* pen making
I have the usual lineup of pens for you this week. Some are good, well the customer commissions are good, the other ones have had… issues. Which sucks, because the materials are looking good, they didn’t come out the way I wanted them too. I think I know why so I think I can solve the problems. Partly I think it is getting used to new tooling I have acquired. The new tool I have is a stand alone polishing wheel, the speed is adjustable and there are two ends too it so I can fit 2 of the 3 polishing wheels I have on it, namingly the beige shining wheel and the yellow finishing wheel. The brown starter wheel is staying on the lathe. So now when I finish sanding I put all the pens through the first stage on the lathe then I move down to the other wheels and polish each pen with the final two stages. It only cuts out a little bit of time per pen but still every little helps. Only problem is that I have had a few get snatched away from my hands which has lead to the material cracking and having to fix those pieces, which is kind of annoying. To get around this I am taking a lesson from Shogun era Japan (I think, I am not a history buff). Horse riders would wear a sort of sack on their backs which as they rode the horse would inflate. This was an addition to their armour which helped protect them from arrows. When someone attempted to shoot them the arrows would impact the inflated bag and the impact would be taken out of it therefore protecting the rider. So I am going to hang a curtain behind the polisher with a cushioned base which I can temporarily pin to the work bench so nothing gets caught in moving parts, that way when something gets snatched away rather than impacting a bunch of hard surfaces it will impact the curtain and the slack in the material will absorb all the force of the impact. I hope it works.
So on with the pens. My wife called this one the toothpaste pen because of the red white and hints of blue on the blank. This was a demo of a pen I have made for a commission rather than drawing it. If I make a prototype I can then iron out any problems in the design as I make it. Here it is with the [cap on](https://i.imgur.com/66uLpDX.jpg) and [cap off](https://i.imgur.com/6XrTRSo.jpg), why the white finial on the cap? Yeah I messed up with the threads and needed to fix it. This one is for a client, [this is the one](https://i.imgur.com/uExMPLQ.jpg) which got snatched away and the cap broke. The other one got snatched away is [this one](https://i.imgur.com/BcuhRhY.jpg) again the cap cracked but I managed to fix this one.
My next project which is not a commission is attempting to make a pocket pen using a number 5 bock nib rather than a number 6. I want to see how small I can make a pen. When I went to the pen show in London back before the lock down I was amazed by all the really tiny vintage pens so I wanted to see if I could make one. I will be honest, so far not going too well. I have a [bunch of tools](https://i.imgur.com/fKtGvSe.jpg) to start out with, but my first attempt at a section didn’t go too well. Not giving up though.
* Blank making (this is where the competition bit is)
Over on instagram I am approaching 1000 followers so I figured I would do a bit of a competition. What I did was asked people to send me images they would like to see made into pen blanks. I closed that when I hit 950, and I ended up choosing 6 images. I got a [peacock feather](https://i.imgur.com/VdYxUh4.jpg), some [Labradorite](https://i.imgur.com/smAETTD.jpg), a [Nebula](https://i.imgur.com/SAyOCLh.jpg), a [meadow](https://i.imgur.com/nDP78JV.jpg), a [lovecraftian mother](https://i.imgur.com/3hKhC8m.jpg) and finally [a purple spider](https://i.imgur.com/ICmgsjK.jpg). When these blanks are made I will be doing a vote to see which one people want me to make into a pen, then this will be the pen which I then giveaway. Its a bit more interesting then just doing a simple ‘like this image’ giveaway.
As usual feel free to give feedback or suggestions in the comments. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones and stay safe.