Although with a range of designer ballpoint pens in the pen shop we also have a choice of beautiful British made pens both fountain and rollerballs both posted and non-posted. These British fountain pens handcrafted in our UK workshops using traditional tools, techniques. Without the use of computers or CNC, everything by hand and eye.
Although we use woods from around the world the best to use are the figured woods such as spalted, stressed woods and burrs.
Spalted woods most distinctive on beech with its wide range of colours and black lines. Other woods show the spalting but non-standout such as this. The spalting caused by fungi attacking the timber. A fine line between being usable and disintegrating to dust. The longer the timber left the better the spalting gets, also softer and more unusable. In the picture below a block of spalted beech and one of our own British made ballpoint pens handcrafted from the same block.
Reaction wood comes from the crotch of the tree and underneath branches. Where the tree grows, and the weather also has an effect. The grain can have different colours and figure to the rest of the timber of the tree. This can make it difficult to use for other wooden crafts as the wood may want to cup and warp. Interlocking grain that will cause tear out so often discarded for mass production.
Burrs, Burr Burl
Burr woods no matter how you pronounce it, a growth on the tree caused by either insect attack or disease. Expensive and often seen on high-quality furniture and in luxury cars as the veneer on dashboards and accent trim. Burl makes the best English pens with its beautiful figure and the wood of choice.
This Buckeye wooden rollerball pen has had a lot of work done to the wood before the turning even starts. The grain double-dyed for colour and stabilized with resin in a vacuum chamber because of the grain so soft. Stabilizing hardens the grain and makes it usable. The Buckeye has lots of voids that the resin did not fill if you look on top of the cap of the pen. The three holes go all the way through the cap and needed filling with aluminium.
This is a dark burr wood with lots of eyes but no voids. The wood comes from the Atlas mountain range in Morocco from evergreen conifer trees in the cypress family group. Nice to work with and has a beautiful spicy smell as it turns on the lathe.
This rollerball a true English pen made with British burr oak. Although oak considered hard, this is not that difficult to work as some. No eyes present but lots of interlocking grain with light cracks and voids to overcome. Light browns in colour complimented by the chrome curves of the Chatsworth design.
Amboyna Burr is not a distinct species but wood from the Pterocarpus species. The wood difficult to work with interlocking grain, voids, and eyes all to overcome so some skill necessary. This wooden rollerball pen is a little different to the other pens with a magnetic posted cap, all the others have a screw cap.
This wooden fountain pen handcrafted from part of an old whiskey cask stave recycling the wood. Rich in colour from the charring of the wood this pen has an offcut of the original stave.
Masur Birch not a species but caused by insect attack and comes from an area between Finland and Russia. Expensive and only available in small quantity this wood is stunning. In addition, the grain will change colour as it catches the light from different angles and chatoyance.
Brown Mallee from the eucalyptus family group of trees. Darker than the English oak burl the dark browns compliment the gold trim on this wooden fountain pen.
Coolabah wood like all Australian woods hard and expensive. Some of the hardest woods in the world come from Australia. With beautiful deep brown and light cream colours within the same pen, this fountain also close in style to the old Conway Stewart fountain pens.
Pushing the boundaries of my wooden crafts some of our luxury pens have been made from fancy resins which have other items cast in them or made for stunning pearlescent colours. I will explore these possibilities more this year with my homemade castings. Meanwhile, please have a look at these two fountains.
I have made this pen from a bright green resin with mini pine cones cast in the resin for an original look. This is one of our higher end luxury pens with gold-plated trim and chrome detailed accents.
This pen inspired by molten magma with purple and gold pearlescent colours. Constantly changing colour as the pen moves in your hand and catches the light. Handcrafted with gold trim on our European design pens.
Another interesting article on British made pens and pencils from UK made. This is just a small choice of our luxury British pens available from the pen shop. To keep up to date please follow me on Facebook Whitlock pens or any of the other social media platforms.