Thursday, February 19, 2009

Los Angeles show recap

We got back from the LA pen show Tuesday night, totally exhausted. It was a good show this year, with lots of great pens on offer and consistently good crowds. Despite concerns about the economy, there was a real buzz throughout the whole event. Many dealers reported particularly active buying of cheaper pens, but whether this was the result of purse-tightening or the impact of new collectors making their way to shows after discovering pen collecting online is impossible to say.

A big show like LA is usually tiring enough, but this year it was nonstop, at least for me. Not only was there the usual vintage pen hunting and trading and networking -- this show was also the occasion for the soft launch of a new venture, American Art Plastics, with partners Mark Hoover and Lynn Sorgatz. Our aim is to offer a range of old-time plastics for penmakers and restorers, of the sort that are now for all intents and purposes unfindable. We are starting with that queen of vintage plastics, celluloid, and the response has been overwhelming. We had samples on display at the show, with delivery of the first batch of colors expected within the next couple of months. The Art Plastics website has only just launched, and is still rather rudimentary. It too should be coming into shape within the next several weeks.

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