Of course one can have too many pens, and this year my buying slowed down. (Stop rolling your eyes. You know who you are.) The thrill of acquisition does fade, and in its place the joy of discovering newness in what one already owns glows more brightly.
It doesn’t mean I didn’t get new pens in 2022. How could I not? It was the year I was finally able to return to the SF Pen Show, see friends in person, and queue for Mike’s nib grinds. I taught two workshops, ate too much carbs, hugged too many people, and mentally girded my loins for Manila Pen Show 2023.
2022’s themes for me:
SIMON SUPREMACY. Simon converts pen things into other pen things and is getting really crazy good (or good crazy) at it. I am never without one of his glass nib conversions. My pet names for his stacks vary from “why does that look like an asparagus” to “that seems vaguely obscene.” I learned about Simon from Leo, whom most pen people know as the Inquisitive Quill, but who lives rent-free in my brain as a hedgehog.
SHRINKRAY ALL THE THINGS. Who did this? Who said 2022 was going to be smol year? Who insisted that smol pens must have chonk nibs? Why do so many pen people have Mini Plotters? I have so many questions.
THANK YOU TWSBI FOR THE SPRING CONVERTER. I use it to clean all my JoWo nib+feed assemblies. So much easier than any other method I’ve tried.
ODD ENDS. My new obsession is the R-Pen Flexible from Pratik Pen. It has enough give to actually be flexible, in the way I expect, but changing the point of contact with the paper also displays different flavors of line variation. I also started using leadholders for my Kakimori brass and steel nibs, and misplaced (crai) my 1.2 Drillog nib.
FUJIYAMA BLUE. Bungubox outdid themselves with this Pilot. And this double-ended glass pen.
SPEAKING OF PILOT. What’s happening over there, did you guys hire new blood? The Signature nib delivered. Tsuwairo is late to the waterproof game, but is worthy. I don’t know how many more gradients you can spray on a Capless, but based on Ja-pen’s stories, “as many as you want” is a fair answer.
TOO MANY INKS, AS USUAL. Troublemaker and Vinta had sold-out releases in 2022, which was both frustrating (for the slow of keyboard tap) and delightful (for the successful). Three Vinta inks made it to Vanness’ top ink sellers in 2022, including Kislap/Sodalite, the Vanness exclusive. I found myself using Pilot Tsuwairo frequently, as well as Troublemaker Tuslob Buwa, Robert Oster Summer Storm, Wearingeul White Rabbit, Birmingham Sterling Silver, and from Teranishi, Antique Black, Gentle Green, and Opera Rose.
ANNIVERSARY PENS. Pilot’s 70th anniversary pen, thanks to Ja-pen (I linked to their IG above, they’re a buying service for pens and other obsession-worthy objects from Japan). Platinum’s 3776 Century’s 10th anniversary pen, also via Ja-pen. Aesthetic Bay’s 20th anniversary Nakaya exclusive. I love them all.
A GLASS PEN WITH AN ITALIC NIB. Also handcarried by Ja-pen. This one is by Lucas Mahoney of Hanabi Glass Studio in Yokohama. I think this might be the highlight of my 2022, a symbol of how inventiveness, knowledge of material, beauty, fragility, and usefulness can occupy the same space at the same time. I’ll enjoy learning how to use it more in 2023.
That’s it. It’s a wrap. See you on IG and Tiktok. Maybe YouTube. Who has any energy for all of this? Or do I just need more coffee? Leave a comment, please. I would like some encouragement to write more often. <3