The show hours were 11 am - 4 pm, but vendors are there to set up a bit early, and it runs a little after if there's still interest at the tables (though the museum kicked us out eventually). This year, we entered around 10 am with a rather high admission fee of €20,00 each. For an hour extra in the show, before most vendors were even set up, I feel like that is a steep price to pay. However, anything for more pen fondling, right? The problem with a short show is you don't really have time to say "well, I'll go back later" because there isn't much of a later. A short pen show is a danger because it's a matter of NEVER HESITATE!
This year, it felt like there were fewer vendors - empty tables and big spaces where there were tables crammed in last year. The venue has narrow walkways that back up against a skeleton, so one must be careful. On the bright side, it feels like there were more people - in part, thanks to the Pelikan Hub that was recently held - and everyone seemed more enthusiastic. The madness is spreading!!! WOOOO!
As usual, I hung out with Cliff Harrington for awhile and sampled a few of the delectable pens he brought. As I mentioned in my Cologne Pen Show 2016 recap, Cliff makes everyone feel welcome, whether you're a new user, someone completely unfamiliar with vintage pens, or an experienced user. I appreciate that he makes me feel welcome at his table to look and try, and there's no pressure to buy. He just enjoys sharing his knowledge. It's not about making a sale. That's awesome. ... And it makes me want to buy stuff more. (Yeah. I have no discipline.)
La Couronne du Comte brought a big spread this year, which I thought was great - last year was smaller. It was great to have more items to peruse, and the store is just around the corner. They launched the Super 5 pens and inks at the show - yummy!
Fontoplumo was there as well, with some great goodies, including their new Conid Bulkfiller Monarch and exclusive KWZI Monarch ink. I tested the Conid, inked with Monarch, and it was amazing. Damn.
I made a new friend this year as well: David Parisi! He brought some incredibly cool pencils, including itty bitty tiny amazing adorable ones that make me want pencils just because they're so very cute. And there were many other tables to drool over.
Tom Westerich was there with some serious Montblancs - including a massive Red safety-filler... and a tiny one.
I visited Scrittura Elegante, a webshop based in The Netherlands, and have even brought home a Conklin All American Orange Burst for review and to give away! This is a great shop for Life Stationery, Rhodia, a variety of inks, and many modern, affordable pens.
Thanks to Dries for this...fine photo?
Top to bottom: Waterman 94 + fine flex (Sarj), Parker Vacumatic + Stub flex (Cliff), Mabie Todd Swan + #2 flex (Sarj), Sheaffer Oversize Balance Autograph + fine flex (Sarj), Webster's Jade + Warranted music flex (Sarj), and a Namiki No. 50 Jumbo + Broad Cursive Italic (Sarj). And crocheted slug from Tanja (thank you!), and a Conklin All-American Orange Burst from Scrittura Elegante. And some business cards, but not all that were there.