Den’s approach to pen making has been slightly different from the norm. Using a lathe for work he moved towards combining a newly discovered love for fountain pens with his professional skills, with the twist being a very public learning experience as he has covered his trials and tribulations on his Facebook page, warts and all.Continue reading
People tend to mistakenly think that when Parker moved their manufacturing to India and Platignum (not to be confused with Platinum) appeared to cease to be, that fountain pen production in the UK had halted. However, even before that time, a number of small craftsmen were already starting up. One of these, in 2003, was Bryan Lucas at the Worcester Pen Company.
At the start of 2019, Onoto were invited by the British Government to be part of a trade deputation to Dubai. While there they were inspired by the traditional rich colours of Arab art and design. On return, one Feng Li experimented with filling in the chasing pattern on Pearl Magna Classic, looked at the results and … a set was created and sold at the following pen shows.
Pens are emotive. The nibs, the material, the looks, the feel, all play on our senses. The variations both within and between manufacturers and craftsman help propel our hobby, our collections, and our expenditure forwards, while also providing a source of joy, and dare I say, at times frustration. Wood often grabs my attention, so when John Twiss posted a picture of three new, primarily wooden pens on Facebook and Instagram just before the Spring London Pen Show, my interest was piqued.
I first came across Rob van Nigtevecht and Powerful Signature on a UK based Facebook fountain pen group, where he posted pictures of pens he was making in various stages of creation and assembly. In early 2018 he produced a dark blue pen with appropriate roundels on both finials to help celebrate the centenary of the RAF. This attracted my attention and stirred me on to look at his website. I think by then both RAF pens may already have been sold, but he also had a Marine edition, made from Conway Stewart rods which caught my eye and the rest, as they say, was history.
During this review, and overview I will be covering both of my pens made by John Twiss.
John has been a stalwart of the UK pen show scene for many years. Starting as a hobby, either before or after he took early retirement from IT, he hand makes his pens from a workshop at the Sherwood Forest Art and Craft Centre, near Nottingham in the UK, selling both on line and through pen shows. With the latter, not only is he an attendee, but also helped restart the Newcastle Show in 2018. In addition to his own pens, he also sells other brands through his (joint owned ?) TwiCo shop.