Two years in

It is a little hard to believe, but timsvintagepens has been operating for two years, as of early September. Although I had been restoring and selling pens for some years, during the summer of 2015 I realized that I was completing more projects than I could sell by word of mouth or Fountain Pen Network listing, that the growing volume was forcing me to become more organized, and the deepening complexity of my work had created the need for more advanced tools, supplies and sales to support the habit. The plan that became timsvintagepens coalesced over that Labor Day weekend, and now it’s two years later!

What have I learned from the past two years? First, that my basic principles still hold — I’m in this to learn about vintage pens, to master a craft, and to make fine vintage pens available for new owners whom they will excite as much as they do me. Second, I’ve learned that the mastery part is further away now than it was two years ago — as with any real craft, the more one learns the more there is to learn. While I’ve gained a certain amount of competence in handling many brands and models, every pen is different and you just don’t know in advance what you’re going to find or how you’ll deal with what has been found.  Third, my own expectations of the skills I want to learn also continue to rise. Finally, my respect for the masters of restoration crafts continues to grow, because whether we’re masters or students, we are working against the objective benchmark of how that pen left the factory and the skills of those who made them every day. That’s a tough standard to match.

Thank you, clients, family, friends, partners, and mentors, for your ongoing support of my efforts!