About this project
This project is complete! For more information on Allegory and when these products will be available to the public, check this link.
Substance is better than flash…
But if you are willing to get your hands dirty, sometimes you get both.
I’ve always felt a connection to objects made by a person, not a machine. Something special happens when a craftsman sets their hands to a piece. The care, dedication, and passion they put into the work becomes a part of the object – it stays there. When I left my desk job, and started making writing instruments, I found out why first hand. There’s something about using your hands, head, and heart at the same time. Knowing that you are making something another person will use for a lifetime, that you are in the service of a complete stranger, makes you somehow connected to that person.
This is how I found meaning in my work, and I want to keep making the things you use in your work. I want you to have something in your pocket, all day, that reminds you to keep chasing your passion and to share it with others.
It’s not just me anymore, we’re a team now. We’re building a company, taking part in a movement, and living a truth that we believe wholeheartedly. Handmade matters.
When you are making something by hand, the idea of compromising quality just seems silly. There is a natural connection to the object that makes you be thoughtful about your materials, to make each tool stroke better than the last, and to craft something that will last longer than you do. In a world full of manufactured objects that are packed with deliberate compromises to hit a certain price, meet a generalized market demand, or fail at just the right time so you buy a new one; there is something intrinsically valuable about carrying something someone made for you.
The Project: Taking the next step
We're going beyond writing instruments and creating a line of leather goods. Leatherwork will let us create a much wider variety of products for your daily carry - but we need help to outfit our studio the proper equipment. Since we got our start here, Kickstarter was the obvious choice to help us take this step.
So we've created some rewards that we think you'll love, including our first leather product, a journal cover called The Etch and two pens that you can use with it.
We sent the Etch and The Twist out to bloggers and here is what they thought:
"Simple, but deceptively genius." Ephemeral Pursuits
"This is a pen that will last many years, if not a lifetime." Economy Pens
Simple + Useful = Elegant
The Etch is designed to help you capture unexpected inspiration. It's pocket-sized but can hold some big ideas. It fits the best pocket journals around, and has two pockets for IDs, business cards, credit cards, or notes.
We construct The Etch from kangaroo leather lined with organic cotton canvas. We chose kangaroo leather because it is thin yet strong, soft, and is arguably the most sustainably harvested leather in the world. It comes in three colors, but color choice is just the beginning - three simple choices let you carry an Etch that is all your own.
Two Journal Choices (each Etch comes with a three-pack of your choice)
- Moleskine - A classic staple in the paper world used by some of history's most cherished writers.
- Field notes - Inspired by agricultural journals, this rugged journal is designed to survive an expedition and bring the feel of one to everyday use.
Three paper types
Like a hand in a glove...
Allegory's two new writing instruments make perfect accompaniments for The Etch. Here's how we make them:
Some basics about all our writing instruments:
- All our writing instruments are made with woods that have a story which is intended to connect with your story, so that you have something personally meaningful right out of the box.
- All the woods we use are reclaimed or salvaged, none are fresh cut lumber.
- We plant a tree through The National Forest Foundation for every 5 pens we sell.
- All the refills in our pens are popular models that are readily available from multiple sources.
- Each pen comes with an insert that explains the stories behind the woods.
- We are die-hard believers that carrying well-made, personally meaningful objects with you on a daily basis can make your day better.
A new addition to The Precision Collection
The Precision Collection allows you to choose between two color schemes and three writing styles for each model.
For more photos of The Twist check out this great Flickr album by Marlon from productivity bits, the author one of our reviews.
Reclaimed in Portland from global shipping crates used to import windmills and other products from Europe, Windmill Beech is bursting with character. Its blonde-tan palette with occasional veins of brown and peach provide a light, fresh look. Distinctive iridescent rays and occasional dark veins of spalting give European Beech a sophisticated, subtle texture.
Rescued Wild Black Cherry
The Cherry tree is an icon of the American South. Cherry wood is among the most premium choices for flooring and furniture. Fortunately, these trees are so plentiful in the Southeast that they are often removed during landscaping projects. Our partner rescues these beauties from the chipper, kiln dries them, and creates usable lumber.
A new addition to the Original Collection The Original Collection is about bold design, variety, and woods with amazing stories. The Bard is our premium fountain pen. The steel nib is gold plated and intricately etched, and the hardware is of the highest quality. It comes with an ink cartridge and a screw-piston filler so you can use your own ink.
50,000 years ago in what is now Northern New Zealand, a major natural event felled huge forests of Kauri trees that had been growing for some 2,000 years. This event also created bogs in the area, which protected these giants from the elements. Today these trees are typically found under farmland, where they excavated carefully and the ground is returned to its previous contours.
Midnight Sinker Cypress
Before the industrial revolution loggers practiced log driving - where floating logs down-river to a temporary sawmill was the first step in the process of creating lumber. Occasionally logs would sink and become trapped in the silt at the bottom of the river. If enough silt was laid down before rot and erosion set in, the log would be preserved. Today these century-old remnants of pre-industrial America are recovered from the bottom of river beds.
Risks and challenges
Given that we are making all of the rewards in house, by hand, our challenges are very different than most product design projects. While most products are on Kickstarter so they can meet minimum order quantities from their manufacturer, we are here so that we can purchase materials in bulk to keep costs and prices down. Handcrafted carries advantages and disadvantages:
We are able to prototype quickly, and modify our process between small runs of production to improve quality and meet our deadlines. We can also rely on our craftsmen for solutions to minor problems, as opposed to halting a production line. All this means that rewards will start shipping immediately, and shipments will only get bigger each week as we refine our processes.
The biggest disadvantage is that we can't scale for large quantities by simply ordering more from our manufacturer. If we are fortunate enough to exceed our goal, we will need to adjust our timelines accordingly. We will manage this by keeping you informed of progress and timelines. We also work hard to meet any needs for early shipment due to special occasions like birthdays or holiday gifts.
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