Before I dive into this post, I want to say I “discovered” these brands like Columbus “discovered” America. What I mean by “discoveries” is that I purchased from the below brands for the first time in 2023. That a brand is on this list doesn’t mean that I didn’t know it existed before 2023, although that’s true in a couple of cases. It means that the brand did not have any representation in my pen collection before 2023.
In an unsurprising reduction, I only purchased from seven new-to-me brands in 2023, down from the nine of 2022. It makes sense that with each year I’m in the pen world I will have less new-brand purchases, even more so when I buy less pens overall — more of that in a later post.
What is a surprise is that nearly half of them are mainstream brands. But, enough exposition, on with the plot! Per usual, let’s start with mainstream brands, then jump into the indie brands. FYI: The lists are in alphabetical order.
Jim has loved his Gioia pens from day one, enough to make me feel I should have one. However, their style wasn’t particularly to my taste. That is , until the Cameo Edition. I thought it would make me happy to own long-term, as it’s pretty. But, I ultimately decided it just doesn’t measure up against some of my other pens — I think it’s a bit too plain.
I’ve already decided to sell it. If you’re interested in purchasing it, check out my Pens for Sale post.
I’d never even given Scribo much thought, but I saw the Spiaggia Rosa at the DC Pen Show and fell in love with the material. While it’s mean to be sand — spiaggia means beach — it reminds me of stone. It’s a unique-to-me material, and I love it.
Jim ensured I looked over the Scriveiner table at the London Pen Show. The weight of the EDC and the smoothness of the nib both impressed me, and that as before I found out the imminently reasonable price. Once I learned that the bare metal models are sealed with lacquer, I was sold! No fingerprints, much less worry of scuffs, no metal smell, and — best of all — no patina!
Earlier this year, before I decided my pen collection is too big to keep buying “pretty ink sticks,” I fell in love with the pen Azizah (AKA Gourmet Pens) was giving away to encourage people to buy charity stickers. When I didn’t win, I commissioned a near-identical match.
Late last year, I asked Rob to add me to his queue for one of each of his seasons pens. I ended up skipping the summer pen — I dislike summer — but I worked with him to create a boba tea pen, so I still have four of his pens in my collection.
My first Shibui North pen came in the form of a gift which brought the brand to my attention. The work is stunning, and I couldn’t resist the Creepy Little Skulls pen when I was at the London Pen Show. If you like smaller pens, or pens that have some heft, you definitely ought to check out Shibui North.
Jim surprised me with this micarta pen earlier this year. He knew I’ve been eyeing various micarta materials, and gifted me this one. Even better, it helped fill a void in my collection, as I have a decided dearth of brown pens.
Thanks for reading to the end, I hope you enjoyed my post. Have you purchased anything from any of the brands on my list? Do you plan to? Or do you want to? Let me know in the comments! I love hearing from you.