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Spalted Oak Pen From Ryan Krusac Studios

ryan krusac wood oak pen turner custom pens

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10 replies to this topic

#1 zaddick

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 19:31

This is my first review on this site. I think reviews are a great resource for others doing research on pens, and I’d like to give back.

 

I am reviewing a Spalted Oak wooden pen, handcrafted by Ryan of Ryan Krusac Studios in Georgia. I bought this pen from him at the recent San Francisco pen show. I honestly just could not pass it up.

 

Background:

Ryan Krusac Studios is a small shop that makes hand crafted pens out of various beautiful woods and horn. Ryan puts his efforts into the carving and decorating of the organic materials and uses quality metal furniture and German nibs. His fountain pens come in various sizes and materials, mainly using #5 and #6 sized nibs. (He also creates rollerballs, whatever those are!) Ryan also does a lot of scrimshaw work and hand paints a lot of pens. One other great aspect of working with him is his willingness to do customized work at a reasonable price. I encourage you to look at his website and see what is on offer. It was there that I first saw his body of work.

 

I do try to support artists and this was a nice aspect of the purchase process for me. I appreciate getting to speak to craftsman and understanding more about their craft. I can confidently say that Ryan is a passionate person who truly enjoys what he does. He has a good sense of humor and is very approachable. I would not hesitate to do business with him again because he showed me (through a few dealings after the show) that he has a high level of integrity and customer service.

 

The pen I picked:

It is one thing to see a pen on the internet and another to see it and touch it. When I saw the Spalted Oak pen in the large body size, I was taken by the beauty of the wood. Spalted wood occurs when a fungus gets into wood and adds color before it starts to decompose. It tends to happen in dead trees and it is most noticeable in lighter hard woods. If you get to the wood in time you can have the wonderful coloration without loss of integrity in the fibrous structure. After handling this pen, there was no loss of integrity!

 

The pen is a cartridge/converter filler. It came with a converter and I filled it right when I bought it. I generally prefer piston fillers, but the converter works fine as I think the pen is a little heavy for me to write more than a cartridge at a time. The pen came in a velvet sleeve which is all I really need. I think if you order on-line you can get a fancy box for presentations, but I was happy not to pay for a box I don’t need.

RK 3.jpg

 

Fit and finish:

The quality of this pen is top notch. The transition between the wood and the metal portions are smooth and pleasant to the touch. The barrel and cap are completely smooth and I cannot find any areas where the wood surface will splinter due to flaws. The pen had a matte finish to the wood, which works really well for me. Hand oils will keep the wood supple enough over the course of the year, but you can always add a little olive oil to the wood. The wood layer is good and thick, and I do not have any concerns about it standing up to normal usage. If the pen does split for some reason, Ryan stated he can take care of the issue.

RK 2.jpg

 

The metal appointment on pens in this price range can be pretty horrible. I am happy to report that Ryan has found good components. Most of the hardware is rhodium plated except the end caps and cap band which are black titanium. The designs are understated and I find them pleasing and not overwrought. Ryan marks his studio logo on each pen. I personally like that it is not overdone, but I might prefer it on one of the end caps because I think it is pretty good looking.

RK 5.jpg

 

RK 1.jpg

 

The nib is German made and marked Dayacom. It is smooth but very firm. The nib is medium and write a little on the thinner side. This is one area where I’d like to see more exciting options. While Ryan offers a good assortment of sized and 18K gold options, I am going to look into adding a better nib to this pen. I think the wood is amazing and deserves a better nib. The standard nib is very serviceable, however, and this is just me being a fan of big nibs (like the MB #9).

RK 6.jpg

 

The cap screws on with a few twists, maybe 2 rotations. This is a fair amount, although I think the Graf von Faber Castell pens set the standard of easy on and off for me. (Visconti has a nice groove system on some of its new pens too.) The clip seems fairly robust and I don’t doubt it would hold the pen securely, but this pen is so heavy it is not for fancy shirt pockets.

RK 4.jpg

 

Overall impression:

This is a big, beautiful and heavy pen. If you like wood pens, I think Ryan’s work is excellent and a great value for the money. I will use this as an everyday carry pen in my office.

 

 


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#2 Ergative

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 20:10

Oh, I was there at the SF pen show, and his pens were just gorgeous. I remember being particularly smitten with an olive wood pen that had a lingering scent of olives on it. I don't really have the money or faith in my devotion to this particular world yet to buy them, but I was very impressed. I'm so glad you bought one.



#3 whichwatch

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 22:10

I saw Ryan's work at the Washington DC Show and had a really nice chat with him.  I thought his work was really sharp, and I loved the look of the decorations on the metal parts.  I plan to buy one at the upcoming Columbus show.


Edited by whichwatch, 09 September 2014 - 22:10.


#4 liverman

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 13:30

---post moved to correct thread --


Edited by liverman, 11 September 2014 - 14:16.

The more I know about computers, the more I like my pens.

 

Colorado Pen Show

       5-7 October 2018

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#5 Mainecoon

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 16:51

Thank you for this review. Liked reading and watching it. It's a very beautifull pen as well! Enjoy writing with it
More reviews to come?
Happy Writing!, Mainecoon

Dreams are presentiments of what you are able to accomplish (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

#6 OakIris

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 20:48

Your pen is beautiful, zaddick.  Needless to say, oak is one of my favorite trees and woods.   :P  Thank you for the review!

 

You don't mention what the pen cost you, but I am curious about this statement (my emphasis):

 

Fit and finish:

<snip>

The metal appointment on pens in this price range can be pretty horrible. I am happy to report that Ryan has found good components.

Considering that most of his pens cost close to $300 or $400, at least those on his website, just wondering what pens you have tried at this price point that have horrible fittings?  Not a price that I will be able to pay anytime soon, if ever, but I would like to know what pens I should perhaps avoid.  lol, considering that none of my pens have cost that much, in fact most have cost a whole lot less than that ($100 or less,) I would expect perfection at $300-400.   :P

 

Holly


Edited by OakIris, 11 September 2014 - 20:54.


#7 zaddick

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 18:31

Hi Holly.

 

I guess I was thinking of the pens I have seen made of wood at local craft fairs and street festivals. My father collects wooden bowls turned from burls or norfolk pine trees so I tend to seek out wood turners. Many times they also make pens from their wood. I have never bought the pens from these folks because I feel the actual pen parts are fairly low quality and chrome instead of rhodium plated. Or I have found they tend to have designs on the bands or caps that I personally find unappealing. Most of these pens are in the $100 to $200 range.

 

Ryan's was the first wooden pen I have purchased from a single person firm because he not only had beautiful wood, but also had pen parts that were appealing to me. Most of my pens would be considered fairly expensive, so what is desirable to me in terms of the pen furniture might be overkill for many people. He had the first combo of beautiful wood and hardware that I felt was worth the cost. I paid more than the high range I have seen from other craftsmen, but less than the range you mentioned. (If you want the exact number just shoot me a PM).

 

I will continue to look at the pens from the small mom and pop pen makers I run into, but their pens will now have to beat Ryan's as my benchmark for craftsman wooden pens.


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#8 OakIris

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 20:26

Thank you for the clarification, zaddick.  I have seen some wooden pens - probably kit pens - whose fittings are definitely cheap and cheerful so I know what you mean.  Not something I would want, though I suppose it would be a keeper if I were the one that made it, lol.

 

Ryan will be coming to our pen show here in October and I look forward to seeing his pens.  It will be 'look only' as I won't be able to afford one, but that is OK.  It will be nice to see a properly made wooden pen.

 

(I have had the Nakaya Briarwood pen on my wishlist for a couple of years now. BriarwoodLightUncapped.jpg

 I can't afford that one, either, but it is always nice to dream!)

 

Holly

 



#9 PrestoTenebroso

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 04:55

Don't forget these!

 

https://www.facebook...?type=1



#10 rudyhou

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 08:08

very nice looking wooden fp.  i really like the grain on that wood.


-rudy-

#11 hsianloon

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 08:46

The words iridium point gerrmany on any nib...sends a shudder down my sense of aesthetics.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ryan krusac, wood, oak, pen turner, custom pens



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