Shaw Pens – The Bessemer Ballpoint

19 03 2014
lkj!

Because turquoise makes everything better

Alan Shaw contacted me about helping come up with a name for a new pen he’d designed, and happily I accepted the challenge.

I opened the mystery package to this intriguing nameless pen

I opened the mystery package to this intriguing nameless pen

The look is high-class mechanic, with a touch of the inventor about it with that o-ring grip and accents, and the hex nut around the knock. The name is a nod to Sir Henry Bessemer, who developed the process to mass produce cheap mild steel, which paved the way for the proliferation of the hex nut.

As decorations, the o-rings are a solid choice

As decorations, the o-rings are a solid choice

The o-rings as grip will be a make or break feature—either you will appreciate their grippability, or you will find them too hard. It may depend on how hard you grip the pen.

I am getting hungry for sweets

I am getting hungry for sweets

The body I love. It looks like an enchanted cola float captured in resin. The pen will come in other colors, but anything reminiscent of a tasty dessert is a good start.

I wonder if o-rings come in other colors. I wonder if I'd want the o-rings in other colors...

I wonder if o-rings come in other colors. I wonder if I’d want the o-rings in other colors…

My only complaint is the length of the pen. For me, this pen would be perfect if the tip came out right where the grip meets the nosecone. As is, it feels a bit long in my hand, feels like it would balance better if it was just that little bit shorter. Maybe if you have bigger hands it’d be perfect.

I need Uni-ball to make Parker-style Jetstream ink ballpoint refills. That would complete my life

I need Uni-ball to make Parker-style Jetstream ink ballpoint refills. That would complete my life

The refill it comes with, a Franklin-Christoph brand Piper Premium 1000 Ultra-Glide ballpoint, is a fairly smooth and fairly dark Parker-style ballpoint refill. There are some moments occasionally when writing when I can feel some oddity, something less than 100% smoothness, but it’s generally a pretty decent refill. The pen will take any Parker-style ballpoint refill, so I’ve paired the lovely cola colors with a sky blue Private Reserve ballpoint refill, to fabulous effect.

Here's hoping there will be some new ones at the Raleigh Pen Show!

Here’s hoping there will be some new ones at the Raleigh Pen Show!

Keep an eye out at the pen shows and on the Shaw Pens website for the Bessemer!





Shaw Stylus/Ballpoint Necklace Pen

3 12 2013
Editing assistance brought to you by my cat, who has decided to sleep on my arm while I'm trying to type captions

Editing assistance brought to you by my cat, who has decided to sleep on my arm while I’m trying to type captions

Though I initially resisted getting the one that matched my Shaw Gilbert Fountain Pen, a similar pearl and purple colored swirl version proved too great not to get.

Resemblance to snail dissipates when actually worn

Resemblance to snail dissipates when actually worn

First off it’s a great accessory, sartorially speaking. You’ve got this beautiful chain (which, if you wanted something less classy couture you could replace it with say a black or leather cord, which would still look nice), matching silver accents, and that gorgeous resin body.

Chain hangs long enough to easily use the stylus without it hanging all the way down to your kneecaps

Chain hangs long enough to easily use the stylus without it hanging all the way down to your kneecaps

Look at the resin! No, really, look at it! Beautiful!

Are you looking? I'm not sure I can't really tell; the internet is in the way.

Are you looking? I’m not sure I can’t really tell; the internet is in the way.

The pen is compressed on a spring; once unscrewed from the cap the inner metal tube containing the refill expands out to an overall pretty normal pen length. And though I wouldn’t sit here and write out a copy of the greatest works of Shakespeare, it’s perfectly comfortable for some quick notes. You would think it would feel weirdly balanced. It doesn’t. You would think the thin barrel would feel too thin. Somehow, it doesn’t.

Open sesame

Open sesame

The refill it comes with is a standard mini ballpoint—nothing too fancy.

Open disassembly

Open disassembly

But I’m thinking that means I can put some of those sweet Sharbo X gel refills in. Score!

Ha! You can't sit on my arm when I've got you trapped in the DIGITAL REALM, SILLY FELINE!

Ha! You can’t sit on my arm when I’ve got you trapped in the DIGITAL REALM, SILLY FELINE!

When it comes to evaluating capacitive styluses, I admit I am a little lost. Does it work? Yes. Hooray! I will note that it is replaceable (it unscrews from the body), so if it ever craps out, breaks, explodes, or whatever it is that happens to capacitive stylii, your pen(dant) won’t be ruined. Oh, that would be a good name for it. Capacitive Pen(dant).

Mesmerizing!

Mesmerizing!

The problem with a lot of emergency pens is that I forget to put them in designated locations in advance. Around the neck is perfect—if I lose what’s holding the chain on, I’ve got bigger (and perhaps decapitatory) problems.

There’s no specific link up on Alan Shaw’s website yet for this handy little number, but if you’re interested send him an email or give him a call!





Custom Shaw Pen – Gilbert Fountain Pen w/ Steel Nib

5 10 2012

Fun fact: this pen is one of the few I currently have with black ink in it

Picture it: my very first pen show. No idea what I’m even looking for. Lot of cool pens. One of the pen makers asks me if there’s any particular kind of pen I’m looking for, and it hits me: dark purple fountain pen. At the time, I had yet to see any in existence. And it just so happens that this particular pensmith is Alan Shaw. He had done some work recently with dark purple, and he offered to send me a sample.

Pictures fail to do it justice. And that’s why I kept pushing back this review, continually seeking justice…and continually failing.

This is not just purple, my friends, but sparkle-infused depths-of-deep-space-hydrogen-clouds purple. If fountain pens were magic wands, then this would be grade-A wizarding material. Thus I ordered my first custom-made fountain pen.

Seriously. Pictures fail to do it justice. We’ll just have to hang out sometime and maybe you can see it in person.

The finished product did not disappoint. It’s big, heavy, and beautiful. I ordered the Gilbert model with steel nib, which has rare earth magnets in the cap, making the cap easy and secure to close and post. Though, in my experience, posting the cap creates a serious Dolly Parton effect—top heavy, unwieldy, singing country music and spawning theme parks.

Am I writing or falling over? I can’t even tell.

Let’s take a picture moment to appreciate the material of this body. It’s smooth, it’s enchanting—

Like a Disney prince. In fact, this might actually be made out of compressed Disney princes.

It takes standard international cartridges / converter. It’s a decent nib, the kind I’ve seen before on other custom-made body kit-nib pens.

Standard functional steel nib

Mine’s a little on the dry side, very nice for drawing, but I’ll probably work the nib (when I get a little better at that) to be more juicy. Will keep you posted on that.

IS THIS A FAIRYTALE??

The pen is an absolute delight, and Alan was very easy to work with. The pen came in a nice box, with a converter and a bunch of cartridges. First custom fountain pen is a definite success.

Perfect purple pen

Here’s Alan Shaw’s website, and here’s the product detail for the Gilbert model. Thanks Alan!

One more picture. Just because we can.








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