Tuesday, October 11, 2011

William Henry Studio Pinot Noir Pen

Coming up on a big posting milestone (teaser) and this is the first article about a pen that I don't own or haven't written with (unfortunately) but I felt the need to spend the time on this one.

I received a press release last week about the new RB8-Eyrie pen and it caught my eye.  So here's the gist...someone had the brilliant idea to make the fancy pen parts out of American Pinot Noir grapevine wood.   Grapes are to wine as pens are to paper... so really, it's a natural move.  I had had a few memorable bottles of wine in my life and this seems perfect.

You had me at wine...and pens.  I set a meeting up and spoke with Dave Boeckel, The CEO of William Henry Studio and he offered some insight into the background on this beast. Please click on the link to the press release  for all the juicy details.

First of all, here's the pen:
Nice, Right?

And Here's the interview..

Who's idea was it to create this pen?
My friend Jason Lett of Eyrie Vineyards showed up a couple of years ago with a pickup full of what looked like small tree limbs and asked if I wanted it.  When I found out it was some of the original Pinot vines I said yes immediately.   We then spent 2 years drying it before we tried to even make something (in reality I got a little impatient and had the studio make a proto pen for myself last summer to see what it would look like and if it would hold up.  I have carried it ever since).  So you can really say the idea came from both of us.
What was the number one factor in deciding on the details of the pen?  Function, style, uniqueness? etc?
Matt Conable (our owner and designer) has an amazing fantastic eye for material combinations.  He chose all of the details in order to make the pen beautiful and really celebrate the pinot vine.  No matter what materials we choose we always insist that function is never compromised.  He is also the designer of everything we make and is responsible for the Wave-lock closure system that we all like so much.
Side note-we spent months working with Swarovski who supplies all of our gems finding the perfect Pinot colored topaz. 
Has anyone ever built a pen like this before?
Not to the very best of our knowledge.

Do you think this pen is meant to be used or put on display?
We truly hope that everything we make is used by this generation and passed on to the next to also be used.  We understand that some items are owned and admired simply for their beauty, but we strive to create items that become even more treasured when used for their intended purpose. 
Mightier than the sword?
Tough one.  I own lots of pens and lots of knives and there are times when one or the other is a better choice for the task at hand.
Follow up:  what's the determining factor?
Strictly what I am doing at that moment, but I must admit that I have opened a number of packages in airports with my pen (since I can no longer carry my pocket knife when flying) and I have never written a note with my knife. 
Any thoughts on making this type of pen into a fountain pen?
Are you a pen junky? 
I owned lots of pens before we ever started to make them (Montegrappa, Delta, Mont Blanc, Marlin, Faber Castell, Pelikan). That whole form and function thing really appeals to me.
Own any fountain pens?
A couple, but I mainly carry and write with roller balls out of convenience.
Ok, pop quiz.. your desk is on fire,  you can grab one pen before you leave the office what is it? (other than the pen we are talking about)
I have another Proto that I am testing.  My crew would not be happy after all the work they put in on it if I let it go up in flames.

Do we even discuss Merlot? Yes or no?
These are amazing pens, but the new closer system on the rb8 and f8 cabernets are much cooler.  Simple answer-No

End of Interview... back to my rambling.
I see the real challenge with creating this type of pen.  Aesthetically, it needs to be near perfect, but it also needs to appeal to the pen aficionado who might feel the need to fire this up and write things down.

The bad news... I don't think that I will be the owner of the 100 of these that are being produced..  The good news.. there are still artists and craftsmen that appreciate the need for a high end heirloom type of pens and create them out of love.  

Here's the link to view the pen on their website.http://www.williamhenrystudio.com/product-detail.cfm?knife_id=1970#

Big huge plans in the works for Good Pens. A contest, did I mention a milestone? and more pen reviews.

Enjoy your day.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Technology vs. the Pen and Paper

iPad vs. Journal?

Everyone remembers the Vegas post  from not too long ago right?  Here's the summary in case you dont feel like clicking the link...sad times in Nevada...no the Bunny Ranch wasn't closed...I realized that I had become an iPad user, by that I mean heavy user, by that- I mean... pens were being thrown in drawers and forgotten about.
Technology had overwhelmed me and I had left my true love behind.  However... I flipped the switch and built back my stable of pens and posts and here we are.

So.. you didn't think that I had thrown that iPad2 in the trash in Vegas did you?  No way dude.  It's really all about wants and needs. I want to use a pen and paper.  I need to use Keynote and play Angry Birds. (Gack, I said it.)

Frankly,  no one even questions when I waltz into a meeting carrying an iPad and a Journal. (iSad.)  I don't think too many people actually correlate between ONLY having an iPad or using paper. Both still seem ok. Interesting.
Sidebar:  Thank you for all the Journal suggestions in the prior posts..but the perfect journal fell into my lap and I couldn't be happier.  Is there anything better than a lined journal that's leather bound and can hold up to fountain pen ink?  Don't answer that without really thinking about it... I am saying no.  Crane and Co. got it right...Deliriously in love with this journal. I don't deserve it. But thank you.

Ok,  back to the post...now...it's the best of both worlds.  On one hand- I have an INSANE journal, on the other hand I have a world of games, emails and .ppts and on the other hand- I can still use all my favorite pens.  (yes, I realize that is three hands-did you?)

So here's the real question...Where do these worlds collide in my day to day activities?  For me- it's simple...my Journal is a list of all my scrapbooking projects and the names of all my imaginary kittens.

 Kidding...I use it for Getting Things Done. Work stuff,  to do's and things I am waiting on...I can't go home at night until my inbox is Zeroed out and the iPad  and the journal help in between meetings to crunch that out. When I see inbox's with 727 unread messages I get twitchy.

So, it's all about balance.  Find your happy place.  Don't give in to one thing or another: embrace your inner geek,  but don't forget about the history of people putting pen to paper and making magic.  Oh, and file some of those emails... geez.

So a simple question and feel free to comment.  Has technology kept you from writing as much as you like and how do you respond to that?  When do you put down the keyboard and pick up the pen?
The next post is a great interview I had with a company doing some cool pen stuff.  Stay tuned.