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Atlanta Pen Show 2016!

This was a show that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it to. We'd never been before because it's at the end of the school year for me, and Audrey generally works on Friday so she'd have to take the time off. And we don't know anyone in the area that we'd want to impose on, so there was a hotel to find. There were some other scheduling things that made us uncertain that we'd be able to make it, but it all worked out in the end.

Scraggles even got to come with us. She didn't want to stay in the hotel by herself, so we ended up bringing her out to the show, and she was kind of a huge hit. So many people were missing their dogs that they wanted to pet ours as a surrogate. Fortunately, Scraggles wants to be friends with everyone and everything so she was totally into it.

The other interesting thing about this show was that our friends Brian and Lisa Anderson let us help them out with their tables. It turned out that they were going to have six (or seven?) tables, and that's a lot of tables to deal with. It was the entire length of that ballroom. The were sort of kidding when they asked if we'd want to help out, but Audrey and I both thought that it was a fun way to spend a fair amount of the show. Sure, it was work, but mostly it meant we got to hang out and talk to people about pens and paper and ink. We weren't really tied down to the tables, so we got to wander around the ballrooms, too.

The thing was, I didn't really remember to take pictures (or, really, to ask Audrey to take pictures for me) until the end of the day on Saturday.

That's Brian talking to some folks. The tables started at the left end of the frame, and they continued all the way to the end of the row. It was a lot to keep track of.

The wall next to the Anderson's table was Franklin-Chrsitoph. Jim's working hard. Scott is diving into some of Chef Brandon Lee's chocolates. Dan and I met there, though I don't think I realized that I talk to him on Slack and stuff. That's actually my knee and Scraggles at the right end of the picture.

So, pens! There was a new F-C pen at the show, and it's not on their website at the time I'm writing this. It's called the 45, and it's a pocket pen along the same lines as the pocket 20. The shapes are different, though, and the 45 isn't made with a clip right now. It's also longer than the pocket 20. It could be used without being posted, but you'll probably want to post. While this is a slip cap, it posts and caps with some serious strength. Really good design, that.

I saw a prototype color that I should have bought on Friday, but I didn't, and it got bought before I decided to get it. Oh well. I've also seen an orange one on Instagram that I probably would have taken home.

People really talk about the prototype tray before these shows, and you'll want to run in at the opening gong if you want to get one. We weren't that early, so I'm sure I missed a ton of pens. Below you'll find some pocket 66, pocket 20, and a Model 20 that looks like it may be the last hold-over from Philly with the green finial.

Here you have Pocket 40s and an 02. Those Pocket 40s are just a bit too short for me. I think there were some Panther 40s around, but they went pretty fast. 

Nock Co is pretty local to the show, and you might recognize the guy in the grey shirt. And the guy in the blue shirt. And the woman with the pink hair. And the guy by the FPD sign. This show was packed with recognizable people. (A few people recognized me, even. That was mega-cool.)

 Another angle. That dude in the plaid is from Karas Kustoms. If you see him, tell him that Mike said to "Pull the lever." He'll know.

And you might have heard of this guy. I didn't have any nib work done this time, but I don't know if anyone is better than Mike. Add to this that I've never heard a bad word said against him or his work and that he's just such a personally nice guy and you have a real gem of the fountain pen world. He and his wife really liked Scraggles, too. She got to pet Scrags first, and he was jealous because he was working on a nib. Don't worry. He got his turn.

I always like seeing the folks from Points of Distinction at shows. They and their daughter are the distributors of Diplomat in the US, and you'll find them at several shows. Very friendly and always willing to chat and show off what's new. A couple of new things right now. There aren't any new models of pen out right now, but this evergreen finish is new. It comes in both gold plate and chrome hardware.

 Which do you like better? Leave a comment with your vote.

 This pen is really difficult to photograph, but Audrey really captured the finish. It's liable to look like a shiny black, but it's a really cool blue/black checkerboard.

Everyone had their back turned in this picture, but that's Jimmy and Suzanne from Total Office Products in Atlanta. They're the organizers of the ATL show, and really nice people. Always a treat to talk to Jimmy. I didn't get to chat this time. Running a bunch of tables and a whole show has got to be exhausting.

Michael Sull. Spencerian legend. The young lady in the Dr. Who shirt is Leigh Reyes, I think. We didn't actually meet, but I'm pretty sure that's her. (Audrey took this picture.) She writes a great blog, and I really enjoy her Instagram.

Newton Pens (no pics of Shawn, though)
 That's Elizabeth holding down the fort.

Shawn makes some really nice pens. I particularly like his ebonite pens. Lately, he's been working on different shapes and edges on his pens. Another pen-maker to watch. He also runs a scholarship program for high school kids. 

The huge one there is an Orville, I think.  It's pretty massive. Like, Nakaya Emperor, massive.

 More pens. Shawn works with a jeweler to do the silver work on these pens.

So, these pictures are to show some of the variety of pen sleeves and rolls that Elizabeth makes. This first picture is of me buying one. That's my hand and wallet in the bottom right of the picture, and I went home with the Star Wars roll. It was a tough decision.

 These two almost came home with me, too, but I already have a Tardis wrap, so I decided to diversify.
 They're not all nerdy, though. Some of them are just pretty.
 This pen is a Moody. I really liked it. The size was perfect and the ebonite feels great in the hand. The section has a nice pinch to it that makes it really comfortable.

If you're looking for a durable pen-pouch that can be used in several different ways, then check out the Pen Guardian. It's a sturdy leather pen-holder that fits inside a leather pouch when you want to travel. Now in more colors!

When a machine shop starts designing and making pens, you can end up with some really cool stuff. Starting off with ballpoint/rollerball pens, and recently moving into the fountain pen realm, I'm always interested to see what they're going to do next. The current generation of Fountain K and Ink pens feature a recessed nib and a more comfortable section on their bomb-proof pens. Also, these guys are really fun to chat with.

I ended up going home with the orange pen in the middle. 

It was the Carolina Pen Company's first time as a pen show vendor, and I'd say they have an awesome future. I've been drooling over their instagram pictures for over a year, and I was glad to see some of these pens in person. Jonathon has some really photogenic pens, but they look even better in person. He's also making his own blanks, so the variety of patterns is huge. He and Audrey were talking about making some things that might draw in the nail polish crowd, so I'm really interested to see what happens from that interaction.

 I don't know how I didn't go home with that orange pen on the top left. I should have just gotten it. Such an awesome acrylic.
 These pens are in the Graffiti line. All hand painted and then lacquered. The effect is really neat.
 I didn't buy this beautiful pen, but I did buy the pen rest it is sitting on...

 I mean...look at that!

 This is a double-ended pen that's configured to eyedropper two different inks.

 These two pens are awesome compliments to one another. I really like the inlaid bands and matching finials.

Visconti's tables:


It's closing time, folks. Cover the goods!

That's Lee on the left. I always like chatting with him. He's a wealth of information.
 Our local pen-guy, Crazy Alan. He was the only guy there with the new Dark Lilac Lamy pens and ink. Talk about being the pretty girl at the ball!

These two girls were selling some hand made jewelry at the show, and they were some of the nicest kids we've ever met. Just gems. They really wanted to watch Scraggles for a while on Saturday, but we were all too busy. We came home with one of Zoe's necklaces. Sabrina had sold out by the end of the day!

Brandon Lee is another great guy. I love that he's doing well selling chocolate to pen lovers. We came back on Sunday just to get some chocolate from Brandon. We haven't eaten it yet. It's the kind of chocolate that you hoard.

 Ryan was doing some brisk business, and his work keeps getting more and more awesome. He's on my list of must-get pens.

I was helping out at the Anderson Pens table, and I totally forgot to take pictures of anything there. These are Eboya pens, and some Maki-e Platinum pens. What's that in the middle? It's the Anderson's exclusive Sailor 1911s, coming in September. It's a great color, even if it weren't a LE pen. 

Some Nakaya Namiki pens. A pair of Yukari Royales on the sides.  The one in the middle is the Emperor, and it's enormous.


Okay, that's all for now. I'll post soon with what I brought home with me. I just can't type any more. Tired.

Post Comment
Bob - My Pen Needs Ink said...

Wow Mike, great pictures and great review. Next we want to see what pried your cash from your wallet.!

Unknown said...

Great collection of photographs. Thanks, Mike.

Mike Matteson said...

Thanks, Bob, that post is coming today or tomorrow. Depends on how much life I have left in me after teaching today.

Thanks, Unknown!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for coming by our table and sharing so many great pictures. Awesome write up.

Mike Matteson said...

Thanks, Shawn. You're totally welcome. I love your work, and if I can send anyone your way I will. Keep being awesome.

Unknown said...

Great post Michael. I forgot that you're pretty close to the Raleigh area. Alan is a really nice guy, sadly it's about an hour drive from my house to his store.