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MAPG 2016

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Stone Writing Instrument

Writing Pen Evolution: Since Stone Age till Modern Ball Pens

The history of a pen creation goes beyond 6000 years ago. Writing items passed through serious stages of modernization during a long period of human civilization’s development, too. Let’s take a look back in history.

Writing Instruments Throughout Centuries

In the past, humans used stones to draw on rocks. Then, stones were replaced with bones or wooden sticks to draw symbols. Nearly in 3000 B.C., as the script and papyrus appeared, they began to use thin reed brushes as writing instruments.

Further in history, during a long-lasting period from 1300 B.C. to 600 A.D., a stylus was a widespread writing instrument. They made the stylus of metal, and used it to write on wax plates. Despite the parchment invented by Anglo-Saxons a bit later, humans still used wax boards and styluses for a while afterwards.

At that time, they preferred parchment for manuscript books. But its popularity increased throughout the centuries. There appeared a need in a cheap and available instrument to write on it. Feathers became such instruments. Europeans learned to sharpen feathers in such a way so that the style of writing on a parchment page could get changed. This was the reason for uppercase letters to appear 14 centuries ago.


March 2016 - Event Schedule:

Friday May 20

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Vendors Open

7:30 - 7:45 - The IAP Collection - Mark James

7:45 - 8:30 - Introduction to Thread Wrapping for Pens - Neil Drumheller

Saturday May 21

9:00am - 5:00 pm - Vendors Open

10:00 - Fun with Colored Pencils and Finishes - Barry Gross

11:15 - Current and Future Designs of Pen Kits - Jon David Jones

12:15 - Lunch

1:15 - The Art and Science of Stabilizing - Curtis Seebeck

2:15 - Everything you wanted to know about tool steel - Doug Thompson

3:15 - TBA

February 2016 - Start your Contest Pen today!


The MAPG is hosting the following two contests. To enter a contest simply attend the MAPG and enter your pen by 12:00 p.m. on Saturday May 21, 2016. Customized blanks used for your entry should be of your own making. Customized blanks include embedded castings (watch parts, pheasant feathers, segmented blanks, label castings, etc). Pens will be judged anonymously by an independent panel of experts. Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in each contest and an overall winner will be selected from the two contests. The overall winner will be given the opportunity to donate the winning pen to the IAP collection where it would be honored along with other great pens (no obligation).

Mission Impossible Contest

Your mission, should you choose/decide to accept it, is to create a modified pen that in the tradition of Russ Fairfield exceeds the limits of what can be done with a slimline pen kit, attend the MAPG, and amaze your fellow pen makers with your creativity. As always, should you be caught or killed, the MAPG will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This post will self-destruct within five seconds after you read it. Good luck.

The sole requirement is: Create a pen using at a minimum a cross style refill and at most 2 external components of a slimline pen kit. Winners will be selected by an unbiased panel based on:

  • Originality of design
  • Workmanship- Overall fit and finish
  • Use of material - Composition and originality
  • Overall looks
  • The pen must be made for the MAPG contest by the person entering the contest and not have been publicly displayed anywhere else.

MAPG Beauty Contest

There it is, the MAPG beautiful pen There it is, your ideal pen The dream of a million pen makers who are more than talented for it may turn out to be the Epitome of Beautiful Pens. This is a contest challenging pen makers to make the most Beautiful Pen.

  • It may be any style of pen with the exception of a pen using a cross-type refill. It must be a conventional style Pen.
  • Materials and Methods: the pen may be constructed from whatever materials(s) you choose- conventional or unconventional. You may make the pen from kits, completely kitless or any stage in-between. You can make the pen using any tools available to you as long as you make the pen. That includes but is not limited to wood lathes, metal lathes, cnc equipment, mills, casting equipment, etc.
  • The pen must be made for the MAPG contest by the person entering the contest and not have been publicly displayed anywhere else.

Please email Cody Walker with any questions or clarifications.

November 2015:

Please welcome Cody Walker to our committee for MAPG 2016. Cody will be managing the contests...please check back later for more details.

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