I was lucky enough to visit the 2015 DC Pen Show this year. Billed as “the largest pen event in the world’, attending the show was an amazing and unforgettable experience for a still-new pen enthusiast like me. I got to meet the great people behind the names that I buy from all the time – Brian and Rachel Goulet from GouletPens, Brian and Lisa Anderson from Anderson Pens, Brad and Jeff from NockCo …. and SOOOO MANY great friends from the pen community online.
Just imagine walking through a room FULL of tables of pens, paper, ink, and other goodies (click to enlarge!)
So we are wandering by all the tables, having resolved – learning from newbie mistakes made last year at the Colorado Pen Show – not to jump on the first pen we fall in love with, but to make the circuit and see everything that is available. Perfectly logical and reasonable, right? I’d even spotted this TARDISy blue beauty made by Shawn Newton, and managed to drag myself away, BUT JUST BARELY.
So THEN we come to the Edison Pens table. Just like Newton Pens, Scriptorium Pens, Ken Cavers, or the Carolina Pen Company (to name a few of the big names), Edison Pens makes custom fountain pens. I’d not had a custom handmade pen on my pen show wish list, as they usually tend to be at a higher price point. But we were walking by the Edison table full of gorgeously colorful pens like these:
We started talking to Brian and Andrea Gray from Edison Pens, two of the nicest people I’d met at the entire show, and SO accommodating and informative about their pens and available options, discussing the show and our impressions so far. When I saw IT. A clipless streamlined beauty in a turquoise and pink swirl pattern called “Hawaiian Swirl”. And it was on the side of the pen display I could afford haha – the prices got higher as you went from left to right on the display.
I saw this pen and instantly thought of the Nock Co Brasstown case I’d just bought a few moments earlier in the pink/sky blue colorway. An Instagram user (@dirgesinthedark) had coined the term “unicorn barf” when referring to this colorway because it is so cotton candy awesome. And when I saw the pen in question, I turned to my husband and was all, “oh look, it’s the unicorn barf pen!” Which made Brian Gray laugh and go, “I’ve not heard it called that before!” and post a photo on Instagram.
(It was so funny to hear people recognize and call it the Unicorn Barf pen when I talked about it later!) Brian proceeded to tell us that Andrea had picked out the Hawaiian Swirl pattern as a trial run, and they weren’t sure how popular it would be so only made three pens out of the material to bring to the DC Pen Show. As soon as I held the pen that had caught my eye, the “Mina” model, I was hooked and had to have it. So here she is, my first ever custom pen in all her “unicorn barfy” glory! (I didn’t even know it was the Mina until later when people started asking what it was, and I was all, “I dunno”. I swear it’s the least informed I’ve ever been about anything pen-related I’ve bought so far. It was all instinct, giving into the ZOMG MUST BUY NOW impulse. Some nice IG friends were able to answer the questions I couldn’t haha).
Shown here with the other NockCo cases I’d brought to the show with me (in the same colorway of course):
I was seriously tempted by my first gold nib too, and would have walked away with one had they not been two-toned, silver with gold. Which ….. NO. This pen was almost sculptural, gold just wouldn’t work. The Grays generously offered to mail me an all-silver gold nib, and send the pen home with a steel nib temporarily. But as soon as I wrote with the 1.1 steel nib, I was hooked. It was so buttery smooth! And the Edison pen nibs are replaceable should I want to change it out for something later.
I’d bought a bottle of J. Herbin Larmes de Cassis earlier at the show, and it is a PERFECT fit for this pen. Who are we kidding, I had it inked up before even leaving the show for the day.
I later learned that Edison Pens does have an agreement with Richard Binder through Indy-Pen-Dance to add flex capability to gold nibs. Which would have been awesome! I wish I’d known at the time I was there at the table, maybe they’d have had one to play with. But as I later learned through emails with Brian Gray, the flex gold nibs are in the #6 nib size only, and the Mina pen I’d chosen used a #5 nib. As we joked, all the more reason to get a future pen from him now!!
But seriously, this ink is a perfect match for this pen.
First impressions. There is nothing to keep this pen from rolling off your desk! The cap is a screw cap, which … I personally prefer magnet caps for most everything, they are so much easier to use one handed! But sometimes you make allowances for special pens haha.
Pen posing while at breakfast. Here you can get a good idea of the Edison Mina‘s shape, tapering out at the ends and narrowing in the middle. This is the standard length Mina – there is also an extended version available.
Length-wise it’s just about as long as a Lamy Safari.
Do you see the sparklies in this material?? The quality and craftsmanship is really evident as you hold this pen. It’s lightweight and well-balanced – I don’t miss being able to post the cap. Okay, well maybe a little, but the pen looks so attractive otherwise I’ll make an exception.
Even 3 weeks later, the pen love still hasn’t worn off. I take pics of this pen every chance I get. Weekends at breakfast…
Even on color charts. This pic has a good view of the nib and grip section.
I was also lucky enough to meet and chat with the other two customers who bought pens in the Hawaiian Swirl pattern! Check out their pics of their pen show beauties, which they’ve given me permission to repost here.
@pinkinkfountainpen bought the Edison Pearlette:
@garrily bought the Edison Beaumont:
We’ve joked we may need to come up with a good Unicorn Barf club name now!
But I’ve really been impressed with my first custom fountain pen, and have really been bitten by the bug now. Just gotta save up for my future flex nib pen next!!