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ART NOUVEAU PEN


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Hi Folks,

 

Thought I'd post some pictures of my latest fountain pen. This one is a collaboration between myself and Ray Cover. We wanted to do something with Art Nouveau elements, and Ray wanted to work in the style of Alphonse Mucha. The blue marbled celluloid was chosen to resemble art glass of that period. I studied some of the balcony railings from Belgain buildings for the carved titanium clip, cap band and cap top. Ray took a Mucha illustration and gave the lady a more contemporary look while still keeping the circular devise behind her. He made that into the back of her chair. He engraved the back in a similar fashion to my clip.

 

Hopefully the pictures will show the details. They were set up as low resolution shots for posting, and by the time they got from my wife's computer to mine, they became even lower!

 

Thanks for looking.

 

David

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Thanks, Janel. Ray and I have collaborated on many pen projects and a few knives, too.

 

Karl, Ray made a large drawing of his subject, then reduced the scale to fit the part. This was engraved into the titanium barrel sleeve with various engraving tools. The yellow is fine gold inlay, and the red/brown is copper inlay. The inlays are taken down flush with the titanium, then details engraved into them. The texturing on some of the copper her hair are examples of these details. To make it all show up the engraving is "inked". Actually, Ray uses paint. The textured background on the back side was not inked.

 

Titanium is tough, but not much more so than some other metals I carve. (The material that's a real pain to carve is acrylic. It likes to melt.) The clip is a spring alloy, while the band and cap top are commercially pure titanium. The CP works a bit easier. I laid out the sheet for the clip and did some of the piercing first, then heated and forged it to shape. I used a small rotary tool with carbide burrs and little files to shape and define it. Laying out something in the round like the band is a bit harder. The beginning and the end have to work together or you have an awkward look to it. I used the same files and rotary tool on this. Both are finished with sandpaper with some contrasting finishes and stroke directions.

 

David

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Guest ford hallam

Hi David,

 

I can only echo what has already been said; beautiful and elegant work. :)

 

On a technical note, I'm very interested in the working properties of titanium. How does it compare to mild steel in terms of carvability? I'm assuming you're using either hand-pushed gravers/burin or something like the gravermax.

 

thanks, and regards,

Ford

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I appreciate the compliments, Folks!

 

Ford, I have been told by Ray that engraving CP titanium is about like engraving 416 stainless steel. It cuts cleanly without any "gumminess". My guess is that it would be only a little tougher than cold rolled mild steel. Engraving on 6al4v titanium, the spring alloy, is a different story. The vanadium make it harder and it makes ragged cuts and breaks gravers. One engraver can do the same work on parts from these alloys and it would look like two different people did the work. Now from my perspective as one who drilled, cut with rotary burrs, filed, and sanded, I couldn't tell a lot of difference between the clip and the band. Engraving is much more sensitive to the materials than grinding and filing.

 

Ray, the engraver, uses modern air powered engraving tools for the most part, specifically the Lindsay palm graver. I spent some time last year at Ray's engraving school last year and found the Lindsay tools to be outstanding. Very natural feel in my hand, and very easy to control. Withing a short time using it became instinctive.

 

I use a 50000 RPM micro grinder for most of my work, along with an assortment of files from miniature rifflers to larger mill files. I also have a Foredom type rotary tool for heavier work. I plan to use engravers' tools to enhance what I already do. Just waiting on the funds!

 

Thanks for asking.

 

David

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Guest ford hallam

Thanks for that, David.

I think I have a reasonable sense of what to expect now, should I have a go with my hammers and chisels.

Do you know of any reliable on-line suppliers who are willing to deal with baby sized orders? Sorry to be a bother.

 

cheers, Ford

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Not a bother, Ford. Try my friend Chuck Bybee at http://www.alphaknifesupply.com/ Just remember to ask for CP, or commercially pure. If you are cutting with hammer and chisel you'll like this alloy better. The 6-4 will break your fine chisel points and leave you with huge burrs to deal with.

 

Keep in mind that titanium has become quite expensive and harder to get.

 

David

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