April 2017 Meeting

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This Friday (April 21, 2017) will be our regularly scheduled meeting, commencing at 6:30 pm.  You will want to attend as it is part II of The History of Ink, delivered by Garland Stonestreet. Don’t forget to bring samples of your favorite inks and papers to show and tell as well as any finds or purchases over the past month.


February Meeting Recap

The February Meeting focused on Eyedropper Pens.  Some excellent examples were shown by various members and guests and Basil provided an extensive discussion of his collection.

Here are a few photos.

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The next meeting will be on March 17.  We look forward to having you there!

February 2017 Meeting

The February Meeting will be this Friday (2-17-17) at 6:30.  The topic is Eye Dropper Fountain Pens.  Bring your examples and questions!

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January Meeting Summary

Theme of the January 27th meeting was Pens with Flexible Nibs. An excellent & informative presentation was made by Joel Moline. The presentation dealt with two main components, the flex nib pen and it’s user.  The summary of the talk below by Joel. 

The user must understand the advantages and limitations of the flex nib.  Too often users are of the opinion that the nib must be pushed to the limit in order to be used.  The whole purpose of a flex nib is to provide character to the line of the written word.  The user must develop a feel for the nib and a certain finesse in it’s use. To obtain the most benefit the user must control the touch of the pen to paper; greater pressure on the downstrokes and lighter pressure on upward or lateral strokes.

Nibs provide us with a variety of characteristics; ridged (the nail), soft (some spring but little if any line variation), Semi-flex (line variation with a bit of effort), full flex ( line variation with a bit of effort), and Wet Noodle ( line variation with little effort…but easily sprung nib).  Each nib will vary in the line contrast it provides ( XXF- B, M-BB, etc.).  A nibs ability to rebound, to go from flex back to it’s normal unfixed line.  A flex nib that doesn’t rebound can be frustrating to use.  The flow must be enough to provide adequate ink to nib when it is flexed and not railroad.  The material the nib is made and the nibs design will have an effect on the flex.  Vintage nibs were most often 14K gold, contemporary flex nibs may be 14K gold, steel, or titanium.

 After the presentation attendees tested the various Pens w/ Flex nibs that members brought for show and tell.

The following discussion took place at our January 27th meeting:

Business & Program Discussion:
1-     Agreed on the location & date of P.E.N.S. Christmas party; Presbyterian Homes at Shoreview on Jan. 7th, 2018.
2-     Neil reported that our treasury has $1448.45 + $40 from new members less $70 outstanding bills.
3-     PENS Library: Randy K. has part of our PENS Library in his office & Frank C. has the balance of the Library at his home. Jana kindly volunteered to inventory our library of books to be listed eventually on our web site for lending purposes. Randy to look for a mobile cart so the library can be moved back and forth easily to our meeting space.
4-     The members present approved the schedule of meeting programs with suggested changes. See the approved revised P.E.N.S. Program Schedule for 2017 attached.

5-     Frank C. to send out the Pen Directory after updates have been made. Please submit any last minute changes to Frank by e-mail;  frankcrescioni@comcast.net
6-     Winners of the Pen Cartoon #12 were: Joel Moline, 1st place. Basil Gilliland 2nd place. Neil Lutsky & Todd Andrews tied for 3rd place. Prizes were handed out to the winners.
7-     Hosts for February are Teresa, March Jana & Mike C. for April. Mark your calendars.
8-     Verla Klassen (our PENS poet) read her new poem for the meeting attendees.
 9-     The slate of P.E.N.S. officers elected for 2017-18 are as follows:
*         President, Francis Bulbulian
*         Vice President, Randy Kirsch(new)
*         Treasurer, Neil Lutsky
*         News Letter Editor, Frank Crescioni
*         Web Site, Phil Munson
See you all at the February Meeting (February 17, 2017)

Holiday Party 2017

Don’t miss it.  The PENS holiday party is just around the corner, this Sunday evening.  See the invitation to all PENS members below ~

holiday-party-invite-2015  (click to open PDF invitation)


Summerhouse Apartments, Community Room

             4655 North Victoria St.

            Shoreview, MN 55126-5885

Date: Sunday January 8th, 2017

Time: 4:00 PM to 9:00PM

Please bring an appetizer, dessert, or beverage


From Minneapolis:

Highway 94 East to 280 North, connect to 35W North.


North on 35W, then East (right) on hwy 96, (past 694)

Hwy 96 to North Victoria, approx. 2 miles.

Turn left (North) at stoplight onto Victoria, 0.1 mile to Summerhouse Apartment on left side. Park in apartment parking lot, or in lot on left just before apartment.

From St. Paul:

Highway 35E North to 694. Go West (left) on 694 to Lexington Ave. Go North (right) on Lexington to Hwy 96. Go East (right) on 96 to North Victoria, approx 1 mile. Turn left at stoplight onto North Victoria, 0.1 mile to Summerhouse Apartment on left side.


Park in apartment parking lot, or in lot on left just before apartment. This is a secure building. One of the PENS members, will be at the door to greet you…………………..SEE YOU THERE :–))


If you have questions, or get lost, contact

Francis Bulbulian @ 651-983-6165.


Remember to bring your most your Beautiful pen, Ugliest pen for judging by the ladies for prizes. Also bring a gift pen with gold nib, working condition, for the traditional Pen Exchange.



July 2016 Meeting Recap

The July Meeting took place on the 15th and was attended by 15 members.  Thank you to our new members!  The theme was Fountain Pen repairs.  Several members brought tools and machinery that they use to repair their pens.

Francis and Frank both put on excellent demonstrations.  Frank brought a beautiful Sheaffer twist-filler back to life and Francis did the same with a Parker Vacumatic. Below are a few photos from the meeting.


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The August meeting will be on August 19th at the usual location (address on the right side if this page).  The tentative topic is British Pens.  So, dig up those Conway Stewart, Mentmore, Summit, Swan, Valentine, Parker and any other British pens to share!

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