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.

500_blog_thank-1

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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Extended Time for Fountain Pen Day Offer

Due to high demand, I have extended the special offer for International Fountain Pen Day!  All fountain and dip pen orders will receive $15 off the regular price through 12 o’clock Noon, Sunday, November 6, 2016. 😊

Enjoy, and thanks to all who have already taken advantage of this offer!

New Model – A Short Idyll

Short Idyll in Dragon Koi Rotacrylic - MediumRecently a customer asked for an Idyll made with one of Jeff Powell’s unique Rotacrylic pen blanks. The special process Jeff uses to create his blanks, including CNC work and double casting, means that the blanks are much shorter than normal pen blanks, so any kitless pen made from them will be shorter than usual. An additional twist was added by the customer in that he wanted the inlaid design to be on the barrel, instead of the usual place on the cap, so that he could see the design while writing. That meant the section and nib had to line up perfectly with the barrel. Finally, the section had to be made longer to allow a standard converter to fit down inside it since the barrel itself would not be long enough to accommodate a converter.  The result of all this? A Short Idyll

Below are some photos of the first Short Idyll created, along with measurements. This one is a Medium size, & features Jeff Powell’s graceful Dragon Koi design on the barrel:

Short Idyll in Dragon Koi Rotacrylic - Medium

Short Idyll in Dragon Koi Rotacrylic - Medium Short Idyll in Dragon Koi Rotacrylic - Medium

 

Closed = 137mm
Uncapped = 124mm (measurement includes nib, section, & barrel)
Barrel = 78mm (barrel only)
Grip = 22.5mm long, 11.6mm at narrowest part of grip
Cap = 65mm
Outer Diameter = 16mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, the Short Idyll is just a little bit shorter than a Pelikan M800 or a Lamy Al-Star:

  • Short Idyll, closed: 137mm long
    Pelikan M800, closed: 141mm long
    Lamy Al-Star, closed: 139.5
  • Short Idyll, uncapped: 124mm long
    Pelikan M800, uncapped: 127.5mm long
    Lamy Al-Star, uncapped: 130mm long

 

I’ve got a few more new model designs to add to the lineup, including a pocket pen.
Stay tuned for more info. 🙂

Dip Pens, Upgraded Shipping, and more

Dip Nib Holders

Epic Dip Nib Holders

Epic Dip Nib Holders in Blue Nebula & Ghost Koi alumilite

A popular new addition to the Scriptorium Pens model line-up includes three new styles of Dip Nib Holders for pointed pen dip nibs.  The Epic Dip Nib Holder was created at customer request for a holder that would be about the same length as a regular fountain pen. It measures about 12mm in diameter at the grip and averages around 120mm to 130mm in length. Shortly after the introduction of this holder, requests came in for longer holders in the style of the Literati and Literati Academe Desk Pens.

Literati Academe

Literati Academe in the Water Series of acrylics

As with my fountain pens, customizations can be added, including metal bands, caps, matching pen rests, etc. Epic holders start at $35, and the Literati and Literati Academe start at $45.

Upgraded Shipping

In order to get pens to customers more quickly, I’ve upgraded my default shipping from 1st Class to Priority, with the option of Priority Express for those who want their pens even faster. All packages will continue to be fully insured. For more details, see the Shipping page.

Current Wait Time

My work queue continues to grow. In an effort to keep customers informed, I’ve added a “Current Wait Time” notice in the top right corner of the home page. I’m doing my best to keep up, but health issues occasionally slow me down. If at any time you want to know where you stand in the queue, shoot me an email:  renee@scriptoriumpens.com

Polishing Silver, Brass, Bronze, & Copper Furnishings

sunshine_clothCustomers often ask how to keep their metal pen parts bright and shiny. I’ll now be including a Sunshine Polishing Cloth with all orders that include silver, brass, bronze, or copper furnishings. These soft cloths contain non-scratch, micro-abrasives that quickly restore luster to tarnished parts. Just a light touch is all that is needed.

New Clips

Several new custom clips are in the design phase right now, and I look forward to introducing them soon. 🙂

 

Big Sale — 10% off between Thursday, January 16 & Friday, January 31!

It’s time for a sale at the Scriptorium! From Thursday, January 16 through Friday, January 31, get 10% off the regular price on every order.  Take advantage of this offer to start the year with a new custom pen for yourself or someone special. Offer ends at midnight on January 31, 2014.