Nibs Blog

The Pen vs. The Keyboard

Breaking news: There is good reason to believe using fountain pens is good for your health. 

I am guilty of neglecting my favorite pens in favor of key punches or thumb touches. It turns out that I should feel guilty. There is growing evidence that the way we communicate with ourselves and others can make us happier or not.  Yes, the keys are so fast and searchable, but there is nothing like a piece of paper and a wet line to soothe and connect. 

Los Angeles Pen Show Seminar 2018: Fantastic Nibs

This is a preview to the seminar I'll be giving on Saturday February 17, 2018 at the Los Angeles Pen Show – I'll be looking forward to delving deeper into this subject matter and answering questions as well.

We Always Wanted the Lamy 2000

For years we tried to get the Lamy 2000 into our stable but were told that we did not qualify as we do not have a bricks and mortar store.  Thankfully something changed so now we are able to see new Lamy 2000 pens in our shop.  As we have done many repair jobs on these nibs we were well aware of what a beautiful and functional design this pen is.

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.