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 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
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.
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 in Vintage Parker Brown Crush Celluloid & Black Ebonite, with #8 18k nib
Dimensions for the Novelist are as follows:
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.
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
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
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
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
Here’s a sneak peek at a new project I’m working on. Whatever could it be?
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.
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
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
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!
It’s time for a new pen model at Scriptorium Pens! Following several customer requests, the Aeterna was created. Inspired by the timeless style of the flat-top ebonite pens of the late 1800’s & early 1900’s, the Aeterna features sleek lines, a very slight curve behind the barrel threads, and an elongated 23mm section with a classic, lipped grip for writing comfort.
The Iota button roll stop was created specifically to go with the Aeterna to add to the elegant, minimal look. The Iota is the first Scriptorium roll stop to be offered in 18k gold, as well as Sterling Silver, Bronze, & Brass. As always, customers can choose other roll stops or clips to go with their custom pens.
I love seeing the ideas customers come up with for new pens. Keep those ideas coming, and your idea might become a regular Scriptorium Pens model, too!
Inkling Clip – Side View
Earlier this year a long-time customer asked me if I could create a pen styled after one of the Carter’s INX pens of the 20’s & 30’s. I was intrigued. I knew of the famous Carter’s inks, and even have a small collection of their vintage ink bottles and advertisements. I knew nothing about their pens, though. The customer provided some pictures to help me get as close as possible to the original style, but he wanted the new one in a much larger, modern size. I fell in love with the slim, elegant, streamlined design, and knew I had to get a custom clip made to finish off the look. Mike Redburn, of Silver Pen Parts, worked wonders with a new clip that is reminiscent of the original but stands on its own as a beautiful creation.
The customer carefully chose a material that would fit the vintage look, Pistachio, an acrylic from Conway Stewart, and asked for a black acrylic band between the two silver cap bands for contrast, along with a black section and finials to top it off. Before the pen was even finished, I had decided to make it a regular model in the Scriptorium lineup.
One the most enjoyable aspects of creating a new model is getting to name it. With the original being one of the Carter’s INX pens, I decided on the name of Inkling, as nod to Carter’s. The moniker also has the advantage of belonging to a famous literary group of Oxford writers of the 1930’s – 1940’s, including two of my all-time favorites, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. All my pen models have literary names or associations, so the Inkling fits right in. Many people have asked for more info on all the different model names, and that will be the topic of another post, eventually. 🙂
Check out the page for the new Inkling here!
Idyll in Solid Navy Acrylic
The Idyll is the latest model from Scriptorium Pens. After receiving many requests for pens with a flush cap and barrel body style, I decided to add one officially to the line up. This one went through several prototypes to reach the final shape/profile. It features clean, minimalist lines in the Japanese style and looks great whether clipped, clipless, or with a roll stopper. Check out the Idyll page for more images!
New Pen Model — the Epic!
Epic in Illuminated Amber Acrylic (Large)
The Epic is pretty much exactly what I think of when I envision fountain pens, and this model started out as a pen I made just for myself this weekend, and I liked it so much, I decided to make it part of the regular offering. I rarely make pens for myself, and this is the first one in at least a year and a half.
Like its literary namesake, the Epic is big and bold. Long, clean lines create a pen that is strong and grand without being ostentatious. The barrel expands ever so slightly toward the end before making a sharp taper downward. Though similar to the expanding barrel on the Balladeer, the Epic’s barrel is much slimmer, with only a slight swell at the widest point of diameter. This design helps to keep the pen from slipping down in the hand. Check out the Epic page for more images.
Classic Clip in Sterling Silver, Bronze, & Brass
Modern Clip in Sterling Silver, Bronze, & Brass
The new custom clips in Bronze and Brass are now available in both Classic and Modern styles, joining the Sterling Silver clips for a choice of colors to suit your pen material. These clips are hand cast using the lost wax method and are solid, not plated! My favorite is the Bronze. I love the patina it develops over time, adding unique character to a pen. These custom clips are available as an upgrade option to the standard clip offerings. See the new Clips page for details.
As mentioned above, there’s a new page just for Clips. Many customers have asked for a page with pictures of all the clips to choose from, so here it is! I’ve included both front and side angle views.
I’ve also updated the Pen Model Dimensions Chart to reflect the full Scriptorium model lineup to date.
That’s it for now. I hope to have a really cool announcement for you in a couple of weeks! 🙂
The Exemplar joins the pen model lineup this week at the Scriptorium. Featuring a slightly curved barrel and gently rounded finials, the Exemplar presents a subtle, elegant profile that is comfortable to hold. It balances well, either posted or unposted. As with all other Scriptorium models, it can be customized in a variety of ways to suit your personality. 🙂
Also in the News: More Clips!
Custom clips in cast Brass and Bronze will be joining the already available Sterling Silver Custom Clip selection. They should be available in a week or two!
Here’s a new pen model that has been long in the works and requested by many customers. The Literati is a desk pen that features a long, elegant, slightly curved barrel that tapers to a smooth-cornered, flat end. It is available in both a 6 1/2″ and 7 1/2″ version, depending on customer preference & material availability, and can be made in my usual range of diameter sizes. Each Literati will include a matching pen rest. The length is comparable to that of most dip pens used for calligraphy.
Naming this model was a challenge, but thanks to another pen making buddy it now has the perfect name! And not only can you write with it, but you can also wave it around in the air and pretend you are Hermione Grainger saying, “It’s levi-oh-sa, not levi-oh-saaa! 🙂