pelikans were not even on my radar until a month or so ago when I received a couple to try out from Thomas. I used his M405 in all black and fell in love.

Richard and Barbara Binder had the full Pelikan line on display, so I was able to handle them to my hearts content. I did this on at least three different occasions, trying to make up my mind if I wanted one, and if so, which one it would be. Both the M405 models were available: All Black or Blue Striated. I was fairly certain I wanted the black (the green ink window is killer), but the more I came back, the better looking the Blue Striated model became. It was the winner and I am completely thrilled with it.

Pelikan M405

The Pelikan was by far my biggest purchase and just about tapped out my budget. That was good because it was almost 4pm at this time. I was tired, hungry, and ready to hit the road home.

The Atlanta Pen Show was a huge success not just for the pens I purchased but also the people I met and the knowledge I gained. I've said it before and I'll say it again - pen people are some of the nicest people on the planet.

Time to start the countdown - and the saving - for the 2014 Atlanta Pen Show!

Atlanta Pen Show Haul

Posted on April 16, 2013 and filed under Atlanta Pen Show.

2013 Atlanta Pen Show Recap - Part 1

The day I had been planning for since January finally arrived this past Saturday - it was Atlanta Pen Show time! My shopping list was ready, my car was fueled, and my bank account was emptied as I made my way an hour and a half north to the show.

I wanted to get there early because it was imperative I got in the queue for Mike Masuyama, lest I be there all day waiting for the nib work I wanted done. I arrived at 9:45 and put my name on the list. I was already 8th in line. Oh well, time for shopping!

As soon as I turned from Mike Masuyama's table, here comes Lisa Anderson from Anderson Pens to give me a big welcoming hug. I was happy to meet her right out the gate and her enthusiasm helped set the tone for what would be a great day. She is a real joy to talk to, as is Brian, who I met as he manned the four packed Anderson Pens tables.

Esterbrook J 9550

One of my goals this show was to purchase an Esterbrook from Brian. He went through the various models and nibs and I settled on a beautiful blue Esterbrook J and swapped in a 9550 (EF) nib. I also picked up a couple of bottles of ink I wanted to try out, including the interesting Scribal Work Shop Cryptid Siren Blue.

After the Andersons, I made my way around the remainder of the show, making sure I gave every table a good once-over before making my next purchase. Right when I was rounding the last corner of the second ballroom I spotted a few Edison Pens. Many dealers stocked the Production Line Edison pens but I happened upon a single Signature Line Pearl snuck between a few others. I inquired on what turned out to be a blue/black swirl ebonite Edison Pearl, the price was good, and it was mine.

Edison Pearl Blue/Black Swirl Ebonite

During my lap around the show I checked out dozens of Parker 51's. I was pretty sure one would be coming home with me, but I never found the perfect match. Many were in rough shape, and I had been spoiled already by the one Thomas loaned me. So, I passed on the 51, but a different Parker caught my eye - the Vacumatic.

To be continued ...

Posted on April 15, 2013 and filed under Atlanta Pen Show.