On Memorial Weekend this year, I went to the Pen Show. Honestly I wasn’t planning on going as I have fallen out of love with fountain pens, but at the very last minute I bought a ticket with two missions: A) To say hi to Mike Sull and a few friends and B) Buy a Nakaya Decapod Twist in Aka-tamenuri.
I had lusted over a Nakaya Decapod Twist for years.. YEARS. And in fact I came very close to buying it several times, but always stopped myself because I wanted it tuned in person rather than buying it online. I wanted to be absolutely sure it will write exactly how I like, and as a calligrapher, I know what I like. So this year I told myself I’ll go to Los Angeles and have John Mottishaw tune it for me in person. That was my $750 plan.
Anyway, the LA Pen Show is in the Manhattan Beach Marriott, Los Angeles and runs on Memorial Day weekend. It starts from Thursday to Sunday, but only Sunday is the public day. That means Thursday-Saturday is only for Traders and cost $55 for a badge, but if you just want to go on Sunday, it costs $6. I decided to go for Saturday and Sunday.
The first person I said hi to was Mike Sull and Mike Ward, and I walked around looking at stuff. If you’ve never been to the show, well imagine tables and tables of pens.. all kinds of pens, modern, vintage, painted, wood, whatever. I’m not that big of a fountain pen person really.
I went dip nib hunting, but not much success, haha. There are of course very many amazing straight gold nibs, but eh.. I didn’t get any. Check out those silver penholder and pen knives on the right.. this guy has a quill cutter that I really want, but it was too expensive for me. Awesome collection!
Desk pens. I always wanted one of these. Anyway, so off I went to the Nibs.com desk, and asked John Mottishaw to tune a Parker Sonnet I have and asked if he has any Decapod Twists in Aka Tanemuri in stock. I mean he’s gotta right, his desk was full of pens!
Nope! He didn’t have any! My heart fell! All he has is one in that green color and a tamenuri with a clip on.. but for that money I don’t want a clip. Oh well Mission failed…
Anyway, it was a very fun event, I had dinner and lunch with Mike Sull and Ward and we chatted a lot, and it was great fun to meet new and old pals from the show. Here’s Pierre Miller from Desideratapens.com.
And check out these vintage Skeels obliques.. nah I didn’t find them cheap at the show, a friend brought it to show me. And yes, while the show is called LA PEN show, it really was more a fountain pen show. Not many nibs or stationery or inkwells or stuff.. which was the stuff I like.
Maybe next year I’ll get my Decapod Twist! Grrrr…