Hacked!

It has come to my attention that my page had been hacked, and was opening inappropriate pop-up windows when the menu was accessed. I was told (by more computer-savvy people than I, who examined the code) that this only seemed to affect browsers on phones. If this has happened to anyone, I apologize. I am working on fixing the problem, so hopefully that will be sorted out soon.

-John

Movin’ Along!

I’m happy to announce that I will be moving yet again, except this move will put me significantly closer to my tools…which means more penmaking!!! I should be able to move through my orders at a faster rate now, which will be welcome news for all those who have been waiting (or have been on the fence about ordering due to uncertain turn times).

Along with this move comes a career change, which I am super excited about! It’s about time I finally get to use all the education that I’ve been undertaking for the past 14 years!

As always, thanks for the patience! If you have any questions, please shoot me an email: romuluspens@gmail.com

cheers!

-John

Orders

Due to some changes in free time availability, I will be taking orders again, however please keep in mind the caveat that there will still be a decent wait (think several months or more). While I have more free time, my current situation still does not permit me to work on pens at my leisure. Thanks for all the support and requests for custom work.

-John

A little Update

I’m happy to say that I’m finally settled in and have adapted to my new job and lifestyle, however unfortunately my penmaking equipment still resides in my parents basement. I’m currently driving there about every other weekend to try and work through my existing orders. I’ve come to the decision to suspend any more orders until further notice. I know that people hate nothing more than waiting for custom pens to be done, and I can’t promise to fulfill orders within a certain time frame, due to the inconsistency of me being able to work on pens, so it’s just simpler and less of a headache to forego taking any more orders for the time being. I’m hoping that within in the next year or so I will be able to set up shop a little closer to me, and be able to work on pens more consistently.

Also worth noting is a price increase on all my pens. I hate to do this, but I can’t ignore the fact that my costs have gone up significantly. In order to work on pens, I now have to spend about $80 in gas, and give up my entire weekend to do so, not to mention wear and tear on my truck. This is an unfortunate aspect of business, and I wish it weren’t so.

Thanks everyone for your understanding, and happy New Year’s!

Recent Changes

Howdy all!

It’s been a while, as I’ve been busy trying to work through my orders, as well as working on my job search among other things.

Unfortunately in life, changes are often abrupt and unavoidable, and sometimes change the trajectory of your daily schedule, activities, and routine that you’ve fallen into. I have recently had to pack up and move, which is great because it allows me to be closer to my sweet girlfriend, as well as hopefully present more opportunities in my career search. On the negative side however, it means I have temporarily lost my “shop” and way to make pens. This has been a huge adjustment, as penmaking has become such a substantial use of my leisure time, and it’s really heartbreaking to have to forego making pens for the time being.

This is NOT, I repeat this is NOT me closing up shop. I love doing this far too much to give up, and as soon as I am able to find a new shop space, I will be back in business!

So to those who have open orders with me: Please bear with me as I settle into my new schedule and figure out what to do next. If I haven’t already contacted you, please email me, and I will happily discuss options with you.

If you are interested in having a pen made, please email me. While not currently working on new commissions, I will be glad to put you on a waiting list, no commitment or deposit required, and then let you know once I am able to start back up again.

Thank you all for your understanding and support, and I look forward to being able to start up making pens once again! This little “sabbatical” will hopefully allow me to keep the creative wheels turning, and provide inspiration and ideas for new offerings!

-John

Facets!

 

I am a firm believer that taking time for yourself to make things and experiment is essential to progression as a designer/craftsman. Often times I get in “commission mode” and feel like I’m doing nothing but trying to knock out my orders. This is a good way to get burnt out, so I try and punctuate my commissions with little “R&D” projects. This keeps me from getting bored, plus lets me work on expanding the types of pens I can offer.

This is my latest design project: A faceted pen. This project came to being as the result of a friend requesting that I do a faceted pen. I’ve always kind of wanted to try this, but there were a lot of unknowns, such as how to lay out the facets, and how to shape and sand them while keeping them reasonably defined. Due to these unknowns, I never bothered attempting one. After getting a large order of clear acrylic rods in, I figured I had the perfect medium to try it on, so I took a saturday off to try it out. I’m pretty happy with the results! This is a nine-sided (nonagonal) pen. It has a tapering profile on both the barrel and cap, which probably made the faceting process more difficult! I originally was going to put a clip on it, so I made the cap with a threaded finial. I received a lot of positive feedback from this on the various social media I am active on, so I am going to go ahead and offer faceting as an option! I look forward to making more of these in some more interesting materials!

-John

 

Pens For Change!

The advent of 2017 seems to have ushered in a great amount of fear, negativity, anger, and uncertainty due to a number of factors. In an attempt to give of myself, and donate my time to causes trying to make a difference, I am going to be offering pens for sale in which the profits will be donated to various charities and organizations. These pens will be offered at a discounted price. Check out my “Pens For Change” page on the menu for more information!

–John

Vintage Materials

I just got some new vintage celluloid rods and tubes in some different colors today, so I figured it would be a good time to update my picture of what available colors/patterns I have.

From Left to right:

  • Purple and black chip
  • Pinkish-purple and black chunk
  • Burgundy lizard skin
  • Black and red lizard skin
  • Red/black/gray chunk
  • Green lizard skin
  • Green and black chip
  • Blue/black/gray chunk, AKA fake “Impero”
  • Blue crosshatch
  • Blue lizard skin
  • Blue and red chip
  • Silver-gray crosshatch
  • Gray lizard skin
  • “Black granite” Mazzucchelli Cebloplast
  • Gold marbled with red flecks

These come in limited diameters, so the size of the pen that can be made is somewhat constrained. Email me at romuluspens@gmail.com for any questions!

 

-John

Prototype Vac Filler

All my pen friends know that I’m a filling system nerd. One of my first goals as a fledgling pen maker was to design and create my own piston filling mechanism. I find it very interesting how many different filling systems evolved in the early and “golden age” of fountain pens. Cartridge and converter filling pens are great, make no mistake about that; however I love to play around with filling systems that are more complex and integrated into the pen itself.

I have wanted to build a vac filler for some time. The vac filling system has always intrigued me. It appears to be so simple, yet there are so many little nuances about it that have to be taken into consideration, otherwise it will not function properly. The pen came together fairly quickly, however I spent a lot of time trying to tweak it and solve all the little problems that kept it from functioning properly. One of the big issues I had to deal with was finding the proper seal for the plunger rod. Finally I got everything all worked out, and was able to test-ink it. Success! It’s always a good feeling to be able to solve a problem that you have been working at for a long time. This pen holds about 3.5ml on a double fill, which is about  1.5ml more than most of my piston fillers.

The pen itself is made from one of my favorite acrylics for demonstrators: Cool mint water. It has my standard nickel silver accents and clip. I figured I might as well make it nice, since I was spending a lot of time on it! The plunger rod is made from titanium, and the other fill mechanism components from ebonite. Hopefully I will be able to offer vac fill systems as an option after I thoroughly test it!

–John

Duofold Inspired Piston Filler

It’s always a pleasure to design and build pens for your friends and family. I particularly enjoy working with people who I have already have an established rapport with, on whatever idea they may have in their mind. The creativity and design energy always seems to flow so well! This pen was the product of a design effort between a friend and I. She had approached me with the idea to build an oversized pen, based on the vintage orange duofold. It was to be a piston filler, be built around the massive Jowo #8 nib, and feature a single wide cap band. The difficult part at first, was to procure blanks in the appropriate color. There are of course acrylic blanks available, made specifically to match, but my friend wanted alumilite, so I called on the talents of another pen maker/ blank maker to cast some blanks in a vintage burnt orange for me.

The pen construction went fairly smoothly. This was a reasonably straightforward build, and being a large pen made it easier: especially in regards to designing, building, and fitting the piston mechanism. Also, the lack of curvature in the profile made it go by more quickly. The color of the ink window was left up to me, so I chose one of my favorite materials: a nice transparent amber acrylic. I thought it went well with the whole vintage theme…like it had been stained with ink from decades of use.

The metalwork was not “hard”, but required some brainstorming beforehand. The cap band was easy enough, as it was simply a wider version of bands I normally make. The clip was the challenging part. One of the first things I thought of when discussing the design of this pen with my friend was “you know, I REALLY need to come up with a ball ended clip to pay homage to the original design.” I had never done a ball ended clip before, so I had to figure out exactly how I was going to execute it. Being that I came from a metalsmithing/jewelry making background in regards to education, I knew how I ideally would LIKE to have made the clip, however the equipment at my disposal was not permitting. Instead I figured out an alternate way of constructing the clip, which I’m happy to say, worked on the first try! This is one of the elements of the pen I’m really proud of!

All in all, My friend and I are extremely happy with the way the idea for this pen evolved, and came into fruition. I don’t do many builds like this, but I always love a good challenge and a little something new! Thanks for looking, and if you have any questions or ideas, please contact me at: romuluspens@gmail.com

–John