It’s A Big ’Un All Right

I can’t believe it’s been a year since my last visit and post about the Washington, DC Super Show. It’s full of pens, ink, stationary, pen manufacturers and pen repairers. If you are close and didn’t go you missed a lot. But where did the time go? I’m checking behind the couch for it right now.

The show this year surprised me by being even bigger than last year. In our still flailing economy I expected a niche show like this to remain about the same size. However I immediately noticed that some extra space was allotted to the vendors this year and more people were wandering about. So, things seem to be looking up for pens and those who collect them.

I won’t bore you with anything but the highlights of my trip. I’m a bit of an adjunct member of the Fountain Pen Network- Philippines group that has existed for over two years now. I’ve blogged about what a nice group of people they are and how many friends I’ve made there but the odd fact is I’ve not met more than two of them. This show the opportunity presented itself to meet one of the founding members: Chito Limson. The meeting started out rather poorly with the fact my texts were not reaching him and my phone would not call his Manila number. I kept swiveling my head while wandering about looking for him to no avail. Luckily later in the day I heard my name called by a gent sitting in the lobby. It was Chito and we ensconced ourselves to talk about pens, ink, and people over coffee and tea. He had a number of pen’s nibs worked on at the show that I got to try and drool over. Since he’s a big fan of Brian Gray’s Edison pens he had purchased a Huron Grande like this one and let me ogle it.

Mr. Chito Limson and myself. I'm the silly looking one.

On Sunday I went back and had some great conversations. First I ran into the aforementioned Brian Gray at his table along with Ernest Shin who is working on the fine lacquer finish of the Urushi Pearl which is the newest Edison LE. Ernest and I chatted for a bit and he’s a fascinating fellow. His skills are beyond reproach as shown by work he’s done applying different finishes on vintage Snorkels and Parker 51s, for example. The amazing Sheaffers he has decorated caught my interest of course.

Sunday is always the day I buy things on when at a show since I’m overwhelmed the first day I attend them. I shot a beeline over to the Goulet Pens table to get some of my favorite Rhodia pads. While there I saw Brian Goulet and Karen Doherty talking about stationary and such. Karen works for Exaclair (the distributors of fine stuff from Rhodia and Clairefontaine among others) and has provided me with some of the items I’ve reviewed over the years. Later on I had great chat with her that reinforces my opinion that her company is one of the most responsive and receptive to its customer’s wishes.

That wraps it up for my comments on the show. As always if you want to drool over pens this is the location to do so and I recommend it. I’ll be back next year for sure.

  1. August 17, 2010, 2:21 pm

    Very nice pics for those pen people (like me) that haven’t had the opportunity to visit a pen show – and particularly nice to get a quite big glimpse of this gigantic show. Thanks!

  2. August 17, 2010, 2:55 pm

    That Urushi Pearl!! I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more beautiful finish on a pen. Great shots, as always, and you definitely make me want to go to that show!

  3. August 17, 2010, 5:26 pm

    Appreciate your sharing your DC Pen show photos! Some day….

  4. August 19, 2010, 8:37 pm

    Pens! Pens! And more pens! It’s a good thing I live on the other side of the planet. 🙂 LOL!

  5. hazel
    August 20, 2010, 10:09 pm

    i was surprised at how young some of the penmakers (is this the proper term?) are…

  6. August 23, 2010, 8:16 pm

    Chito’s ivory Huron Grande looks interesting. His Conway Stewart Churchill is casein, in a similar color. Thanks for telling us about your meet!

    1. TAO
      August 28, 2010, 11:08 am

      His Grande wrote very well. I was impressed.

  7. Kim
    August 25, 2010, 7:31 pm

    I feel bad that I was not able to attend. I know I was missing out. 🙁 Hopefully next year the timing will work out.

    1. TAO
      August 28, 2010, 11:08 am

      I hope you can make it next year. I know you had a far more worthy place to be that weekend.

  8. RDF
    September 4, 2010, 8:24 pm

    Ref the photo: “I’m the silly looking one.”

    That still doesn’t help. Silly applies to both. So which one are you?

    1. TAO
      September 5, 2010, 9:35 am

      I’m on the right. Still think I’m silliest.