Testimonials Archive 2003

John and Pat,

The Pelikan arrived today and it is wonderful. I never would have chosen a stub for my foray into customized nibs without Pat's patient advice, and I'm so glad that I did. The write is smooth and even, but with significantly more character than a regular medium nib. The ink flow is immediate, but without soaking the paper. You can be sure you'll be hearing from me again when the time comes to further my collection.

Thanks again,

Russell Heath(12/12/03)

Hi Pat and John! 
I wanted to wish both of you and yours the happiest of holiday and new years greetings from a new "Raving Fan". The reworked nib on my Vanishing Point has far surpassed my expectations for writing pleasure. While you generally discourage my kind of italic nib for every day writing---at least for me it makes my extensive daily notations FUN, CLASSY, and EXPONENTIALLY NEATER! And by the way, I find the precise tactile smoothness of my italic nib, much more desirable than my regular smooth as glass stock medium point. I can always use my fast-messy-writing ball points and rollerballs for quick jottings. So..don't sell the talic point short for every writing for special customers, they could be missing out on a whole new writing experience. 

Finally, I will never "sell short" the outstanding professional, courteous service you have given me and I sense all your customers. 

Stan Goldstein (12/24/03)


I just received my Pelikan M800 with the fine cursive italic nib. After using it for the past hour, I can honestly say that I am truly impressed. You do outstanding work! I have never used a fine nib, let alone italic, which writes so beautifully. It is very smooth, which is important to me, yet still is crisp. I have custom nibs from other suppliers but not one comes close to the performance of yours. Great work...

Kirk H. Edelman (12/30/03)

"Pat and John, 
I received my pen yesterday, and I must say, "It's a beauty!" When I got home, I was anxious to dip it in ink and give it a try. I was not disappointed! The pen writes beautifully-- very smooth and just the right ink flow. It will be my everyday writer. Thanks so much for your attention to detail to get everything just right. As always, your work is exemplary. Thanks so much. 
Richard Farrington" (11/18/03)

Mr. Mottishaw,

I received the package today. The pen writes like a dream! I can't believe the difference in how it writes now versus before I sent it to you. Your work is absolutely outstanding. I won't even think of considering anyone else for any work I may need done in the future. You are a gifted craftsman.

Thank you very much.

Richard Carlino (10/31/03)

John and Pat,
I received my Patrician today in good shape. I was very happy with the restoration job and amazed at how great the pen looks. The bent nib now looks beautiful and writes real sweet.I can't even tell where you removed the engraving and everything polished up so nice! John, you are truly a master at your craft, and I really appreciate your attention to detail to get everything just right. Thank you for getting this back to me so fast- it was a pleasant surprise!!
Much thanks,
Richard (Farrington, 12/1/03)


I just picked p the Paragon waiting for me on my front porch. Inked it and now I am another one among very happy customers of yours. The attention and care you took to provide me with a great pen really exceeds my expectation. It turns out that medium nib is perfect for me as well as the ink flow. And I want to say thank you very much.

Now, after all the mistakes I made (as well as wasted money) with other pen shops, I know where to buy my future pens...

Thanks again,

il kim (12/4/03)

My word! Are there really still businesses like you left in America? Quick superb service. Stands by your work. Wow!

The VP is PERFECT! Not a note of singing and brilliant smooth line. I could not be more pleased. It warms my heart to see that pride and craftsmanship still flourish – and in LA of all places!!


Scott D. Nelson (10/30/03)

Dear Pat:

The Pen came yesterday, and it's excellent - Thanks so very much for this! (the gold nib, by the way, is without any question the best nib I've ever written with, so I'll keep the steel nib stored away as a backup.) I'm really very pleased..


Sean (10/30/03)

Ed. Note: this arrived as a hand-written letter:

Hello John...

I thought I'd take a minute to write you a note to let you kow just how pleased I've been with my Namiki Vanishing Point/italic nib combination. It's been the perfect combination of form and function; the vanishing point is ideal and most convenient for notetaking during meetings & court work, and keeps the ink from drying, while the custom shaping you effected on the nib is exactly the style I had hoped for in my writing....

Best regards,

Adam Brener (10/31/03)


I have been writing with the pen for a few weeks now. You did a
spectacular job! It is the most amazing pen I have ever written with. Its hard to believe that you could achieve that considering the nib you started
with. I used to have a pen rotation among my user pens. I can't bring myself to rotating this one back into the case.

Thank you!

John T. (10/25/03)

Thank you so much for your excellent nib regrind and repair of my Waterman #7. Without doubt, this is the finest work I have seen and best of all, it works perfectly. It has gone from an occassional user pen to an every day writer! The italic nib cuts a fine line and the ink flow adjustment suits this nib well. Best regards...Mark Druash (10/23/03)


Perhaps understandably, I had a little trepidation about purchasing a pen with a custom nib from a web-site and a company that I hadn't dealt with before . Clearly there can be no opportunity to try-before-you- buy; however, the extensive information to be found on your site instills confidence that proved to be well-founded. The Pelikan pen arrived this morning and looks as elegant as I had imagined. I've just finished a 15 minute test drive and wanted you to know that the nib is wonderful, the ink flow is better than any pen I've owned and that I am a very happy customer with a new pen which I am sure has just become an all-time favorite. Now if only the Yankees can win game 7 it'll be a perfect day!

Chas Bernstein(10/16/03)


I just wanted to write and thank you for the work you did on my Carad d'Ache fountain pen. Since I have gotten it back from you it is now my favorite pen and the best writer I have. Not sure what you did, but I do know that any pens I get from here on in that do not write the way I think they should will be sent to you immediately for renovation.

Again, thanks for a true Master Craftsman's job on this pen.

--Peter Brooks(10/9/03)

Dear Pat:

I have to write again about the cursive italic nib that John made for my pen. It is spectacular! I've used it for several days now and can tell that it will become my everyday nib. It makes my less than stellar writing look beautiful and even my printing has more panache.

Lucinda Gaston (9/20/03)

Hi John and Pat

Just got my Ancora's back this afternoon and all I can say is PERFECT. I hate to admit this but I'm glad the pen jumped out of my hand and buried its nib in that hard wood floor and caused me to have to send it in for repairs. Both nibs are wonderful and I honestly can't tell which one was the damaged one and which one was the one I just didn't like how it wrote. John, whatever cut it was you put on those nibs fits my writing style exactly. I hope you kept a record of it so when I get a green ancora at the next pen show you can retro-fit the nib to match these two. To me this is like magic...I can't believe the difference. Love it....Rh (9/19/03)

(Ed: this arrived as a hand-written note and concerns a Waterman's Carene and Ideal)

Dear John,

What can I say - I've been Mottishawed. I love this pen like I never knew I could. I love the other one too. They are both so smooth, so perfect, so addicting. I can't put this one down. You have another very satisfied customer. Now the problem, what next.... I will send more. I just have to prepare myself - like sending a child to college. Til next time,


Pam (Murray, 9/22/03)

Where have you been my whole life?

I received the Omas desk pen (for which you have worked miracles.)... It is wonderful. . .absolutely wonderful! I hate you. Now I have to go through my pens, my Father's pens and my Grandfathers pens and figure out what I want to use or make more useable. It's no wonder you are kept in hiding and protected by the lovely woman that controls the phone. . . you are obviously a scriptological genius, a national treasure and the CIA must be scared to death that the Russians will kidnap you (I know that dates me.) Never the less, the pen is perfect and, now I understand, one of the few I own that actually writes as smoothly and comfortably as it should. Thank you, John. I look forward to sending some more to you. . .that is if the Russians don't get to you first.

CWD (9/15/03)

Dear Pat,

It (Ed: Parker 51) arrived safely and Writes wonderfully. Many thanks for such extremely pleasant, competent and thorough service. You definitely represent a form of service which is all too rare.

Best wishes to you and John... many, many thanks for restoring this instrument.

David (Van Horn, 9/12/03)

Pat, The Pelikan tortoiseshell arrived yesterday and I couldn't be more pleased. The pen is absolutely gorgeous. I can't imagine why they no longer make them. I had some doubts about modifying a fine nib to cursive italic but, as I had hoped, it is perfect for my small handwriting. In short, I love the look, the feel, and the performance of the pen. Please convey my thanks and appreciation to John. As usual, your help was invaluable and I look forward to speaking with you when next the urge to own just one more pen strikes.
Best regards,
Charles Evans(9/12/03)

John and Pat,

I received the modified Omas Arco Brown Celluloid and the Omas 360 75th anniversary last week..... The Arco Brown Celluloid is superb. The line variation is noticeable and quite elegant. The flow is perfect for my writing style. It has skyrocketted to the top of my list of favorite writers.

I also am having a lot of fun with the Omas 75th 360. The line is indeed broad, but is great to write with. I like the bold smooth style of this pen. The commercial angle seems fine for me as well. Let me write with it for another few months and I will let you know if I still like it or whether I wish to modify it at all.

Thanks for your help. I look forward to doing business with you again.

Terry Sheppard (8/19/03)

Just a quick note to say I received the Omas 360 and am very pleased on first impressions. Nice flow, just enough rotation to ensure perfect contact (less than I thought I needed - thanks for the precision!), and no hint of skipping or hesitation and of course that buttery smooth nib. In other words all the best characteristics of an Omas without their occasional QC headaches you get buying from elsewhere. Thanks again John and Pat !

DM (8/19/03)

Just a note to let you know I recieved the Waterman pen Friday. It's great !!!! I love it. The pen writes beautifully. It feels like I've moved from a lumbering gray elephant to a cheetah. Now the challenge is to harness the cheetah. But, I look forward to it!

Marti(Zinbergs, 8/18/03)

Hi John/Pat,

Well, I am stuck at home working on the computer so I was here about 10 minutes ago when the UPS guy arrived. So of course I took a break from work to load the cartridge and give it a whirl. I do really like the way it makes my penmanship look more expressive, (sorta the southern California version of fountain pen plastic surgery to make it look better than it was....ha ha). So thanks again for the quickness, taking the time to chat with me about all the choices,etc. Now that interest rates are up perhaps my appraising business will die down (hopefully not too much) so that i have time to write some letters with the sharp new blue carbonesque custom hot rod courtesy of THE NIB MAN,

best wishes, James umgelter(8/15/03)

John and Pat,

My red demonstrator arrived Tuesday as scheduled. I had to be on campus that day because of all the trouble with the WORM. It kept me busy all 
that day and most of Wednesday verifying that I had eliminated it from my two computers at home. This duty did not keep me from trying out the oblique fine nib that John perfected. I know you claim not to be able to perform miracles, but putting an oblique grind on a fine nib is nothing short of fantastic. It has the same appearance as the other oblique nibs (medium, broad, and double broad) John has done for me, only thinner. I hope my students appreciate it as much when I get carried away grading their quizzes and exams.

Thanks very much for your skills and attention to detail in handling my writing needs. Many people complement me on my handwriting (something I thought I'd never hear in my younger years). I merely tell them it's all in the pen, because with a ball point my writing just does not look the same.

With best regards,

Don (Robinson, 8/15/03)

I received the m805 & have to say it is fantastic! I think you were right to suggest giving the nib a limited amount of flex initially; as I find I can write with it in a fairly "fearless" way, without worrying too much about bending it beyond the point of no return!

Interestingly I found that I was instinctively writing in cursive, something I tend not to do (as no-one can read it!).

I am really impressed that the nib was just right the moment it hit the paper and I felt instantly that I had been using the pen for years - thanks again...
Jolyon (Wright, 6/27/03)

I received the pen yesterday. It is more than I expected. I filled it up this afternoon and it writes great. Thank you for suggesting the vanishing point and for all of your patience and help! I look forward to doing business with you again in the future. Thank You.

Nick Newton(6/26/03)

Pat and John,
Two, count 'em, two Pelikan demonstrators rec'd in prime condition on Tuesday. Been scribblin' with them ever since (Aurora blue) and trying to learn the best way to write with a stub nib. Fun, fun, fun. 
thanks very much; time and money well spent!


Bob Hawley(6/26/03)

Pat, John, et al:

Just received my repaired Waterman and am VERY pleased. Many thanks for resurrecting it from its near-death experience. Writes smooth as silk and the blackened rubber looks so much better.


Bob Johnson
Crescent City, CA(6/26/03)


Pens arrived exquisite and lovely. Me go play now.

Thank you for dwelling in this universe now.


Carmen (Hermosillo, 6/26/03)

I got my nib today. It is wonderful! 
When I was young, my money was supposed to go towards wine, women and song. That plan didn't always come to fruition. Now that I am MATURE I can spend my few extra coins on pens and nibs. Now that I know where to get guaranteed excellent nibs, I am more confident that my hopes (and ink lines) won't be dashed.
Thank you for an excellent purchase and super service.
Rich Canova (6/26/03)

I had no idea that my favorite flexible nib styles of the 1920's-30's could be recreated today, starting from modern, firm nibs. You have truly satisfied me with these two creations (Ed: M600 and M800 14K nib units with our added flex modifications), and I am very happy with them.

Warm regards,

Budd (Parrish, 6/19/03)

"Dear Pat & John -

The Venice Blue Paragon is my dream pen! Big, beautiful, and blue. Lightweight and the smoothest fine nib that needs only the lightest touch - just the way I like it! Yes, I'm happy with it.

Truly, Elizabeth Wilde" (in a written note on 5/20/03)


I am delighted with the stub nibs you created from my Pelikan 800 BB and Namiki V.P. B units. The exceptional smoothness of these nibs has been retained while the line variation is wonderful. This is exactly what I wanted! I would say more but am reluctant to raise the specter of magic. However, dictionary.com does provide a definition (#2) for Wizard that is ... "a skillful and clever person" ... will that do?

Much appreciation,

George Feyerabend(5/17/03)

The nib arrived yesterday and I installed it last night.

Another fine job. It took only about half page or so of writing to “understand” how the new nib works. It’s very smooth, starts first time every time and I really like the look of the line it produces. Heck, it even makes MY printing look good.

Thanks again for the great work.

Jim (McCool, 5/15/03)

Just a brief note to let you know the Pelican M 1000 fountain pen arrived this afternoon in perfect condition. It's an absolutely beautiful instrument, the nib just glides so very smoothly over the page and writes absolutely magnificently; it's exactly what I wanted. I own several fine pens but I believe I could not have asked for one better than this, thanks to John's skill and expertise with nibs. I am thrilled to add it to my collection but plan to use it on a daily basis of course. Thanks so much Pat to both John and yourself for an excellent service provided in such a warm, friendly, knowledgeable and professional way.
David (Wright, 3/26)

John & Pat,

My 100N feed unit with replacement gold nib arrived today, and I love it. There is nothing quite like combining the history and feel of a late 1930's fountain pen with the comfort and reliability of a modern gold nib, fitted and adjusted by the Mottishaw team.

I tore into the packaging the moment I got home for work, put the nib into the pen and filled it. What a great feel. The ink flow is great, and it is wonderfully smooth on paper. Of course, its so much better than the old steel CN nib, which felt like I was writing with a rusty nail.

You guys have once again demonstrated why your reputation is as deservedly high as it is....

Feel free to use this note as a testimonial.

Thanks again,

John Davidson(3/26/03)

Hello Pat and John,

The Moore Midnight blue pen arrived. What a splendid restoration it is ! I think this pen will surely be one of my treasures.Thank you very much!

Best Regards,

Kei Wakiji (3/25/03)

(Ed: CP5 & CP6 with italic customizations)

I am more satisfied than I could expect to be.

The details:

The line which the pen produces is much more elegant than I believed it would be, and it is so smooth to write with. Regular nibs are scratching the paper much more thsi one does.

The overall impression:

It seems that these are the only pens that I will need for the rest of my life.

Best regards,

John (Christensen, 3/24/03)

I have received them .

I am much satisfied with your work .

I could not feel better !

Thank you very much . (H. Sakuma, Japan)

Dear Pat and John:

Considering the number of pens I have gotten from you in the last six to seven months it is only right that I write and tell you how wonderful I think they are. I have just received the Pelikan M850 and the OMAS Saffron Blue celluliod. I am particularly impressed with the OMAS. It is much more interesting "in the flesh" than in any picture. As you know, I have several of the OMAS celluloid pens and in addition to being wonderful writing instruments they are works of art that enhance the writing experience. The Saffron Blue is a welcome addition to my collection.

This is not to ignore the Pelikan. It is a wonderful pen and the nib is superb, exactly what I had in mind. It is just that my focus is on the
OMAS since I knew what the Pelikan was going to look like but was not sure about the OMAS.

I appreciate the fact that you thoroughly check out and adjust each pen to my specifications before shipping it. I do not have a collection of uninked pens. A good high quality pen is a tool that I use and enjoy. But it has to be "right". Your pens are "right". They have nice smooth nibs, correct ink flow and do not leak, beyond the beauty of the pen, this is what is important to me.

The enjoyment I derive from having and using these beautiful tools is no greater than the pleasure of my transactions with you both. I have a mental list, I imagine most of us do, of the individuals and businesses with which we deal that we think are tops in professionalism and pride in their product. You are at the top of my list.

Very best wishes,

Stuart Houston (3/19/03)

Pat and John:

Incredible (Ed: an Omas Paragon with Broad cursive italic customization). John is an absolute Master. I love it, absolute Perfection. The service you gave me Pat leaves me speechless.

Thanks so much.

Mike (Farha, 3/17/03)


I received the nib yesterday that you reground for me. It is a tremendous improvement. It writes smoothly and there is no skipping at all. Thanks for being so understanding with a real newcomer. Your willingness to take time in your busy schedule to talk and then to make this nib right makes it clear why you enjoy the respect of all others in the pen community.

Thank you,

Steve Blanks(2/9/03)

Dear Pat,
the pens are here, safe and sound (Editor's note: Pelikan M800s, one Red, one Green, with our formal italic customizations). After I had tested them, I went out to the local software mart and bought a copy of the new Dullword Adulation Reduction Program. I takes out all traces of adulation, praise, expectation of miracles, and blush stimulators by eighty-three point seven percent. After all we don't want to embarrass John. Before I switch it on, let me say that it was great to hear from you....
Love, Bill

John Mottishaw,
The pens you repaired are here. They are all right. I guess I was pleased to
have them back. They are working as well as they ever did which is
moderately all right, if not just a little more than moderately. But not a
great deal. Some. You did a little more than an all right job. But not a great deal. Some. They were done in by Higgins Eternal. I find it somewhat hard to believe that I was so g..d.... stupid as not to realize that waterproof means not soluble in water. Well, thank you from the top part of my heart where the tubes come in from my liver for getting them back in fairly good shape with only satisfactory service and not too long a delay. It means something to me. But not a great deal. Some. Don't you think you should change it to the 'nibjourneyman?' With some regards, but not a great deal. Some.
Have an ordinary Easter. William Congdon.

Pat, tell him that I wanted to sign it Bill, but Dullword doesn't allow it. The pens are themselves and wonderful. It's like a miracle, but for God sake, don't tell John that. B

(then, from his authorization-to-post email:)

[Dullword on]
Dear Pat, I guess it would be all right. Sort of. Maybe I'd be just a little proud to be on the nibjourneyman site. But not a lot. Some. Please add a line about the Pens being sort of pretty?
[Off] Love. [On] William Congdon (April 17, 2003)

Dear John and Pat.
Well, Steady On! is here. And very beautiful. The blue is a lovely shade -- truly. Please notice that I am not using Dullword. I just have had enough of that and John will have to deal with what's coming to him, not some but a great lot.
The nib is exactly right. The point of the exercise (as it were) was to get a normal size line and therefore, an everyday page, in short, to establish the real size of my handwriting. SO! does exactly that. What I write with it looks right and feels right -- the true way it should be. It is a sort of strange sensation to see one's hand in its correct size. The other two pens allow me to augment the standard. As for the shaping and sensitivity of the nib they are miraculous and perfect (Ha, John, take that!) 
I spent much time writing the same line in the three sizes. They look balanced and in correct proportion to each other. Very pleasing.
So once again, you have done a fine thing for me and I am truly grateful.
Of course every time I pick one of the pens up I shall think of my good friends in California.
I guess this finishes our current business. I have precisely what I need and want. (How often can one say that?) I shall stop by the site from time to time to say hello.
So au revoir. I wish good things for you both -- all of them. And finally, 'thank you.'

John is the nibmaster.

I have been using fountain pens since the first grade (about 50 years). When I tried my Stipula with the recently reground nib I realized that I have wasted my life! ;-) (Stephan Miller, 02/04/03)

"I received my Omas Saffron Blue fountain pen on Friday. I really like how the colors blend together and how effortlessly the nib moves across the paper. This is a beautiful writing instrument -- thank you. Again I also want to thank you for your prompt and courteous service. Hopefully in the future I will call upon your outstanding personal services again.

Respectfully Yours, Bruce Lewis" (1/26/03)

Dear John,

I received the nibs today, and I am, to say the least, extremely happy. The Pelikan nibs have a truly vintage feel and line, and are just outstanding. I had expected the nibs might look a bit funny due to the adjustment, but this is not even remotely so. The nibs look great. The Namiki Vanishing Point oblique is a double surprise, as the pen is now a much more comfortable writing instrument, and the line variation is far more than I expected considering the small nib size. You have a formidable reputation in the fountain pen community, and I now know that your reputation is fully deserved. Thank you...for a set of nibs that exceeded my high expectations.

Rick Witter(1/24/03)

Dear John -----

Very few things in my experience live up to expectations; however, in 
the case of my new pen it is truly a fine piece of work (Ed: a Pelikan m600 with our cursive italic modification). I have given it a good workout this evening and am completely satisfied with your craftsmanship. You have a new customer for Classic Fountain Pens, Inc. I'll spread the word. Thank you to you and Pat for such quality service.

Jim Huse (1/22/03)

Guess what arrived just now, yes, my wonderful pen (Editor: M1000 with 3B cursive italic customization). I am speechless, it is so lovely, and sooooo smoooooth and sweeeet! I have tried it... and calligraphy and expressive handwriting has been a wonder.

Thank you so much for your patience, and for doing exactly what I was asking for.....

All they say about your nibsterbility is true with bells on John!!!

Sincerely, in awe,

Chris" (Cull, 1/20/03)

(Second message from Chris, same day:) 
I tried the other nib (Medium with "sharpish stub" customization)... I have never, ever, had a medium nib like this - the BBB is wonderful, and I will need to practice my calligraphy with it, the two together are all I dreamed they would be, and more.

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