The Beach Reporter 2014

Pen Show returns to Manhattan Beach

Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2014 | Michael Hixon

One of the largest events of its kind in the world, the 26th annual Los Angeles International Pen Show will take place Sunday, Feb. 16, at the Manhattan Beach Marriott Hotel, beginning at 10 a.m.

More than 200 exhibitors from around the globe will converge for the show that features vintage, modern and limited edition pens, valued at prices for the average collector to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Hermosa Beach resident Rik Knablein turned his passion for collecting pens into creating his own pen lines, including MetalWrite in 2011, and then Rikwill more recently. He will have his own booth at the show. The Rikwill Kaleidoscope, one his latest creations, was nominated for “Best Interpretation of a Theme” in the magazine Pen World’s 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards.

“It’s strength (the pen show) is the breath of product – collectable, new, arty, practical – and a great place to learn about writing instruments since there is hundreds of years of writing, design and manufacturing experience at the show,” said Knablein, who headed NASA software programs for manned space flight at TRW in Redondo Beach. “I consider pens functional art for they allow the writer to express themselves in multiple ways, the look, the feel and the written word.”

Knablein was in the aerospace business from 1975, when he moved to Hermosa Beach, to 2009. He briefly worked part-time until he decided to dedicate more time to his pen endeavors and explore his creative side. When he received his MBA while working at TRW, Knablein’s daughter gave him a Montblanc fountain pen, which rekindled his interest in pens that started with gifts from his mother in high school.

Knablein’s Rikwill pens, including the new Kaleidoscope, are limited edition hand-engraved sterling silver pens with color enamel overlays. He designed the patterns, colors and shapes. While he designs the pens here, they are made in England.