We went to the pen show!
Baby in tow, Jon sat me down for a stern talking-to about restraint and self-control, and we were off to Toronto Public Library’s flagship Reference Branch.
We aimed to arrive just after 10, hoping to avoid the crowds…but this was not to be.
Most of my pictures are of…people crowding around tables.
There was a raffle for prizes donated by exhibitors, including new and vintage pens, inks, stationery and letterpress. Ours, right in the middle, was an Edison Collier and a bottle of the new Sailor Four Seasons ink.
Claudia, from FPN, had a table set up to display and give away (!) samples of the new KWZI and Black Stone Powdered ink, which I haven’t tried yet! And she was also kind of enough to loan me a chair from her corner post so I could get a slightly better picture of more people crowding around tables.
The baby, who has spent most of his short life embarrassing us by alternately crying and spitting up at the least opportune moments possible, was dazed by all the sparkly pens (so was I, apparently).
I picked up a pen! A vintage Mabie-Todd flex nib. I was actually not looking for a flex nib, as I’m no calligrapher and flex nibs can be tough for on the go writing and notes, however, this was the pen for me.
Its nib is actually close to a medium/broad without any pressure, which is about what I like for most of my nibs. It takes some larger writing to get flex, but it’s extremely wet, so I haven’t been able to get any railroading yet!
The turn-out was great – so great that I didn’t even get a chance to say hi to David, one of the organizers, because of the swarms of people around his table.
It was wonderful to see so many of our regular customers at the show. In fact, while looking over trays and trays of pens with hunger eyes, I literally bumped into a few! It was also wonderful to hear from a few vendors about how more and more younger generations are starting to become interested in pens, both modern and vintage. Actually, one of the best parts of this community is how older generations are so welcoming to us younger folk, and willing to share all of their knowledge and enthusiasm. Being part of this community here in Toronto and throughout Canada is one of the most fulfilling parts of starting this business and seeing it grow.
A show for next year has already been confirmed, and no wonder based on how many people were squashed into the rooms. Check their website for more updates. How exciting the things that are happening here in Toronto!