The Swab Guessing Contest Winner! + a Great Short Film on Writing & the Shop

It’s Jessica W.! Jessica got six of the answers correct, although a few of you were also close with five. I can appreciate that it’s harder than it looks! I mostly only know inks that we sell, so I love looking at other inks that customers bring in.

Jessica – (I hope without sounding too creepy), I think we have your info on file! However, just be on the safe side, could you send me an e-mail – I hope you’re excited for some surprise treats heading your way 🙂

In case you were curious, here are the correct answers:

  1. Diamine Oxblood
  2. Noodler’s Squeteague
  3. Noodler’s Antietam
  4. Rohrer & Klingner Verdigris
  5. Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu
  6. J. Herbin Cacao de bresil
  7. Waterman Mysterious Blue
  8. J. Herbin Ambre de birmanie
  9. Sailor Sei-Boku
  10. Diamine Autumn Oak
  11. Diamine Ochre
  12. Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrun

Thanks to everyone who participated! 🙂


And I also wanted to share a great video made by Mairead Shaw. Mairead is now a university student, but she started interviewing Jon and filming material when she was in high school! I think it took so long because Mairead was mostly working around her school schedule and when she was in the city and had time to visit the shop – actually both the 906 Dundas West shop, and now here on the east end.

She recently put everything together into a short documentary called “Write On” about writing and the shop and she’s got Jon’s handsome mug in it, too.

I’ve watched it three or four times already! I think it’s amazing that someone like Mairead would not only take so much interest in handwriting and a tiny independent shop like ours, but also put it together in such a great short documentary. I think Jon looks just a bit cranky, but really, she’s captured the essence of why we write!

We get asked quite a bit about how we got into this business of selling ‘old-fashioned’ writing tools, and whether or not handwriting is dying, but Mairead’s film shows that there is interest – serious, or fun, or growing, or just there – from younger generations, kids in school now, or folks Jon and my age, or older. I think writing is something profound to who we are as humans, and its ‘comeback’ is pretty amazing.

I loved especially seeing glimpses of the old 906 Dundas West shop (and Jon’s face pre-beard). Sometimes people come into the new shop and they say, oh this shop is so much better! Bigger and more space and you can run calligraphy classes! And of course this is all true, but the old space will always be special. We stopped by not so long ago, and Studio 348 has turned it into this beautiful and elegant space, but I think fondly of the cluttered shelves and boxes of stock.

As always, there are big and small plans for blog posts percolating away. My vintage pen from the Scriptus Toronto Pen Show may be turning up sometime soon. My blog post about it will basically be links to other articles that know more about vintage pens than I do. Shop updates for the holidays. New pens from Pilot have been turning up and more are to come – some pretty exciting ones you all have been asking about since forever. Jon keeps joking that I always have to add on an extra unit for myself. One of each! He’s mostly kidding. Stay tuned.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself, because the dreamiest thing of all is that part of my job is writing about stationery.

5 thoughts on “The Swab Guessing Contest Winner! + a Great Short Film on Writing & the Shop

    1. Liz Post author

      Maybe!! I used to make videos with my students (back when I was a teacher) all the time, and it was a lot of fun! However, I don’t know if we have the chops to make videos to publish on the internet… haha! 🙂

  1. Jessica W (@jwrekso)

    Oh wow, I didn’t realize that I won the contest! I can’t wait for the package to arrive! XD

    I’ve emailed you to confirm (using the email I usually order with.)

    I just realized that 6 out 12 correct is technically a fail mark in regular class setting, but good thing I’m not in school anymore! =D

    1. Liz Post author

      I’ll have to pass your compliments on the video on to the director!
      And I’m glad you had fun – it was a bit tricky, I must say…I’m not sure I would have done too well myself 🙂


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