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I love wood with a story. This project is steeped in history, back to biblical times. Beautiful, handcrafted pens made from olivewood.
I love wood with a story. This project is steeped in history, back to biblical times. Beautiful, handcrafted pens made from olivewood.
113 backers pledged $5,849 to help bring this project to life.
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Woods with a Story - Bethlehem Olivewood - Handcrafted Pens

$5,849

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Woods with a Story -- Olivewood

I'm Joel, and I run a website called BourbonPens.com -- I've been making fine writing instruments for years. Some of you I'm already proud to call my clients and friends! I've been on Kickstarter before, so I know how to run the project without a hitch. I've shipped to 34 countries and counting.

I love woods with a story. Previous story woods include bourbon barrels, ancient bog oak, and more. This time I thought I'd share my love for Bethlehem Olivewood. 

About Olivewood

Olivewood Trees
Olivewood Trees

The Olive Tree, Olea Europa, is an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa. This is a slow growing tree that will grow up to 40 feet in height. The history of the Olive Tree dates back as far as 3500 BC when the trees appeared in paintings from the Minoa period in ancient Greece. This amazing tree has a rich history in both the religion and culture of the Middle East and Mediterranean. The olive branch and dove are the international symbol for peace. Olive oil was used in lamps in ancient Greece and was the fuel source for the “Eternal Flame”in the early Olympics. Victors were crowned with olive leaves, symbolizing wisdom and victory. 

Reaching the age of 200 the trunk disappears, shoots develop at the base of the trunk which eventually grow into a new tree, hence the reputation as the immortal tree.

Between April and June a multitude of small, white perfumed flowers appear in groups under the preceding year's leaves. They only last a few weeks. One olive is born for about 20 flowers. Normally the first flowering only takes place after about 8 years of tree growth.

Olivewood trees are naturally harvested, and no trees are damaged or destroyed during the process. The trees are pruned once a year when the non-producing limbs are removed to allow for healthy growth of the rest of the tree. I have it shipped to me directly from Bethlehem. 

Olive oil played a crucial role in the ancient Olympiad. The ideal of the Olympic Games was inspired by the legend of Hercules. Athletes anointed themselves with olive oil before the Games. Victors were crowned with a wreath of olive branches and awarded with amphorae of oil. The branches were always cut from a special wild olive tree growing in the nearby sacred wood of Altis. The tree bore the name of “Kallistephanos” or the one that makes beautiful crowns. The branches were cut with a golden knife and kept in the Temple of Hera.

From then on, the olive branch was identified with the goddess Nike (Victory) who held in her hand a branch or crown of olive.

During the Olympic Games, hostilities ceased and people from all corners of Greece came to compete. The Games promoted the athletic spirit as such but also all things Beautiful, Great and True that peace allows people to pursue. The olive branch became a symbol of rapprochement of people and ideas. It was with this in mind that the oldest symbol of Greece was chosen to mark the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens: a stylized olive crown on a blue background.

Amazing Patterns!

When turned on my lathe, Olivewood is a butter-smooth wood with an amazing grain pattern. The color and grain does vary, but each one is uniquely beautiful. 

Example of amazing Olivewood grain
Example of amazing Olivewood grain

The Rewards

I have so many pen styles it is extremely difficult to narrow down which pen designs to use. I have chosen a few favorites for a starting point, with more to be unlocked as the campaign progresses. These rewards are offered at a lower price than they will be available for retail purchase. 

When available with the particular reward, I have chosen Gunmetal as the hardware color of choice. I like the contrast it gives and I think you will too!  When gunmetal is not available, chrome finish is used.

Reward #1: Chrome Key Fob with Secret Space.  These sleek little keychains are great gifts or for personal use. The top unscrews to reveal a space inside for emergency cash, toothpicks, medication, or whatever you can fit inside. 

Key Fob with Secret Space
Key Fob with Secret Space
Key Fob with Secret Space
Key Fob with Secret Space

Reward #2: Slim Pen with Gunmetal Hardware  Slim and stylish, perfectly sized for checkbooks, purses and shirt pockets. This is a twist pen that uses a Cross style ballpoint refill.

Slim Stylus and Slim Pen
Slim Stylus and Slim Pen

Reward #3: Slim Stylus Pen with Gunmetal Hardware Slim and stylish, perfectly sized for checkbooks, purses and shirt pockets. Addition of a Stylus tip on the top allows for use with your touch sensitive devices. This is a twist pen that uses a Cross style ballpoint refill.

Slim Pen and Slim Stylus Pen
Slim Pen and Slim Stylus Pen

Reward #4: Wall Street Pen with Gunmetal Hardware Classic style and functionality keep this one on the best seller list. This is a twist pen that uses a Parker style ballpoint refill.

Wall Street Pen with Gunmetal Hardware
Wall Street Pen with Gunmetal Hardware
Wall Street Pen with Gunmetal Hardware
Wall Street Pen with Gunmetal Hardware

Reward #5: Cigar Pen with Gunmetal Hardware Named for its shape and size, perfect for those who prefer a larger, heftier pen. This is a twist pen that uses a Parker style ballpoint refill.

Cigar Pen with Gunmetal hardware
Cigar Pen with Gunmetal hardware

Reward #6: Bolt Action Bullet Pen with Gunmetal Hardware Popular with hunters, collectors, soldiers and more, this pen uses a "bolt action" to advance the ink through the bullet tip. This is a click type pen that uses a Parker style ballpoint refill.

Bolt Action Pen with Gunmetal Hardware
Bolt Action Pen with Gunmetal Hardware

Reward #7: Tec Stylus Pen with Gunmetal Hardware The Tec Stylus is a perfect one-handed pen with a flair for the dramatic. It has a bolt-action mechanism that creates a satisfying feel. It includes an interchangeable hard top and a stylus top. This is a click pen that uses a Parker style ballpoint refill.

Tec Stylus Pen with Gunmetal Hardware
Tec Stylus Pen with Gunmetal Hardware
The Tec Stylus Pen includes interchangeable hard top and a stylus top.
The Tec Stylus Pen includes interchangeable hard top and a stylus top.

Reward #8: Jr Gent Pen with Gunmetal Hardware The Jr Gent is a classic style rollerball pen with twist off top. It has a satisfying weight and balance, and is "postable" which means the cap stores on the back of the pen during use for storage and balance. It includes a premium rollerball ink. This is a rollerball pen that uses a Schmidt style refill.

Jr Gent Rollerball in Gunmetal Hardware
Jr Gent Rollerball in Gunmetal Hardware
Jr Gent in Gunmetal
Jr Gent in Gunmetal

Reward #9: Magnetic Cap Pen with Gunmetal Hardware The Magnetic Cap Pen is a new style rollerball pen with magnetic cap. This is my personal "go-to" pen. This is what I carry and write with every day. It makes a satisfying "click" when the cap snaps on. This design is "postable" which means the cap stores on the back of the pen during use for storage and balance. It includes a premium rollerball ink. This is a rollerball pen that uses a Schmidt style refill.

Magnetic Cap Pen in Gunmetal
Magnetic Cap Pen in Gunmetal
Magnetic Cap Pen
Magnetic Cap Pen

Reward #10: Jr Gent Fountain Pen with Gunmetal Hardware The Jr Gent is a classic style fountain pen with twist off top. It has a satisfying weight and balance, and is "postable" which means the cap stores on the back of the pen during use for storage and balance. It has a fine nib, includes a siphon for using your own bottled ink, and also accepts cartridges.

Jr Gent Fountain Pen with Gunmetal Hardware
Jr Gent Fountain Pen with Gunmetal Hardware
Nib closeup
Nib closeup
Both Gents
Both Gents

Reward #11: Magnetic Cap Fountain Pen with Gunmetal Hardware The Magnetic Cap Pen is a new style fountain pen with magnetic cap. It makes a satisfying "click" when the cap snaps on. This design is "postable" which means the cap stores on the back of the pen during use for storage and balance. It has a fine nib, includes a siphon for using your own bottled ink, and also accepts cartridges. 

Magnetic Cap Fountain Pen
Magnetic Cap Fountain Pen
Nib close up
Nib close up

Unlocked New Pen Styles!

New Reward #1: Grip Pen with Gunmetal Hardware - The Grip Pen is quickly becoming a shop favorite. It has a top twist action mechanism to extend the ink, and its knobby texture has a great balance and style. This is a twist pen that uses a Parker style ballpoint refill.

Grip Pen with gunmetal hardware
Grip Pen with gunmetal hardware

New Reward #2: Hex Magnetic Pen with Gunmetal Hardware - The Hex Magnetic Pen is another favorite. It has a magnetic cap that snaps on the top and posts on the back while writing. For those who prefer a less traditional, more agressive style. This is a rollerball pen that uses a Scmidt style rollerball refill.

Magnetic Hex Pen
Magnetic Hex Pen
Magnetic Hex pen shown with cap removed
Magnetic Hex pen shown with cap removed

New Reward #3 - Olivewood Wine Stopper with chrome hardware and silicone seal. This is a purely creative reward -- I never know what shape it will be until I finish it. I try to accent the grain patterns of each piece. The size and shape will vary!

Wine Stopper
Wine Stopper

New Reward #4 - Roller Pen This is one of the smallest rollerball pens I make. It shows off a lot of wood!  This pen takes a standard rollerball refill. 

Roller pen
Roller pen

New Reward #5 - Cambridge Rollerball Pen This is a higher end rollerball pen kit. The finish is titanium gold accents over silver hardware. The sculptured fittings are representations of grapes and grape leaves. 

Cambridge Rollerball
Cambridge Rollerball

New Reward #6 - Cambridge Fountain Pen This is a higher end fountain pen kit. The finish is titanium gold accents over silver hardware. The sculptured fittings are representations of grapes and grape leaves. 

Cambridge Pen
Cambridge Pen
Cambridge Pen
Cambridge Pen

Other & Add On Rewards

Laser Engraving - I've decided to offer Laser Engraving as an option to add to your Olivewood item. This will allow customization of your pledge!

Gift Box - Add a gift box to your Olivewood item. Shipping to the United States only.

Other Pen Styles may be unlocked as the campaign progresses!

Other Ways You Can Help

If you just can't contribute but still think this is a cool project, that doesn't mean you can't help:

Get the word out and make some noise about this campaign. Share this project on your social media using the "share" links above. I'd truly appreciate it! 

PLEASE READ!

Having run a successful Kickstarter campaign in the past, I have run into a few snags that delayed the shipment of rewards to some backers. Here are some tips to help you receive your rewards in a smooth, timely manner.

  • The email you have listed on Kickstarter MUST be a valid email that you check frequently. The longer it takes you to respond to your survey once funding has ended, the longer it takes for you to receive your reward. Please respond as quickly as possible. 
  • I will copy and paste your address exactly as you write it in your survey, so your address must be correctly spelled and laid out. If your rewards are returned to me due to a bad address, I will contact you and you must repay for shipping. 
  • If your address changes after you have filled out your survey but before your rewards have shipped, please send me a message and I will update your address. If you change your address after your reward has shipped, I am not responsible. 
  • I cannot ship to international P.O. Boxes. Please provide a physical address or ask a friend or relative if they will allow you to have your rewards shipped to their home. 
  • Please make sure that your credit card information is up to date on Amazon.com. If it is not up to date, then your pledge will be declined once funding has ended and you will be dropped as a backer. (Though if this happens accidentally, you can contact me and I can provide alternate payment options)

Risks and challenges

The main challenge I face with this project would be getting the wood, but I already have several dependable suppliers. I can only say that the second risk would be a huge amount of backers that may push back the completion date. That would be a wonderful problem to have.

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Support

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    Thank you for your support -- any amount helps!

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    Small piece of unfinished olivewood

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    ADD ON: Add Laser Engraving to your item. 12 Characters maximum. Retail value $10

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    ADD ON: Add a Gift Box to your item. 12 Characters maximum. Retail value $8. United States only, please.

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    Key Ring with Secret Space, retail value $16

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    Wine Stopper with Chrome Hardware, retail value $25. Shape and size will vary.

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    Slim Pen with Gunmetal Hardware, retail value $34

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    Slim Stylus Pen with Gunmetal Hardware, retail value $39

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    Wall Street Pen with Gunmetal Hardware, retail value $45

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    Cigar Pen with Gunmetal Hardware, retail value $50

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    Bolt Action Bullet Pen with Gunmetal Hardware, retail value $55

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    Grip Pen with Gunmetal Hardware, retail value $60

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    Tec Stylus Pen with Gunmetal Hardware, retail value $60

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    Roller Pen with Gunmetal Hardware, retail value $65. Rollerball!

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    Magnetic Hex Pen with Gunmetal Hardware, retail value $70

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    Jr Gent Rollerball Pen with Gunmetal Hardware, retail value $75

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    Magnetic Cap Rollerball Pen with Gunmetal Hardware, retail value $85

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    Jr Gent Fountain Pen with Gunmetal Hardware, retail value $85

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    Magnetic Cap Fountain Pen with Gunmetal Hardware, retail value $95

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    Cambridge Rollerball Pen with Titanium Gold Accents over Silver Hardware, retail value $159

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    Cambridge Fountain Pen with Titanium Gold Accents over Silver Hardware, retail value $189

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    Both Fountain Pens! Jr Gent Fountain pen and Magnetic Cap Fountain Pen with Gunmetal Hardware.

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    Pledge $489 or more About $489

    Full Launch Set! One raw piece, one keychain, one slim pen, one slim stylus pen, one Wall Street pen, one Cigar pen, one Bolt Action Bullet pen, one Tec Stylus Pen, one Jr Gent Rollerball pen, One Magnetic Cap pen, one Jr Gent Fountain Pen, one Magnetic Cap Fountain Pen. Retail value $561

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Funding period

- (20 days)