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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

The Pen is Mightier…

Posted by Rick | December 14th, 2007 | Filed under Design, Personal Reflection, Positive Change, Sustainability

Tims Pen.jpg

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.

Pen_drawing_ra.jpgThe 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.)

3 Responses to “The Pen is Mightier…”

  • December 17, 2007 at 12:54 pm | jacob r starkey says

    i’ve appreciated this blog for a long time, and pens for even longer. this is a beautiful pen. i just wanted to thank you for the good work and share a like mind.


  • January 9, 2008 at 10:51 am | Denice Drushella says


    I’m a close friend of Tim Leigh’s and I wanted to thank you for your personal words and drawing. It was a thoughtful message and well appreciated by all who know and care about him. Each pen is a true work of art and each made to perfection…..thank you one again

  • January 9, 2008 at 6:27 pm | Rick says

    Hi Denice. Thanks for stopping by. I’m just glad that I was lucky enough to get one of these pens and I hope more people can see the beauty of such a simple, well-made, utilitarian tool. I also hope enough people discover him that he can stay busy making these for true appreciators for a long time to come!

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