So I'm reporting live from my fifth Atlanta Pen Show! Atlanta has become quite the stop on the pen show circuit, due both to timing (it's the first show in a warm location at the beginning of spring) and the fact that it's the venue for the annual live recording of the Pen Addict podcast. Did I mention it's also a great pen show? Despite it's relatively small size, Atlanta always draws a wide range of vendors, including Vanness Pens, Anderson Pens, and Papier Plume, as well as makers (Jonathan Brooks, Franklin-Christoph, Nock Co.) and nib grinders (Mike Masuyama and Mark Bacas). So you can pretty much find anything you can possibly think of.
I arrived Thursday night, and hung out at the hotel bar with a small group of early birds. We were all pretty tired, so it wasn't a super late night, but it was fun to catch up with people I hadn't seen in several months, and in a couple cases, even a few years.
Friday morning was the first full "show day," and where I did most of my shopping. I always purchase the weekend pass, which gets you into the show an hour early and lets you make a run at the super-popular inks or the rare and hard to find pens. I immediately ran over to the Papier Plume table and picked up a new Faggionato PKS, since I've enjoyed the Petrarque I purchased in New Orleans. The rest of my Friday got a bit derailed by some conference calls I had to take for work, but I managed to pick up some limited edition Montblanc Inks, a Seed A5 case from Nock Co., and a Story Supply Co. Exposition Notebook in Burnt Orange.
Saturday appeared to be crazy-busy at times. The crowds were lined-up three deep at most of the vendor tables during the 10-2 rush, which is fairly typical for Saturday at a pen show. I spent most of the morning taking pictures and chatting with vendors, and most people seemed to be having a very good show, though a few vendors observed that this year's crowd skewed younger and that the purchases being made tended to be at the entry-level end of the price spectrum. Personally, I think that's great for the long-term health of pen shows, and the pen industry in general. I met over a dozen people who were attending their first show, and a few who were purchasing their first pen.
I made one pen purchase: the 2018 U.S. limited edition Kaweco AL-Sport in red. I haven't had an AL-Sport or AC-Sport in quite some time, and I wasn't going to pass this one up when I saw it sitting on the Vanness table. Otherwise, I didn't purchase much else on Saturday. I had Mike Masuyama grind two nibs to .4mm cursive italics (what's become my preferred grind), and I had Mark Bacas grind another cursive italic and tune another pen that was writing dry.
Saturday night, of course, was the live recording of the Pen Addict podcast, featuring guest appearances by both Jim Rouse of Franklin-Christoph and Lisa Vanness of Vanness Pens. You can listen for yourself here, if you haven't downloaded already!
Other Cool Stuff I Saw at the Atlanta Pen Show
Barring something unexpected that happens Sunday morning, that's likely it for Atlanta this year! Since this was a show weekend, I'm posting my recap on Sunday and will move links to Monday morning. This week's schedule should otherwise be normal.
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