I was impressed enough with Stefan's work to go ahead and get another pen, custom made by him. I wanted something unique, different and one of a kind. So I dropped an email sharing what I had in mind and we took it forward from there. Getting this pen made involved many intricate steps and processes. While I understood and appreciated all of them I think it would be best if the process of creating the pen is described by the maker himself. So I will share texts from email updates I received from him in the various stages of the production of the pen. First off, after I shared an image with Stefan to give him an idea of the basic concept I had in mind, He reverted back with an excellent hand drawn sketch of the design.
After I approved the design, the pen was taken up. Following are excerpts from the emails I received explaining the various stages.
Description E-mail 1:
"your pen has been formed and sanded, titan nib is here and the pen has received the first base layers.I'm now into the stage of creating the raden pattern. This involves a careful apllication of masking tapes (they make sure the geometry is right), I will send you some photos of that next week (I'm currently away from home, will return next wednesday, so will capture some pictures on the following weekend). The masking tape and raden apllication will need some weeks I guess, after that the most Important urushi layers follow."Images after sanding and application of the base layers:
Application of the masking tapes:
Description via Email 2:
"your pen is underway in the curing chamber. Its in the raden processing.Here are some pictures:(Please keep in mind that these phone pictures don't do justice, the final product will look much better.)Final steps sanding the section-Sanding the bore hole so that there is just the right ammount of friction so that the Nib housing can be screwed into the threads nicely but tight:With some black basic urushi layers and sanding- a pattern of Tamiya masking stripes applied- in order to get the hexagonal pattern marked:Each stripe is cut to fit inside the taped pattern. Now the pen is still in the raden process, next step is further urushi layers and gilding, then many more layers. But when the raden processing is done, the most time consuming step will be done."
Description Email 3:
"The first pictures show the pen without the masking tapes and a red (still wet at the time of the picture) base coat on the areas that will feature the gold. That red layer was painted by me with a very very fine brush, as to cover the areas where the masking tape has been before, but just those. Very difficult step. I allways lacquer guilded areas in red first, because that that is the best base for gold.
The next pictures show the areas covered in pure 23,5 karat powder gold, that I dusted on the half cured sticky bonding urushi. The raden hexagons look very dark, because they are already covered by a couple of layers of clear honey brown urushi. (clear natural urushi cures dark brown). The gold specks on the raden will not be seen, they will get sanded away later.There will be 3 layers of clear urushi and powder gold on the guilded parts. The whole pen will now be covered in several layers of clear brown urushi, each layer cured. Then the sanding part can begin."
Description Email 4:
"After lots of sanding and many hours of polishing your unique custom pen is finally done, and I have taken some pictures as promised."
So that's about how the pen was made. Now on to my impression about the pen. After waiting for the few months that it took for the pen to get made, began the wait for the pen to finally travel from Austria to India. Once it finally reached me, the first thing to hit me on unboxing it was how gorgeous it looked in person. The gilded areas are beautifully marbled and have a depth to them that can't really be made out in the images. The raden inlay strips are perfectly aligned with one and other and beautifully catch the light when the pen is rotated in hand. Over all, the attention to detail is impressive.
The nib I chose to go with this pen is the Bock #6 Ti broad nib. I have a couple of those and like their springy feel and the juicy wet lines they put down. This pen is just the right size to make it perfectly useable for long wirting and everyday carry, though it is very unlikely that I would be carrying this pen anywhere. Stefan sent an equally gorgeous pen pillow finished exactly like the pen with raden inlayed into it. Unfortunately I do not have any images of it right now, but will make a note to share pictures of that too. Finally to sum it up, I really liked the way the pen has turned out. Hat tip to Stefan for his awesome craftsmanship.
Edited by fpwriter, 08 December 2017 - 17:55.