Hey Pen Fans!
We’re getting packed up today, and we’ll be heading out tomorrow for the NYC Pen Show.
This pen show is always a great one, so I recommend making the effort to come out if you can.
For those of you that work in the city on Friday, the show will be open until 7 pm, so you can stop by after work without having to come back into the city on Saturday.
I will have over 100 pens in inventory, including about 20 bulb fillers.
Below is a slideshow showing all of my inventory that will be with me. If you can’t see this slideshow, go to my SmugMug Current Inventory Page to see the entire set of inventory pens.
I hope to see lots of you there!
Hi Pen Fans.
The vast majority of my business without a doubt is fountain pens. But I do get plenty of orders for rollerballs.
In the past, my rollerball sections have been fine. They were injected plastic, always black with gold or rhodium trim. Nothing wrong with this at all. But here’s what I didn’t like about them….I was not manufacturing them. I was outsourcing the sections. When possible, I really like to make sure that I manufacture every part on my pens, with the nib and usually the clip being obvious exceptions.
Well, I recently was able to devote some time to perfecting the manufacturing of my rollerball sections.
When I manufactured these, here’s the changes that I made…
The new rollerball sections are not limited to black. I can now make a rollerball section to match the material of the pen. In my opinion, this makes a huge difference in the overall look of the pen.
The section is more slender. The old rollerball sections were a little thick and clunky.
The rollerball refills are Schmidt 5888’s, and Schmidt 888’s, which have always been my favorite. In mediums, I have Blue, Black, Red, Green, Turquoise, Magenta, Purple, Orange, and Light Green. In fines, I have Blue and Black. I’m looking for even more selection.
For those who prefer a ballpoint, I have only a medium point black refill for now.
Below is a photo of a Morgan rollerball in Red/Black ebonite with the new section.
The metal tips can be gold or rhodium to match any material.
I’ll be adding more and more photos to the Rollerball Page very soon, but in the meatime, any of my pens can be customized to become a rollerball, and any material that we can dream up can be used.
I also have rollerball refills of various lengths. If someone wanted to customize a pen to be shorter, like a pocket pen or a smaller pen for a purse, we can customize in any way.
As a special introductory price, I’m going to sell these through the month of October for $175.
Then beginning in November, price will go to $200. These prices are the same for any model of pen that you might be interested in.
Additionally, I had someone ask a good question…These rollerball sections will fit into my fountain pen bodies. So if you wanted to buy a fountain pen that would have an extra rollerball section, this is no problem. I haven’t determined the exact price of the rollerball section only, but I will soon.
Please email me if you are interested.
Hi Pen Fans.
I have the results of the recent survey. In all honesty, I had no idea how beneficial this would be for myself and my business. There were many items that I learned from doing this. This survey will greatly benefit me in bringing my customers what they like.
BIG THANKS to all of you for participating! I had tons of responses, and they were all taken seriously. All of you obviously put some thought into this. This is exactly what I needed to get a view of my business from outside my bubble.
I would like to address some items that came up, give some general updates, and outline some changes that will or have occurred as a result..
There will be 6 items to cover….
1. IT SHOULD BE EASIER TO FIND CUSTOM MATERIALS ON THE WEBSITE.
The biggest item that I received feedback upon is that it’s not easy to find custom materials. I have been hosting everything on FlickR, and some people find this difficult.
I’m going to give some consideration as to whether I continue to use FlickR to host my photos. In the meantime, I’ll give some strategies that I think some people are not aware of that make FlickR much easier to navigate.
A. I realize that there are lot of photos on FlickR. When you go to my main Flickr page here, look in the upper-right hand side of the page. You will see a search field that says "Search Edisonpenco’s Photostream" by typing in "ebonite", you will see every pen in my photostream that is made of ebonite. If you type in "green" you will see every pen that has green in the title. If you type in "celluloid" you will see every pen that is made from celluloid. You get the idea. By using this search field, you can go to the FlickR site with any composition, color, or any restriction at all, and narrow things down to your particular tastes.
B. You do not need to sit on my website and wait on a slideshow to see my material choices. Actually, leaving my site and going to FlickR is best. You can visit this link to see all models of my pens. From there, you will see thumbnails. And then every photo has a description so that you can tell what the material is.
These tips will be copied to the website pages, as well.
As stated, I will also consider other options for photo hosting.
2. HIGHER END vs. LOWER END
The responses about continuing higher end pens, as well as offering lower end production pens were split evenly. Some people were very negative about going with a lower end production model. They felt that I should only go higher and higher. Then some people were the exact opposite.
Here’s what will happen….
The high end line will continue with Ernest at Hakumin Urushi as Limited Editions, and also custom one-off’s. There will also be some other high end offerings that will be announced later. However, I will also begin to offer a production pen. It will probably be made in only three materials, and will be less expensive. No customization. There will also be a better rollerball option that will be priced lower.
The biggest concern that people had, however, is stretching myself too far…focus on one or the other, or something will suffer. I will have no problem doing both, and also keeping the same customer service and product quality. The production pens are easier to make, since it’s the same materials, and I can operate it like an assembly line. It’s easier and faster to make 20 identical pens in production style than it is to make only 5 completely custom pens. I’m not changing the quality of product in any way on the production pens. It’s simply much faster to line up each operation and do them repeatedly. Once the lathe is set up to make one type of finial, for example, I can make lots quickly. With a custom pen, I need to do a completely different set up for each part, which consumes a lot of time. Lastly, my 5 year-old is in pre-school three days a week now, so my wife has a lot more time to help me with administrative work, shipping, and other production needs.
3. OFFER SOME SPECIALS
I’m taking this very seriously. I will continue my holiday raffle of a free pen, but I will also consider holiday specials, and also summer specials.
4. SMALLER PENS
A lot of people appreciate the Grande models of the Herald and Huron, but obviously this is going in the opposite direction of people who want smaller pens. There is a smaller pen in the works. It will use a #5 nib. The exact time to market is yet to be determined.
I had a lot of comments to have some overlay options. I’m actually already at the prototype stage on a phenomenal overlay pen. Keep you ear to the ground. This should be out within a month, I hope.
6. STOP SHIPPING PENS IN TUBES!
People that made these comments probably haven’t ordered a pen for a while. About 6-9 months ago, I found some nice leatherette boxes for shipping pens. Since then, I recently had some pretty phenomenal presentation boxes arrive, which you can see here…..
One comment based on the survery results….If you aren’t happy with your pen for whatever reason, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! The finer qualities of fountain pens are very user-defined and individual. It’s impossilble to manufacture a pen that will appeal to all. If your nib isn’t what you expected, LET ME KNOW! I’ll take care of it.
To conclude, I would like to again thank everyone for participating in the survey. Everyone took it seriously, and this really helps me to make the right moves with Edison. I really like to be in touch with my clients, and this really helped a lot. Maybe I’ll do one of these surveys annually to serve as an "Edison Check-Up".
Hi Pen Fans.
In an effort to bring the products and service that my clients want, I’ve created a very short survey.
Personally, I’m not always a fan of online surveys, so I have made this very short, to the point, and user-friendly.
This survey should only take a couple of minutes.
If you could please fill this out, this will help immensely as I decide what directions my business will take as well what offerings to continue or discontinue.
Truly, this will help me to bring you better and better products, so please take a couple of minutes to help me out.
Click the link below to take the survey.
Hi Pen Fans.
In the past, I’ve had cast sterling snake clips, but truth be told, I was only OK with their designs.
I recently enlisted the help of a friend to create some custom snake clips to my specifications and design.
I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.
They wrap around the cap of a Huron or Glenmont. Since they are not attached all the way around the cap, they are adjustable to a degree to make a perfect fit.
They are probably not all that functional, outside of keeping a pen from rolling off of a desk. They are more decorative. I wouldn’t recommend slipping the clips over a real thick pocket, as they might bend. However, being sterling silver, they can easily be moved back into tension.
The clip is shown below in a black acrylic pen with a satin finish.
Being silver, I don’t recommend these clips going onto an ebonite pen. The ebonite outgassing will tarnish the clip. However, the black acrylic that you see above is a perfect “faux” ebonite. It’s rather soft, and not at all brittle like most acrylics. When a pen is finished in this acrylic, I can’t tell the difference between this and ebonite without smelling.
This clip looks great with black acrylic. I have trouble picturing this clip on something with grain, or a wild material, as your eye would be divided between the material and the clip. However, I can see this clip with some other solid colors…blue, red, green, etc….
These clips will add $90 to the cost of a pen.
Thanks for looking!
My computer problems are taken care of.
Any communication or email problems that I have had are now alleviated.
However, there is a possibility that I’ve lost some emails in the last 4-5 days, and perhaps also some archived emails.
If you are expecting an email from me and haven’t received it, or if you feel that my communication has been poor, please reach out. I most likely did not receive an email, or lost it in an archive.
Also…for those of you with orders in, I’m a couple days behind due to all these problems. I’ll be contacting those effected directly, and everyone else in the queue will get an overall update soon.
I’ve had a very serious problem with my shop computer.
I’ll get it into repair on Monday. Hopefully, I’ll return the same day with everything back to normal.
I’m hoping that I can access the hard drive on my shop computer and move it all to a new computer.
If not, everything is backed up via an offsite backup service.
Best case scenario, I’m all set Monday evening.
Worst case scenario, I’ll have to access everything late this coming week, as the offline service can take up to 4 or 5 days to completely restore everything.
Bottom line, if I’m slow on emails and correspondences, you’ll know why. If I have technical problems related to the computer, you’ll know why.
Hi Pen Fans!
I’d like to thank everyone for their interest in the Urushi Pearl Project, the first LE project between Edison and Hakumin Urushi Kobo. The project was a huge success and we have decided that we are going to continue this cooperative effort.
In fact, we are currently in the process of planning our next LE! We have decided that this next edition will be done on the Herald and we have some good ideas for the technique, which will be something different from the Pearl LE. While we are keeping the specific technique under wraps for now, we will say that the color scheme will be in the cooler side of the spectrum this time and that we will be using rhodium trim.
However, we are stuck on deciding one thing. Clip or no clip? A clip would add convenience and stop a pen from rolling away. Going clipless would emphasize an unbroken surface of the lacquer and show off the purity of the design. Which do we choose? Either way would be beautiful, and it ends up all being a matter of personal preference.
And so we have decided, who better to decide than those who will be owning them?
We have started a poll over at the Fountain Pen Network to put this up for a vote among our clients.
Clipped or Clipless? What would you like?
Please follow this link to vote, or click here….