March 6, 2022

51. Getting Your Fix

51. Getting Your Fix

In today’s episode, we have news from the Postal Service, stationery exploration from Singapore and more places for you addicts to get your stationery fix.

New Aquisitoins: 

Figboot Leonardo Momento (Zero?) 

Shel Silverstein stamp announcement! It looks like they are allowing special station postmarks.

Studio Ghibli Stationery!  Kinokuniya in Singapore!  So much winning!

John’s exploration in Singapore stationery so far

-Art shop at City Square

-Japanese art shop at Paya Lebar Quarter, Tokyu Hands

-Got to meet Sunny and Lip at Straits Pens, great guys, Sunny showed me an actual Arabic nib, Interview coming soon!

And I wanted to throw out a special thanks to Dan and Tom of Studio Neat for re-opening the Orange Mark One for worldwide orders. One will be on its way to Singapore. Sorry, it’s sold out now.

Elle magazine (India) delivering all the Etsy stores!

She used the magic words Stationery addict!

The Papier shop, some emphasis on mental wellness but not what I would call curated. Maybe this is just what you do with $50 million in startup funding.

Another appeal for more letter writing.

And we (maybe just I) missed InCoWriMo!!


51 Getting your fix

John: [00:00:00] Welcome to episode 50, one of stationery orbit, where we are all here to learn more about creative letter writing. I'm your host John West. And I am joined by our co-host Evan Harris. In today's episode, we will have news from the postal service stationery exploration from Singapore and more places for you addicts to get your stationery fix good morning slash good evening slash goodnight.

Evan delete as necessary.

Evan: Good evening. How is it finally being in Singapore?

John: It is a relief seriously a relief to finally be over here. And it's been a lot of fun. We'll be talking a lot more about some of the exploration in the stationery scene that I've had here in just my one week on the ground. I've managed to find a few spots. 

Evan: Yeah, I've seen a little bit of it on Instagram. I'm excited to hear.

John: Yep. And mentioning excitement. We both have acquisitions. Evan has a real acquisition in hand. I have an acquisition on the way that we'll talk about later. So Evan, [00:01:00] you want to talk about what.

Evan: Yeah, so I bought one of the, after we had him on the show, I got one of the newest fig boots. Which is another Leonardo pen belief. It's the momentos zero cartridge converter,

John: Okay,

Evan: very nice car diverter in this, by the way, it's large volume and screw in, which is just a thing I like with a metal of metal knob on the back

John: nice. 

Evan: of it's just a really pretty pen.

John: Yeah. I really think that the fountain pen world is starting to take notice when it comes to converters, the latest converter I gotten it, admittedly, it was on a bock size, eight nib, but the converter that I got was ridiculously large. So I think they're finally catching up with the the reservoir side.

Evan: Yeah. Last time when we talked with Evan he talks about getting the right sized convert or the right converter to match his Mont Blanc.

So I think they're catching up, [00:02:00] but I, this pen came in yesterday and I'm really excited to be able to start using it. The thing you have to fill it up with the blinker fluid as you call it.

John: Yes, sir. Wonderful little code name for Montblanc BMW, blue,

Evan: yeah, it'll be exciting.

John: those poor people in a Bavaria installing blinkers on BMWs. So, All right. , we'll get into the postal service news, and I know that Evan's very excited about this. There is a new Shel Silverstein stamp coming.

Evan: That's correct this is based on his work The Giving Tree which is probably his most famous work. And it's been translated into hundreds of languages. These stamps will go on sale April 8th of this year, and are being issued from Chicago, Illinois, where who was born and raised.

John: The interesting thing to me about [00:03:00] this, and I have never seen this before. It doesn't mean that they haven't done it before. But it appears that the pictorial postmarks for these are going to be customizable based on the station. And there are going to be unique pictorial postmarks for each station as they apply for them.

Evan: So there are a few times that I've seen this done all the artwork is always the same. The city and station are the only things that change. The date of course is relevant relative. But I've never actually seen it in use only. Like that it has been in the paper, this one, the customized one, theoretically his his signature as the postmark.

John: Yep. Yeah. It's going to be very interesting to see how that ends up turning out. So that's very cool. I guess there is a real first date of issue, Shel Silverstein, one with the giving tree and [00:04:00] it's the the boy hugging the tree.

So there is one for that. I kinda missed that on the first go through on.

Evan: The, there are two there's the color and the black and white tourist, slightly different. Also based on the book, the giving tree, he's also known for his books where the sidewalk ends and the light in the attic.

John: Okay. Starting on , my explorations here in Singapore. And this is starting out with a shop that I have not been to yet, but it showed up in the news here for Singapore, there's a Kinokuniya store here and I was digging through their website and they have an entire studio Ghibli stationery section.

So this is going to be a huge problem for me.

Evan: I understand the feeling you I'm looking on the link. There's a lot of really neat stuff. And I also love studio Ghibli over the stamps. Those look a good thing. The Tiki [00:05:00] delivery service up, stamp that as one did they do they ship cause I might need to get that. We're doing well with my other artists that stamps that I've made the I can add this to the show notes that you might edit it out.

There I saw in the online today, they're doing a stage production of spirited away in Tokyo

John: ooh. That's 


Evan: will send you the link because it's I want to go, I don't want to fly. I don't want to go to Tokyo again. It's I don't want to fly just for theater, but I wanted to go.

John: Definitely something to add onto a stationery migration. Should that set that come up, but yeah, I've been very impressed by the amount of my neighbor Totoro that's on this. I've actually got some, my neighbor Totoro washi tape that managed to make the trip over here. So this will be the nice.

Evan: Yeah, there's a lot of really neat. The only pen though, [00:06:00] that they have is a ballpoint. So I would be skipping that

John: Yeah, for sure. So the two different malls that I've been to, both of them have art shops and both of the art shops, at least in some way, shape or form, have a fountain pen and fountain pen ink section the one at CitySquare. Is quite a bit smaller. I didn't post up a picture for that. Although I think I do have a picture of it.

I just, I need to get a posted up, but the the one for Paya Lebar quarter, PLQ for the locals is the Tokyu hands shop. And the interesting part to me on that one was some of their displays. They had the Rhodia pens on display there and I'd never seen those before.

Evan: the Rhodia fountain pens?.

John: No, they're ballpoints

but it's still.

Evan: No, sorry, is Rotring not Rhodia rotor and used to make fountain pens. 

John: Yeah, I think they still do. [00:07:00] They're just very 

Evan: but they made some kind of crazy ones.

John: Yeah. They've made the one with the concrete that was a hexagonal.

Evan: forgot about that.

John: Yep. And then the other thing that we I managed to get. Is last night, I actually got a chance to get out to Straits Pens and go visit a little bit with Sunnyand Lip out there.

And Sunny does a lot of the nib work for them. Lip does a lot of the ink mixing for them. They both have full-time jobs outside of Straits Pens. So it's a labor of love for both of them, but. Really great visit. I've got a picture up on Instagram. Evan and I had been talking last time with the other Evan about the similarities and differences between architect grinds and Hebrew grinds.

And we'd made the mention that Arabic nibs kind of fall into that same family. And Sunny set me right on this one. He actually dug [00:08:00] out an actual Arabic nib and you can see from the picture on Instagram this isn't a grind. This is a, almost like a folded nib style of pen. It's crazy.

Evan: it reminds me of some of the image you showed reminds me of some of the stacked nibs that that Tokyo or took your station pen says.

John: Yeah. And same. I actually, there was a period there where regalia writing labs with Ralph. Uh, did something where he had just mounted a bar on the front of a nib and it was, that'd be the reverse of what this is, but yeah, similar kind of playing around with nibs and how it gets delivered to the post.

Evan: Yeah, I never knew they were different. I was under the presumption that they were the same nib, an architect, and a Hebrew are the same nib. I would still say these are the same family of nibs in that they are. Wider cross strokes, thin down strokes. [00:09:00] But they, these are very different. That is not a grind that is its own.

John: Oh yes, it is and. Even Sunny he was trained by a Richard Bender was of the opinion that even between Hebrew and architect, there is some variation because of the older style, which was a reverse oblique type of grind versus the new version, which is more of a diamond shaped 

Evan: I can understand that. But for the most part, I would say. For all intents and purposes, they are now the same that whether they have different roots, but they have merged into one design for our, every nib grinder. I've seen though, if somebody wants, I only have architect nibs. So if somebody wants to send me a specific Hebrew nib, I won't say no.

John: Exactly.

Evan: say I'm going to write Hebrew and it all try.

John: But yeah, it was definitely something learned something new every day. And [00:10:00] I got a good lesson there. I'm looking forward to getting together to with them again we're hoping to get them on for an interview for the next episode. And there is a very good chance that there might be a drinking.

Get together with Darryl from Musubi in the near future. Because as everyone knows you can't really talk about fountain pens without there being alcohol present. Stop. 

Evan: Plenty of talk about pinches after dark on a, which just means at the bar on the pen out at slack, and also frequently watch drawn at the bar,

not been to a pen show yet though. Hopefully later this year I'll make it to.

John: nice. Yeah. Cause you'll have a, the Dallas pen show you can get to.

Evan: Correct.

John: Yeah. If my memory serves me Kirk from Pen Realm is a pretty steady goer for that. So say hi to Kirk for me, when you see him

Evan: I hope so. Maybe I'll get[00:11:00] a Hebrew separate Hebrew grinder.

John: There you go like that one. So onto something, not fountain pen related, but I wanted to throw out a special, thank you to Dan and Tom from studio. Neat. They reopened the sales for the orange bright orange mark. One for worldwide orders because they opened up sales. In the U S time zones and sold out in two and a half hours for this edition, there are way too many pen addicts out there wanting orange pens.

And they just, they sold out so fast. So they reopened it. And I wanted to thank them for that because I'm one of those pen addicts that I just, I had to have this particular version of the studio. Neat and apparent. They upped the ante for the FOMO for this one, it will never be issued again.

Evan: , it's a nice looking pen, orange isn't so much my color, but is a [00:12:00] very nice looking.

John: Yeah. This one is yeah, super, super sharp, super clean. Really no markings on it. Just a. Straight flat, bright orange with a silver nock on it. And do you have a mark one Evan.

Evan: I actually do surprisingly and I have one thanks to the Pen Addict Twitch stream raffle

John: Oh, right 


Evan: ago, it says. It's not yet unpacked in Dallas, but it is one of my boxes.

John: Cool. Have you had a chance to click that one?

Evan: Oh, it is a very nice click

John: yeah. The nock on those is just amazing.

Evan: Yeah, it 

John: Yeah. 

Evan: It is very solid

John: yeah. And this is something that they were looking at the. Schmidt nocks for these and decided that they could do better and sure enough, they did. [00:13:00] So the Mark ones have got a specially designed nock for those that was made by Dan and Tom at studio. Neat. And so I'm looking forward to getting my second one of these.

I got one of the original mark ones when they were out and got one with a black, with a copper nock.

Evan: Yeah, I don't know why. Oh, they are completely unrelated. Studio needs to have the app. I don't think he's been updated in years that made forever ago a wonderful cocktail.

John: Yes, they did they,

Evan: I that's how I know that it's this sounds familiar. Why do I know that somebody else? And it was just a wonderful way to store beautiful recipes.

John: Yep. Yeah. They.

Evan: forgot about it.

John: Yeah, Dan and Tom have been all over the place. They made a ice making kit. 

They had a, 


Evan: stop making that though. Unfortunately, never.

John: they had the simple syrup making [00:14:00] kit, which I stole from my own. I use a very different method, but I kinda got the impetus for that from them.

Evan: Yeah. If you want to learn more about cocktails in a slightly rambling way, though, the newest episode of She Brews Hebrews was all on it.

John: yes, I I did see that. I believe that was a martini glass.

Evan: Yeah, the the word cloud was the martini glass, which is completely unrelated to our show notes, but

John: Yes. I'll have to make sure I get over and give that a listen. I'm just a little bit behind on. But so yeah, sorry. Yep. Yes. That podcast concentrates on Jewish and Hebrew fermenting traditions 

Evan: yeah, brewing and fermenting from a Jewish perspective. So during the colder months, when your fermentation might not be going as fast, we've looked a little bit at distilled spirits and having fun with it [00:15:00] that the next 

John: Yep. 

Evan: to be on a holiday.

John: All right. Nice. So we're going to get a long here. We've got a link in the show notes for an Elle magazine article, and this is from the Elle magazine in India. And they had found a number of Etsy stores that have some pretty cool stationery offerings. And I know that some Etsy stores don't ship worldwide, but I believe these are going to and I just wanted to throw this link in the show notes, just cause everyone here needs some more spots to go find their stationery. And this one even has some stuff on here from a bullet journal has some biodegradable stuff in it for some folks that are eco-friendly. And I think this one just hits all the cylinders on it, including these being very well curated shops. So I thought that was worth putting in the [00:16:00] show notes.

Evan: Let's go to, I'll have to take a more detailed look later there's always more interesting things.

John: Yep. On a similar note found an article from Forbes magazine and there is a new paper maker coming out and I'm going to take a shot on this one. And I'm going to say that it is pronounced papier as in papier plume. And this a new company it's a new startup called papier has raised $50 million in capital funding and have opened up a new online store.

The founder for this company has managed to hit all of the corporate speak ideas in terms of hitting their target market, having a new category in place. On time or just in time [00:17:00] supply. I just this article from Forbes manages. If you had corporate speak, bingo, you'd have bingo within paragraphs. It



Evan: I don't see

synergy. Is there synergy 

John: I didn't S I didn't see synergy,

uh, maybe. 

Evan: one of the corporate bingo words.

John: Yeah, it might be in the keywords.

Evan: No, but they also have things like wellness journals. It sounds like that is a big part of their proudest market. Kate. And of course we are obviously very in favor of taking care of your mental health, but the term wellness sometimes feels overused and markety IE to me.

John: Yeah. Yeah. In this particular case they do have a very specifically designed wellness journal to have a very specifically designed gratitude journal. And I think that if that's something that you're looking for, something that you're into this might be a product worth looking at, but that [00:18:00] said this store with it's just in time.

And honestly, I think a lot of this is print on demand stuff because they can now. It's not as curated as I might have liked to have seen. They ended up getting into notebooks and photo note books and wedding stuff, and it's just all over the place. It's like going into a diner that serves everything from Ethiopian to Korean.

Evan: Yeah, one of their see several of their notebooks though, do have . dachhounds on them. Sorry. They're dogs. 

They're cute. Um, 

 But yeah, no I, it does seem like it's a lot of that sort of stuff. And of course, journaling, as we've talked about with many articles in the past can be incredibly good for your mental health. So I'm not trying to disparage the concept at all. If you're looking for a wellness journal, these are probably very good.

For that use. It's [00:19:00] just the terminology feels again, like it's hitting that marketing, trying to hit that marketing terms right on the.

John: Yep. And it is, it's definitely something that they're recognizing. The potential in the stationery market. They're just doing so from such a corporatized side of things that it sets off that red flag in the back of my mind that says, this is just a little too much like paper source.

Evan: Yeah, which 

we've covered several times in the past.

John: yep. , it's out there. It's definitely the website's live and wish him the best of luck, but I really hope that here for the stationery world and not just here to make a quick.

Evan: I hope so. They've gone through three rounds of funding already though, so that they haven't IPO nor have they sold out.

John: Yeah.

Evan: We'll see what happens and we'll hopefully keep you [00:20:00] updated.

John: Yes, absolutely. And so last on the list, we have a, another appeal for letter writing and this comes out of the observer and. I don't know where this paper is out of.

Evan: It looks like. Fortnum university

John: Okay. Fordham

university and 

Evan: everything else that seems, yeah, Fordham's swimming basketball. I'm pretty sure this is Fordham universities. 

John: okay. And. An interesting little article. She actually writes this as a letter to people who don't write letters or read letters. And it's another appeal to get everyone out and reading or writing letters so that we can help replace the, as she puts in the article, I thought this is a fun little piece of trivia on average 454 pieces of marketing mail per year.[00:21:00] 

Getting into your. Mailbox, thanks to the us postal service get rid of the, get rid of the junk mail and get the good mail going,

Evan: I've certainly had more junk than good mail recently, but that's partially my fault going onto the final thing in our show notes. both missed InCoWriMo 

John: uh, deer. We did.

Uh,, yes. I did get a couple of postcards out during InCoWriMo, but it wasn't because it was InCoWriMo. So I apologize to all the listeners InCoWriMo has been a big part of what I was trying to do with the podcast, but unfortunately life gets in the way and I, it wasn't even on my radar this year. I don't know what happened.

Evan: Yeah, I, both of us were busy with moving things.

John: Yeah.

Evan: And I just didn't I have a lot of letters to respond to from a lot of people. I'm sorry, but hopefully [00:22:00] soon because of these letters are from last.

John: Yep. And I've I actually do finally have a. A real address. Hopefully once I start getting some of these letters out, I can start getting letters back in. So that'll be, it'll be a lot of fun. And yeah, I think that's going to do it with any luck at all. We'll have the gentlemen on Lip and Sunny from , straits pens, and for the next episode, and hope to see you all, then be proud of your snail.