2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of my BWIPS 2018 experience write-up. If you didn’t read part 1, I suggest you do so before continuing with this.

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I walked into the large room through the second door. The table immediately to my right is, for some reason, completely lost to my memory. I’ll blame it on pen show excitement.

I walked down the row and spent a few minutes staring at the Kanilea Pen Company pens. They’re absolutely beautiful, but, for some reason, they just don’t call to me. I’ve yet to figure out why.

Just past Kanilea was Jonathon Brooks/Carolina Pen Co. Unsurprisingly, the pens at his table were absolutely beautiful.

As I mentioned to him, I don’t even like double-ended pens, but the ones he had available were stunning. Especially this one.

I drifted past the next couple of tables, pausing at the Bittner table to admire the Visconti Homo Sapiens. Standing there, I reminded myself of my main plans for the show.

  • Pick up my Herbert Pen Company pen
  • Decide which of the basalt Visconti Homo Sapiens I wanted to buy. Standard or midi? Dark or Bronze age?
  • Buy some inks. Specifically Diamine Golden Honey and Eau de Nil, J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune, and Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri-Same
  • Get my Montegrappa Fortuna Heartwood Pear adjusted.

Toward that end, I inquired as to the price of the Homo Sapiens and headed off to Kenro one table over.

Montegrappa Fortuna Heartwood Pear

A bit of backstory for you. I bought my Fortuna at the Bertram’s Inkwell November trunk show Cary Yeager of Kenro. It’s been cranky ever since. Once it starts writing, it writes beautifully, but the hard starts every day (often multiple times a day) were driving me nuts. Since I have a collection of pens that write every time I pick them up, I just don’t reach for pens that don’t.

I took the Fortuna back in to Bertram’s last month to ask him for advice, and he had Tim Girdler adjust it for me. It was rather funny, really. Tim asked what I wanted the pen to do, and, without missing a beat, Bert answered, “write”. And he wasn’t far off. I really just wanted to avoid the hard starts. After the adjustment, it was definitely better, but still cranky.

So back to the pen show. I spoke to Mr. Yeager reminding him of when I’d purchased the pen and explained the problem I’ve been having. Of course, out came the loop and he started evaluating the nib.

Unsurprisingly, there wasn’t really anything “wrong” with it. I’m sure Tim would have noticed if there was. Mr. Yeager did adjust the tines some, and suggested I try a thinner ink. He pointed out that the feed had an obvious sheen on it from the current ink (Robert Oster Soda Pop). I didn’t know that could cause problems. I really need to learn more about the mechanics of fountain pens.

Satisfied, Mr. Yeager handed my pen back to me and gave me his card. He asked me to contact him if I continued to have problems with the pen, and he’d send me a new section to see if that solved the problem. So far, though, it seems to be doing pretty good. I pulled it out to write with it today, and didn’t have a single problem.

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to how well the pen world stands by their products. So far everyone has been 100% willing to do whatever necessary to ensure that their pens work precisely how they should. And in some cases, they’re even willing to do ensure the pens work the way their owners want them to. There just aren’t many communities where you can get adjustments made and send things back to be tailored, tinkered with, etc. without paying a ton of money. But I digress.

With a thank-you, I turned around to head down the next row. However, Te was at a table behind me, so, of course, I had to say hello. And then my carefully organized plans to go up and down the aisles so I wouldn’t miss anything went out the window.

Goldfish Pen

Us happy pen friends flounced off to the Herbert Pen Company table. Te already knew where the table was, and, very excited, I strode up to the table and gazed down at my pen. For those interested, it’s his Poe model with octagonal shaping. The material is the “goldfish” edition of his ribbon pens.

It was beautiful in the case, but getting it in my hands was even better. After staring at it for a bit, I let Chet package it up (his box is pretty cool). Also on the table were some beautiful pens awaiting their owners, and some pens in need of adoption. The squared-off Visconti-esque pen was gorgeous. I’ve since commissioned another pen from Chet, and I think I’ll get it squared.


We had a lovely discussion about the materials he had on display and my intent to try pouring resin. We’ll see how that goes.

There was a nice pen family reunion between my #19 New Orleans Tricentennial pen (left) and Chet’s tricentennial prototype pen (right).

Getting the sense I’d taken up too much of his time, I headed off from the Herbert Pen Company table to continue my BWIPS adventures.

Did you see any pens you want? Have you ever had issues with any of your pens? Let me know in the comments and come back tomorrow for more pen show shenanigans. 🙂

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