Storing and Carrying Pens
I was recently asked about how I store my pens at home and how I carry the pens I am using around with me. As I answered the email I concluded that I have quite the "system". I try to strike a balance of showing in my home some of my pens, keeping many of them in what is a less obvious place, and having some pens out on the desk so they are ready to be used - an easy reach away.
At one time I used to keep the majority of my pens in a large safety deposit box at the bank. What that was secure, it defeated the purpose of having a variety of pens that I could look at, hold and use as my pen needs arose.
Visitors would regular request: show you pens.
My wife would usually respond that she did not want a hulking pen cabinet in the living room.
It took a while but eventually I found a suitable small curio cabinet that did fit nicely in our living room. It met my requirements of being low, glass on three sides, a inner glass shelve and an interior light.
In the cabinet I keep about six or so of my fountain pens. All I have to do is to remember to cycle pens through.
I also have a couple crystal or glass ink wells on display. My office desk gets so chucked full of binders and papers that the ink wells have turned out to be a safety hazard!
I also keep and show some of the cards with calligraphy writing. They seem an important way of conveying the unique aspect of a great hand-written note.
I keep the majority of my pens that are in my house in a leather pen case. The case looks like a, 8 1/2 x 11" leather writing binder. Zipped up, and standing in the bookshelf the pens are secure, and also stand vertical. The case just disappears in the books and binders on the bookshelf of my office.
The case holds around 50 - 60 pens and they are nicely kept in a vertical position, secure under a leather strap that can be tightened or loosened depending on the size of the pen.
If you are looking at a pen case, look at how the pens are kept in the case. Are the straps adjustable? I found that the big pens like the Pelikan M1000 or the Omas Paragon will not fit some pen cases or holders. Yet like me you probably have both large pens, and pens from twenty or so years ago were much smaller in diameter.
For other pens, I keep a selection of them in one of the office cupboards right above the desk. These pen again stand vertical in a leather desk organizer. I like this piece as it sits behind a closed cupboard door, keeps the pens vertical, as they may or may not have ink in them, and it is easy to pick up the pen with the particular nib I want for the writing task.
Yes, I am over the edge, but I have certain nibs I like to use to write cheques, certain pens for letters etc.
On the desk itself, I have a small leather desk pad where I keep an assortment of pens that are being used at the moment.
I don't like my pens to sit on the hard desk surface. The leather protects the surface of the pens. The pad is also a defined space to place the pens. Important to me otherwise pens end up getting under books and binders etc.
I carry five or so fountain pens with me in my briefcase. I can always have an inked pen that is ready for the tasks at the office. Now you can't just put your pens in a briefcase. No, you another type of case to hold the pens in the briefcase!
Over the past years I have picked up a couple of the leather pen case rolls made by Aston Leather from WorldLux - the price is reasonable and the rolls are made of good quality leather.
These go along with a beautiful leather pen roll I picked up in Bologna at Al Balanzone on a previous trip through Italy. For the past two years I find myself moving away from the pen cases that hold one, two or three pens to using the rolls.
I still have number individual leather cases as sometimes that is all I want to throw in a small briefcase and then head out.
I find the pen rolls very handy as they are big enough in terms of the slots for the pens to hold large pens like the Omas Paragon as well as smaller pens.
So that is the run down of my system in terms of how I keep my pens at home and how I carry them around.
I do have some pens in a safety deposit box but more for long term storage as they are pens I am not using anymore.
Enjoy your pens!