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Old 12-05-2017, 11:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default If I Had a Nickel For Every Time I ...

have been asked 'How long does it take you to make a pen?" Invariably at least a dozen times each show. I always respond that if it is a simple pen I am capable of making one inside of thirty minutes, but that I don't. I don't like to rush and I take my time.

I imagine this question is commonplace. What are your answers?

John
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I say it really depends on how much the wife and my kids bother me Then I laugh and try not to answer


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Old 12-05-2017, 12:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I don't give a straight answer. I tell them I don't know because I don't make them start to finish straight through. I neeed to spend time getting the wood, cutting, wait for glue to cure, for finishes to cure etc. Etc. Etc. If you give them an answer they will translate that into how much you are making per hour and think you are over charging them.
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I include my set up time and overnight wait for curing time. I don't just put a thin coat of CA or lacquer or other. A good finish requires curing time even though it can be handled in minutes or an hour, depending on the finish.

ManuPropria uses Urushi finish (Japanese) and I think each pen takes about 30 days start to finish with "curing" time.

Be that as it is, I have read of a few people here in the past who don't count their "time" as part of the cost!

And, for those that make a living by making and selling pens, time is very important. A few of these guys (ladies too) can make a pen with a great finish in a short time, maybe two or three an hour in mass production. That is not me. I enjoy the journey of making each pen.
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I tell them that normally it takes anywhere from 2 days to a week depending on the pen, and that some may take longer. (I count the total length of time from cutting the blank, painting, dry time, glueup, dry time... you know how it is.)
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I spent more than a year dreaming and designing a pen, then getting parts molded and cast in silver, having gems set in the silver and cast in resin... My answer is "Between less than a day, to more than a year."
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Handing a mid-complex pen to the inquiring customer...

"Crafting a fine pen such as this involves many steps, and each of those steps must be just right. It is a process that spans at least two days, but often more. With my years of experience, I have refined that process, but on occasion there is a pen that just does not make the cut. Those will never be presented in my display.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I use to have this poem framed and posted at my shows.
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I usually ask them if I include the time it takes to harvest the wood (I use mostly local wood) that I cut myself or cull from constructions sites and the preparation of said wood then factor in the time it takes to master the craft my answer is years.
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I have a friend who is a professional potter; his response when people ask how long it takes him to make a cup/plate/bowl/whatever is usually along the lines of "30 years and 25 minutes."
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