Week 7: Making Pens

I don’t make pens very often anymore and I should. It’s such a nice little project that creates useful items. I had stopped because it was harder to find good, cheap pens that worked. They changed the formulation for the Bics that were my go-to and I was stuck experimenting with random discount brands afterwards.

I know you can buy great pen kits or even use better quality refillables for this. These were always a bulk, inexpensive project for classes or smaller shows, for me.

Anyways, I tried another dollar store brand this week with some success. I’ll probably make a few more with one of my upcoming classes so they can give some for Mother’s or Father’s Day gifts.

This is an in progress for this batch. I slice a pile of canes and then start placing the slices. After I have what I want, I smooth them in. After baking, they’ll get a little sanding and buffing. These will also get their ends painted out since I didn’t cover them with clay.

Sketchbox and Me

If you have managed to not see dozens of Sketchbox ads in the last few months online… lucky you. I spend far too much of my time on social media so I’ve seen more than my share and in the end, when asked what I would like for Christmas, I told my partner I’d like a couple months of the Sketchbox subscription box to play with.

He didn’t know me well enough when I was still doing primarily 2D artwork and, for him, this was a surprising request. He didn’t understand why I wouldn’t just go buy new supplies at the craft store and get rolling. I explained that the appeal of a subscription box was that someone else had curated the supplies, put them together, and sent them out. I could sample something completely new or not recently tried with little stress.

February is my first box and it had Inktense pencils, something I’d only seen tried on clay, a type of watercolour pencil that dries as a permanent ink wash. There’s also a couple brush tip pens that don’t bleed and a little sample of paper. The pencils and markers can be used on fabric which is what my friend Laurie (the dollmaker behind Prairie Crocus Studio) immediately tried with success but I’ve mostly just doodled. It’s been ages since I sketched outside of work drafts.

I’ve never done watercolour outside of those cute little paint books you can get kids or the little disc paint boxes, also geared for kids. It’s been fun! If I continue on I’ll invest in a little better paper and brushes again. For now, we’re good.

The Shop: Updates and Changes Oh My!

I’ll be updating pictures and moving new items – some of my finished clay items – into my Tooaquarius Etsy shop in the coming weeks. Any comments and suggestions are super appreciated.

As always, if you need a big stack of beads or canes I offer bulk order pricing. The coupon code BULKORDER20 is good for 20% off orders of $100 US or more and BULKORDER40 is good for 40% off orders of $200 US or more.