I began casually collecting in 1994. It all started because I was very disappointed in the new snowdomes now available in the commercial market place. The figures in the domes are often made of plaster/resin material and poorly executed. Many are large, cumbersome and too expensive. I still collect snowdomes, but only pieces that I am crazy about. So, in the meantime to fulfill my floating needs ... I turned to float pens.
In '94 I was setting-up at the occasional antique/flea market. Early in 1995 float pens were added to my inventory. Many pens were sold and I met many collectors, maybe even you. However, I did not begin to sell enough pens or goods to cover booth fees, travel/lodging expenses. This venue proved to be a total fiasco! I never expected to make a serious profit. If I had been able to make expenses and in the process meet fellow collectors I would have been happy. But, in reality, I lost a great deal of time and money. So, I bowed out gracefully.
I haven't given up. Much to my surprise I find there are many people that collect these special pens. I have many pens for sale. So, it now seems logical to travel another avenue... mailorder. I intend to send a sale/trade list to everyone on my mailing list at least four times in 1996, maybe six. This list would be updated with latest arrival fliers in betwixt.
I want to hear from you! Send your favorite float pen stories, your want and trade lists. Why did you start collecting? How many pens do you have in your collection? (I have 300+) Anything extra special you just can't find? I need Rocky and Bullwinkle! What other things do you collect? My collections eat most of my budget and most of my house. My major collections include: Felix the Cat (and cats), Nightmare Before Christmas and Halloween items, snowdomes, perfume bottles, and things with a coffee motif. Float pens are at the top of my list. I have a fascination for things that float in water... you too? Any idea why?
In real life I am a full time craftsperson. My boyfriend, Bill, and I share a business... http://www.Turn-of-the-Century.com. We make tools for lacemakers, needleworkers, writing instruments, etc. During our show season, I am a woodworker by day, at night I make intricate beaded bracelets. Since 1982, each November and December, we produce a list of Ohio arts/crafts events under a grant provided by the Ohio Arts Council. In our spare time, we collect.
Yes, as you guessed, I am over 30... 43 to be exact. But I haven't stopped having fun yet and that seems to be the thread that binds float pen collectors.... fun and a sense of humor.
OH... by the way, images or scenes often become sluggish or even stuck in your pens?! Remedy: Warm your hands by quickly rubbing your palms together. Place the window section of the pen between your palms and roll the pen vigorously back and forth (as if trying to start a campfire with twigs!) for about 10-20 seconds. I'm not sure why this works, but it hasn't failed me yet.
I am in the process of making spinning displays designed especially for collectors. As soon as they are available I will let you know. The one I made for myself holds 183 pens.
Whether you float casually or seriously, just keep floating!