The Flat Top American Fountain pen is one of my favorites. It has a “screw-on” top that holds a gold pocket clip. The twist pump system makes it easy to refill, and the easy flow nib puts the joy of great writing and self expression within the grasp of everyone who owns one of these beauties. This one is turned from irridescent orange wood with a smooth KwickKrystal© Satin finish. It fits your hand and feels almost delicious. This is a custom pen that I very carefully make one at a time. The pen pictured is truly one of a kind and sold for $79.00.
I have been thinking through this process of custom pen turning versus bowls, platters and hollow forms. At this point in time I have pretty much settled the matter by choosing to work with smaller pieces rather than larger. The other criteria has to do with the question: what kind of material to work with. That presented another very thought provoking process. I guess you might call me an environmental conservationist. As far as my world view is concerned I believe that we are stewards of what we have been given. I am hard pressed to find comfort in a discussion about global warming, climate change, and having it become a politicized debate. I’d much rather say I can recognize the changes and I can understand the potentially destructive contributing causes. What I want more than anything else, however, is to be about the business of fixing and preserving things physically and spiritually for my grandchildren and the next generations. That leads me to consider things as far as turning is concerned. 1. I prefer to use materials that are native and not endangered. 2. If I choose to use exotics, I make sure, as much as it humanly possible, that the pieces I work are, at the decision of others, destined for the scrap heap. That has led me to using smaller pieces of wood, and or pieces that have been stabilized to make them manageable. I’ve become a beggar for horns, antler and bone. I spend time dumpster diving behind cabinet shops, furniture factories, and have a few connections with flat wood workers. My range for materials prospecting criss crosses Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Other pieces friends or fellow turners present or exchange for alteration or fabrication. In addition to pens, I like to turn lace bobbins, spin tops, medallions, small bowls, trees, mushrooms, eggs, ear rings, pectoral crosses and occasional bracelet to mention just a few. If you want me to make you a pen or sell you one I have already made give me a call or place an order, I’ll see what I can do.