Erin and I embarked on a little art project this past week.
We took some inexpensive pens (Luoshi Matte Black Cigars that we ordered from Truphea), and decided to spend some time personalizing them. The two of us had been a little obsessed with looking at pictures of hand-painted and customized pens online lately. While we are nowhere near the point of wanting to start dabbling with Urushi (or other more traditional, expensive, or itchy forms of pen customization – yet!) we decided that painting some metal pens might be a fun first step for the two of us to test out.
All of my artistic skill is firmly in the realm of photography and design. But my wife is enthusiastic about alcohol inks as a medium and thought that they might give a unique look to these relatively plain and minimalist pens. After a few brief lessons and planning out the color palettes for our projects she gave me access to her side of the crafting area and let me go wild with a few of her ink bottles. After some trial and error, and at least one complete stripping of the pen to start over, I came to my final result, which is the yellow and gold pen you see above. It reminded me of pictures Of bright yellow slime molds that I remember seeing in old textbooks – so that’s what I named this one — Slime Mold.
Erin created a much less jarring look using purple, blue, and gold inks. It reminded me of outer space and the cosmos. So I’ve been referring to it as the Sagen pen.
Both pens took about an hour to paint and then about two days to seal the inks with multiple coats of UV protective sealant.
I’ve already ordered a few more of these pens so that we can experiment with this technique some more. I’ve also ordered some replacement nibs to see if I can turn this seven-dollar pen into a better writer to suit its new look.
I’ll be sharing more of these pen refresh projects in the future, but In the meantime, let me know in the comments if you have you experimented with giving your own pens a custom look? I’d love to see what other creative ideas are out there.