Painted Pens

Openinkstand CalligraphyThe Painted Pens are a collaboration between Brian Smith of Unique Obliques and artist Schin Loong of Openinkstand Calligraphy.

With their powers combined, the luxurious Painted Pens were developed.  These painted pens are the Flagship Pen Holders of Unique Oblique Custom Pens. Each pen is first hand turned by Brian using exotic woods and the flange set using the time-tested Zanerian method and reinforced with cyanoacrylate adhesive for rock-solid stability. The pens are then sent to Schin for hand painting and then back again to Brian for lacquering. This lacquering process ensures the art is sealed and protected from ink and water. It also adds a beautiful glossiness to the pen. The photos below are all taken before the lacquering process, so the finished pen is much glossier!

Each Painted Pen is one of a kind and unique, and no two designs will be replicated exactly as they are all meticulously hand painted. The paints and inks used are archival quality and sealed under many layers of lacquer, so the art will remain vibrant and beautiful. All art pens are signed by both artists, recorded, dated and come with a certificate of authenticity and have since been collected by Master Penmen, professional calligraphers and penmanship enthusiasts worldwide.

The Flower Series

When Brian and I started the Painted Pen series, the first thing that I wanted to do was flowers. It was a no-brainer, I absolutely love all kinds of flowers. First I tried Japanese style flowers, then a more graphic style, then the next thing you know, butterflies and more abstract designs crept in. Over time, I found that this series is the most evolved and where I can really flex my creativity. -Schin

The Flourished Birds Series

Flourished birds was actually what brought me into the world of calligraphy in the first place. I remember seeing a book on bird flourishes and the beautiful, graceful lines had me hooked ever since. Every bird in this series is different and has its own expression and life. The wings and its flourishes expand all around the pen, emphasizing its beautiful shape. Some pens inspire one bird, some two, and I’ve also included short inspirational messages on others (previous messages have been “Strive” “Practice Makes Perfect” “Peace”). I love making these, and it is my homage to the beautiful art of ornamental penmanship. -Schin

The Dragon Series

One day, a friend suggested I draw a dragon on a pen and I laughed, thinking he was joking. I thought it would be too difficult and I wasn’t prepared for the work! Dragons are complicated, and I felt flowers and birds was challenging enough for me. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about this for weeks (I hate being challenged) and finally I decided to give it a try with an Asian style dragon. It took a lot of careful planning to intertwine the body to make it wrap nicely around the pen, and then more time to work on the scales and things, but it turned out pretty good! Brian kept the first ever Dragon (he named it Smaug) and since then there has been more… though I admit these are a lot of work and thus may not be as easily available. If you see one on sale, snap it up because I don’t make them often! -Schin


The Faberge Series

This series was initially inspired by traditional Faberge eggs, but as time went on, other influences crept in. I used decorative elements to create a rich, luxurious design to create the most opulent Painted Pen yet. There is even little hints of glitter so it’ll sparkle as you write (don’t worry, it will have been smoothed over under the coats of lacquer).


One-off Designs

Occasionally I will be inspired to make special designs just for fun. The first design was a pair of butterflies which debuted at IAMPETH convention, where many of the attendees thought they were decals or stickers stuck on the pen! Brian had to explain that they were hand painted. The most recent design was inspired by Monet. A lady had asked for his famous waterlilies, and I initially rejected the idea, thinking it would be too difficult. But again, as time went on, I kept thinking about it (I really hate being challenged!), and came up with one inspired by his 1919 Waterlilies. On the same pen, I also managed to include a Monet quotes written in Spencerian: “I must have flowers, always, and always.” These pens are special as I don’t intend to make them into a series. -Schin

Please contact Brian for availability, as quantities are very limited and they go very quickly. Popular Painted Pen designs include gold dragons and phoenixes, flourished birds, quills and flowers.

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