Collectors News... Klaus-P. Schmitz and his wife, visited the Eskesen factory while on holiday in July. Klaus was very impressed with the staff, the factory, and the magnificent processes used to create float pens. The tour comes highly recommended. Their visit was covered by the local press, with an article and very nice picture in the paper. Unfortunately the article is in Danish, everyone in the picture appears to be happy.
Way to go Libby Spatz! A recent edition of The Getty Newsletter featured an article about Libby and her quake-resistant collection of floaty pens. Libby is an employee of the Getty Art Museum and currently has over 400 pens in her collection. Congrats to Libby and thanks for the informative Floaty Pen web page she has provided for our enjoyment.
Karen Richter refers to our spring meeting as the First Midwest Float Pen Collectors Conference. Karen drove up from Columbus, Ohio with her friend and fellow collector, Fumiko Mehl. We spent a couple of hours going through my library card file cabinet full of pens. Karen and I traded pens and Fumiko purchased a few. Wish you had been here too.
Congratulations to the lucky people that received an Eskesen anniversary pen. One collector framed the letter and pen together. I am anxious to hear how others enshrined this prized souvenir. It's a find company that recognizes and rewards the loyalty of their collectors. Long live Eskesen!
Ron Lanyi and I have discussed a most disturbing trend in float pen marketing. In some of the more traditional places, amusement parks for example, float pens are disappearing. It has been explained the general buying public is not looking for a fine pen, simply a souvenir. The average tourist is not interested in paying $3 for a float pen when they can purchase a simpler pen for a buck. How alarming!
On my Chicago trip, I noticed Chinese pens are becoming more prevalent in the marketplace. I was quick to tell clerks that despite the lesser price, I was not interested in purchasing a lesser product. Until the store restocks Denmark pens, I will not be a pen customer. I hope they listen.
Correction... According to Klaus, my reliable foreign correspondent, it is true Monsieur Zanat has 6,000 pens in his collection. However less than 2,000 of them are float pens. Monsieur Zanat was kind enough to send his own personal float pen and business card to a number of collectors after he attended Eskesen's 50th Anniversary celebration. Thank you Mr. Zanat.
Klaus tells me his personal collection will soon reach 1,700 pens. He has decided to rid his collection of all non-Eskesen pens. He will offer 40+ such pens for trade. An honorable decision. On August 21, a trade with Miranda Wittebol, pushed my collection over the 1,000 mark! I never thought I would see the day, but HURRAY.
Psychology of the Float Collector... Pisces, Micale Maddox, wonders what percentage of float collectors were born under a Zodiac water sign? Let's find out. The Zodiac water signs are: Pisces (February 20-March 20), Cancer (June 22-July 23), Scorpio (October 24-Nov 22). Hey Baby, I'm a Cancer... what's YOUR sign?
The Olympics... It's over! Now you're wishing you had purchased some Olympic pens. You will find the remainder of my inventory on this list. I am not sure if I can get more Olympic pens, or what styles might be available. You know what they say... 'there's not time like the present.'
New Pens... By chance, I have 2 Disney movie sets. Each set represents 10 Disney Movies. Also, SEVEN new Coca-Cola pens! The Coke polar bears are irresistible. I'm also offering a History of America pen series. Refer to the list for detailed descriptions. Snowdomes on page 12! Really.
Floating in the Twilight Zone... I have a recurring dream that I arrive at a travel plaza just moments too late. The gate is down, the clerks are gone, but there are hundreds of float pens on the counter, out of my reach. I related this dream to Nancy Knechtel in an email. She responded 'That's not a dream. That's a NIGHTMARE!' I told her 'Tonight (in my dreams) I will find my Rocky and Bullwinkle pen.' I have been looking for one since 1994. I awoke the following morning to find a fax on the floor with word that a R&B pen was on it's way to me. Spooky.
Future Issues... No one has suggested a topic to pursue, so for now I am going to let that ride. The next Float About is scheduled for release late October. I thought about cataloging as a subject to address. What do you think? Do you have a better idea?
As craftspeople, Autumn is our busiest season. Expect the next FA to be late. In addition to the craft production, Bill and I also publish a book for the Ohio Arts Council. Deadline for delivery is December 6. Be aware, for my survival, pens will have to take a back seat for awhile.
Buy Pens in Duplicate!... That's the best advice I have to offer. Many collectors will not sell their pens, they are only interested in trading. Keep records of your pen sources. If a business is amenable to mailorder, be sure to get a business card and discuss arrangements.
Tips... Cheryl Vincent removes the refills from her pens to avoid any leakage or unwanted ink marks. If you do purchase an ink-stained pen, I find I can usually scratch spots off with my fingernails. Stubborn marks can often be removed with rubbing alcohol.
Pen Exchange... If there is a special pen you are looking for let me know. I will spread the word. Bookmark Elizabeth Spatz's Floaty pen page at http://home.earthlink.net/~espatz/floaty It's a great place to visit. Libby provides a list of her duplicate pens for trade and mine as well.
Enthusiasts hit Floaty Industries page at http://www.floaty.com (Note: Site has been ‘in transition’ since Sept 24, 2009; no longer functional) for fun and contests. If you find any interesting float pen sites, please tell me about it!
Plain and Simple Displays... Visit a card shop to find the perfect artwork to show-off a special pen. I placed self-adhesive magnetic strips to my Felix pens and arranged them on my refrigerator with other Felix art. Miranda Wittebol uses her barrel colors to distinguish a geographic area. Her USA pens are PINK! Ron Lanyi separates his pens by vertical and horizontal layout. Your pens aren't hidden away, are they?!
On that note... I say FLOAT!