July Meeting

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The July Meeting will be this Friday (July 15) at 6:30 at our usual meeting place:

Presbyterian Homes Office Building  2845 Hamline Ave North,  Roseville, MN, 55113  (see map to right)

The theme for this month’s meeting is “Pen Repair Tools and Techniques” and will feature various repair demonstrations by members.  Please bring along any tools you may use in repair as well as some of the various books that assist you, even if you do minor repairs.

We look forward to seeing you there!


June 2016 Meeting Recap

The June Meeting was a good one, led by Garland Stonestreet, who gave a well-researched talk on a wide range of Inks and their characteristics. If you missed his talk there will be a Part 2 where he will delve more into the history on inks. He also plans to write an article for our Newsletter on the same subject.  Here is Francis’ short summery of his presentation:

1. IRON GAL INK- High tannins + salt. The original ink that was used on the Dead Sea Scrolls. The ink burns into the parchment or paper.

2. PIGMENT INKS – From Greek and Roman times. Basically made from carbon black collected from the sooth in chimneys originally.

3. DYED INKS – The modern inks we used today. There is the Organic Dyes differentiated from the Aniline dyes. The ink we use today is made up of Water + Dye + Pigment. To this mixture is added a variety of vehicles such as PH modifiers, lubricants, anti-freeze, anti-foaming agents, wetting agents, and agents to speed the drying time of the ink.

Here are a few photos from the event as well. Thank you, Garland, for putting this together for us!

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Also, Dave Olson brought his entire collection of Pen World magazines and donated it to the library now under Randy’s management.  Thank you Dave!


May 2016 Meeting Recap

The May Meeting was an excellent insight into the world of Pen Turning and Pen Making.  Member John Buettner  brought in his tools, supplies and machinery and gave us a demonstration on the various types of pens, fountain pens, and pencils (and even some awesome jewelry) that he makes from various materials from Silver to Plastics.  All are extraordinary works of craftsmanship and we are grateful to John for sharing his talents with us.

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and a small video of polishing.  Yes, we now have video on our site.  Look for more as the month’s roll on.

May 2016 Meeting

The May Meeting will be on Friday May 20, and feature member John Buethner demonstrating the making of pens barrels, sections and caps from raw materials.
John will  bring samples of his work to show and  will make custom pens on order with nib of your choice.
We will meet at 6:30 pm at our usual location at the Presbyterian Homes.  See you there!
Meeting at: Time 6:30 PM
2845 Hamline Ave N
Roseville, MN 55113

April 2016 Meeting Recap

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The following are excerpts from President Francis Bulbulian’s email to members:

The April meeting was held at Wet Paint in St. Paul with 17 pen club attendees and 7 guests. Francis presented a brief history of the P.E.N.S. organization, membership and various educational aspects of the Pen Club to the store guest attending.

Virginia McBride from Wet Paint brought out 8 different types of paper products for our expert testers write on & elicit comments. Participants gave grades of 1-5 with 5 the highest satisfaction with the papers provided.

Papers tested: were 3 different weight & finish of Strathmore papers made in the US , Tomoe paper from Japan, Rodea-R paper from France, ClairFountain Clay-coated paper from France, Hahnemuhle paper from Germany, Zerkall paper from Germany. Testers gave Tomoe paper the highest grade in satisfaction. Hahnemuhle & Zerkall papers were tied for second place.

Other short notes:

*         Frank Crescioni, Mike Carter, Brian Holstine and I attended the Chicago Pen Show April 28th thru May 1st. I will write a brief report of the Show.

*         The club received the first issue of WES (Writing Equipment Society) English magazine. In addition we are now members and order repair videos and other items for the club at a discount. Web site is http://www.wesonline.org.uk/
*         Good news; we now have 20 new paid club members for 2016!


April 2016 Meeting

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Our next meeting is April 15th at WET Paint on Grand Ave in St. Paul, MN. We will start at 6:30 PM and the Theme of the meeting is Testing Paper & Ink.

Wet Paint is located at 1684 Grand Avenue in St. Paul and its website, including directions can be accessed here.



March 2016 Meeting Recap

We had a good showing once more for our March 18th meeting.  Our President, Francis has submitted the report below.
  1. The theme of the meeting, if you missed the meeting,  was vintage pens and pencils in their original boxes. There was wide selection of sets with very interesting & clever presentation boxes. Some of the boxes alone go for high dollars.  Attached are a few picture showing examples from our members vaults
  1. Frank Crescioni was back from his business trip to the United Arab Emirate’s and had some interesting observations.
  2. The winners of the Round # 8 Pen Cartoon were Randy Kirsch 1st place & Joel & Fritz tied for 2nd place.  I also reported that I have another half a dozen new pen cartoons that I got from Dennis Mikalean when I visited the LA Pen Show this past February.
  3. Thanks to Neil for the food & drink. Mike Carter has volunteered to bring finger foods for our May get together.
  4. We have 2 Repair Videos by Jim Marshall. One purchased and one donated to our library. Randy checked out the Parker 51 Repair Video. As I mentioned at the meeting we have a Library of books & magazines at Presbyterian Homes which Randy is in charge of.
  5. John Buettner will give us a demonstration of Pen-Turning (making pens from raw materials) at our May meeting.
  6. Our next meeting is April 15th at WET Paint on Grand Ave in St. Paul, MN. We will start at 6:30 PM and the Theme of the meeting is Testing Paper & Ink. A variety of papers will be provided by Wet Paint for our testing. Bring your favorite pen or quill to do some testing. We will take a poll of the top 3 papers preferred by the pen club members present.
Submitted by Francis Bulbulian
Pen Club President

March 2016 Meeting

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The March Meeting will be this Friday (March 18, 2016)  at the Presbyterian Homes Office Building (direction on the right side of this website).  The theme for this month’s meeting is Vintage (pre 1960s) Pen Sets in their original boxes.  So, search for those Pen and Pencil (or I suppose Pen and Ballpoint, or Pen and whatever) sets that have a matching box and bring them in for show and tell. Also, don’t forget to bring recent finds and any projects you may be working on.   We look forward to seeing everyone on Friday night!

And don’t forget, Frank’s award winning newsletter will be available to all.


February Meeting Review

The February Meeting saw a good attendance and several new attendees!   The topic was Italian Pens and several members brought representative samples for us to peruse.

Here are few ~

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One thing we learned is that Italian pens, at least the more recent ones, are extremely ornate and colorful…

Our next meeting will be March 18 and the topic will be Pre – 1960s boxed Pen and Pencil sets. So, scour those closets and storage bins for some vintage boxed sets to share.

February Meeting

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Our February Meeting is at 6:30 on February 19.  The topic for this month’s meeting is Italian Pens and Pen Related Items.  So search through your collections, or come armed with Italian Pen questions!  See you there!