In this digital age, when email has replaced letter writing, megapixels have become film, and Wacom tablets are more convenient than canvasses and paintbrushes, it’s refreshing to get back to the simple, sensual act of laying down an expressive line in jet-black ink.
I was just given this hand-crafted Tim’s Pen from Portland’s Timothy Leigh Company a few days ago and love everything about it. The pen’s shaft is made from found and repurposed Birdseye Maple, long-aged and finished with oil and fine wax; the nib holder is brass pipe; the nib itself is hammered and foiled from a recycled metal can. Even the caps on the box are beautiful, carved from incense cedar.
The tool itself is handsome enough to be called art, but to hold it in your hand, dip it in ink, and actually use it”that is really special. The variation of the line that can be achieved by simply changing angles and pressure can shift from fat and powerful to delicate and fragile in one stroke.
Attempting to channel Picasso’s Don Quixote, I immediately scratched out a drawing of a surfer, thrilled at how rich the 15-minute process was: the scratch of the nib on paper, the volatile pools of dripping ebony.
Handmade, sustainable, one-of-a-kind, and designed to last a lifetime, this is perhaps the gift I’ll covet most and longest after the holiday season.
Tim Pen’s start at $35, depending on the wood used. The only way to get one is to contact Tim directly: tim at leighcompany dot com. (If you do, ask him how he started this inspiring endeavor.)