Float About #54... © Copyright Mon/Dec 11, 2006
a bi-monthly newsletter dedicated to Eskesen floaty pen collectors

Greetings fellow floaty fans. I realize you are extremely busy right now. Sorry to interrupt, but I thought you might welcome a break from the madness. Also, if I didn't post now, everyone would have to wait until the New Year. Besides, things are really shakin' in floaty land.

Follow-up to Issue #53...
They haven't achieved absolute perfection, but Eskesen's digital pens continue to show signs of improvement. For all the protest surrounding the quality of digital imagery, there are features that make it better than the old photo process. First, it is less complicated and thus faster. Furthermore, we have all seen photoramic pens with images so dark you can barely decipher the picture. That problem is not likely to occur in a digital rendering. The most recent pens are sporting stronger colors. The pen pictured below is a prime example.

Factory News...
WWII ended sixty one years ago... but this female icon lives on. She is recognized and admired by Americans of all ages.

Images of strong and capable women were used to lure housewives to work in the factories while their men were off fighting WWII. Many women were successfully recruited into service. Today the image of Rosie the Riveter appears on clothing, accessories, buttons, keytags, posters and countless other items and finally a floaty pen. This artistic rendering, by Jeff, at Topline Products, Inc. is destined to become a floaty classic. BTW, you will find interesting background material on the history of Rosie posted on Wikipedia.com, the free online encyclopedia. It's an amazing resource.

It was great to see Rosie the Riveter commemorated in a float pen, but this pen packed another big surprise. As I prepared the pen for scanning I made a totally unexpected discovery. The clip did NOT read 'E MADE IN DENMARK'. Without any notice, Eskesen has introduced a new stamp for their classic pens. The shape, color and size of the clip remain the same, only the inscription has changed. The 'E' maintained it's position at the top, but it is now followed by a blank slate. Then very near the bend, it now reads 'MADE IN' 'DENMARK' in the teeniest, tiniest print.

Pens that I have received after Rosie's arrival also bear the same imprint. So, I assume this clip is the new standard for Eskesen. If so, this will aid in dating current and future designs. Pens that feature this clip were definitely produced in the fall of 2006 or later.

Media Sightings...
Way back on Oct 29th, Jan Webb reported ... this TV sighting. “The CBS Sunday Morning show had a story this morning about ballpoint pens. There was a quick shot of a floaty!” Did anyone else see it?

The second entry is from Brian Hollier... a retired Eskesen employee. In October I received an excited email from Brian. His brother, Charles, resides in the UK. Charles had uncovered a MAJOR media sighting. Brian forwarded the link to me. It knocked my socks off.

According to Brian, “ This clip is from a TV series called Extras starring Ricky Gervais, England's number-one comedian. The program is all about extras in the film industry. World famous stars seek out roles on this show. Robert DeNiro starred in the final episode. ”In the featured scene, Robert DeNiro has an appointment with Ricky G. DeNiro and an agent await Ricky's arrival. The agent pulls a pen out of his pocket to amuse Mr. DeNiro. What kind of pen? Watch the clip... YouTube.com. Robert's smile is priceless. The film clip is simply floaty fabulous! Brian thank you so much for reporting this sighting. We may have missed this one without your direction.

Doug Yeo received a news clipping... from a friend in Germany. Doug kindly forwarded the piece to me. I scanned the text into one giant jpg. Of course it is in German. For the many collectors that speak and read German this isn't a problem. For the rest of us, we need a translation! Surely there is a collector among us that could provide a loosely translated version in English? If and when that happens, I will post the translation. If no one comes forward I can resort to an online service for translation. For now, we can all enjoy the graphics.

Collectors News...
Canadian collector, Debbie Carriere... has been featured in the Winnipeg Free Press. It's an impressive article with a great picture of Debbie surrounded by her pens. For easy access, Debbie has posted the article and a brief intro on her webpage. When you get a chance, go back and explore Debbie's place. It's extremely creative and includes an interactive feature. Have fun!

Finn Sørensen has a deep passion... for pen collecting. The writing instruments in his collection range from inexpensive novelty pens to the divinely elegant and expensive. Finn has amassed hundreds of thousands of pens, a testament to his degree of dedication. Not all of the pens float, but perhaps because Finn is Danish, he has a special place in his heart for Eskesen pens. Finn openly admits they are his favorites.

Recently Finn was asked to share his story and display his pens at the local library. The TV news covered the event. Thanks to the Internet, we have an opportunity to see the actual TV segment. Congratulations to Finn! The combined segments run 2 minutes. (NOTE: Links defunct: Removed May 2015.)

Pens Out and About...

In October, Regina Merwin and her mother... caught the Carnaval! exhibit at the Mingei Museum in Balboa Park, San Diego. Regina reported finding four custom floaty pens in the gift shop. The pens depicted highlights from the exhibit. Each pen in the series represents Carnaval as it is celebrated around the world. After hours of research I discovered there are actually eight pens in the series featuring eight different worldly locations. The color bar, left of the pen picture, reflects the barrel color.

This traveling exhibit is sponsored by the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Carnaval first opened in Santa Fe, move on to Los Angeles. The next stop was San Diego.

Shortly after Regina's visit, the exhibition was packed up and relocated to the New Orleans Museum of Art. The exhibit reopened on October 21st and will remain in New Orleans through January 28, 2007. Bill and I will have an opportunity to see Carnaval when it moves to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh on June 16th of 2007. There won't be any rush. The exhibit will be held-over at the Carnegie through January 5th, 2008.

I do not know if each site will carry the entire collection of eight designs, but those of us lucky enough to attend an exhibit will be able to purchase pens in the Museum gift shops. If you are unable to attend, you can explore the exhibit and get site information for the individual museums at this link MOIFA Exhibitions.

I have purchased several sets. At post time, eight sets were still available. You will find them on the New Arrivals list.

Alicia Delahunty has an appreciation for... both fog and bog. She was quick to report receipt of a fog pen. It was presented to her by a friend in Chicago. The SF Fog pen is a new digital design. Alicia relates, “It is really fine, so very Carl Sandburg.” Alicia thought the SFMOMA pen might be of interest to her fellow collectors. The pen is better than my scan. She included a Sandburg poem she remembers fondly from her school days.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

There are many reasons the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a popular stop for local art lovers and patrons from around the world. When it comes to contemporary art, they are at the top of the game. Visit their website to see for yourself. SFMOMA.org.

Darn it! Bill and I would really enjoy the Mexico as Muse exhibit. We aren't going to make it, but maybe you will. If you can, spend an afternoon taking in the exhibitions at the SFMOMA. Remember to pop into the gift shop and pick-up a souvenir or two. Museum Store hours are 10am-6:30pm daily. They are open until 9:30pm on Thursdays. The foggy pen, pictured above, is a digital twist n click and currently available in their gift shop. The pens sell for $4.95 each. You may order this design directly from the Museum. They will add a minimum of $5.95 for shipping. This is all the contact information you could possibly need: (NOTE: The pen is no longer available.)

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
SFMOMA MuseumStore
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103 USA
Phone - 415-357-4035; Fax - 415-357-4043; Email - RBancroft@SFMOMA.org
Visit the MuseumStore online at www.SFMOMA.org/MuseumStore. The floaty pens are not included in their online catalog, but you may request them. (NOTE: this pen is no longer available.)

For collectors that will be unable to visit the museum, I have a limited number of SFMOMA fog pens available. You will find the pen on the New Arrivals list.

Alicia went on to say “ I am also very excited about the Bog People pen. I'm a big Seamus Heaney (Nobel Prize 1995) fan and so is my best friend. She is not a pen collector but a Heaney fan like me.” Alicia provided this quote regarding Heaney and his bog poems. Some critics regard these early bog poems as Heaney's chief legacy, eloquently examining the collective historical conscience, going below the more recent Protestant and Catholic hatreds into primeval Celtic behaviour, ‘domains of the cold-blooded,’ where stark evidence of a murderous past has been preserved in the timeless vegetal world of the bogs.” This link offers more information about the author and his poems. Sean Heaney.

Bog People Pen

The Bog People pen sold out shortly after issue #53 posted. My son, Josh, was able to replenish my supply. They have returned to the New Arrivals list.

Lisa Berman contacted me via email... to introduce her online gift and novelty retail site. Lisa had pen news to share. “We have created a custom floaty pen that is available exclusively from our website. It's a new-take on those old naughty pens and that's all I will say. I don't want to ruin the surprise. Feel free to check it out and tell your friends.”

I promised Lisa I would provide a link to her new pen, but before I do, you MUST be 18 or older to use the link. Be aware. This is not for the faint-of-heart. It's an explicit adult-only tip n strip. So, for the adventurous... Selfishcauses Floaty pen. (NOTE: Link Defunct; Removed May 2015.)

Something Special....
When space allows, I would like to highlight a... pen design in each issue. That is, if YOU think it's a good idea? I began this practice in issue #53. The first pen featured was a custom promo pen for Gevelco. Many collectors misunderstood and thought the pen was available for sale. This is not the case. Pens shown in Something Special may or may not be available. It is a showcase for extraordinary, unique and rare designs.

Hello Kitty

This is one of my most prized pens. Hello Kitty may be Japanese, but she is a global phenomenon. In the USA, HK headquarters is in San Francisco. This pen is the quintessence of Hello Kitty. Do you agree?

Pens Past, Present and Future....
As far back as I can remember... Eskesen has created a Christmas pen each holiday season. The pen design changed every year making each one a treasure in it's own right. Not every collector is on Eskesen's mailing list. To make sure everyone has a chance to own the Christmas pen, I arrange to buy extras.

This year things are very different. I am sorry to announce that Eskesen did not make a holiday pen this year. I don't know why. When we look back at 2006 from a floaty perspective, it could be remembered as the year of broken traditions. I prefer to think of it as the year Eskesen sacrificed what they had to in order to stay afloat. It wasn't so long ago they were on the brink of bankruptcy. The new owners are trying to turn that around and make this a successful venture. Bottom line, without Eskesen we wouldn't have ANY floaty pens. If it means we lose a few niceties along the way. So be it.

Nancy Nerenberg, at Float Art... has been extremely busy since Issue #53 posted. Many of the designs on the new arrivals list are credited to Nancy. They are in small quantities, so don't delay.

Even if you didn't see the... Pirates of the Carribbean movies, you can't escape the influence. The movie merchandise is everywhere.

The theme inspired the folks at Topline Products, Inc. to design a pirate pen. They have arrived bubble free and they are ready to stuff in those stockings.

Stop the Presses....
Californian, Carol Santos... popped in at the last minute with this sighting. “A guy glued pens on his Mercedes, making it a Mercedes Penz. (ha ha). If you look closely at the clip, some of the pens inside of his car (his favorite ones) are floaty pens. I can't make out which ones. Take a look.”

The link below will take you to Yahoo's Video site. When you arrive type 'art car' in the search window. Scroll down until you see the 'Mercedes Pens'. I was able to see the video two times, but now every time I try to view it, I get a Toyota commercial. I hope you have better luck. (Sorry, link defunct; Removed May 2015.)

Finn Sørensen has posted... close-ups and a brief story about the Royal pens that were featured in his TV interviews, on his website. This link will take you to the English version. Royal pens. The page opens with a brief history followed by numbered links to the individual pens. And there is more! For those that are counting down the days, Finn has created a Floaty Christmas Calendar.

On the Homefront...
Early in November... we decided to lay inexpensive peel and stick tile in my office, the adjoining bathroom and laundry. The flooring is down in the office and bathroom. The walls in my office are painted. Since Thanksgiving the project has stalled. As soon as this issue is posted and things settle down, I will return to the remodel and scanning duplicates.

My middle name should be Catastrophe... Thursday night I was doing a routine cleaning of my email list when I accidentally deleted the entire file. Of course I have a back-up! Every few months I commit the file to a CD disc. Imagine my horror when I attempted to open the CD file to find the disc is corrupted. I couldn't even open the file. My email list is GONE. I spent 10 hours rebuilding the file from emails that I have received. I recovered addresses from Dec 2003 to the present, but many names are missing. If you did not receive an email notification that issue #54 has posted, your email was lost. Please send an email to me with ‘email recovery’ in the subject line. No explanation will be needed. I will go back through earlier emails as I have a chance.

Orders shipped on or before Dec 18th... should reach their destinations in time for Christmas. I will continue to ship right up to the last minute. Thurs/Dec 21 I will visit the post office before we head to Pittsburgh. We won't return until late on Fri/22nd. The only day I will NOT be shipping anything will be the 22nd. Our son, Josh will be here for the duration of the holiday period. He is a delightful distraction. Outside of the trips to and from Pittsburgh we will be sticking close to the homestead. It will probably be a week or two before I post on eBay again.

Issue #55 is scheduled to post Feb 11th. In the meantime, time sensitive news will post in Float Along. Be sure to check there once a week or so to keep up-to-date and see the latest duplicates. They tend to sell-out shortly after I post. When the New Year begins I will make it a point to scan and post more duplicates.

And with that I wish you all a healthy and happy holiday season. See you in the New Year!
Frozen, but afloat... Diana

That's all for now, but check Float Along frequently for news!
Go forward to read Issue #55, released Feb 28, 2007
Back up and read the Issue #53 from Sept 28, 2006
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FLOAT ABOUT... Diana Andra, 1676 Millsboro Road, Mansfield, OH 44906-3374
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