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Allow us to introduce ourselves...

 

I'm Rich Kleinhenz, 'the artist', owner and operator of the vast commercial empire known (to a select few) as Wappingers WoodWorking.

Recently, I teamed up with long-time friend and fellow pen maker Patricia Lawson to jointly operate this website. Scroll down to learn more about her.

I tried turning pens on my wood lathe in the mid '90s and never looked back, improving my craft ever since.

I grew up in Germany, came to the US as an exchange graduate student and stayed. Pens fascinate me, particularly fountain pens, since I have used fountain pens since elementary school.

I have enjoyed woodworking throughout my life, but when I discovered pen making most other woodworking stopped. My collection of special woods, particularly suited to pens because of their grain, is quite extensive, and I keep finding new exciting species that I make into exquisite pens. Occasionally I make pens out of man-made materials, but my real love is wood, and deer antler. The colors and pattern found in nature continue to amaze me!

I spend a lot of time choosing materials that go together harmoniously. Every pen I make is unique, and every pen you see here is for sale (unless it is marked sold, of course). I can't keep every style of pen in every wood in stock, please feel free to contact me by email inquiring after other style/wood combinations that interest you, I will be happy to quote you a totally custom pen.

I try to design pen shapes along classical, traditional lines, because those appeal the most to me, and to people that have been around pens. Of course I drift away from that occasionally, it wouldn't be any fun to be totally locked in! But functionality is always in the foreground for me: a pen is a working writing instrument first, I try to add beauty, and if some consider it a work of art in addition, I'm happy! I use a wood lathe for my pens, each one is shaped by hand, not using duplicating equipment.

I have played a very active role in the online penturning communities, having moderated several groups. I've demonstrated my craft at national-scale woodturning conferences, and have written a number of articles on making pens for publication in magazines. I have also founded the Penmakers' Guild and worked hard on getting wood pens the reputation they deserve, both in woodturning circles and in pen aficionado circles.

You can see more of my work in my gallery at the Penmakers' Guild . If you come across a pen of mine that you really like somewhere else on the web, drop me an email at richk@beautifulhandmadepens.com, some of these pens are still available, or can be remade.

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I'm Patricia Lawson, artisan and proprietor of Pens By Patricia

I also started making pens in the mid nineties and like Rich my heritage is German too, but I was born and raised near Los Angeles California and I migrated only as far as the beautiful coastal village of Laguna Beach, CA.

Before becoming a pen maker I was a psychotherapist in private practice for many years. I have always loved working with wood and doing many other types of arts and crafts. I had wanted to try pen making for a long time and when I did I was immediately hooked and have been doing it ever since.

Much of my fascination with writing instruments has to do with the role they have played in communication throughout history. I love writing and I certainly believe that age-old saying that the pen is mightier than the sword. Writing instruments have been used to help mankind communicate in one way one or another throughout the ages -  to create drawings and etchings, to pen great music, to send news of sad and joyful events, to seal pacts that have changed the world and to express feelings that might never have been spoken aloud. And even though today so much of our writing is done on computer keyboards or text messaging, etc., there is still a place for beautiful and functional writing instruments. And times when it just feels right to pick up an elegant pen and let the ink and the feelings flow.

I have been an active member and co-moderator of an online Penmaking group for several years and  have worked with Rich in the Penmakers' Guild Council since it's inception in 2003. Being a pen maker gives me great satisfaction in working with my hands and heart, to create artistic and useful objects out of some of the most beautiful materials in the world. Every pen I make is created one at a time on a wood lathe. I take great care with each pen and pay attention to details.

If you see something of mine you like that has been sold, or you have an idea for a pen you would like in a combination I don't show, please contact me by email at: pat@beautifulhandmadepens.com 

Thank you for visiting our website, and if you are in an area where we display our pens at pen shows (Boston MA,  Wash. D.C.,  Columbus, OH) we would love to meet you! Come by our table and say hello.


The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand.
- Kassoria

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Wappingers WoodWorking
153 All Angels Hill Rd
Wappingers Fls, NY 12590

Pens by Patricia
3010 Bern Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92651