A Mineral Sea Writing Set

Without a doubt, Mineral Sea Lava Explosion owns the title of Favorite Material among my customers. A swirling mix of blues, blacks, and golden orange with some pearly chatoyance, this material comes from the talented hand of Eugene Soto of Muttblanks.com.  This past week, a writing duo in Mineral Sea came to life.

Literati Academe Dip Pen and Oversized Zephyr in Mineral Sea

Literati Academe Dip Pen and Oversized Zephyr in Mineral Sea

The Oversized Zephyr makes quite a statement with its girth and bold coloring. The Literati Academe Dip Nib Holder draws the eye to its unusual feature of a cap, which is rarely seen on a dip pen. I just recently took a Copperplate calligraphy class, and saw the advantage of a dip pen with a cap for better portability. Of course, there aren’t any caps for oblique dip pens.

Literati Academe Dip Pen and Oversized Zephyr in Mineral Sea

Literati Academe Dip Pen and Oversized Zephyr in Mineral Sea

Completing this desk set is a two slot pen rest. Normally I make one slot rests, but this customer wanted 2 slots to accommodate both pens.

Pen Rest - 2 Slot - in Mineral Sea

Pen Rest – 2 Slot – in Mineral Sea

Another Muttblanks material landed on the lathe this week : Sunflower Sky Lava Explosion. Its whirling blues, yellows, and black resemble Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting. A black ebonite section enhances the grip and breaks the wild color of the rest of this clipless Idyll.

Idyll in Sunflower Sky Lava Explosion #18 - Medium

Idyll in Sunflower Sky Lava Explosion #18 – Medium

Here’s a sneak peek at a new project I’m working on. Whatever could it be?

Version 2


Topaz, Quartz Burgundy, and Azure – A Week of Jewel Tones

Fountain pen people are picky. We are! And when it comes to choosing colors and materials for a custom pen, we can let that trait have free reign. Some of my customers often know exactly what they want right away, while others need a bit of guidance through the bewildering array of choices. Narrowing down the selection can take a while. Sometimes two favorite materials call out for attention, and rather than selecting one over the other, a client will resolve the issue by getting a pen in each color. And some order multiple pens in both colors. Four of this week’s pens fit that category, with the jewel tones of Conway Stewart’s Azure and Quartz Burgundy acrylics.

Churchillized Epics, Medium, & Custom Designs, Small

These designs are what we penmakers call a homage, or a clone of another style, often of a pen that is no longer available, with some specific modifications asked for by the client. In this case, the original models were the Conway Stewart Churchill and Wellington, but without the characteristic bluges or curves that Conway Stewart pens often have. For the Wellington, removing the cap and barrel bulges leaves a very different pen, one that is more classic in style. The acrylics used are original CS materials, a high quality Italian resin, deep and rich in color.

Custom Design in Azure, Small

Custom Design in Azure – Small

Churchillized Epic in Quartz Burgundy - Medium

Churchillized Epic in Quartz Burgundy – Medium

Another pen made this week also boasts a deep, rich, jewel tone color, but the transparency and swirls in the Topaz Water acrylic provide an entirely different personality. The pen is a Literati Dip Pen, fitted with a JoWo fountain pen nib and feed. They can be pulled out and replaced with a standard dip pen ferrule for use with other dip nibs. One customer likes the JoWo nibs in a dip pen for ease of testing new inks, and for ease of cleaning. This dip pen is about 7″ in length. A matching pen rest was requested to go with it.

Straight Literati Dip Pen in Topaz Water Acrylic

Straight Literati Dip Pen in Topaz Water Acrylic

Several other pens and projects were begun this week, including a prototype, or two…or was it three? I’ve truly lost count of all the new ideas I’d like to make reality. Some will come to pass much more quickly than others. If only I could clone myself to get it all done faster!

A Balladeer and a Scribe Walk into a Room….

I get requests for all different sizes of pens, yet I continue to be amazed at the number of folk who ask for an oversized pen. Now, my pens tend to be on the large size, anyway, so a Scriptorium oversized pen is really big. Take the Scribe I recently made. The customer asked for it to be oversized and with no step from barrel to threads. That meant the pen would be a little smaller in diameter than the stepped version, but the barrel still ended up at around 16.3mm at the widest point. That’s bigger than a Montblanc 149!

Scribe in Ocean's Obsidian & Black Ebonite - Oversized

The material is a hand poured alumilite called Ocean’s Obsidian Lava Lamp #48, made by Eugene Soto of Muttblanks. His blanks are extremely popular with my customers. The customer chose Black Ebonite for the grip section, a wide Modern clip in silver, and a Black Oxide coated nib. All these colors combined make for an elegant, classy look.

Blue materials are always popular. Another blue pen made recently is this large Balladeer made with another hand poured alumilite dubbed “Faux Tibaldi” by its maker, Jonathon Brooks. This blank’s creation resulted from the scarcity of a gorgeous celluloid used by the Tibaldi pen company. The challenge was to make a blank that replicated the bright pop of blue in a network of grey and black like the original.

This Balladeer sports 4 Silver bands and a Wide Modern clip. The blank’s color mix caught the attention of customers, and now an Orange and a Purple version are in the making,

Yet another blue pen was made this week, a small Idyll in Arctic Fog Vaper Swirl. As a special commission for a little boy, the parents chose blue, his favorite color, and had a custom clip made that had an image of his favorite stuffed toy, a fluffy chicken. It’s hard to tell in the picture, but it does look just like the little chick.

Idyll in Arctic Fog Vaper Swirl with custom clip - Small

The parents commissioned a 2nd pen, as well. This is a small Zephyr, a flush barrel, cigar shaped style. The material is Beach Walk Vaper Swirl, with the blanks carefully chosen to have the most blue possible.

Zephyr in Beach Walk Vaper Swirl - Small - Inkling Clip

It’s impossible to know exactly how a blank will look after it is turned down, but generally one can look at the raw, unturned blank and tell which colors will be predominant. Some customers, who know exactly what they want, ask to choose the blanks themselves. This is true for the commissioned pen below, a medium sized Zephyr in Fire Nebula Lava Explosion.

Zephyr in Fire Nebula Lava Explosion - Medium

The customer wanted blanks that had the golden caramel as the main color, with the blue and purple accents still apparent. I provided pictures of about 8 or 9 blanks, from which the customer made his selection. I’ve also had clients ask for this same blank, but with the purple as predominant. It’s all about customizing as much as possible at Scriptorium Pens.

The Zephyr below was originally intended to be in Orange Japanese Ebonite, but the day before I was scheduled to start work on the pen, the customer asked if he could possibly switch to Orange Ripple Ebonite. I was able to accommodate the request as I had just serendipitously received a shipment that included some Orange Ripple. As you can see below, the material boasts a gorgeous, dark ripple pattern with highlights of bright orange to spice it up. A silver Shield Logo roll stop completes the sleek look.

Zephyr in Orange Ripple Ebonite - Medium

The next few pens in the work queue will be very different from this recent batch, both in materials and styles. One of my favorite aspects of custom pen making is that every day is different, and no pen is exactly like another. There’s no time to get bored, nothing repetitive in the creation process. Every single day it’s exciting to open that shop door and get to work.

See you next time with some new pens!