March 2016

Aurora 88

I haven’t written much about pens I’ve bought for myself, mostly because there have been very few times that I’ve actually bought a particular pen because I wanted it — not a restoration project that appeared and then stayed with me, but for me. My Parker 75, the Columbus Stiliridio, carmine Vac-fill Sheaffer Balance, Waterman New Look, and most recently,...

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February 2016

Thinning The Herd, Again

Lately, I’ve been thinning my collection. Not drastically, but a minor change in direction. Until now, for a dozen or so pens I have violated my own rule of not keeping a pen that I didn’t use for a year, because they were interesting, would not likely come my way again, were among my first restorations, other reasons. So it...

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January 2016

Inventory Issues and Photography

I hadn’t planned it this way, for sure…but I’m essentially out of inventory. There are almost 40 projects awaiting my attention, but only the Ingersoll Dollar remains unsold, and it will wait patiently for the Ingersoll collector to find it. I’ve realized while that I could let this be a problem and quickly restock, it’s better to stick to the...

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December 2015

The Missing Pen

I’m generally not a possessions kind of guy. Frankly, I don’t care much for things, except for some family stuff, two hobbies’ worth of good tools, my father’s two watches that get worn all the time, my wedding ring that I couldn’t take off if I tried, and my 50 or so fountain pens. This past weekend I discovered that...

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November 2015

Two New Old Pens

I have two new pens, although neither was purchased to be kept. The first, bought by a friend for me in an antique shop in upstate New York, is a Wearever Bullet from 1946-48. He got it after I said “nope, don’t want it”; he thought this grungy little piece was “cool” while I thought I had reached my lifetime...

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October 2015

New Friend In, Old Friend Out

During this past summer, our trip to the Netherlands included a stop at PW Akkerman in den Haag and a purchase of a bottle of Royal Akkermanblauw ink in their signature bottle. It’s a beautiful, full, true blue that flows wonderfully. Although time and use will tell if it displaces any of the Waterman’s, Aurora, and Diamine blues in my normal...

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September 2015

Thinning the Herd

I’ve been spending some time going over my collection, and have decided to part ways with a few pens that just don’t work well for overhanded leftiness. This winnowing process has made me love my collection even more, because every pen there has been used in the past year and has, to quote a daughter talking about her clothes, given...

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August 2015

August 2015: Photographing the Collection

Photographing my collection for this website has been an eye-opening experience. Fountain pens are truly beautiful objects, each emblematic of its time and culture and exhibiting its own special beauty. Getting my photos to show the pens as they are has forced me to significantly expand my photographic skills — as a result, I’m now shooting in RAW, using a...

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June 2015

June 2015: Every Pen Tells a Story

Recently, during a trip to Chicago for a wedding, a friend left me with three pens to restore — not from a collection, but just three fountain pens that had found their way to her over the years.  Yet again, I remembered why I always tell people to let me see their pens, because they are always interesting and reflective of the...

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