What makes a good winning pen?

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  1. #1
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    What makes a good winning pen?

    Hi all,

    I was wondering what people look for when judging a pen. Is it curves, colour, type of wood/finish or design/model/make ?

    Obviously, the turning has to be good i.e no scrathes etc and the item fits together well.

    What do members especially looking for?

    Cheers

    Frederick


     
     
  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick View Post
    Hi all,

    I was wondering what people look for when judging a pen. Is it curves, colour, type of wood/finish or design/model/make ?

    Obviously, the turning has to be good i.e no scrathes etc and the item fits together well.

    What do members especially looking for?

    Cheers

    Frederick
    I can't help you with that one mate ! Despite numerous attempts at Pen of the Week I have not had one of mine selected

    YET

     
     
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  4. #3
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    Likewise, but whatch this space

     
     
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    Entirely personal methinks it is restricted in the popular vote to only a smallish number of participants using this method. The great difficulty is the diverse membership,what is popular etc. It represents a small number of participants who vote.

    Peter.
    Nil Desperandum

     
     
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  7. #5
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    Knees don’t count Vic, but maybe one day.... seriously I hope your feeling better now.
    Kind regards John.

     
     
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  9. #6
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    For me, and this is purely my opinion and not in any particular order

    Something I would like to make myself but can't
    Unusual patterned wood.
    I prefer Wood over Acrylic
    Finish
    Shape
    Photography (important to show the pen and material at it's best)

    Once again not in any particular order

    Brad
    I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was

     
     
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    If you are referring to Pen of the Week, I think a good photo counts for an awful lot. I'm not saying that's how I judge a pen, but the folks that regularly win all have in common the ability to turn out a good photo. Their turning styles, choice of blanks and kits are generally very different to each other though, and I've seen many fantastic pens get very few votes because of a poor photo. As to type of kit, I'm not sure that makes a great deal of difference - slimlines and streamlines win just as much as expensive kits. Penpal and Bammer for instance (sorry to pick on you guys) - are both extremely skilled pen makers, both are regularly successful in POTW, both command attention when they post a pen, but they are at completely opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to their preferred choice of kits.

    The profile of the turning is important though, I would say - a great big, fat, bulbous profile will generally never do very well, unless there is something else about it, like a blank to die for or exceptional segmenting and so on. For me, and for most people I would guess, the profile needs to flow from the components so that they gel together as a whole, and make it seem that the pen is one you would want to write with, not look like a couple of sausages strung together of a french poodle's tail, which whilst that may show off a stunning blank or a perfect finish, is not particularly practical from a writing point of view.

    Finish is hard to perceive from a photo in many instances, but something with clearly visible imperfections such as inaccurate sizing, or radial sanding marks, is not going to do as well as one that appears perfect.

    At the end of the day though, speaking for myself I enjoy seeing them all, and seeing other people's journeys along the road. The pen that is not quite right, shown by a relative newcomer, is just as much a part of the forum as the best pens by the best makers in my view. We all had to start somewhere, and to be honest, I'm not sure my first pen was anything like as good as many folk's first pens I see here. Pen of the Week is just a bit of fun once a week to help create a bit of participation. If you want to win it, I would say you need to show endeavour and then be able to photograph it, so we can all clearly see your endeavour. As I say, complete beginners or near beginners have won it on more than one occasion. There are without doubt some fantastically good pen makers here, but quite apart from their skills at the lathe, they've also acquired some skills with a camera, or phone, or what ever it is they use to photograph their work.

    You've asked a good question though Frederick, and it'll be interesting to see what others have to say
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  13. #8
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    Tongue in cheek answer
    Wait until everyone else is on holiday and yours is the only pen entered.

    I daren't do even that in case I still get no votes.
    Bob

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. (Samuel Beckett)

     
     
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    Hi all,

    I think I need to improve upon my photographic skills; well they can't be any worse that's for sure.
    To win POTW week would be a feather in my cap, but in true honesty I am not that worried about it. I take it in fun and (like Phil)
    I like to look at the designs and workmanship involved and admire the makers skill. I realise that it takes years
    of practice, dedication and a very good eye to produce the excellent pieces displayed here. It is inspiring which (in my opinion) is the main
    purpose.

    I love it!!!

     
     
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  17. #10
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    I look for something that requires a little more than the essential skills, something that I would struggle to do myself. I also think if a pen is to stand out from the crowd there has to be something more, either in terms of the blank itself ( figure etc.) or in the modelling. I agree with Phil, that a bulbous shape rarely does that for me ( it is of course purely a matter of taste). Pens that go a little beyond the ‘kit’ also appeal to me, so closed end and better still bespoke pens have great appeal.
    I suppose I ask myself what is it about the pen I am looking at that tells me this is a hand crafted item and not just something turned out ( pun intended) en mass from some ‘factory’? Does it inspire me to try something similar or better still fill me with admiration at the level of skill shown?
    Good presentation also helps of course although I try not to be too influenced by the quality of the photography since one really is trying to judge the pen rather than the picture.
    Just my thoughts.

     
     
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