Tag: news

News & Follow-Up

In Sad News:

Susan Wirth’s obituary can be found in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Janesville Press-Gazette.

I am continuing to receive photos and stories for the book I’m putting together. If you’d like to contribute, please email me. Details in the previous post.

In Other Sad News:

Dan Smith’s pen case was stolen in Chicago. There is information regarding the serial numbers and individual items in the Instagram photos and link below. If you see any of the pens listed for sale on eBay or any of the online boards, please notify Dan.

PLEASE HELP! On Thursday, May 4th, approximately $40,000 worth of fountain pens were stolen out of my vehicle in Chicago near the Adler Planetarium. A list of easily identifiable pens with serial numbers is provided below with more details, images, and the entire list of items stolen provided at my website. If you happen to come across any of these items, please let me know. There will be a reward for information leading to the recovery of any of my pens. I would greatly appreciate it if you could share this information with others. 1. Franklin-Christoph Penvelope 13 in Boot Brown 2. Markiaro 44 pen leather briefcase 3. Aurora 12 pen, black clam-shell case 4.Aurora 85th Anniversary, medium nib (don't recall serial number) 5. Montblanc Hemingway Writers Edition, oblique broad nib 6. Montblanc Charles Dickens Writers Edition, medium nib 7. Classic Pens LB5 Tensui (blue) w/ chrome trim, medium nib, Serial Number: #00/50 8. Sailor King of Pen ebonite, King Eagle nib 9. Nakaya Long Piccolo, medium (had custom lettering on barrel) 10. Nakaya Naka-ai, XXF 11. Nakaya NeoStandard medium Color: Araishu (orange), gold trim 12. Visconti Homo Sapiens Corsani 90th Anniversary, broad nib, Serial Number: #49/90 13. Pelikan M1005 Demo, 3B two-tone nib 14. Pelikan Silver Screen, EF nib, Serial Number: #260/420 15. Aurora 88 Nebulosa, Serial Number: #626/888 16. Aurora 88 Sigaro, Serial Number: #341/888 17. Aurora 88 Sole, Serial Number: #170/888 18. Aurora Optima Green Auroloid, fine flex nib(!), gold trim 19. Aurora Optima Monviso, medium nib, Serial Number: #48/360 20. Montegrappa Ducale Grande, stub nib, Serial Number: #76/888

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In Good News:

I’ll end with some good news because we need something uplifting this week, don’t we?

Col-o-ring Ink Testing books are being used by folks all over the world in new and exciting ways. Leigh Reyes is dipping the ends of the cards in her ink bottles for a great look and a quick way to sample her inks.

Col-o-rings are back in stock in my Big Cartel shop as well as being stocked in many of your favorite locations like:

and coming soon to:

So, folks overseas will finally have some options to get Col-o-rings outside the US! More European and US vendors are coming on board soon too so stay tuned!

Col-o-rings will also be available at the D.C. and San Francisco Pen Shows for sure, more details to follow as the shows get closer.

In Memory of Susan Wirth

(Image from the Long Island Pen Show Web Site, circa 2009)

On Monday afternoon, the pen community received devastating news that Susan Wirth, the Godmother of Pen Shows, Queen of Ink, and someone I like to think of as a friend, passed away.

My “word of the day” today was “moxie” and it couldn’t be a more appropriate word to remember Susan because she had it in spades. Courage, nerve, pep and know-how… that’s how the word moxie is defined and it’s exactly how I would describe Susan Wirth. She had a wealth of knowledge about fountain pens that she was willing to share and fearless courage and energy that put people half her age to shame.

She held court on Sunday in Chicago with all the verve and passion that we all remember her having so I am glad to know that she did not suffer long and that her last days were happy, doing what she loved, surrounded by people that “got her” and sharing her knowledge and passions.

According to announcements on the Pen Addict Announcements, there will be a family service in Milwaukee next week. An obituary will published on Sunday in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

There will be a pen show memorial at the DC pen show in August this year. More details will become available as the event comes closer.

I’d like to collect images, stories or anecdotes to put together a book to share in DC. If you have photos or a story you’d like to contribute, please email them to me at chair@wellappointeddesk.com. I’d be most grateful.

Giveaway Winner: Baron Fig Confidant Metamorphosis

Congrats to:

our winner of the Baron Fig Confidant Metamorphosis! I’ve contacted Mark via email so he can get started on his commonplace book in his new Metamporphosis this week, should he so choose.

I got home from Chicago last night so timely posts should resume tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy this photo of me with Matt from The Pen Habit and Brad from Pen Addict. The one moment the three of us actually stood still all weekend during the pen show. We worked our butts off but we had a great time, sold lots of ink, pens and pen cases and met lots of great people and probably ate and drank a bit too much. More soon!

Atlanta Pen Show Recap and Looking Forward to Chicago

I ate from the wrong side of the mushroom! Thanks @colonel4god for the awesome photo! #atlantapenshow2017

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It’s taken me almost a week to recover from the Atlanta Pen Show.  I was so busy working behind the Vanness Pens table, I forgot to take photos but luckily, everyone else took tons.

During the day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I sold ink, pens and paper with Lisa Vanness and Christa at the Vanness Pen table in “the Cool Kids room” as Brad and Myke deemed it near the Karas table, Carolina Pens and the ink testing station. In the evenings, we spent time sharing pens, eating and drinking. Friday night was a cookout by the pool for vendors and 3-day pass holders so we spent time outside until it was so dark we were looking at pens and ink by the light of our phones.

Saturday night was the recording of the Pen Addict podcast in front of a live studio audience. It was nerve-wracking but not as stressful as last year. I thought I was going to pass out last year. Luckily, there were other guests to interview this year; Vito from Story Supply Co. and Jonathan from Carolina Pen Co. so I really didn’t have to talk much. I just sat around, easy peasy.

By Sunday, we were all getting tired and the weather got cold and rainy which made the show pretty slow. It was disappointing for the vendors and everyone started packing up early and had to load up in the rain.

Awesome time! After the @atlantapenshow. #atlantapenshow2017

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As always, the best part of any pen show are the people you meet and get to spend time with.

@franklinchristoph prototypes at the #atlpenshow2017 #atlantapenshow2017

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But, of course, the pen love was strong!

New additions to my Skripsert collection.

And I wasn’t the only one who fell for the Sheaffer Skripserts!

Fuyu-gaki Col-o-ring meet-up! Me and @murderofcro.ws sweet! #atlantapenshow2017 #coloringinktestingbook #coloringink

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And there was lots of enthusiasm for the Col-o-ring Ink Testing Books too!

Getting ready to go live! ……. #penaddict #penaddictlive #atlantapenshow2017 #atlpenshow2017

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Of course, the Pen Addict podcast recording in front of a love audience was both a highlight and a moment of sheer terror. Do we look nervous?

Nightmare coloring pages at the ink station! @penaddict @imyke #atlantapenshow2017

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There were some pretty scary coloring pages left at the ink testing station too.

So, if you’re in the Midwest, I hope you’ll be coming to the Chicago Pen Show this weekend. We’ve been madly making more Col-o-ring books to bring to the show. Once again, I’ll be at the Vanness Pens booth. This time, it will be Lisa, Matt Armstrong of the Pen Habit and I and we’ll be right next to Brad and Nock Co. so it’ll still be the “cool kids,” right?

The show is way out in the northwest suburbs but, trust me, it is totally worth the trip. Its near a great big Target too so you can get a toothbrush and TP while you’re schlepping to the suburbs. No sense in paying those toll and not get your money’s worth. If you’re coming in from Wisconsin, Michigan or Iowa, the hotel is not far from an Ikea so add that to your agenda and leave a little space in the car for pens and some build-it-yourself bookshelves.

Looking forward to another great pen show weekend even though the forecast is predicting another rainy one! We are made of tougher stuff than that, right? Italian beef will make us strong! If not, I’ll pack the Malort.

Giveaway Winner: Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz

Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz Giveaway Package

Woo! Lots of love for Smoky Quartz and Aquamarine and the as-yet unnamed 2018 olive green ink in the Pelikan Edelstein and Col-o-ring Giveaway.

Congrats to Dave C. our giveaway winner who has already been contacted via email. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. We’ll have more ink and Col-o-ring giveaways post-Atlanta Pen Show.

Love and inkiness!

News: Col-o-ring Release, Upcoming Pen Shows & Swatching Video

I did a soft launch of the Col-o-ring Ink Testing Books this weekend and thought, “Hey, maybe we might sell a few.” Um, wow. The response was amazing.

We sold out. In a day. I’m speechless.

We are going back on press this week and will be adding more to the shop throughout the week as they are available. Hopefully, there are other people who want books otherwise we will reprint my lifetime supply. That’s what I thought with the first batch but you crazy, awesome, amazing people bought them so we are taking a chance and printing more.

In the meantime, I made a short video demonstrating how I do my swatches. I am not at all experienced at making videos so please overlook the video quality. And the green hands… I had an ink accident prior to recording.

This is by no means the only way to do ink swatching. This is just the method I use. I love the technique that Mike from Inkdependence uses in his video. I included a link to his video in Link Love last Wednesday. There are many other methods as well. If you have a favorite technique, please leave a link in the comments.

In other news, Wednesday is the 250th episode of the Pen Addict podcast. I thought I might crash the party and help the boys celebrate. A little warm-up before the real party in Atlanta in a few weeks.

Speaking of Atlanta…

The Atlanta Pen Show is just THREE WEEKS away! Holy crapoly! I’ve got inks to swatch, Col-o-rings to make, pink hairs to dye and many, many blog posts to get prepped and ready so that folks who AREN’T GOING still have things to read.

For Attendees: You can find me at the Vanness Pen Shop table by day, and either the bar or the Waffle House by night. Unless, of course, its Saturday night, then I’ll be third wheelin’ for Brad and Myke and the Relay Con live recording of the Pen Addict podcast.

The Vanness Pen Shop will be stocking the Col-o-ring Ink Testing Books for the Atlanta Pen Show. Pre-orders will not be needed though there will be a limited number of books available. Hopefully, we will not run out.

If you’re not going to Atlanta: I’ll be sure to have regular content through the week and as many Instagram posts as I can cram in. I’ll be sure to include a wrap-up after the show if you’re curious about the details.

Other Pen Shows: Plans are to bring the Col-o-ring Ink Testing Books to Chicago, San Francisco and other pen shows this year as well. News as those shows get closer.

I promise, the blog is not turning into “All about Col-o-ring”. Stay tuned for our regularly scheduled content including reviews, Link Love and Ask The Desk posts about all the topics you love. I just need a day or two to catch my breath.

Coming Soon: Col-o-ring Ink Testing Books

After obsessively testing papers since October and finally making a decision about the “right” stock in January, Skylab Letterpress and The Well-Appointed Desk is finally unveiling our answer to the gap in the market — the perfect ink testing swatch book, The Col-o-ring.

We sourced 100lb/160gsm natural white paper from a 400-year-old European paper mill through a distributor located right here in Kansas City. Each book is 2″ x 4″ with die cut rounded corners and the covers are sturdy chipboard letterpress printed on a Heidelberg Windmill then hand assembled with a binder ring so that the pages can be easily be removed, rearranged, added or swapped to your heart’s content. Each book contains 100 pages and the paper is a good clean white so your ink colors will show true.

To prove how much better our paper is to some “other” swatch books, I put the Col-o-ring paper (on the right) up against a discontinued product (on the left). Using the same tools to test the same ink– a watercolor paintbrush with synthetic sable bristles and a Zebra G dip nib pen– (you can see, the Col-o-ring paper is smoother, though there is still a little tooth, so your pens won’t slip and slide all over the place) but the good news, is that even the wettest inks in a dip nib don’t bleed or feather!

But wait! There’s more!

We tested several ink samples on both the front AND the back of the paper…. (Emerald of Chivor is so hard to photograph. It looks so good in person! Alternately, Noodler’s Tchaicovsky is pretty much as weird looking in person as it appears below… I had this sample and thought I would test it … strangely goopy ink. Don’t blame the paper.)

Can you see a difference between Col-o-ring paper on the front or the back of the sheet? Nope. Neither could we. And we got very little show through and no bleed through, even with wet swabs. I use a paint brush loaded with ink so it takes a while to dry and still there was no show through. You could do swabs on both sides if you wanted to. Talk about cost effective!

One more, front and back sample, just to show off. (Diamine Oxblood is lovely,)

If you’re more inclined to do your samples with a pen, rather than a swab and dip pen or glass pen, these cards can work for that too. I did a quick writing sample example with my Aurora Optima and the paper picks up all the shading and color variation. I would have sampled more sheening colors but I had them all packed up for the Arkansas Pen Show this weekend. So, if you prefer to sample your inks this way, these cards will work too.

I’ll have ink samples, swabs and cards to try available at the Arkansas Pen Show so if you are in the area, please come by the show and try them out for yourself. Bring your favorite tools for sampling with you too and try those as well.

The Col-o-ring books will be available in my shop soon after I return from the show. I will put a post on the blog when I get them listed in the shop. Col-o-ring books will sell for $10 each plus shipping.