Black Velvet Ink Fountain and Rollerball Pen
A Limited Edition, individually numbered and signed Ink Fountain Pen or Rollerball Pen Sculpture by Kostas Metaxas
A fountain pen is one of those rare objects. It connects with us on so many levels. In our most creative mode, it is an extension of our mind which through gestures of our hand convert random thoughts into intelligible concepts, ideas or expressions.
Every time we use a writing instrument - we write code. Sometimes people understand it. Sometimes there are layers in the meaning of the words we write. Often, we give away more in the style and stroke of our writing than in the actual words themselves.
In many cultures, the written letter and word is considered "art". I take every opportunity to infuse art into everyday objects. With pens it's even more tactile sensual and very personal.
The Black Velvet pen started its life as a pen I wanted to make for myself using the incredible technology of 3D printing. It is probably the first 3D printed pen that has ever been offered for sale. The name comes from the sensual velvety feel of the 3D printed resin that is used.
I wanted to use geometric patterns and shapes that could never be considered for pen manufacturing since pens are traditionally machined on a spinning lathe and hence, shapes are limited to "tubes". I wanted to break free from this and create a very personal sculpture that could also be used as a writing instrument.
I've just finished a project for one of the oldest and most prestigious Paris-based Fountain Pen company that produces some of most beautiful and luxurious pens you can buy and after producing over 50 prototypes using 3D printing, I was struck by the consistency , precision and quality of each batch. Even the very fine thread on the SCHMIDT fountain nib is perfectly reproduced.
NOTE: All these pens are 3D printed except for the Sold Silver Pens which have the "wax" 3D printed [traditional Jewellers "Lost Wax Technique"] then the wax is coated with plaster, the plaster is heated to melt the wax, then the cavity is filled with silver. This is the way most jewellery is made.
Risks and challenges
The challenges of producing this product are based on the quality of 3D printing. I'm fortunate to use one of the biggest companies which are expert in this and use very expensive industrial 3D printers. But, just in case, I've also had the pen produced at a number of their competitors, so fortunately the machine that seems to give me the best quality and consistency is common in most countries now.
My first real test of consistency came from the way the "THREAD" was printed. Ultimately, this was the test for me as to whether I could produce consistent results to be able to offer these pens on a limited edition basis.
I also had to research NIB and ROLLERBALL suppliers and acquired samples from the best German suppliers - Schmidt and Peter Bock. I've designed the pen to accommodate the SCHMIDT FH452 and the BOCK 250, although at this stage I'm leaning towards the Schmidt NIB.
If the project exceeds the $40,000 mark, I can offer a choice of both Schmidt and Peter Bock NIBS including some of their special Titanium and Gold NIBS. The problem of course is the minimum order quantity a manufacturer imposes on the orders of NIBS.
I don't expect any problems to supply the finished items by the end of MAY latest since this gives me 2 months - March and April to have the items produced and May to inspect, assemble and dispatch the orders. Since each pen is individually printed, there are no holdups even when personalizing the pens.
- (40 days)