What? Another pen post? Well, yes and no. I want to talk about the pen community today, a community I love very much.
Every year, Pelikan (a pen manufacturer) helps to organise pen meetings all around the globe: the Pelikan Hub. This year, they picked September 20th to host the event. All around the world pen lovers will meet around 18:30 to celebrate their love for pens. Pelikan sponsors the meetings with gifts, but you don’t need a Pelikan pen to participate. Everyone is welcome. One of the participants acts as a host who plans the get-together. They make a reservation for the location of their choice, and Pelikan sends them the gifts for everyone.
Pelikan Hub 2019
I found out about the Pelikan Hub late last year and missed the registration date. This year, I was prepared. I normally don’t sign up for events three months in the future since I have no idea how my body will behave, but I really wanted to go. Maybe my body would listen and understand it needed to behave. While I’m not feeling too well, I still went. Sometimes doing the thing you love despite not feeling well, will make you feel better.
A few days ago, I made a friend through Instagram (my Instagram purely focuses on pens and stationery), and she also signed up. She asked if I wanted to ride with them, and I accepted. We never met before, and only started talking recently. So the offer was unexpected, and I appreciated it.
There were 15 participants, all carrying pens to show off or talk about. My collection compared to those of others is pretty tame. I don’t have unique or hard to find pens. Nor do I have amazing Chinese knockoffs, or bargains. I don’t even have a theme in my collection except “I like this pen”. I think my most exotic piece is the Sailor Pro Gear with a zoom nib. But it doesn’t matter, what you have or don’t have. Everyone present is a fountain pen enthousiast, and just listening to each other’s stories is entertaining.
The friendliness, the willingness to help out a fellow pen lover, and sharing inks is what makes me love this community so much. Next week, I’ll go to my first pen show, if health allows it.
I joined the Dutch fountain pen group on Facebook and everyone is very generous in sharing their experiences (both good and bad), supporting each other, and organising fun events for all to join. Earlier this year two people started the Dutch Pen Meet, and they already set a date for next year. Robert Oster, an ink maker from Australia, was kind enough to make an exclusive ink. The colour for next year is a beautiful peach colour with a golden sheen.
People share ink and paper samples, trading pens, selling old ones, buying new. It’s a very laid back group. These get-togethers are great because no one has the same collection and most pens have their own story. Hearing the owner talk passionately about the object of their affection can be contagious. You’ll also get the chance to see a lot of interesting pens you’d otherwise never see or try.
So far everyone I’ve met in the fountain pen community was nice. I’m sure there are exceptions, but I haven’t seen them yet.