Bronze pen

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jalbert

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May 17, 2015
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This is an order I finished, which I was quite happy with. The customer wanted a pen in all bronze, with a tortoise shell acrylic barrel and bronze overlay. we settled on a linear pattern for the overlay, which creates a cool window type effect. I cast all bronze parts, and have included the raw materials in the pics. The pen is about 5.25” capped, .5” diameter at the cap threads, which are triple lead. It weighs about 51 grams, which is reasonable for the amount of bronze in it. It uses a jowo #6 nib, and fills via converter.
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Just so I completely understand this. You're saying you cast the bronze in this pen? Like you made bronze liquid, poured into a mold(s) and then cleaned it all up like we see it here? First off, where'd you learn to do this? This is really nice, where'd you learn this technique? Fascinating and beautiful.
 

jalbert

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May 17, 2015
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Louisville, KY
Just so I completely understand this. You're saying you cast the bronze in this pen? Like you made bronze liquid, poured into a mold(s) and then cleaned it all up like we see it here? First off, where'd you learn to do this? This is really nice, where'd you learn this technique? Fascinating and beautiful.
Correct. Made models of my pen parts from wax, made a plaster mold around the wax models, burned the wax out, and poured molded bronze in. Then a hell of a lot of cleanup and truing up the castings to make everything fit together correctly. All the parts of this pen thread together—no glue involved, so I had to do some threading on the castings.
 

jalbert

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Louisville, KY
This is really nice, where'd you learn this technique?
I realized I did not address this. I took several semesters of jewelry design/metalsmithing classes in college, so I learned the basics of metalsmithing and casting. As far as application to pens, that was something I started working on this summer as a quarantine project. Lots of trial and error
 

leehljp

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Thanks for the book link. And if you have some advice for metalsmithing, we are all ears.

That is amazing. But I will admit, at first glance at the pen, I thought that Stephen - SkipRat had made it. There are some fine pen makers here, but there are only two or three out of 30,000+ that are in the league of this. Love it.
 

jalbert

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May 17, 2015
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Thanks for the book link. And if you have some advice for metalsmithing, we are all ears.
Become proficient in soldering. I can’t stress that enough. Everyone wants to jump into casting (including college-aged me) because it’s sexy and appealing, but it’s a good way to get in over your head and spend a lot of money and frustrate yourself to no end. There’s a whole lot that you can do with some wire or sheet and some solder. Bands, clips, overlays. I’ve done it all without casting. It’s like every other acquired skill though. You have to put the time into developing it. I see penmakers who want to do their own metalwork, but when faced with the reality of having to learn a new skill, they lose interest. Start simple. Get some basic equipment for soldering, some metal, and start learning and playing.
 
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