Another few weeks have passed in the Scriptorium workshop. Pens have been posted to their new homes and many customers should now be enjoying writing with their new Scriptorium fountain or dip pen. Of course, I just love to hear how you are getting on with your new pen. Do please keep in touch and check the web pages from time to time, to read my blog and see what’s new in the Scriptorium workshop. I have a lot of new things planned for release in the future!
I truly enjoy my pens-crafting work. It is a passion that provides tremendous pleasure through making something that could be around for many years to come. Engaging with my customers and trying to fulfil their requests is another aspect that is really quite rewarding. The material combinations, the colors chosen, and the design requests I receive never cease to amaze me. It gives me the inspiration to go the extra mile to bring those chosen designs to reality.
Some time ago, I received a request to make a pen having a sword shaped clip. This provided a welcome design opportunity, as I have long wished for a sword clip myself. I chose to incorporate my love of British literature and history into this project. What would the design be? Should it look like some fabulous fantasy sword, or should it reflect an actual sword model? After much reflection, I decided to combine my love of the stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table with that of an actual sword design typical of the Anglo-Saxon period in English history.
Specifically, I chose the look from the sword found among the treasure in the Anglo-Saxon royal ship burial site at Sutton Hoo in 1939. I particularly like the design of this sword, with its narrow crossguard, as it really complements the shape of a pen cap. The pommel and hilt echo the contours of the Sutton Hoo sword, and the blade even features a fuller’s groove down the middle. The tip of the blade has been gently rounded. With no awkward protrusions for the pen, it is ideal. There are no sharp edges, points, or elements that can easily snag in shirt pockets or pen wraps.
Below are some design drawings of the final sword. As with any clip design, I go through a series of versions with my silversmith, Mike Redburn, to get just the right look. Below are a couple of Mike’s detailed 3D computer drawings.
Mike utilizes the “lost wax” casting method, and the process from design idea to completed clip is fascinating. Following approval of a final design, a 3D printed model is made. Next, a silicone mold is created in one of two ways – either by making a mold of the 3D printed model, or the model can be cast and a mold can be made of the cast metal piece. After the mold is made, wax is injected into the mold to reproduce the part. It is then put in a flask, invested, and then burned out in a kiln. The remaing hole is filled with molten metal.
Here is the final resulting clip!
Every notable sword has a name…. And what name should I choose for this sword? Why, Excalibur, of course! This echoes my passion for the tales of King Arthur, The Round Table, & Merlin. The clip is available in silver, bronze, or brass to add a unique touch to your custom pen. Do have a look at my Clips page for more information about these and other clip designs available, and… be on the lookout for a new pen model featuring the Excalibur clip, forged in the workshop at Scriptorium Pens, soon.