Thank you for your input, Michael! I welcome all comments even those that are critical. First let me say that I don't have an agenda to try and sway minds such as yours to my way of thinking. I've dedicated a lot of time and effort towards this alternate skill set. I'll admit that I'm a Geek, always have been even from an early age. I can, however, derive the same amount of pleasure using a sharp skew to slowly and methodically shave off layers as I can with operating a high tech machine. My goal is, if I were to have a goal, is to show what is possible if using alternate tools. I don't expect everyone to accept and appreciate my efforts. I would hope that we could peacefully
Perhaps I am not worthy of an opinion.
Michael, you are certainly worthy of an opinion. I do welcome critique of the things I make. Everyone has opinions of things that they view, some stronger and more vocal than others. I do appreciate the wooden, hand turned pens that I see in this forum and others like it. One of the most beautiful pens that I have made in the past was hand turned from cross-cut walnut. Something about how the pen looked as opposed to in line grain was just appealing to me.Perhaps I am not worthy of an opinion.
Ken I repeat I never wanted to offend you and I hope you keep showing your Pens they are attractive. And so many members like them.Michael, you are certainly worthy of an opinion. I do welcome critique of the things I make. Everyone has opinions of things that they view, some stronger and more vocal than others. I do appreciate the wooden, hand turned pens that I see in this forum and others like it. One of the most beautiful pens that I have made in the past was hand turned from cross-cut walnut. Something about how the pen looked as opposed to in line grain was just appealing to me.
When I retired back in 2010, I knew that needed to find something to do that I enjoyed doing to bide my time during the day. I'd seen way to many people retire with nothing to do resulting in an early grave. I rediscover wood working and at the same time discovered technologically driven tools. I tried my hand at crafting small items (pens, wooden medallions,etc) and tried to sell them on my Etsy shop. At that time if you did a search for wooden pens on the site it yielded 14,000 - 15,000 results. This told me that if I were to have any success that I had to make pens that looked different from the rest. I started making kit pens out of wood and adding 3D textures to surface of the body. Maybe it was poor marketing strategy, lack of a viable product or who knows what else, I didn't achieve what I had expected and soon gave up on the idea of selling pens.
About that time, I took an interest in lasers and decided I had to have one. I took me about a year to year and a half to develop a reliable pen mandrel based rotary for the laser that was accurate and repeatable. I then decided to try my hand at making laser-cut inlay pen blanks. I knew up front I was entering a market that was dominated mainly by two individuals that were well established and had a huge following of fans. I decided not to do the artsy type inlays with the colored wood and such but go for repeating geometric patterns from the plain grained woods that I loved to work with, mainly walnut, maple and cherry. I knew it would be an uphill battle to get established so I had to do things that others weren't doing such as ... selling puzzle blanks where the pieces were assembled, inserting inlays and glueing up the blanks and offering goof proof guarantees that if you bought a blank from me and followed my instructions but was unable to successfully make a pen I would give you your money back (no questions asked). This put me at odds with the strictly "hands on" "I have to do everything" type of people. They weren't my targeted customers to begin with. So it took a while but I finally established a following and continued making more intricate designs as I progressed. Although it wasn't all about making money, I sold more pen blanks in a month than I did trying to sell finished pens in a year and a half.
Now I'm trying to break away from blank making and work on my pen work "bucket list". It's so much more pleasurable to have the time to work on pens than trying to rush and turn them in between blank production runs.
I guess said all that to say this, I've never said that the way I make pens is a better way, it's different. If it is the consensus of the group that what I do and make is a distraction and not what this group is about, I will gladly abstain from posting here in the future. I have other social media avenues to show my work.
Michael, I think we are both trying to say the same thing but in different ways (a mild case of failure to communicate). It bothered me that you felt as though you were not worthy to have and/or express your opinion. There is way too much of that happening today in the world in its current state. No need to apologize, because I'm not so thin skinned so as to be that easily offended. If we were all of the same mind and opinions the world would be a pretty boring place.Ken I repeat I never wanted to offend you and I hope you keep showing your Pens they are attractive. And so many members like them.
Like you I took up woodturning on retirement not Pen Making this came later.
Unlike you its not a business just a hobby and that I think is the difference I see now why you looked at a different approach.
I do sell a few pens for charity mainly Children's fight against cancer. Lots I give away to family and friends.
There is room for everyone in this world.
Please please keep posting you give pleasure to so many..
I am pleased you have found a market for your pens.
And if I offended I am truly sorry.
That explains it perfectly. Picture, 1,000 words and all...