Monday, September 13, 2010

Tickle Your Fancy

Over the past year, since I first had the lamentable notion to buy some dip pen nibs on ebay, I have been enjoying crafting some hand made quill pens. Some with feather bodies and some without. They have been selling, albeit slowly, in my shop, and on ebay and etsy. About a week ago, I noticed that most of the first two batches I made were gone, and only about four or five remained on the shelf. I cranked out a new batch which made use of some nice ostrich plumes I bought for the purpose. Here is the latest crop of quill pen goodness.

You'll of course notice that the basic design of these pens are all the same. I like this design very much. They look nice, are easy to make, and feel good in the hand. However, I am planning on striking out and making some more challenging designs in the near future. This design is made from wooden pony beads glued over a hardwood dowel. The beads I use for them come pre-stained in muted earth tones like the ones above. They are nice, but the pallet is limited. I have taken to repainting them in bolder colors. I started doing so because they don't come in pure white, black or red, all of which I thought would look good with the feathers that I have.

On the ones with white feathers had very ugly brownish central shafts (rachis). It through off the whole design. To rectify the problem, I used a gold leaf paint pen and painted the shaft to cover up the ugly brown. It was a nice effect. I may try more of that sort of thing.

This is the only one that I made in this batch that doesn't have an ostrich plume. It's also probably me favorite of the bunch. I like black and white, with the silver accent.

For the future, I plan to experiment with some different materials, maybe some metal shafts. I also have it in my head to do something with sculpy over a wood dowel core. I also want to buy some higher quality feathers. I have had my eye on some blue macaw and other exotic bird feathers on ebay. They are very beautiful, and would make excellent pens, but they are a little pricey. With Halloween coming up, I need to make some more skull pens.

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