Childhood memories as a 5th grader in Germany…my cursive handwriting skills were never the prettiest and I would envy some of my classmates who accomplished neatly formed letters and would get complimented by the teachers. One of my teachers must have spoken to my father about my poor cursive skill because on my 10th birthday, or the start of 5th grade, I was presented with a beautiful sea-green fountain pen. My handwriting improved immensely with this new tool, perhaps because I felt more grown-up using a fountain pen. Doing homework didn’t seem such a chore when looking at a beautiful pen while doing so!
I was happy when Kaweco agreed to let me review them on my blog and even happier that they surprised me with both a ballpoint and a fountain pen! Beautiful craftsmanship…
Kaweco is located in Nuremberg, Germany and is well-known for its exceptionally high quality writing instruments, so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. The Company has a long history since it’s early beginnings in 1883. Before setting off to cover them (more on that in a bit), I just had to play and handle them on their own a bit…like a new toy, yes, you know it. I had to click the ballpoint pen a few times, to feel it’s strength, feel it’s nice weight and gave it a ‘go’. I’m not exaggerating when I say it is the smmmmoothest writing instrument I have ever felt touch paper. Like a perfectly weighted pendulum balanced between the fingers, it seems to write almost by itself. Just writing this, I had this image of Japanese Samurai and how particular they are about their swords. I handed the pen to my husband to try, he scribbled something and saw him smirk as the pen disappeared into his pocket! lol. He was teasing me when I objected, saying “ohhh…you want this back?!” lol. I know that I’ll never loan these to anyone, they’re guaranteed to disappear! These pens are like that, no ordinary pens, because as polymer clay artists will appreciate, we can cover and personalize them! Beautiful Chrome and raw brass.
The set comes with plenty of easy to follow photos and instructions in several languages.
Here you can see which parts can be cured in an oven and which cannot.
It took me a couple of weeks to ponder what I would want to cover these with, so finally created my own mokume gane stack in blues, purples and greens with hints of black, gold leaf and translucent. I find this resembles Abalone quite a bit and will hone that a bit more in the next while. I placed pieces of the mokume on a black sheet and rolled it out to a #4 on my Atlas. I used the measurements for cut-outs as per instructions, but found they needed to be adjusted in length just slightly.
I trimmed the pieces and flipped them over to lay the pen blanks on top.
I wrapped the pen blanks and used a soft rubber tip chisel to smooth and close the seam. I have quite a few tips on how to get a smooth and flawless seam and finish that requires very little sanding afterward. I think I need to put that in a more complete tutorial at some point as I didn’t take any photos of that process.
Here is another tip though…instead of laying the tubes on card stock paper which will produce a slight flat spot on your piece…I use knitting needles (or skewers) and suspend the pen blanks on a tin form. I used the aluminum lid of a case that held little watch cases, but you could use aluminum pans meant for baking or perhaps use makeshift aluminum foil formed into a tray instead. For the pen blank that is closed on the end, I just wadded up some scrap clay as a support under the metal ends, so that the clay on the barrel itself doesn’t touch anything.
After curing and cooling, I covered the metal rims with some scotch tape and wet sanded with 400, 600 and 800 grit. Finally, a good polish on the buffer. I just can’t convey the super high gloss in these photos, but they are smooth as silk and sparkle like glass.
Aren’t they beautiful?? I love them! Btw…I also covered a ball point pen that is commonly used in wood turning. I’ll show you the mishap tomorrow…
Here are a few more examples to wet your appetites about Kaweco pens…
Kaweco’s website is language friendly and you can choose your language on the bottom of the page. Be sure to check their Calendar of events as they’ll also be at Exhibitions in the USA this year. If you too would like to purchase some Fantasie pens (or other pens) for your creativity, their prices are worth it. Contact Kaweco at: email@example.com