2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 3

Welcome to part 3 of my BWIPS 2018 experience write-up. If you didn’t read part 1 or part 2, I highly suggest you do so before continuing with this. I’d like to take a moment before I start to mention that the more I “got into” the pen show, the less I remembered to take photos. So you’ll be seeing less for this installment.

As I was leaving the Herbert Pen Company table, I spotted Jim, and went to grab him so he could pick up his own pen. Of course, in doing so, I lost Te along the way. These things happen at shows. We’re walking along, happy as can be, then suddenly, “Oooohhh!! Shiny!!!”

Jim was a very happy Pen Sloth once he got his hands on his pen. I may be biased, but I think my pen is a little bit nicer. ;-). His is beautiful, though. It reminds me of Thai iced tea.

Herbert Pen Company Pen

I left Jim to chat with Chet, and continued my pen show wanderings. Having accomplished two of my four self-assigned tasks for the show, I figured it was time to go on an ink hunt. I wound my way around the large room, ending up at the Anderson table.

I found Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri-Same there and grabbed the bottle, but the other inks I wanted were nowhere to be found. I figured Poussiere de Lune would be hard to find, and maybe Eau de Nil, but I was sure Golden Honey would be everywhere since it’s fairly new. But no. In fact, in that pass of the large room, Kiri-Same was the only ink I found.

Figuring one was better than none, I purchased it, and inquired about the Homo Sapiens pricing. I also took some time to take photos of some of the maki-e pens on display. Mike Matteson of Inkdependence was at the table as well, teasingly telling me he was the only photographer allowed. So I snapped a photo of him. *giggle*

Anderson Pen Company Table Anderson Pen Company Table Mike of Inkdependence

As I was finishing up, I received a text from Jim saying there was a Twilight Vanishing Point available in the back corner for $500. Since they’re regularly on eBay for about $750, I hurried my butt over there to check it out. The gentleman selling the pen was imminently kind, and even apologized for not making a better offer on it.

Hoping for some kind of sign, I asked what number the pen was. The answer: 1967. A number with absolutely no meaning to me whatsoever. I took that as my sign. Clearly I wasn’t meant to buy that pen. And, honestly, as I thought it over, I realized I was more interested in the collectibility of the pen than the pen itself. I liked the idea of having a “matched” set (crimson sunrise and twilight).

Woodshed Pen Company

With a thank you for his kindness, I headed off down the row and found myself at Woodshed Pen Company‘s table. I basically skipped over the Woodshed table at the DC Pen Show because I was a big dummy. But this time, having eagerly followed Mike’s Instagram for many months, I was ready to check out the offerings.

A post shared by Mike Allen (@woodshedpenco) on

To my amazement, there were two Spring 1 material pens sitting on the table. I could hardly believe it. I hadn’t put in an order for one when they were debuted, because I’d just purchased a pen. Then Jim and I went on a “pen diet” until the BWIPS. To have my choice of pens was some kind of miracle.

Of course, once I’d taken in the Spring 1 pens, I realized there was a fabulous blue and bronze “Ravenclaw” pen. In my excitement I blurted out something along the lines of “Oooh, Ravenclaw!” According to Mike, I wasn’t the first to make that connection. Even better is that there was also a yellow and black pen. So Hufflepuff was represented as well. My suggestion was to make a pen for each house and add on mascot rollstoppers. I’d buy the whole set in a heartbeat. Hmmm…maybe I need to put in a commision. IDEAS!!!

Anyway, it took me a while, but I settled on the Spring 1 pen with more blue visible. Then I made the mistake of looking at the pen blanks. Well, I don’t consider it a mistake, but I think my wallet did. Sitting right on top was a material I can only describe as Sunrise. The blue, yellow, and pink swirled together were almost the exact colors I see on cloudy days on my morning commute.

"Sunrise" pen blank

This left me with a difficult decision. Should I get the Spring 1 pen, or order a pen in the Sunrise material? Did someone say do both? You read my mind.

As Mike got my Spring 1 pen together, and I gave him my information for the Sunrise pen, we had a lovely chat. I don’t recall how we got on the subject, but my book came up. I told him about the general storyline, and how much fun I’d had creating a new vampire mythology.

Vampire mythology is, apparently, not a term thrown around often, so I then got to have some fun telling Mike about the various types of vampires I’ve encountered in my reading (e.g. undead monsters, a separate species, citizens of Atlantis, etc.).

As the conversation wound to a close, I packed away the pen I was taking with me, and paid for both. I took some photos of the truly fantastic pens on display at the Dromgoole’s table and had a nice chat with Cheriz from the DC Pen group, before deciding it was lunch time and I needed to find my crew.


I found Te at the Anderson table, and we had a lovely chat with poor Lisa who was suffering from a cold. I really hope she’s feeling better. Then Te led me off to Jim and Bryan so we could all go have lunch.

While the food and company was excellent at lunch, the service was, frankly, appalling. We ate at the hotel restaurant which was, somehow, understaffed. On Saturday. During the pen show. It took us almost an hour and a half to receive our meal, at which point I was mostly full from the appetizers we’d received nearly a half hour earlier.

Our “neighbors” at the next table were also pen show people (I’m guessing most everyone in the restaurant was), and were sharing their purchases. Of course, Jim, whose superpower is to talk to anyone, jumped in, and next thing I knew, we were all comparing purchases. The ladies had some fabulous pens and notebooks.

Jim had fun showing off his new Herbert Pen Company pen, and called on me to share both of mine. I also pulled out my Smith Crafters Gold Rush pen, which was a bit hit. And, of course, my pen show bag of holding received its share of attention. Really, other than the snailike service, lunch was quite nice.

Leaving the restaurant felt a bit like coming out of a huddle. We all went our separate way to finish errands before Tyler’s Organics Studio ink talk.

I don’t want to end up with a 3,000 word post again, so I’m going to stop here. Come back tomorrow for my Visconti horror story. Ok, that might be a bit harsh, but it was definitely a rough introduction to owning a Visconti pen.

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