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


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.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

First Production Quality Dip Pen Holder

I finished work on the first single production quality sided straight nib holder this afternoon. This one is for personal use. The others in this multicolor series  will have a smaller diameter. Eventually pons of this quality will be available for purchase on a Esty site.

The woods in this pen are yellow heart, purple heart, rosa, wenge and maple. The decorative brush shape on top was milled from wenge.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

New Series of Pen Nolders

I had some time this afternoon to do preliminary work on wood blanks for my next series of double and single ended pen holders. I am using small pieces of Bubinga, Padauk, Sapelle Wenge, Pao Rosa, Lacewood, Yellow Heart, Purple Heart, Quilted Maple, Walnut and Mahogany. They were all small pieces purchased in the turner bins at Owl Hardwoods. The colors are not dyed and quite beautiful. 

They pens will glow when polished with many thin coats of urethane, buffed and waxed. I finally had success with my finishing application on a scrap piece of bridseye maple. Lot of practice with friction polish earlier but not totally pleased with the result of that particular method.

These will be some truly beautiful and practical pen holders when finished. I look forward to showing them  to fellow participants at the next 26 Seeds workshop.

Monday, June 16, 2014

10 Minute Quickies with a Custom Pen Holder

This year I began participating in Reggie Ezzell's 26 Seeds year long workshop. My primary goal has been to learn methods for lettering with dip nibs. Prior to this workshop I never had any success with attempts to letter with a dip nib pen.

In the process evaluating my hand grip while doing thousands upon thousands of vertical, horizontal and curved stroke on practice paper I reached the conclusion I needed a custom fit pen holder. I began to mill my own double sided nib holders on a mini wood lathe as I needed a pen with a thick diameter similar to the Design markers I have used for over 3 decades. I have tried almost every commercially made pen holder and they have all felt odd in my hand grip. Many have been too small of a diameter to manipulate the nib.

I am just now having some success with dip nibs as the holders fit perfectly in my hand. They offer a shape to allow ease for pressurized strokes and control of stroke placement at any angle.