Day one of the 2015 Atlanta Pen Show started fast. The first day of most pen shows—particularly if it falls on a Friday, is usually very slow. Not so much here, and it probably had something to do with these guys.
Atlanta is one of the smaller U.S. shows, though the quality of the vendors is excellent. This year’s crew includes the Andersons, Vanness Pen Shop, Nock Co., Indy-Pen-Dance, Mike Masuyama, as well as some local Atlanta pen shops such as Total Fine Writing and Artlite (arriving today). As I mentioned, this year’s show was crowded on Friday, which is pretty much unheard of. I attended this show last year, and can vouch for the fact that this Friday was in fact more or less insane. So insane that I spent most of my show budget on the first day, concerned that the specific items I was looking for would be gone by the afternoon. (I was right.)
Crazy Ink Selection
Most of what I purchased was ink. I picked up two bottles of Callifolio ink, which is a French brand that Vanness Pen Shop has started carrying. Previously, it was only available via direct order, and the manufacturer was known for shipping the ink in foil pouches to save on shipping. Lisa Vanness informed me that Vanness will carry the foil pouches, so if you’re in the market to purchase an entire line of various inks and have it ship for next to nothing, you know where to go. I also grabbed two bottles of the new Diamine 150th Anniversary Inks, which I didn’t think I would purchase but absolutely loved once I saw the colors in person. I chose the Blue-Black and the Regency Blue. Cool fact: the bottles are wedge-shaped, so if you choose to buy all the colors (like Thomas Hall, enabler-in-chief) they fit together to form a perfect circle. Even cooler fact: the Callifolio inks come in the same bottle, so you can mix-n-match! Oh, and I also bought a bottle of Diamine Oxblood and a “Mini” (15ml) bottle of Iroshizuku Asa-Gao.
Whatever ink you choose, the new Nock Co. Dot-Dash pocket notebooks (black cover) can handle it. The paper is fountain pen friendly, and probably the best all around that I've seen in a pocket notebook. No feathering, no bleed through (with normal use), and best of all, the dry-time is incredibly fast, from what I can gather. More soon.
So far, like last year, many pens haven’t caught my eye at this show. I did pick up a TWSBI Orange 580AL, which I’ve been wanting for some time. My surprise purchase from this trip, however, was this:
Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Pocket, with Masuyama Broad Cursive Italic, tuned to perfection by Jim Rouse. Eydroppered, of course. Review will be forthcoming.
Hope You Didn’t Come for Nib Work . . .
Or if you did, you’d better get on the list crazy early. By the end of the day on Friday, I was told that Mike Masuyama’s list for Saturday was already filling up. Good thing I didn’t need any nib work done. (If I know Mike, however, he’ll probably burn through the list quickly and see more customers than anyone else would think humanly possible.)
And the Main Event . . .
But Friday’s main attraction (at least for most of the people there) was the Sassafling 2015, held at the offices of Nock Co. approximately 5 miles and 30 mins (hey, ATL traffic) from the show hotel. Brad and Jeff throw a mean party, and it was great to meet all of the crew from Nock Co. We even got to see the machines in action and some cases being made. The best part, of course, was the people, and it was, for lack of a better term, amazing to have most (not all, but a pretty big chunk) of our little internet community in the same room for one night. The pizza, beer, and raffle prizes weren’t too shabby either!
For those of you who couldn’t make it this year, I wish I could tell you not to worry, that you didn’t miss much, but that would be a lie. It was awesome. The good news is that this “may” become an annual event …. (or I at least hope to make it one by spreading such rumors on the internet). And if you are anywhere in the Atlanta area, get to this show. Now. I hear some podcast is recording live tonight?