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Thread: Retired Pen Maker

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    Default Retired Pen Maker

    Know any non retired ones.
    Last edited by Empty_of_Clouds; March 14th, 2020 at 03:26 AM.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    Miguel Ángel from antiguas.es is my recommendation.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    I recommend Rene Meeks of Scriptorium Pens and Carl Fisher of Fisher of Pens.
    Fountain Pen Sith Lord | Daakusaido | inktronics blog | Twitter | Instagram

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    Shawn Newton is extremely talented, and great to deal with. But like many custom makers, his queue is purgatorial.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Newton won't accept a commission or even have a conversation about it. So, not great to deal with from my perspective. Same goes for Meeks, Brooks and Krusac.

    It's a tiny bit frustrating as my other maker was extremely professional, informative (I got engineering drawings of the proposals) and very pleasant to talk with.
    I can understand your frustration. I have a 200 year-old-book I need to have some leather-work done on the cover. All the restorers I want are busy, some with a backlog of 18 months. In 90% of the restorers, they have auto-email that advises they're not taking in new work or will even put you on the waiting list. Certainly they don't have time to discuss my needs on the phone.

    But I do understand their position. Coming from the creative arts I would have new people call me, want to talk about their project at great length, pick my brain, and act like we were sitting in a cafe having a conversation over a long lunch. Early in my career I would go through this.

    When I gave them a price, about 85% of them complained, told me it was a simple job, and how dare I ask so much.

    That's when I implemented a 3 minute alarm. I told them up front that after 3 minutes I would charge them $125.00 for the next 30 minutes, and 125.00 for each additional 30 minutes. My regular clients wouldn't get this treatment as I knew I'd get the work, get paid, and this was part of the process. But it did weed out the rest.

    Did I lose some potential work? Probably. But not enough to ever effect my bottom line.

    The new people who did call that were serious got to the point quickly, knew the value of my time, and in 3 minutes we both knew whether or not it would work.

    Good creative people are selling their time and many of them do not have the time to devote to long conversations. Discussing what you want with friends over coffee and discussing what you want with a creator is not the same.

    Sending an email with your specific needs first would be the first step and perhaps offering money up front for a 15 minute consultation that could be applied to the final result would get you in the door. Maybe not.

    Those who respected my time got consideration. Those who wanted to chat didn't.

    I hope this insight helps others in their efforts.
    Cheers,
    Sg
    Last edited by sgphoto; February 27th, 2020 at 10:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    New makers: didn't make me wait for a year or more to get the pen.
    Old maker: wait list was much longer than the work would have suggested.
    Custom makers don't "make you wait" for the length of time it takes to make your pen. Their queue is an estimate of the time it will take for them to make all of the pens that are scheduled to go before yours, plus the length of time it takes to make yours.

    I don't know about you, obviously, but based on my interactions with three well known and respected custom makers (two of whom you list as non-responsive), I found them all to have the same, professional and courteous MO.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    This isn't a swipe at anyone. It's just a fact in business (at least it was in mine).

    If someone trusted me to do their job, they had to trust me to do it my way as my way worked. If they didn't trust me to do it my way, they shouldn't have commissioned me.

    In the early days of my career I was fortunate to have an old master teach me a couple of lessons.

    The first lesson regarding clients was at the end of every year look at who had paid you the most money. It would be those who hired you, let you do the work, and then gladly paid you.

    The second lesson was look who paid you the least money. It was invariably the ones who hired you, tried to micro-manage you, complained about every nickle-and-dime, always wanted to change the process half-way through without compensation, made you miserable, then bitched-and moaned about the final cost.

    The old master said, "Fire those clients." He was right. I was known to fire clients and word got around. That allowed me to retire when I was 55 and still do consulting as I wanted to.

    The old master was right.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Yeah, they are responsive to you because you didn't complain about the service you received from one of their cabal. These are makers who I've never done business with.
    So, the "alternative interpretation" is that custom makers, in addition to running successful businesses, family lives, attending trade shows, etc., have time to keep a secret shared blacklist of problematic customers that they each check before intiating any interactions with a new customer? Is this a shared spreadsheet? Perhaps a mobile app? Or maybe it is custom built software that is federated to their respective ERPs? Or do they outsource it to a firm of ex-Bulgarian spies who now contract to facebook?

    Occam's Razor could shave the shit out of that yak.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    EoC. I remember being envious of that Conway Stewart custom of yours. Hopefully this next one is on the same level.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    And as for Occam, well, my explanation is the simplest one under the circumstances.
    It is the simplest where you are the centre of the universe, so it entirely makes sense that you see it that way.

    The fact that you can't see it any other way is what leads others to react to you in the way they do. Life is funny like that.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    You keep missing my point.

    Let's do a thought experiment. If we rule out conspiracy, and the pen makers/forum members are not communicating with each other, but each custom pen maker independently arrives at the same conclusion, what would be the vector?
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    How else do explain the spread of this information then, if not for tale-telling between makers and/or pen forum members?
    I believe it was brought up at my last Illuminati meeting between the discussion of keeping the Reptilians in power and Amelia Earhart living with Hitler in the Andes where they're producing super babies with wings.

    Sorry you've fallen prey to the Big Pen cabal though a good conspiracy theory always piques my interest.

    Best of luck to you.

    Cheers.
    Sg
    Last edited by sgphoto; February 27th, 2020 at 08:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    If you think you know how word got around then say so. Otherwise it's nothing more than a gainsay.
    Good grief, it's a hobby/interest where people know each other, especially those in a niche area. People talk. It's just human nature and, for better or ill, you impressed someone in a particular way. At pen gatherings, online, wherever, people talk.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    There is no common vector. I've not done ANY business with the other makers. So they have no information from me directly with which to draw a conclusion.
    But you said earlier in this thread that at least three of them "won't accept a commission or even have a conversation about it." Surely none of them proactively emailed you to that effect?

    You haven't done any business with them is not the same as you haven't communicated with them.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Tried to communicate...
    All of us, in our personal and professional lives have developed the skill of making quick assessments about our interactions.

    For example, pretty much anyone can identify a spam email just by the subject line. And at work, Less than a paragraph in to an email, or thirty seconds into a call, I can gauge whether or not this is going to be a waste of my time. You are a physician, right? You have probably developed the ability to identify hypochondria in the first couple of minutes of a consultation. Same as sgphoto has heuristics for weeding out time wasters.

    Pen makers are the same; they obviously make a determination based on the information to hand, and act accordingly. We all do it.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    Three years Empty's been batting on about the unscrupulous habits of custom pen makers. Never read anyone agreeing with him, even based on his own account of the original "sin" committed by one of their nefarious number. It beats me why we're still humouring this fella, but there we are. Perhaps pen makers have more sense?
    In the words of Paul Simon, you can call me Al.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    People use pen boards like this one to complain about pen professionals, which has an adverse effect on their business. This seems to be accepted as a correct thing to do. E-o-C appears to believe it is wrong for pen professionals to share information about customers they have had difficulty with. Double standard, anyone?
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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Word has got around among these people that I am to be avoided as a customer. This is not supposition or interpretation. It's a simple fact, easily proven. How then did that word get around such a select group, hmm? Again, it's not rocket science. And as for Occam, well, my explanation is the simplest one under the circumstances. The rest of your post is nothing but smoke intended to obscure.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    Quote Originally Posted by grainweevil View Post
    Three years Empty's been batting on about the unscrupulous habits of custom pen makers. Never read anyone agreeing with him, even based on his own account of the original "sin" committed by one of their nefarious number. It beats me why we're still humouring this fella, but there we are. Perhaps pen makers have more sense?
    By definition more sense. They have a business to run — we're just obsessives.

    Re the original 'sin': I hope I could endure a long wait with bruised sensibilities for a shot at pen perfection, but I understand the impulse not to.

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    Default Re: Retired Pen Maker

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    People use pen boards like this one to complain about pen professionals, which has an adverse effect on their business. This seems to be accepted as a correct thing to do. E-o-C appears to believe it is wrong for pen professionals to share information about customers they have had difficulty with. Double standard, anyone?
    Then again, it may show that the pen professionals have the common sense not to invite a troublesome camel to stick its nose in their tent and to warn others of the pesky two-humper.

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