Before all the sturm und drang of Rock Camp got going, I had time to attend another fun event. Well, fun if you love pens, and look forward to looking at tens of thousands of them in one place. Yes, I am talking about the DC Pen Supershow. I’d been looking forward to this for almost a year, since it was late 2008 that I rediscovered my pen passion.
I had a little preparation for what I would witness based on my trip to the Philly show in January. That was sort of overwhelming for a novice, and this was like that show times ten. I did have a few things I was on the lookout for, but failing to find those I knew I would still learn a great deal just by walking the floor.
Telf and I started out by hitting the ink testing table. This was a delight! Though I wish they had been more diligent about replacing the rinsing water, and in retrospect it would have been smart to bring my own dip pen to use for testing. I really barely scratched the surface of testing things, and I could have spent another hour there. There were some folks who were very organized, and had full notebooks with a page for each ink! Something to consider for next year, I guess.
The result of my tests on gray inks was the most interesting fruit of that labor; I located and tried Levenger’s Smokey, Diamine Grey, and Noodler’s Lexington Grey. I don’t think that any of these will replace J. Herbin’s Gris Nuage as my favorite, but the Smokey is remarkable in its saturation and the Lexington is remarkable in its yellowed-ness. (Thanks to the Harmless Dilettante for all those amazing ink samples!)
After that, we retreated to the haven of a local thai restaurant to have fruity blue drinks and meet my friend-from-the-internet, Tom. It was a nice break and the food gave us the fortitude for the hours of pen browsing and potential haggling we might be doing after. Tom was lovely company and further proof that meeting other geeks from the internet (I hope he knows I use the term affectionately) is usually wonderful! (You can read his account and see his pictures here.)
One amusing note: I received more comments on my tattoos than usual from pen fans on this trip. One purveyor of pens commented that since he used to work in a prison, he somewhat associated tattoos on young women with criminality. I told him I appreciated his candor, but that he should perhaps get out more! The best comment though, was “I thought you had a tattoo of the design on a Danitrio!” Nope, sorry, but that would be awesome.
Instead of knocking things off my wish list, I managed only to add things. In this case they are:
- Parker 41 in Tourquoise
- Waterman Lady Patricia Ink Vue (see a stunning example here and a good history here)
- Platinum music nib
- Vanishing Point Ice Blue LE
The Waterman InkView is actually starting to seem like “the one that got away”. I saw three different ones at the show, but only one of them was green, but I had promised myself not to buy any pens over $100, and his initial quote was much more than that. But it had been restored, and I’m learning that it’s a peculiar one to restore. At any rate, he let me take a picture, so here’s the one that got away:
Note the crazy lever and how the diamond motif is repeated on the band, clip, AND lever. Why, oh why didn’t I haggle him down and bite the bullet?! That’s it, I’m emailing him right now.