My name is Jim Hinze and I have been making pens for more than 15 years. I started out as a self taught woodworker. Learning as much as I can and then sharing that knowledge with others. At a woodworker club meeting I was attending many years ago, a fellow member demonstrated how to turn a pen. This was a fairly basic pen, utilizing a cross refill. At the end of the presentation, he offered to let anyone who was interested, to give it a try. I did, and was hooked from that moment forward.
For many years, I made what is commonly referred to as a "Kit" pen. This means I would buy hardware (e.g. clips, mechanism's, plated nibs, etc) and pair them with hand turned wooden or acrylic. From time to time, I would teach any who were interested in learning how to make these style of pens. (and still do today). About 4 years ago, I ran across a video series on YouTube documenting 4 japanese master pen makers and how they went about creating some of the most beautiful fountain pens I've seen (here is the one that inspired me most: Hakase Fountain Pens). This series was a turning point in my adventure as a penmaker. I decided to commit a considerable amount of resources to learning and begin creating custom fountain pens.
My first attempt actually worked! It was functional, and wrote well. Sadly, I do not have any pictures of that pen. It was not the most beautiful pen, but it marked a milestone. Once I proved I could make them, I began refining my techniques, experimenting with various materials, and learning all I could about nibs (the heart of the pen)
Today, I have a line of standard pens I make. They are all pens that I enjoy writing with and are a good representation of my overall style. I still take on custom commissions and help my customers realize a vision that they have in their mind of a pen they have to have. I also, as earlier in my career, teach anyone and everyone who wants to learn to make a custom pen. I'm invited to various pen gatherings where I perform a live demonstration of the basics, then offer individual 1 on 1 classes to makers who want to go further.
My pens will always be hand made. I have no aspirations of mass-production or automation to grow or expand my business. Each and every pen I sell will be handmade. Each and every pen will be written with and tuned by my hands prior to shipping. I may take on an apprentice or two in the future, but they will work under my direct supervision... and none of them will be robots :)
This effort id a part of a small group of efforts all wrapped under the banner of Uniscape, Solutions LLC consisting of Professional/Technical consulting services, Wood working, and custom pen making.
I hope you like my pens as much as I like making them.