Wood is naturally beautiful and my normal preference is to select pieces for colour, grain or figure in my pen designs or any of my wooden crafts for that matter. Sometimes though this is not always possible such as on this handmade wooden fountain pen.
The wood used is Wenge from central Africa, Wenge is a beautiful dark colour with chocolate and black grain, it will make stunning furniture or wooden boxes. These two boxes are handcrafted from the same piece but because of the size, there was only enough to show the grain to best effect on the right-hand box. These Wenge boxes were made to do double duty at craft fairs, one to help display pens and two to help grab attention and as a conversation starter. Although I have a large display with lots of beautiful pens some people don't believe they are handmade even if told in conversation.
The craft fair display stuff needs to be tough with all the knocks they take but the boxes do stand up well.
Buying pen blanks online can be a bit hit and miss as the timber may be cut for yield rather than to show the best figure, which brings us back this pen. If the grain runs along the length of the pen rather than on a 15-degree bias when polished the pen will be almost black ( Wenge can be a good substitute for Ebony) such as on this wooden sierra pen.
So to show the grain to better effect I have treated the wood to try and highlight the grain a little more with household bleach, this will lighten the lighter sections, the grain can be seen better in this photo of the fountain pen than the first.
Treating the grain is a bit hit and miss as every piece of wood is going to react differently but I think in this particular case it was a big success, the wood is a nice contrast against the high quality gun-metal trim on this pen. Should I have used a chrome trim? so many design decisions, I would be happy to make it with chrome if you would like to commission a pen.
If you like what I am trying to do with my wooden crafts please look me up on any of the social media channels or try searching for "whitlockpens" or "whitlock wooden designs".