Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Start of a Bubinga Pen


After a long long hours in front of the computer screen dealing with project deadlines I started a pen with a Bubinga front section. Nice change of pace to finish off the day. Bubinga is a very dense wood that requires a very sharp tool to shape it. If the tool is dull the wood easily burns up.
The colors from left to right are Purple Heart, Yellow Heart, Wenge, Birdseye Maple, Wenge and Bubinga. This one is going to be quite beautiful with a thin tapered end.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More Newly Milled Pen Holders

I started a new series of holders last night from laminated blanks set up last week.  Nice break from the high pressure deadline world of commercial lettering. Anything goes with the pens and its fun to create mini functional fine art pieces.

With some of the pens in this series I decided to taper the back end to be as skinny as possible.  Very elegant and more traditional in design. After I finish milling a couple dozen pen holders dyes and transparent acrylics will be airbrushed to enhance the color. These will be gorgeous when finished.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Series of Oblique Holders

This is a series of oblique holders I worked on a couple months ago. Basically practice to learn the process of making a flange and develop a method for cutting  the wooden pen at an angle to install the flange. I made an adjustable bandsaw jig which allowed the blade to cut the pen body with various tilt angles. This was a learning process and some of the angles were too steep for the nib when contacting the paper surface. Those particular pens were tossed in the trash.

The flange I designed allows the nib to be rotated unlike some of the production oblique holders I have purchased in the past which position the nib at a fixed position. I experimented with double and single flange pens including oblique and straight nib inserts in the same pen. Eventually I will make some obliques with a variety of woods similar to the straight holders.


Monday, October 20, 2014

My Recent Collection of Pen Holders

My latest collection of pen holders milled in the past month. All different shapes and sizes. I just started  experimenting with dyes and transparent acrylics. The two pen holders on the right end of the photos are my first attempts with enhancing color. I have a long way to go with this newly discovered technique. I eventually plan to sell these pen holders.




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More Calligraphy Pens In the Works

I have not posted any lettering updates in a long time. All my free time for many months of this year has been spent making calligraphy pen holders of many shapes and sizes. It has taken a long time to learn and develop finishing techniques after the pens are turned on the lathe. To  deal with moisture prevention the drilled hole for the nib insert is sealed with epoxy and a brass tube. This will make the the nib insert easier to replace if it eventually rusts.

This photo is the first step in setting up the wood blanks. I am painting with various earth tones and textures of wood. Next step in the process is to apply an extremely strong glue and laminate all the pieces of each blank. When everything is clamped and placed in a wall rack I let the wood blanks cure for a few days.

I plan to airbrush dye and transparent acrylics into some of the wood segments to enhance colors of each pen. After adding color the turned blanks will get several coats of shellac followed by smooth sanding and finished with multiple thin clear coats.  The clear coat will be micro polished and buffed with wax. Each wooden blank on the workbench will eventually become a beautiful and functional calligraphy pen.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bowling Pin Holder


I worked on this pen holder yesterday.  I put a little bowling pin on top as I thought about the days of my youth when I went to the bowling alley for entertainment.

This holder took longer than expected my goal was to create a perfect surface. I used a piece of Lacewood with open grain and learned the technique to fill the grain with a natural appearance. The little bowling pin is birdseye maple. The pen is 9.25" long, very lightweight and is a normal diameter similar to pens sold at calligraphy web stores. I plan to eventually make oblique holders of the same quality.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Stubwriter



I am having a blast lettering with  a bunch of different dip nib holders. This one was milled from a small piece of maple. A bit of an experiment to practice with a small 3.5" holder. Getting some real nice thicks and thins with the Speedball C4 nib.