Friday, October 15, 2010

Wooden ink pens by used2Btrees are interesting even without the back story. They're not primitive sticks, not at all, but works of art crafted by artisans who view a chunk of wood like Michelangelo would a block of marble.

Here's one from a red oak tree:

A great advantage to being a storycatcher is meeting and interacting with the people I interview, going beyond the story into the tears and pain. But I also get to go into the joys and accomplishments. Last spring I met Henry and his son, David. Both of them attended Pilot Mountain School, Henry in the opening years, David in the final years. They were two ends of the spectrum, two completely different stories to catch, but they had one thing in common, a gift to create with wood and an eye to see the magical in the ordinary. Musical instruments, cabinets, tables. And ink pens.

Here's his display case. Zoom in and look at the pens. You'll be glad you did.

It just so happens that a two hundred year old oak tree at my church had been struck by lightning that very week. Death was imminent. Sad.

Light bulb moment here. Or was it destiny?

"Could you make pens from the tree?" I asked.

And so, the woodworker, David, came to the tree the day it was cut and selected pieces. He preferred the junctions, where the energy of the wood made different colors and paths and patterns. He made a prototype and showed it to several members of our congregation. Yes, just right.
We've passed one hundred and twenty-five pens and each one has been a unique creation. David's branched out, no pun intended, into designs and various hardwares that are beyond what any of us imagined. I wish the pictures I took could show you the beauty of the grain in the wood pens. This 200 year old white oak tree had secrets hidden inside that in its death are just now coming to light. Because of this artist. Because of the Pilot Mountain project.


Catch of the day,



  1. Gretchen,

    How can I get one of those wooden pens? They are beautiful.

    Sharron Antoniuk

  2. Hi Sharron, yes these pens are gorgeous, but their beauty for me is in the sentiment of the old tree from our church. The man who makes them doesn't have a web site yet, but does have an email. lanedavid37 at He has a wide variety of pens on hand or he will make a pen from a piece of wood you supply if you have a special tree in mind.

  3. This is a treasure of a story. The pens are beautiful. From the death of the tree comes beauty that can be used (literally) to pen a story.

    Thank you for sharing this special catch.