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  1. Just in case anyone is interested, New-ish pen store in Short North Arts District in Columbus, OH. Robert Mason Co. Used to be on Gay Street 2 years ago, but store had a fire and they just now reopened. They have a lot of good stuff, from paper to fountain pens and more. Even have some nice looking Bexley pens in there. Have my eye on the blue Poseidon!! Address: 17 Brickel St, Columbus, OH 43215 Staff was really nice, they ink up a lot of pens and let you try them out.
  2. I am newer to the FP world and am wondering if there are people in Columbus, Ohio who would like to start a group? I went to the Cincinnati group's meeting on Saturday and would love to meet with people closer to home! I am happy to do all of the planning and organizing to get the group going. I figure we can meet and talk pens, ink, paper, and anything else that strikes our fancy. Thanks so much!!
  3. Ebonite is a wonderful material for pens, combining lightweight solidity with a warm texture that absorbs moisture without becoming clammy. It's an irregular material that lends itself well to the fountain pen, an analog technology that hasn’t changed much in 50 years. Most of my ebonite pens originated in India, and they all write well and display an understated, old-fashioned integrity. But the Bexley Prometheus is as American -- and as Midwestern -- as a Ford Mustang (Michigan) and a Cessna Citation (Kansas). Or a Rawlings baseball mitt (Missouri). Bexley was founded in 1993 in Columbus, Ohio, by Howard Levy and other pen people who say their inspiration comes from classic designs from the first half of the 20th century. The Prometheus was first offered in the mid-2000s as a piston-filler with a gigantic, no. 8 Bock nib in 18-carat gold. Bexley appears to be gearing up for a re-release of a cartridge-converter version of the Prometheus in fall 2016, and recently sold several developmental pens in acrylic, ebonite, and celluloid material, equipped with a large, no. 6 Jowo steel nib. This particular Prometheus is made from raspberry-and-black-colored woodgrain ebonite. I now own two Bexley pens – the Prometheus and a Gaston special edition in a Tibaldi rosso-verde celluloid. This limited experience leaves me with three impressions: Bexley knows how to select, machine, and finish gorgeous material; how to ship an unbelievably smooth nib; and how to find and incorporate excellent pen furniture. The fine-grain material used in this Prometheus is the most uniform rendition of non-uniform ebonite that I’ve ever seen. I don’t know the source, whether it’s some classy version of ebonite ordinarily used in pipe stems and clarinet mouthpieces, but this material finishes up so smoothly that it cannot possibly fall in the economy category. The color is a quiet brownish-red that resembles mahogany. The gold-plated pen furniture displays depth, weight, and finish that suggest durability. The clip looks like a sturdy gold sword, the kind of double-edged blade Prometheus might have used in the theft of fire on Olympus. Two gold rings decorate the barrel, and there’s one on the cap. One of the barrel rings appears to separate the section from the barrel, decorating the cap. But this is an elegant illusion – the ring actually divides the section at the threads, and doesn’t even touch the cap. The three rings also divide the pen in two nearly equal portions, and separate the black acrylic cap and finial from the ebonite. Finally, the nib defines smoothness. If you like a toothy nib, one with some feedback, my Bexley experience suggests that you have two choices: buy a pen from someone else, or rough up your nib. It’s tough to come up with things I don’t like about the pen. It’s largish, in the girthy sense. Most of its dimensions are almost identical to a Lamy Safari, but the barrel, cap, and section are considerably thicker. The section is about 13 millimeters in diameter, a little sturdier than I’m used to, but doesn’t require much adjustment in the way I hold it. Sometimes it’s a little hard to find the sweet spot on the broad nib, but I’ve noticed that I rotate this pen more than others. Maybe it’s the girth, I don’t know, but once I find the sweet spot, it stays in place. The camphor aroma of the Bexley Gaston in rosso-verde celluloid is soothing and lovely. But the ebonite Prometheus is odorless, a good thing, because it doesn’t smell like burned rubber. The material, design, and construction of the Bexley Prometheus make you say, “I didn’t know they made them like that anymore.” But they do. If anyone today is building on the legacy of pens with integrity, born in the American Midwest, started by George Parker in Janesville, Wisconsin, and Walter Sheaffer in Fort Madison, Iowa, it’s Howard Levy, in Columbus, Ohio.
  4. Hello everyone. Forgive me if this is already posted somewhere else, or is searchable somewhere. I can't find info on groups by location. Are there groups in NEO? Specifically, Akron or Cleveland areas? I am looking for a place to meet people who can show us how to care for pens, and who want to show off their collections. I need more than YouTube, and we missed the Ohio Pen Show. TIA for any help. ~Deanna~
  5. deannasjoy

    Hello From Ne Ohio

    Hello FPN! I am a fountain pen newbie, and I'm excited to join this community of writing enthusiasts. I am a writer of fiction novels, a blogger, and a homeschooling mom of 3. I got my oldest hooked on ink, too! LOL We have spent many hours on YouTube, and fell in love with the Goulets. Now I'm looking for more, and we missed the Ohio Pen Show. So if anyone can help, I'd appreciate it!!! We are looking for a store that actually has a selection of pens to see, sample, etc. Please advise! TIA ~Deanna~
  6. Greetings FPN, I am finally getting off my butt to introduce myself and beg your indulgences with loads of questions. (Warning – long post) My name is Matthew and I’m grad student in Cleveland, Ohio. I have come to fountain pens through two routes: practicality/comfort & fun. I’m currently studying for a pretty important exam that I’ll be taking in about a month. As such, I have been (and will be) studying about 8 hours/day, everyday. This involves a fair amount of writing and note taking. I could probably go faster by using a computer, but I retain information better when I take notes by hand. Up until recently, I had been using the Dr. Grip Ltd gel pens, but was developing a bit of tendonitis. In the interest of making the process of studying more enjoyable and less physically painful, I decided to try out fountain pens. Less pressure, easier writing and a little bit o’ fun. And now I’m hooked. It’s cruel, really. I live on a very meager budget. But studying effectively is very important to me, so I have a small but limited budget that I can devote to finding the right tools for the job. Are there people in the Cleveland area (local to me) who can help me? I’ve learned a lot about pens, inks and paper in the past two month, through trial and error, reading blogs, watching youtube videos and lurking here (lots of lurking). Unfortunately, I find myself no longer able to spend the time (or money) I need to research all that is out there. Also, in chunks of $20-$50, I have spent about $150 looking for suitable tools in the short term. Most of that money has been well-spent, but enough has resulted in disappointment that I’m reluctant to part with much more without a better clue. For example, I generally prefer larger grip (10+mm) pens that come in around 15-25g and are well balanced. I tend to prefer finer points, so I’ve focused my pen search on Japanese fine and European extra-fine nibs. I currently own the following Pens, Ink and Paper: Pens: 9-Pilot Varsities (converting them to eyedropper as I run out of ink), 1-Pilot Metropolitan, 1-Pilot 78g – broad (stub) – I had to try, 2-Platinum Preppies Inks: Noodler’s X-Feather (regular black wasn’t black enough and I was working with cheap paper), Diamine Red Dragon (oddly enough, I prefer this to Oxblood) and Noodler’s BSB (still using sample – I love the color and feel; I would only use this in cheap and/or dedicated pens). Paper: Started with some Piccadilly notebooks I already had (lots of bleeding except with X-feather), now using Clairefontaine (A4 & 8.5x11) and Franklin-Christoph Firma-Flex (A5 & A6). There’s more to the story, of course. But, in a (large) nutshell, that’s it. Any thoughts? - Matthew

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