Supershow in DC

Last weekend I hit the road to travel to Northern Virginia to attend the Washington D.C. Collectible Fountain Pen Supershow. It’s the largest pen event in the world (according to its web page at least.)

To answer the question I know you have: Yes, it is overwhelming. My brain turned to mush rather quickly as I aimlessly wandered around. Luckily my first day there I was accompanied by two wonderful people who were kind enough to put up with me. On top of that sacrifice Kim and Telf chose a great Thai restaurant for a pen lunch. It’s always good to know someone else’s feet hurt and head is swimming at times like these.

There was something for everyone who likes pens there. Vintage pens, modern pens, stationary, parts, and some weird stuff. I’m rather quiet but the people I talked to were very helpful and didn’t mind stupid questions. This was especially true of Aaron and Kim Svabik of Pentiques who generously spent some time conversing with me.

Indeed I got to do and see some great things. Viewing the large educational display of all the colors and models of Sheaffer Snorkels was incredible. I also got to sample some great Nakaya pens with specialty nibs at the table which is something I’ve wanted to do forever.

I left at the end of my visit rather tired and dizzy but satisfied I’d been to the show of shows. Enjoy some pictures I took below.

  1. Chito Limson
    August 11, 2009, 5:59 pm

    Thanks for the lovely photos, Tom. It’s like being there.

    I plan to visit again next year, and will most likely time my trip around the DC Pen Show. Fortunately, I don’t have to stay in a hotel for this. Perhaps, I can convince Prof. Butch to sync our VA trips around that time, and if you are so inclined, we can do a mini-meet then.

    Wow, seeing Mottishaw, Binder, Zorn and Brian Gray in the same room inspires me! In particular, I like the Sheaffer Cadmium snork you showed – I’ve been looking for one like that.

    BTW, how much is the entrance fee to the show?

    Best, Chito

  2. TAO
    August 11, 2009, 6:49 pm

    Chito: I’m glad you liked the pictures. I just realized I left out the ink testing table picture! That was one of the highlights for me. All those inks open and available to try out was fun. That picture is now the second of the gallery. The entry fee was $7 which is very reasonable. To be honest I was so excited I didn’t even notice how much I paid so I just looked that up on the the show’s web page. Just about every well known name was at the show (I didn’t get them all in pictures). For example, Susan Wirth and David Isaacson had their tables and wares.

    Wow! It would be great if you and/or DOB could attend next year. You can be assured I’d be there too.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. Chito Limson
    August 11, 2009, 7:10 pm

    The four I mentioned inspire me because they are accomplished artisans. I’d be also excited to see the two Danny’s – Kirchheimer and Fudge. Collectors, antiquarians or dilettantes, not so much.

    Speaking of Danny – no Danitrios at the show?

  4. TAO
    August 11, 2009, 7:55 pm

    Chito: Unless I missed it (and there’s always that chance at such a big show) I did not see any large group of Danitrios there. I saw a few lone pens, however.

  5. August 11, 2009, 9:18 pm

    Love the pics, TAO! Almost like being there. It looked like loads of fun! πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed!

  6. Denise
    August 12, 2009, 2:08 am

    It was great seeing the pictures, like seeing the pen show through your eyes. I also like the Sailor Converter, a nice shade of red.

  7. TAO
    August 12, 2009, 10:24 am

    Jenny and Denise: Thanks for the nice compliments. Sometimes I feel a bit like a freak walking around snapping pictures. You might be surprised to know I didn’t see anyone else taking as many.

  8. August 13, 2009, 9:54 pm

    i saw white pens!!! πŸ™‚ great photos, tom! thanks for sharing with us.

  9. Denise
    August 13, 2009, 11:41 pm

    You’re very welcome, TAO. πŸ™‚

    I guess they were all too busy staring at everything else–the pens, the venue…I’m the same way sometimes, I’ll be at an event or even one of the anime conventions I frequent when they drop nearby my city–and I won’t have my camera!

    But it’s okay. : ) Freaks are cooler than normal people, IMO.

  10. TAO
    August 13, 2009, 11:52 pm

    Clem: Yes there were white pens and no I didn’t pick any up. πŸ™ Next time I promise.

  11. TAO
    August 13, 2009, 11:54 pm

    Denise: Well there never has been any doubt that I’m a freak. The problem is I’m in no way cool either. Sigh.

  12. Kim
    August 17, 2009, 1:59 pm

    It was lovely meeting you, and it definitely enriched my experience of the DC Pen Show, without doubt! I am not exaggerating – you answered some important questions for me and your guidance was helpful! I am only sorry that I couldn’t spend more time there perusing. I will eventually make the time to post my thoughts and pictures, though I didn’t take too many!

  13. TAO
    August 17, 2009, 2:11 pm

    Kim: I can’t imagine I was much help since I was wandering around in a daze. I’m looking forward to your blog post on it. As long as there are no pictures of me I’ll be happy. Oh, I know two people who got Lady Pat Inkvues this weekend. Leigh Reyes was one of them. They weren’t green, though. πŸ™‚

  14. August 18, 2009, 9:20 am

    Gorgeous photos and gave me a good sense of walking around a pen show. Thanks for sharing these!

  15. August 19, 2009, 2:06 pm

    sigh. pen pr0n. what could be finer (aside from having them all)? thanks for the walk-through and reportage. you made my day.

  16. TAO
    August 19, 2009, 2:26 pm

    Julie and mabeloos: Thanks for the kind comments. Glad you enjoyed the pictures.

  17. Mona
    September 7, 2009, 6:08 am

    Frabjous joy pix πŸ™‚ Apparently Chito is now on the hunt for a violet pen, a color he doesn’t have yet!

  18. TAO
    September 7, 2009, 7:21 pm

    Mona: I hope he finds one. It’s a color that I can’t remember seeing in a pen. However, I have a bad memory.