Pen making update Y2 Wk26: Prototypes and carving

* Pen Making

Thought I would talk a little about the design process rather than the other stuff today. My original designs were done with a few brief ideas in mine. In the beginning I had the freedom to just play around with the resins and test to see what they could do. I based one of my original games on the first pen I made, then I made one based upon the most common shapes that we see in fountain pens. These options filled out my first tier of options as they are all designs where they can be done 100% on the lathe without having to sand anything by hand.

The second tier pens were ones that I wanted to push the boat out. More unusual things which would potentially be a bit divisive with peoples tastes. I wanted to take a chance on this tier, they all take a little more work, I either have to manually cut things which leads to sanding flat edges, shape the ends or I need to do significant shaping. These options add on a tonne of time to the sanding and polishing times.

The tier 3 ones are pens that I am experimenting with, involve carving, multiple resin pours or cutting and putting multiple materials together. These ones are the longest to make and have the potential to go wrong. They could also need sanding inside of them which is a right royal pain in the butt.

But what do I do when I get a custom order to make something which I haven’t done before? Maybe a bit of shaping or just something I have never done before. Well I make prototypes to begin with. I sometimes do drawings of the designs but then again sometimes I just jump in and make a prototype. I have a very visual mind which helps. This brings me up to the crux of what I am wanting to talk about. I have a client wanting me to make a pocket pen, with convex curves on the cap and barrel. [Here it it](https://i.imgur.com/fNg7124.jpg) with the cap on in size comparison to a jinhao 992, here it is with the [cap off](https://i.imgur.com/hIceEeZ.jpg) , the nib is not fitted so it will extend another 25mm. Just to show you one of the longer pens I [make](https://i.imgur.com/dQ9ujGs.jpg), which can also be seen in the leading image all polished up. The other pen I have got a commission for is a Cthulhu themed pen. This one I am very excited about, I will get to make a Zeus and put a cthulhu themed toll stop on it not only that but the client wants me to engrave what is called an elder sign in the flat edge of the design, [this](https://i.imgur.com/8DdYL7S.jpg) is the first attempt at the carving, I will practise it a few more times before jumping in.

I showed off some Brooks blanks I get to work with, so at the beginning of the week I started the pens. [The darker one](https://i.imgur.com/KYWdOuF.jpg) will end up be a copy of another pen design for the client. The [Abelone](https://i.imgur.com/stTsoq2.jpg) one will end up being a Neptune design. So here is the [darker one](https://i.imgur.com/UtqaTe3.jpg) finished and the [Neptune](https://i.imgur.com/R6hAwOq.jpg) finished. What do you think? The blanks themselves were great to work with I can recommend them to any pen makers out there.

As usual feel free to give feedback or suggestions in the comments. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones and stay safe.

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