Monthly Archives: October 2017

Scriptus 2017 Show Map & Directory

With under a week remaining until the show, our team is working hard to ensure that things run smoothly for everyone. We are happy to announce that the Exhibitors Map & Directory is now available for download.

Also worth mentioning: are you overwhelmed by crowds? Highly sensitive? On the spectrum? So are some of us! Last year’s excellent blog post Scriptus & the Introvert, is written by a member of the Scriptus team on the autism spectrum. It provides some excellent strategies for anyone who loves pens & writing, but can’t stand crowds, and we encourage anyone facing these issues to check it out when planning to visit Scriptus 2017.

The countdown is on, and we look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday!

The Last Chapter

We are happy to announce that pre-ordering is now open for the Scriptus Canada 150 pen, commissioned for Scriptus 2017.

The lovely Scriptus Canada 150 show pen, styled after the classic designs of the 1930s. Honouring the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation, this pen has been produced in a limited edition of 150, custom-made for us by the Bexley Pen Company, of Columbus, Ohio.

Made of Japanese-manufactured red ebonite, with a subtle flecked gradation. The classic gold-pated roller clip is attractive, and easy on clothing.

We have opted for an elegant section, longer than usual in modern pens. This ensures that this pen is a joy to hold, for all ages and hands. The section is made of black plastic, to avoid ink staining.

A steel Jowo #6-sized nib is provided with the pen, in either fine, medium, or broad width. This gives each pen owner the future option of swapping in a gold Jowo nib of any available style, if they wish to do so. (Please note: Scriptus does not supply gold nibs, but they are available from a number of pen shops & online vendors.)

We cannot guarantee that any particular serial number is still available, but if you have a preference, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your choice.

Can be filled using cartridges, or a converter and bottled ink. Safe for use with super-saturated, or boutique inks!

The price of $275 includes taxes and is in Canadian dollars, of course.

Click here to go to the pre-order page.

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Here, There, and Everywhere

So it’s been a busy couple of weeks. Obviously, with Scriptus being only just over a week away. Following a bit on the last post’s trend, it started with this photo:

Show Pen Caps

David “Caps are good. They look nice, and they are done.”

Philip “They are done. And they do look nice.”

David “What would be great, is if the rest of the pens were done, too.”

Philip “Funny you should say that. Howard says they are finishing up the barrels today, and the barrel engraving tomorrow. He hopes to have them in the mail by the end of the week.”

One good thing is that the USPS is excellent; two days gets pretty much anything anywhere. And in this case, Heinz Dschankilic (, one of the stalwarts of the Cambridge Pen Breakfast, has graciously volunteered the use of his Niagara Falls, NY, shipping address. Being able to negotiate customs ourselves will be a huge time-saver.

And the next day:

Philip “Incoming.” [Our code for ‘check your email, I just sent you something.’] “And pens have shipped.”

Finally, the show pen!

And here is what came in:

Finally, the finished goods!

And sure enough, after the Pen Breakfast on saturday, Philip and Heinz took a trip over the border, and picked up the pens. All 150 of them.

Which is when the worrying stopped, and the work began. Photos? We need better photos! Can we get one out for review? How about measurements? And a web page? We need the pre-sales web page up and running! Do we add a shipping option? No, right, they are just for pick-up at the show. Unless we don’t sell all of them. We’ll sell all of them.

Why are we doing this again? Right. Because it’s for Scriptus, and Scriptus is fun. It really is.

Red Alert

Philip “So, it looks like our pen is red.”

You know how some TV shows drop a bomb at the beginning, and then flash back to show you how it all happened? I hate that too. But that is what we are doing for this chapter of The Scriptus Show Pen Saga.

It began, simply enough, with a photo. One of Howard’s update photos. This photo:

It was sent attached to an email, the likes of which was music to our ears:

Dear Philip,

Attached picture shows the top screws being assembled with the brass joiner screw and an assembled cap ready for sanding and polishing.

The caps are in second machining operation now and should be completed by the end of the day.

Still have the barrels to make through two operations and the sections through the second operation. All seems to be running smoothly.

Best Regards,

That is to say, the email was great. The photo rang some alarm bells.

David “You know, those caps look awfully red to me.”

Philip “I’m sure the ripple will come out when they buff them.”


David “So, do you think it might be a good idea to drop him a line, just to make sure there was no confusion, and they used the right rod stock?”

Philip “I’m sure everything will be fine.”


Philip “I’ll call him tomorrow.”

[An hour passes.]

Philip “So, it looks like our pen is red.”

There was some other conversation, covering such diverse and surprising topics as ‘What the heck happened!?’, and ‘Is there time…?’, and ‘What do we do now?’ The details are trifling and, occasionally, frustration seeps through. The argument that trumped it all was Philip’s:

Philip “I can send you the entire email chain if you like, so you can see in hindsight where things went off the rails. This is not tact, but ownership.”

Remember last chapter where, in a stroke of unintentional foreshadowing, we mentioned that careful design can fall apart when faced with the reality of production? And that sometimes designers get surprised with results when it is all too late to change anything?

Well, there comes a point where you just sigh and take ownership of the situation, which is yours, and do what you can to see the best in it. There are only a few weeks left until the show, which is far too little time to make any changes to the show pen.

As the executive partner (in my marriage) put it:

Michele “Red isn’t so bad. Philip wants it to be a Canada 150 pen, right? Well, the mounties wear red serge. And the flag has a red maple leaf, right in the middle. You can’t get more Canadian than red!”

And it’s still hard rubber, which, as we mentioned way back in chapter two, is an excellent material.

We instantly sent out an email to everyone who has committed to buy a show pen (mostly people who regularly attend the pen meet-ups where Philip held his focus groups). And, perhaps surprisingly, of the 18 committments, only four changed their minds. And someone jumped in, because they like red.

Let that be a lesson to all us pessimists out there.