Nibs Blog


Dog Paradise

Each year, I consider what style and motif to use for our annual limited edition Anniversary Pen. Nakaya has created several very popular pens with cat motifs. But as a confirmed dog-lover (my wife and I are serial owners of five shepherd breed dogs in the past fifty years), I felt that a dog pen was long overdue.

A Flex Nib From Montegrappa

The Montegrappa Nazionale Marbled Green has arrived here with a very special Extra-Fine Flex nib - a Fine Flex nib is also available.  The pen itself has the look and feel of the late 1920's with its marbled and iridescent barrel and cap. The simple sterling cap and barrel band and solid silver clip are a step above what would have been available in a vintage pen. They would have been plated brass.

Craftsmanship Quarterly Features Fountain Pens

I opened the latest issue of Craftsmanship Quarterly, an online magazine dedicated to what the hand can create. This winter issue has a large segment on fountain pens and the crafts involved in specialty nibs. Several of our photos and ideas are beautifully presented here. Tim Redmond is a pen enthusiast who has done his homework and written the lead articles, pulling in information from a number of great pen people. The publication is a service to all those craftspeople who have put their dedication to craftsmanship ahead of financial security.

What I Did Not Know

My dad and grandpa both died in the same year, 1952.  I was just old enough to realize that I would be living with all women for a long time and that if I wanted to do boy things I would have to figure them out myself (this was an era of more segregated roles for boys and girls). I loved making things, especially anything mechanical. My mother realized this as well, so she gave me free range of the basement and area outside. Early on, I found my bliss in taking things apart and putting together stuff. 

End of Summer

The Coho Ferry leaves Victoria for Port Angeles, the second leg of our trip back to the nib works.

San Fransisco Pen Show, Celebrating a Community

Celebrating a community of pen and writing enthusiasts, the San Francisco Pen Show is known for easy-going fun that brings people together. Although commerce (trading, selling and buying) may seem like the main reason for this show, the part that makes me want to come back — and I have not been able to attend in several years — is the great group of people who put on this show and those who are attracted to the good spirits and vibrant atmosphere. 

Enduring Tools

A few days on Cortes Island puts me closer to the basics; wood heat, water from the well, and foraging wild mushrooms.  My wife found this hand maul ca. 1000 bc? a few years ago and took this picture of it with my well used wood splitting maul ca. 1970. This leads me to thoughts of tools that stand the test of time. We can fill our own world with throw-away items or hold dear and use a few quality objects including fountain pens. 


Kaweco Pens at

I remember seeing my first Kaweco fountain pen at a flea market in 1994 and wondering what that was.  Rare among pens in shoe and cigar boxes of the time which mostly contained Parker, Waterman's and other American made pens the Kaweco stood our for it's abbreviated size and extra long cap. I opened it discovering a very short body. But when I put the cap on the back of the barrel this faceted pen became a proper hand-full. I snapped it up and added it to a collection of pens that I knew little about.

Spencerian Script With The Pilot Custom 912 FA Nib

Returning from a recent vacation to a number of pens awaiting our nib customizations led me to think about the history of Spencerian script and its continuing popularity in the modern day. Spencerian script has a history now going back well over a hundred years, and it's delightful to see how fountain pens produced using the newest engineering can - with the help of our Spencerian modification - serve as an excellent tool for creating this graceful and elegant writing style.

Remembering Susan Wirth

I am deeply saddened by the unexpected death of Susan Wirth. She occupied a special place in the pen world and in my heart.

I will always hear that gravely voice saying, “Just go through those doors and get the chairs you need.” She knew where the extra chairs, tables, table cloths, extension cords and wall fasteners could be found, whether in her gear or from helpful hotel staff.