Thursday, 22 August 2013

The pens are finished - and off to amazing desks!

Last week I finally finished the last of the pens, and as a bonus the company printing the boxes for them had them dispatched in record time. I always find it's the one thing that is out of my control that slows things down or puts an unexpected halt on progress, so I was delighted when they turned up a week before I expected them. This meant that I could package them up, and deliver them a full month ahead of the deadline.

Despite the weight I decided to deliver them in person, as I really didn't want these in the hands (or hobnail boot) of a courier company to loose, drop, throw around, and all the other jolly things that can go wrong. Like I said, minimising things that are out of my control that could go wrong! Also for the weight and size of the boxes the return ticket to London wasn't much more than posting plus I could wizz around a few stores to pick up some supplies too.

First stop was the offices of Academia Europaea  who I can now announce commissioned the pens. I am glad, and very relieved, to say they were delighted with the pens, most of which will now be sent to Wroclaw University in Poland where they will be handed out during a major gathering there of Europe's top academics. Apparently many will be given out with prizes and scholarships, and a few as a thank you to some of the special guests as well, which the Secretary of the society mentioned included 'a couple of Nobel prize winners,' which I must admit I didn't quite take in when he told me this. I certainly never expected any of my pens to end up on quite such illustrious desks! As it is their 25th anniversary year they wanted something a little more original and interesting than a mass produced pens and tie pins, so I was delighted to hear that my dip pens fitted the bill. Although the various academic luminaries who will be getting one of the pens don't know yet, so don't tell them!

For me it's been a great commission to do, and it's a real bonus to hear that they are going to be a small part of such a large event to honour the work of some of Europe's leading minds - plus to be in their offices and on the desks when they return home. I certainly never envisioned this when I first had the idea to make dip pens.

Monday, 5 August 2013

100 Pens

You may have been wondering why the lack of new shiny in my Etsy shop, or general lack of new posts on my Facebook page. (Or maybe not!) Well, I've been making pens, lots of pens, lots and lots and lots of them. Endlessly. For weeks. And you can't have any of them!

Sometime last year a visitor at my Greenwich stall asked if I might be able to make some pens for a yearly event, which I'd said 'maybe.' Well a few weeks ago I was commissioned to make 100 pens for 'an event.' I'm not at liberty to say who for or what the event is, but the one main thing is that they all have to be blue, maybe with a little yellow. (And no, this has nothing to do with Doctor who!)

It's come at an ideal time for me, a few months before I start gearing up for Expos in October and November, plus all the craziness that happens at the end of the year! However I have had to put all the other projects and sculptural stuff on hold, as well as not having much time to blog, or make extra things to list on Etsy. Even my Greenwich stall is starting to look a little empty.
A few pens, and still a lot more to make!

In a way it's been quite nice not to have to think too much about what to make next during my days in the workshop. Instead of, 'do I make a pendant, and what sort, or a marble?' it's 'what to make next? Another pen! And then another!' I must admit around numbers 48 to 54 I did start getting a bit fed up of making pens, however once I got into the sixties I got back on a roll again.

They are now nearly finished, and hopefully by the end of this week or start of next week I'll have them all finished and delivered (crossing my fingers and toes that the client likes them!) After that I'll get back to some normality and start making lots of new pendants and marbles for the Etsy shop and the upcoming Expos, hopefully including a few new exciting things too!