Thursday, August 31, 2006

So Much is Happening!

All I can say is "Wow!"

I have had such tremendously positive feedback from everyone regarding the Fountain Pen Ink Sample program that I haven't had the time to update this blog in weeks! I'm not really sure where to begin, there's so much I want to share.

First, I have to give kudos to whoever hired our new law clerk at my law office. The first day she was here, she was given a tour of the office. When she got to the supply room and our paralegal showed her where to get the firm's stock of pens, she replied, "No, that's OK. I bring my own." Then she reached into her pocket and pulled out some beautiful fountain pens - including a nice vintage Parker "51." As you might expect, the paralegal immediately pointed her in my direction.

I've also wanted to write about about my latest folly: training for ODRAM, the "One Day Ride Across Michigan." Patterned after the Race Across America, ODRAM is a test of physical (and mental) endurance, as participants ride their bicycles 152 miles from the shore of Lake Michigan to the edge of Lake Huron. ODRAM is September 9, 2006 (a little over a week away), and I'm worried I'm not ready. But I'm riding for a good cause - raising money for Muscular Dystrophy research and awareness - so hopefully that will provide the incentive to keep me going. Please contact me if you're willing to make a tax-deductible contribution to this worthy cause.

On the pen front, I have good news and some bad news. The good news is that the variety of ink in stock has just increased considerably. The Pear Tree Pen Company just received a shipment of Diamine ink. Some colors were on back-order so I didn't receive the complete order, but a very nice selection is still available. The balance of the order, including the long sought-after Diamine Umber, is expected in about two weeks.

Also, due to popular demand, I've expanded my inventory to include the complete line of J. Herbin fountain pen ink - 26 colors! These are now in stock and ready for immediate delivery.

In addition, Aurora inks are on their way - in about a week or so I expect to receive a sizeable shipment of both the Aurora Blue and Black ink.

Lastly, I received a few bottles of "Jentle" ink from Sailor. Initial tests have been very positive, and I'm excited to be carrying this premium line of fountain pen ink.

Speaking of Sailor, I've been writing with a new "international style" Sailor 1911 fountain pen for the past month. I haven't yet found the time to sit down and write my review of it. Suffice it to say that the 21K medium nib helps make this one of the best writing pens I've ever used. And, while I'm on the subject, Sailor has recently introduced its 95th Anniversary Limited Edition fountain pen, the Realo. Only 100 numbered pens have been exported from Asia, and only 30 are destined for North America. I have been lucky enough to be awarded 3 of them. The Realo is Sailor's first (and only) piston-filled fountain pen. If you'd like to learn more about the Sailor Realo, send me an email.

Now for the bad news. I am out of sample vials! The supply I expected to last for months was exhusted in a little over two and a half-weeks! Although I just placed an order for another batch of vials, I'm sorry to report that I have to temporarily suspend shipment of samples until those come in.

That's all for now.

Thanks for looking!

James P.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Try Before You Buy? Ink Samples Now Available!

I can’t tell you how many times that I have bought a bottle of fountain pen ink after reviewing a seller's online color chart, only to end up disappointed when the ink finally arrived. Imperfections in computer monitor calibration or the inability to assess the shading or flow characteristics of whatever ink I’m considering are among the major problems with buying fountain pen ink over the internet. I've often thought how nice it would be if I could only get my hands on a small sample of the ink to try for myself before committing to a purchase.

With the introduction of The Pear Tree Pen Company's new new ink sample program, now you can. The program is really very simple: You can choose up to 4 different inks in any of the nearly 400 shades in stock. The approximately 1cc samples are packaged in a small vial, which are then vacuum sealed to prevent leaks. When they arrive in the mail, you should have more than enough ink to be able to decide whether you like the ink.

To help defray the costs of postage and packaging materials, there is a nominal fee of $2.95, which can be paid with PayPal for your convenience. I also accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, so you can pay with your credit card if you want. There is absolutely no obligation to buy anything.

To help keep costs down and to prevent abuse, each person is limited to 4 samples of ink per month. If, however, you buy any bottled ink before that time is up, I'll reset the clock, so to speak, so you can request another 4 samples.

The Pear Tree Pen Company attempts to stock the complete line of all inks it carries. Currently, we carry bottled inks from Aurora, Diamine, J. Herbin, Lamy, Noodler's, Pelikan, Private Reserve, Sailor, Waterman, Visconti. We also carry the new line of Caran D'Ache "Colors of the Earth" series of bottled fountain pen ink, which comes packaged in a beautiful glass inkwell.

This pilot program will be run on a trial basis for a month or two. If response is good and I don’t lose my shirt (or my mind!), I’ll keep it going. If I’m mistaken and the feedback I get suggests the pen community does not think this is a valuable program, I’ll discontinue it.

I apologize to my many international customers, but during the trial period, I can only ship samples to the continental United States. I will, however, evaluate the pros and cons of shipping ink samples internationally and make a decision in the near future.

To see the complete selection of inks that are currently in stock, visit this link to the "Ink & Refills" section of the Pear Tree Pen Company's website.

Thanks for stopping by!