It's all about the written word...

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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Conway Stewart Wellington Silver Graphite

The February Limited Edition Series from Conway Stewart is the Wellington Silver Graphite. Based on the popular Wellington design, it is available in a small limited edition of only 50 numbered fountain pens and 50 numbered rollerballs. Each pen is crafted from handmade graphite resin adorned with solid sterling silver trim. Due to the nature of this resin, no two Wellington Silver Graphite pens will look exactly alike, and this particular color will neither be repeated on this model, nor will it be available as a bespoke pen. The 18-karat gold nib of the cartridge- or converter-filled fountain pen ($608) is available in eight sizes: extra fine, fine, medium, broad, extra broad, italic fine, italic medium and italic broad. No orders will be accepted after February 29, 2012.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pippi's Pretty Pen Shoppe

Pippi's Pen Shoppe in York, PA, is welcoming Alan Shaw, artisanal pen maker and owner of Shaw Pens, to her shop on February 3, from 5 to 9 p.m. Shaw will be showcasing his latest unique creations and offering some Valentine's Day specials, as well as some tips on caring for your pens. One of Shaw's latest releases is the Gilbert collection, honoring William Gilbert, a sixteenth century physician and astronomer known for his studies of magnetism. The collection includes a ballpoint, rollerball, fountain pen with steel nib and fountain pen with 18-karat gold nib. Prices range from $110 to $420.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Welcome to the Steel Age

Visconti celebrates the Steel Age, adding a new finish to its Homo Sapiens pen collection, which uses real lava in the making. The pen features marine stainless steel trim, and the fountain pen, which is piston filled, has a 23-karat palladium nib in F, M, and B sizes. A new mid-sized fountain pen has been added to the collection, joining the large-size fountain pen, rollerball, ballpoint and pencil. Prices range from $325 to $345.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Andrew Jackson commemorated by Montblanc

Montblanc pays tribute to the seventh president of the United States with the launch of the Andrew Jackson Artisan Edition writing instrument. In 2007, Montblanc launched the America’s Signatures for Freedom collection in dedication to the life and work of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. Previous editions include tributes to George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, all in the form of beautifully crafted Montblanc writing instruments. These legendary American political leaders laid the groundwork for our nation’s freedom, independence and values. Limited to just 50 pieces, symbolizing the number of states in the Union, the Andrew Jackson Artisan Edition showcases Montblanc’s premier craftsmanship and design. The intricate 750 solid white gold overlay is inspired by the ceiling of Jackson’s reception hall in the White House, and a mother-of-pearl Montblanc emblem is featured on the cap crown with Jackson's signature and the dates of his legislative period. The clip is engraved with a portrait of Jackson, and it is bejeweled with a sapphire referring to his blue eyes. Black elements on the cone, cap and ring pay tribute to his celebrated military career. As in all writing instruments in the series, "America's Signatures for Freedom" is engraved on each handcrafted 18 karat gold nib and complemented with 13 stars to commemorate the States that adopted the Declaration of Independence. The Montblanc Andrew Jackson Artisan Edition, priced at $33,300will be available at boutiques nationwide from February 20, 2012.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Istos Aracnis from Visconti

Visconti’s latest limited edition, Istos Aracnis, Greek for spider, pays tribute to a famous myth in which the mortal Arachne challenges the goddess Athena to a weaving competition. Angering Athena with her overbearing display of pride in her skill as a weaver, Arachne is transformed into a spider and sentenced to weave and spin forever. Limited to 888 pieces, the Istos Aracnis is made from black Lucite featuring a sterling silver overlay in a spiderweb pattern. White enamel has been carefully painted over the web to highlight the intricate design. It is available in fountain pen only, featuring Visconti’s patented "double reservoir power filler" filling system and Visconti’s dream touch 23-karat palladium nib available in XF, F, M, B, BB and Stub. The Istos Aracnis, available this month, is priced at $1,950.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Be Mine

So Valentine's Day is just a month away (what, you say you haven't put away the Christmas decorations yet?), and since it's typically a day about notes and cards and love letters, how can it not also be about pens? Montblanc apparently agrees, since it is promoting its very own "Ink of Love" in gorgeous red, priced at about $20 per 30 ml bottle. To go along with it, Montblanc suggests purchasing a Bespoke Nib for the focus of your affection. According to company literature, Montblanc has developed a computer software program that will analyze handwriting and create the perfect nib for one's unique writing speed, angle, pressure and more. What could be more personal? The $850 for the Bespoke Nib does not include a pen, but it does include a bottle of ink. Dinner, flowers and entertainment are up to you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

National Handwriting Day

National Handwriting Day is right around the corner, and there are as many ways to celebrate as there are words to write. January 23 (John Hancock's birthday) is the designated day, and Fahrney's Pens of Washington, DC, is honoring the occasion with a handwriting contest, the winner of which will receive a Parker Ingenuity. All you have to do is send a short sample of your handwriting, expounding on one of three topics: how you came to appreciate fine writing instruments; your thoughts on cursive handwriting being eliminated from school curriculums; or, a personal life-changing event. Entries can be dropped off at Fahrney's or submitted via email or fax by January 31. For more information, visit the Fahrney's web site.

I'm planning to celebrate the day by writing a letter to a loved one. What are you going to do?

Image courtesy of Simon Howden.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Let me hear from you...

Next month, in mid-February, the Los Angeles Pen Show will be held. It's a wonderful event, drawing people from all over the world, and it's one of the largest pen shows in the US. I've been asked to make a presentation on Saturday (the weekend of February 16-19), and the topic I suggested is "Twenty Pens Under $200." More people are watching their money these days, but that's no reason to give up enjoying a good writing instrument. Some of the topics I'll cover will include what you will and won't get in a lower-priced pen, what to expect in performance and warranty, and which brands offer such pens. I'd love to hear from you regarding your favorite lower-priced pen. Tell me which ones you like and why, and I'll be sure to give you credit in my presentation. You may comment on this blog or email me directly. Thanks, and I hope to see you at the show

Friday, January 6, 2012

It's a Natural

Maryland-based pen maker Richard Greenwald is introducing his Naturals collection, a limited edition of twist-activated ballpoint pens. They measure in at about 5-3/4 inches long and just over two ounces in weight. Made from treated leather or cork, they have sterling silver appointments individually clay cast at Richard's own machine shop. The pens are front loaded, and come with a Schmidt refill, but Parker-style refills work, too. Naturals are available at select retailers or directly from Richard.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Made for women

Here's a sneak preview of the newer-than-new Milady twist-action ballpoint, part of the Omas Arte Italiana collection. Diminutive in size and bright of color, each pen in the collection is topped with a complementary gemstone: maroon features an amethyst; ivory, smoky quartz; teal, green gold quartz; red, garnet. Another great purse pen.