It's all about the written word...

Celebrating three years in publication. Thank you for visiting often!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mocha, anyone?

Crafted at the Conway Stewart manufactory in Devon, England, the Belliver Mocha special edition is limited to 50 numbered fountain pens and rollerball pens. Available to order now until July 25, 2011, the Conway Stewart Belliver Mocha fountain pen is filled by cartridge or convertor and has an 18-karat gold nib available in six styles: fine, medium, broad, italic fine, italic medium and italic broad. Orders will be fulfilled on a first-come-first-served basis, and no orders will be accepted after July 25. This mocha resin will not be repeated on this model thereafter and will not be available as a bespoke pen. The fountain pen is priced at $430, and the rollerball pen, $395.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tibaldi for pen collection!

The Tibaldi for Bentley Supersports pen collection is just one of the perks of owning a BentleyTo represent the spirit and soul of the Continental Supersports, Tibaldi has developed a series of writing instruments that speak in the design language of the vehicle. According to Giuseppe Aquila, CEO of Tibaldi, “The close collaboration between our engineers and Bentley’s design team of Robin Page, head of Interior Design, and Jonathan Punter, resulted in the creation of an outstanding pen, which encapsulates the features of Bentley’s most powerful car ever.” Each pen features Tibaldi’s unique pocket clip, and every writing instrument adheres to Tibaldi’s respect for the Divine Proportion, the ratio between the pen’s cap and the visible portion of the barrel when the pen is closed, equalling the ratio of 1.618. The carbon fiber collection (with titanium trim) is limited to 630 fountain pens and 630 rollerball pens. The number of pieces manufactured corresponds with the horsepower of the Continental Supersports. Founded in 1916, Tibaldi has been creating fine writing instruments for almost a century. The brand is owned by the Elmo & Montegrappa company.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

S.T.Dupont’s Défi Grille

The new Défi “Grille” finish from S. T. Dupont, which draws its inspiration from sports car designs, features a pierced metal exterior over its composite palladium frame. Writing is smooth, thanks to a new generation of patented ballpoint ink gel that produces soft, clear-cut, precise and fluid writing.

Défi writing instruments are available in a fountain pen, ballpoint pen (with a patented ballpoint ink gel refill), and rollerball, each with a palladium finish.  Défi, first introduced a few years ago, won worldwide acclaim and numerous awards for its styling and technical design. The collection is  available at better retailers.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Coming in September...Sheaffer expands Intensity

Sheaffer is adding four new contemporary finishes, available in September, to the Intensity line: a Medici engraved chrome finish with chrome-plate trim, a fluted chrome finish with chrome-plate trim, a carbon fiber barrel with bright chrome cap and chrome-plate trim, and a white barrel with engraved chrome spiral cap and chrome plate trim. This totals ten finishes in all in the Intensity line at this time. Prices range from $65 to $95.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sheaffer Pen Museum Opens in Fort Madison, IA

The grand opening of the Sheaffer Pen Museum is taking place today and tomorrow, June 17 and 18. The Museum, located in Ft. Madison, Iowa, the home of the original Sheaffer factory, is destined to preserve the archives and memories that are uniquely Sheaffer. 

The weekend will include narrated tours of local Sheaffer landmarks, raffles and a celebration fundraising dinner at the Ivy Bakeshoppe and Café on the site of the first Sheaffer pen factory.

The Sheaffer Pen Museum, a not-for-profit corporation, is located at 627 Avenue G, in Fort Madison. If you wish to make a donation, write PO Box 392, Fort Madison, IA 52627-0392.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

He's going to hear from me...

My daughter and son-in-law had a son a few months ago, and I’ve already started writing him letters. I started writing when he was just a month or so old, and I sent him a thank-you note a few weeks ago for a lovely gift “he” sent me. I used printed block letters rather than script, but I’m really not sure why. I think the impetus for all the writing (besides the fact that I love to do it) was a box of letters I recently found from my mother to our daughter. They span many years, starting with short notes to her when she was just a wee one, to cards and letters to her while in college—and everything in between. There were congratulatory notes for good grades and other accomplishments, birthday letters, and even a note referencing a few dollars enclosed for a lost baby tooth, money long gone but the sentiment still very much intact. What really touched me was the familiarity of my mother’s hand and how it changed over the years according to our daughter’s age, from printing to measured script to Mom’s usual hurried scrawl signifying that our daughter was indeed old enough to decipher it. My Mother has always had too much living to do to worry about perfectly formed letters. The whole of them form a loving written chronicle of their relationship for a couple of decades, and they are priceless.
            I tried to immortalize other notes a few years ago. When my husband and I were planning our daughter’s wedding, we exchanged literally hundreds of emails with her since we live so far from one another. Some were hilarious. Some were quite serious. Each was so poignant in its own way.  I thought I’d print them and bind them as a first anniversary gift, but I never did. Email addresses changed, inboxes got overburdened, and they ultimately and easily found their way to that cyberspace graveyard via the delete button. So whatever your feelings about technology, pens and writing, there’s a timelessness and gravity in the written word that conjures the past and offers up the future like nothing else. And it defies deletion. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Take a walk to Runcible Spoon

While in Providence recently, I visited one of my favorite spots, Runcible Spoon. It is located at 195 Wayland Avenue, just minutes from Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design in historic Wayland Square. During a brief chat with the owner, I learned that the interior store space was designed and built by her sons, and each display case was made and finished by hand--perfect to hold the myriad cards, stationery and pens the store has to offer. Runcible Spoon has been in Providence since 2003 (the Newport location closed recently), and it is a fun place to wander. I was impressed by the unique greeting cards, many from small and independent card makers, and the array of gorgeous letterpress stationery (and Lamy pens). Invitations and personal stationery are mostly from William Arthur, Tag & Co. and Crane. Greeting cards and boxed sets of stationery (and other paper goods) are from Rag and Bone, Joshua Graham, Caspari, Driscoll Designs, Saturn Press, Meri Meri, FilofaxCrane and many more. But why the name? The store also carries great tabletop items and gifts. This is a must-see store if you're ever in the area, and be sure to stop at one of the great coffee and sandwich shops within walking distance.

Photography by Emily Olson.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tribute to the Mont Blanc

Montblanc is honoring Europe’s iconic summit and its namesake with a collection of writing instruments, jewelry and leather goods. And because Montblanc believes in the importance of preserving the natural beauty of this mountain region for future generations, the sale of the Tribute to the Mont Blanc Collection will support projects and organizations that work toward the protection and maintenance of it.

The Pen
While the ergonomic shape of the original design has been maintained, the Meisterstück Tribute to the Mont Blanc has been transformed from black to a pure white lacquer paying tribute to the snow-capped peak. The Montblanc emblem at the top of the cap is crafted from snow quartz to reflect the glaciers and their eternal ice, and the platinum-plated writing section of the pen is engraved with the impressive panorama of the Montblanc Massif, with each peak named. The fountain pen shown is priced at $2,040; there is also a Mozart fountain pen with rose gold trim. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Conklin Glider Chase Design Collection

The latest addition to the Conklin pen collection is the Glider Chase Design. The process of chasing is used to create a decorative design and texture that is embedded into the surface of the pen’s material. In the 1900s, most pens were made of hard black rubber, and chasing (also known as guilloche) became a popular process to add creative and intricate design to the otherwise common look of a simple black pen. This complicated hand engraving, or chasing, afforded talented artists the opportunity to display their unique abilities. Since the chasing process required excellent skills and was very time consuming, it added value to the pen. Today, most pens are made from resins instead of hard rubber.  However, Conklin is offering a vintage Chase Design on black, coral and ivory resin.The Conklin Mark Twain Crescent pens are available in both a twist-action ballpoint ($125) and a cartridge- or convertor-filled fountain pen ($195) with a fine, medium or broad nib.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

S. T. Dupont MiniJet lighter

S.T. DuPont’s MiniJet lighters have a laser, blue-tinted flame that stays straight in any position and will light in any climate condition. It comes in a number of colorful epoxy lacquers; the latest hues are Fuchsia buzz, Blue wiz and Orange fizz. Special features include a window that makes it easy to check the gas level, and the S.T. DuPont signature on the trigger. Standing at just over two inches and weighing just 1.5 oz, the MiniJet fits well into pocket or purse.