Bonus GemPen goodies!

As most of you know, the GW GemPen is near the homestretch over on Kickstarter ( GW GemPen on KickStarter ). I thought this would be a great time to reveal a couple of new items now being included!

Each pen will now ship with a drawstring pen pouch. This is the perfect way to store your pen on-the-go or if you just don’t have room for ANOTHER pen box. Plus, it kinda looks great 🙂

Also, each backer will receive a professional grade jewelry cleaning cloth! This is a 2-part cleaning cloth, with the inner cloth doing the hard work and the outer cloth finishing the job with a gently buffing. This will not only help keep your centerband from getting tarnish (it is made from solid sterling silver), but will also help you wipe down your pen if it gets a little dirty from use over time.

GW Pens Box Contents

Meanwhile, I do have some actual ‘back room’ photo sets being prepared for future blogs as I work through a few pieces. As always Thank You for visiting the GW Pens back room!

GW Pens Gem Pen “Rose Quartz” Review

If you’re not following Squishy Ink (and if that’s the case, why aren’t you following Squishy Ink?!), then you might’ve missed the recently posted review of the Rose Quartz GemPen. It’s worth a read! Huge thanks to Squishy Ink for taking the time to review the pen 🙂


Pens and inks are my passion, but I am totally of the opinion that gems are also a girl’s best friend ^_^.  So when John Greco of GW Pens asked me to testdrive his new Gem Pen, available now on Kickstarter, I jumped at the chance!

There are seven color choices available when pledging:


It goes without saying that all of the pens are set with a corresponding genuine gem.

Being a lover of pink, the one that intrigued me the most was the Rose Quartz version.  As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to use it as an eyedropper.  For the purposes of this review I have tried it with the provided converter and as an ED.

If you are familiar with custom pens, you’ll feel right at home with the Gem Pen.



What struck me the most about this pen is the ethereal…

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Some stub nib love

I was prepping a 1.5 stub nib today set in the Rose Quartz GemPen when I decided to share my incredibly sloppy handwriting with the world! Fortunately stubs seem to make my handwriting look almost half decent.

The GW GemPen collection is currently available through KickStarter: GW GemPen Collection


Incidentally if I had a blog called The Front Room that’s where this would’ve been posted, since my writing desk is in the front showroom. So this time I’ll thank you for visiting the Front room lol!

The Full Reveal!

Yes! It’s time to give the full reveal on the GemPen lineup! Each pen features a gemstone set in fine silver for the rollstop with a sterling silver centerband.

I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking, but there will be more info to follow once the KickStarter goes live (which should be this coming week). Meanwhile, a very Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there! And as always thanks for visiting the back room 🙂

GemPen gemstone layout.png

GemPen Black Onyx Display

GemPen Blue Chalcedony

GemPen first look!


Yes! It really is the first look at the upcoming KickStarter for the GW GemPen! The handcrafted fountain pen features a sterling silver centerband and a gemstone set in fine silver for the rollstop. There will be 7 different pens in the collection, each with a different resin/gem pairing.

Pictured here is the Black Onyx GemPen. The pen body went through a small redesign from the first draft to allow the cap to be posted. To keep everything aesthetically pleasing I also made the cap diameter a little more narrow and the pen body even more so. There’s a small, rounded shoulder where the silver centerband transitions from the cap to the body, so you don’t need to worry about a rough edge scratching you or getting caught on anything.

Over the next few days I’ll begin working on the other 6 pens, keep a lookout for them here or through my Facebook page or Instagram (search gwpens for either). Thanks again for taking the time to visit the back room!

Time flies when your work is fun!

Holy cow, how did that happen?? How did I go THAT long in between posts?! The only thing I can think of is that I’ve been so caught up in the pure excitement of launching this Kickstarter! What Kickstarter you ask? The GemPen!

I’ve designed a collection of 7 pens that feature gemstone rollstops set in silver. Each pen has a color coordinated gem…and after getting the finished gemstones today from the jeweler I’m working with I can tell you They. Are. Sweet!!

You’ve probably already seen the red resin with Garnet….here are the bodies of the other 6 fresh off the lathe (but still needing work):


From left to right the gemstones being used with these are:

Onyx, Smoky Quartz, Blue Chalcedony, Rose Quartz, Amethyst, and Amazonite.

I’m looking forward to having fully completed pens soon to show you, and I Promise it won’t be so long between posts again. Thank you as always for stopping by the back room!

My favorite kind of bar

As you learn a little more about me you may have wondered what a pen maker’s favorite kind of bar is. And the answer is a draw bar, of course! What’s a draw bar? I’m glad you asked! (Wait, you didn’t really ask? Well I’ll tell you anyway)

On a lathe, there are 2 ways primary tools attach to the headstock (the side where the motor is): by either screwing onto the threads there, or by sliding into a tapered hole called a Morse Taper. One of the tool sets I use is a collet…a tool that grips cylindrical objects with equal pressure from all sides.

The collet holder I use slides into the Morse Taper and sort of self centers. It’s great, really. For custom pen making it’s one of the Must Have tools in the arsenal.


And although the piece you are working on is usually supported at the other end by the tailstock, sometimes it’s not practical to do so. What then? How does a tool that was slipped into a tapered hole stay in place while its spinning at deadly speeds? Enter: The Draw Bar.

The collet holder I have is threaded on the inside. So to keep everything where it should be at 2400rpm I screw a length of threaded rod into the the tool, running it through the spindle, and secure it on the other side. This picture might help you understand what I’m saying:

And now that I have my collet set ready to be used I even went ahead and got started on the first GW GemPen prototype! Here’s the pen body being crafted and then the finished piece.

And speaking of the GemPen, I’m happy to say things are moving forward faster than anticipated!! Keep an eye out as I announce not one but TWO additional gemstones that will be used in the KickStarter pen collection Saturday (tomorrow) night!

As always, thank you for reading another entry from the GW Pens back room!

GemPen – New reveal and more details

If you’re following along on Facebook or Instagram you may already know about the second gemstone reveal for the upcoming GemPen Kickstarter series. Rose Quartz!


Yes now Garnet AND Rose Quartz have been announced as gemstones that will be featured  in the 7 pen series!! You may have also seen me mention the arrival of some solid sterling silver centerbands.


This closeup kind of leaves you wondering just how Big that centerband really is…wondering how it might look with the newly revealed gemstone…or even what the overall design will be! Well, I’m not ready to give ALL of those details just yet, but here’s a zoomed out peek:


I’m not gonna lie. I’ve done sketches. I’ve done a CAD mockup. I was pretty confident I would be happy with how this simple centerband would look, but I didn’t know just how absolutely perfect it would be. The GemPen series is meant to be simple with a splash of elegance, and I think the centerband helps achieve exactly that.

I’m looking forward to giving more information about the production of the prototypes in the coming days! In the meantime thank you for reading another entry from the GW Pens back room 🙂


Who’s ready to rock?

I don’t know about you, but for me music has always played a huge role in my life. My personal favorite is rock- just about all kinds. But when I’m at work it’s hard to hear anything being played over radio speakers with all of the machines running, so I’ve had to come up with other ways to get my musical fix.

It started with a pair of noise reducing headphones that had a built in radio. Reception was always spotty for me, and when I tried to connect my phone to it using the included cord it just seemed like that cord became a bit of a liability. Working around a machine turning your workpiece at 3,000 rpm brings a new meaning to Cord Management!

So next I tried using my phone earbuds. I can slip them up under my shirt, under the straps of my respirator and beneath the noise reducing headphones with good cord control. But it’s impossible to wear them ‘as intended’ without it being painful. The solution there is to switch the buds to the opposite ear and have them point up instead of down. That was much more comfortable, but still not great. After an hour or so they would start to hurt my ears, so I knew that wasn’t the right long term solution.

But recently it was my birthday, and my wife gave me another set of noise reducing headphones….with Bluetooth! These things work great. Not only am I able to work without worrying about cords, I can even have my phone charging across the shop and still be able to listen to my music. The set I have is from 3M but there are a bunch out there. They’re pretty comfy, too, which is important when you’re spending a entire day working with them.


Other safety gear seen here is my half face respirator and prescription safety glasses. I know, I’ve got some seriously good style going on here 😎 Lol! Thanks again for reading an entry from the GW Pens back room! Rock on 🤘