Nibs and Clips and Woods, oh my!

Scriptorium Pens has had a busy, busy summer, not only making pens but also designing new clips and pen prototypes. As we head into the Fall season, I wanted to give you some news and updates on our expanded offerings.

Bock #8 Nibs are now available for Large and Oversized pens!

Bock #8 18k nib on a Large custom Sonneteer in Nikko Deep Green Ebonite

Bock #8 18k nib on a Large custom Sonneteer in Nikko Deep Green Ebonite

Those of you who have mourned the end of production of the large JoWo #8 nibs now have another option — Scriptorium Pens is offering Bock #8 Nibs in Titanium and 18k Gold for large and oversized pens. Previously, I had not offered these nibs because I was not satisfied with the fit of my hand-tapped sections for this popular brand. With no more JoWo #8s for my customers, I reached out to a friend with a wonderful CNC machine to make the sections to fit precisely.  Many customers have already asked for these nibs in their current orders. If you already have an order in my queue, you can change it to a Bock #8 nib if you wish. Just send me an email: renee@scriptoriumpens.com  As with all Scriptorium Pens nibs, these will be smoothed and tuned for a medium wet ink flow and a wonderful writing experience by nibmeister Mark Bacas, Nib Grinder.

In addition, after many customer requests, I am once again offering to make grip sections for customer provided Pelikan nibs. I make the section, you provide the nib. I am not a Pelikan distributor and can not purchase a nib for you.

Details on nib options and pricing can be found on the Nibs & Sections page and the Price List page.

New Clips and Roll Stop

Scriptorium Pens has added two new cast clips and a new roll stop. The new Curvy Nouveau is based on the very popular Nouveau clip, but with some nice curves to it, and without the logo. The Minimalist clip is a totally new design, with a clean, smooth surface and profile. Both clips feature a slight upturn at the end to make them slide into a pocket more smoothly. The Open Bible roll stop is based on the Open Book roll stop, but with a wooden cross and crown of thorns on the pages. See the Clips page and the Roll Stops page for more details.

Curvy Nouveau

Curvy Nouveau

Curvy Nouveau

Curvy Nouveau

Open Bible Roll Stop with Wooden Cross & crown of Thorns

Open Bible Roll Stop with Wooden Cross & crown of Thorns

Minimalist Clip

Minimalist Clip

Slim Size Pens added to Lineup

After many requests for smaller pens, a Slim Size option has been added. These Slim pens are the smallest size possible to make and still hold a #6 nib and international converter. The base barrel size at the threads for these will be 11.8mm or .46” Also, a new model that will take full advantage of this Slim size is in the prototype stage. Here’s one of the prototypes:

Prototype Slim pen in NYH 8-Swirl Cumberland

Prototype Slim pen in NYH 8-Swirl Cumberland

Wood Pens

Amboyna Burl with sapwood, with Red Mallee Burl below.

Amboyna Burl with sapwood, with Red Mallee Burl below.

Did you know that Scriptorium Pens makes wood pens? We do! With an increasing number of orders for custom wood pens, a new Wood Pens category has been added to the Models menu. Current pen models can be made with wood, or you can create your own design.

Consider the natural beauty of wood for your next custom pen! See the Wood Pens page for details.

Custom in Heirloom Grade Amboyna Burl - Oversized

Custom in Heirloom Grade Amboyna Burl – Oversized

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Scriptorium Pens tuned by Mark Bacas, Nibgrinder

I am super excited to announce that all Scriptorium Pens nibs will be tuned and adjusted for a smooth writing experience by Mark Bacas, Nibmeister at Nibgrinder.com.  I’ve known Mark for several years now, and it just seemed like a natural fit to ask him to partner with Scriptorium Pens.  These super smooth and medium wet nibs will be going into all pens currently in the work queue, as well as all future pens.  And the best part is that it won’t cost customers a penny.  This service is included in the base price of all pens!  After all, the most important part of a fountain pen is the nib’s performance.

As an added bonus of this partnership, Scriptorium Pens will be able to spend more time on pen production, which is a major goal this year. In addition, other plans are coming together to increase production and get pens into customers’ hands more quickly.

A big Thank You goes out to Mark for taking on this work! It’s going to be a great year for Scriptorium Pens.

 

Celebrate Fountain Pen Day with a Discount at Scriptorium Pens!

A worldwide celebration, Fountain Pen Day occurs on the first Friday in November each year, and is a time for fans to share their enthusiasm for these unique writing instruments.

Celebrate 2018’s Fountain Pen Day with Scriptorium Pens and get a $15 Discount on your total fountain pen order and $5 off every dip pen ordered. This discount will apply to all orders placed between 12:00am and 11:59pm Central Standard Time this Friday, November 2, 2018.

This is a great opportunity to create that custom pen you’ve always wanted, and to save some money while doing so! Email renee@scriptoriumpens.com or fill out an order form here.

 

Introducing the Illuminaire

Gemstones! Who can resist them?! Ever since I was little, I’ve loved rocks and gems. The colors, shapes, and textures fascinate me. I have many fond memories of my mother piling a bunch of kids into the car and taking us to the annual MS Gem & Mineral Show, or for an outing to the Petrified Forest in Flora, MS, where we would pour over the myriad selections of polished and raw stones and select a precious few to purchase and take home as our prize for the day. I’ve spent many hours wading through creeks and picking up stones that intrigued me. To this day, I still collect them, using them as accents on bookshelves and window counters, and even in flower beds around the yard. So, it is only natural that I decided to find a way to fuse my love of rocks and stones with that of fountain pen design. The Illuminaire is the result.

Illuminaire in Ivory Lucite & American Mined™ Gold Canyon Turquoise™ Cabochons

Illuminaire in Ivory Lucite & American Mined™ Gold Canyon Turquoise™ Cabochons

Illuminaire in Wisteria Alumilite with Amethyst Cabochons

Illuminaire in Wisteria Alumilite with Amethyst Cabochons

The Illuminaire features a flush barrel pen design with slight tapers on each end. The cap and barrel finials are decorated with a round gemstone cabochon of 10mm for the cap and 8mm for the barrel. These gems “light up” the design in a way, or illuminate them, hence the name of Illuminaire.

Illuminaire in Solid Black Ebonite with Tiger's Eye Cabochons

Illuminaire in Solid Black Ebonite with Tiger’s Eye Cabochons

With literally hundreds of gemstones to choose from, the possibilities for a customer to mix and match stones with pen materials are endless. Birthstones, favorite colors, bright and attention getting or subdued and elegant. Another interesting aspect is that you can, by choice of material, increase or decrease the ‘presence’ of the stone cabochon. I anticipate customers having lots of fun with the myriad options here!   Check out the Illuminare page for details.

Six of these new models are available and ready for shipping on the Pens for Sale page.


 

Introducing the Novelist, in a New Intermediate Size

Novelist

Novelist

For those that like a larger #8 nib, but in a more manageable-sized fountain pen, I present — the Intermediate size, first used here in the new pen model called the Novelist. This pen was created at a customer’s request for a pen inspired by the MB Oscar Wilde, in a size that would suit the gorgeous vintage Brown Crush Parker celluloid, yet still be large enough to accommodate a #8 nib.

The Novelist has a sleek, streamlined profile with a straight barrel that tapers at the end and a cap with a slightly rounded, dome-shaped finial.  The grip section has a gentle curve.

 

 

Novelist

Novelist in Vintage Parker Brown Crush Celluloid & Black Ebonite, with #8 18k nib

Dimensions for the Novelist are as follows:

Capped: 146mm

Uncapped: 136mm

Barrel Diameter: 14.5mm

Section: 24mm long, ~13mm diameter

Cap Diameter: 17.9mm

*Note: Dimensions are approximate, as all pens are handmade and no two will be exactly alike.


 

 

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Making an Exclamation!

One of the challenges faced by almost all those associated with the crafting of custom writing instruments is the sourcing and design of materials. Nibs, clips, roll stops, and other decorative elements become part of the brand’s identity, and so must be chosen carefully. There are many factors to take into consideration, the main being the proportional dimensions and aesthetics of the finished item. Ready made parts from “kit” offerings rarely fit these requirements, so we must look elsewhere. The most difficult item to source? Clips.

After initially making a brief foray into the possibility of getting custom steel clips made, around 4 years ago, I put the idea aside as untenable for my little business at the time. All the options I found were jaw-dropping in both price & quantity required, and clearly not something I could afford. However, several years later, I found the issue arising again. This time, I was determined to make it a reality. Little did I know what a challenge it would be!

Obviously, with my former career in teaching, I knew next to nothing about the world of manufacturing, or even of how to begin to find someone to create clips to spec. Another obstacle to overcome was the understandable tendency of well-established pen makers to hold their own sources and findings close to the vest. So, there was nothing for it but to jump into the search and do some serious legwork.

Exploring avenues for a ‘local’ supplier/manufacturer proved to be both time consuming and fruitless, unless I wanted to spend vast amounts of funding, which I simply do not have. I did come across a few interesting leads though. That led me to explore the possibilities of commissioning production from China. The language barrier was a difficult one to overcome, but a picture, as they say, paints a thousand words, in any language! I approached several companies with my design sketches.

Numerous emails and weeks later, I finally hit upon an excellent source for the work I wanted. I paid a healthy sum for the setup fee and awaited samples. The whole experience was really quite exciting! With samples seen and approved, and another hefty sum parted with, my clips were now scheduled for production. How neat is that, thought I!

With the clips scheduled and the samples to hand, phase two of the project needed to be put into place. I had already sourced suitable establishments to perform the all-important task of plating to various finishes: Gold, Nickel Silver, and Black Oxide. The unplated clips were eventually completed and delivered to me. I counted out the first batches for plating and off they went in the post. A few months later, back from the platers they came, and I was truly proud of the end product. The clips have really nice finishes, with the shape I want, made to suit my very own specifications and pen models.

I choose to call this the Exclamation Clip. Its shape reminds me of the exclamation mark, with a classic and functional design which will complement many of my pen styles. Offered as a standard clip with all base models, it fills a long-standing gap for me, and I am proud to present it to my customers as a truly bespoke item! I really am very proud of my achievement…. Have I written that already? The challenges faced and overcome in this quest have provided valuable experience and knowledge that will benefit both my business and my customers, paving the way for additional clip offerings in the future. And it all started with making an Exclamation!

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Fountain Pen Day Sale!

A worldwide celebration, Fountain Pen Day occurs on the first Friday in November each year, and is a time for fans to share their enthusiasm for these unique writing instruments.

Celebrate Fountain Pen Day with Scriptorium Pens and save $15 off every fountain pen and $5 off every dip pen ordered. Sale time will last from 12:00am to 11:59pm Central Standard Time this Friday, November 3, 2017.

This is a great opportunity to create that custom pen you’ve always wanted, and to save some money while doing so! Email renee@scriptoriumpens.com or fill out an order form here.

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Introducing the Scroll – A New Model

Introducing the Scroll

The Scroll - in a variety of materials

The Scroll – in a variety of materials

Long before I began the journey of making pens myself, I loved looking at all the different materials & colors available for pens. The pattern of the swirls, the variety of textures, the myriad combinations — all intrigued me. They still intrigue me. I love to get lost in the look of a pen. The materials chosen for one’s custom pen define its identity more than any other component, and so should share equal billing with the nib. With that in mind, I’ve added a new model that offers a broad canvas designed to allow the material to be the star.

Scroll In Ice Koi Alumilite - Medium

Scroll In Ice Koi Alumilite – Medium

The new Scroll is a flush barrel pen with a minimalist form, in a shape reminiscent of an ancient scroll. Clean and simple, it features a smooth barrel with slightly indented finials to add a bit of character to the otherwise straight cylinder. The Scroll can be enhanced with the usual furnishings, such as roll stops, clips, ink windows, & decorative bands, or it can be left in its minimalist form.  I’ve prepared a few Scrolls to be immediately available on the Pens for Sale page. Check them out!

Scroll in Mineral Sea Lava Explosion - Small

Scroll in Mineral Sea Lava Explosion – Small

Scroll in Ghost Koi Alumilite - Small

Scroll in Ghost Koi Alumilite – Small

Scroll in Water Lily Koi Alumilite & Blackberry Ebonite - Small

Scroll in Water Lily Koi Alumilite & Blackberry Ebonite – Small

 

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What’s In the Box

When I pack up a pen that I’ve worked hard on, and send it out the door to a new home, a little bit of me goes with that package. I’ve invested time, energy, creativity, and artistry into making a quality writing instrument that I hope will give you pleasure for years to come. It’s rather like sending a child to the first day of school. I worry a bit about how it will fare as it travels into unknown territory, and how it will be received as it crosses the threshold to its new home.

I do everything I can to prepare it well at each stage of creation, testing the fit of each part carefully before moving on to the next. However, once a pen is polished and washed and all shiny and sparkly, the work is still not complete. The next step is just as important as the pen crafting itself. That’s when I test and tune the new nib to make sure it has proper flow and writes as smoothly as possible.

500_blog_tune-1I now have a desk in my studio dedicated solely to this final stage of pen preparation, with all my tools in one place, in easy reach. I love to sit down there and concentrate on a nib, examining it with my loupe, working on the tines to align them, using a buffing stick or lapping film as needed to create a smooth writing experience. While I make no claim at being a Nibmeister, I can at least ensure that my nibs perform optimally.  After I make that final pass on a Rhodia pad, and the Waterman Blue-Black ink glides smoothly across the paper, a smile comes over my face, and I know that’s it, the nib is good to go.  I flush the nib thoroughly until the water is as clear as possible, and then prepare it for shipping.  If you notice a hint of mysterious blue ink still in your new pen when it arrives, this is why.

Your pen and I then move to the Shipping Room (once known as the living room) and assemble the parts for final packing. Each pen is slipped inside a soft, velveteen drawstring bag and then placed in a sturdy, durable, and reusable telescopic PVC tube with cushioning on both ends of the tube.  Accompanying your pen into the shipping box is a little “Thank You” folder that I’ve assembled. It contains a Scriptorium Pens bookmark, a sheet of blotter paper with the Scriptorium Pens logo embossed in the center, a business card, and a Sunshine Polishing Cloth for your pen’s gold, silver, bronze, brass, or copper accents.

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Into the box it all goes, and that’s the last I’ll ever see of that pen, most likely. I’ll have done all I could to prepare it for its new home, and with more than a little pride I’ll send it off, and like an anxious parent, wait for word of how it is received.  And I do get word, whether via email or traditional, written letter, and I cherish each one.  Some offer just a few words, while others are more expansive, relating how smoothly the pen writes, or how it feels in the hand, or how much enjoyment it brings just by gazing at it. Sometimes the letters are more personal and moving, of how the pen was chosen to mark a special moment in the recipient’s life — a graduation, a promotion, a new birth – or how the pen arrived at the end of a very long and frustrating day when a special pick-me-up was desperately needed.  It’s a humbling experience to know that my pens can mean so much to others, and a constant reminder of my responsibility, as an artist, to make sure my work meets the highest levels of quality that I can invest it with. So yes, what’s in the box is a little bit of me in each and every pen.  A little creation story, with a new life being handed over to start more stories. What will that next story be?

Festive Greetings

It is that time of year again! The shops are stacked with festive goods, the Christmas trees, lights and decorations are being put in place, and most folks are busy getting ready to celebrate with friends and family.  Cozy nights by the fireside, carol singers, kids getting excited… mulled wine and a nice Christmas lunch.  Of course, not everyone celebrates now.  I do reach a global community.  With that in mind, whatever, whenever you celebrate, I wish you peace and happiness.

I spend a great deal of time in my workshop, often seven days a week, making orders for customers requiring a special pen.  The pens I make are sent to people living in many different parts of the world.  I think it rather neat that my work travels far and wide. I love to work with people to make their custom pen a reality. Putting it simply, I love to make all types of pens for you!

Scriptorium Pens has a wide and varied range of writing instrument designs, developed with you in mind to suit your many varied tastes.  I am generally able to incorporate all the little preferences put to me for each order.  A certain design roll stop, a specific sized nib, special materials or combination thereof, even commissioning materials to be made as a special order.  It is tempting to sit back and continue to make those pens only. However, I do need to feed my creative urges!

Every now and then I get the inspiration and desire to make a pen that is a little different.  My creative side comes to the fore when working in my workshop.  I wonder what this or that would look like, whether a certain style is possible to make, what materials to use?   Often, those desires get pushed to one side by the need to fulfill your pen orders.

When I do have a little “me” time, that is rare!  You may be surprised to know that I find it very relaxing to be in the workshop, developing a pen I have wanted to make, but not had time to.  I do try to take time out during the weekend, a few hours to make an inventory pen or, perhaps, work on one of those ideas in my head.

I recently ordered and received shipments of Japanese & German Ebonites.  They contain some very attractive colors and patterns, and so make ideal candidates for some of those special pens I have in mind.

I’ll be taking a few days “off” for the Christmas holidays, but I’ll still be in the shop. I look forward to finalizing some of those new pen & clip designs during that time.  When I start back up after the holidays, I’ll be working on order numbers in the 180’s, making my way through the work queue as quickly as I can, yet still being careful and making sure your custom pen is just right!

Wishing You A Festive Holiday Season!

Renée

Recent Turnings from The Scriptorium Workshop

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