Fountain Pen - Bock #6 - 13 mm - Lab grown opal and Black Ebonite
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NOTE: THESE PENS ARE ALMOST FINISHED, BUT NOT COMPLETELY, THEY WILL BE SHIPPED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
This is the middle pen in the set, and themedium-sizedone at 13 mm thread sizing.
Pfff, these pens were amazing to put together, Teun has been a fan of opals for a while and wanted to try making a pen using them for almost the same time. However, it was not within budget to use natural grown opals for this, on top of them being fairly small and unstable. Lab-grown opal, which still is real opal, does allow for the use of this amazing material in pens, which we've done in the ones seen below.
You see, the way in which opal creates its "play of colour" is via an interesting phenomenon called Bragg's diffraction. Which, I believe, is also what gives the Mica us pen makers use so often its shine. Light is reflected from different layers of the opal's periodic silica structure via light scattering and due to positive and negative interference of light, at certain angles, some wavelengths are enhanced and will show to our eyes. Nature's beauty!
Lately, I've seen a lot of imitation opal pens online, and while beautiful on their own, they do not show their colour in the same way as proper opal does, but more similar to Mica. It lacks the very periodic structure, but only reflects on a single, free-floating particle. Which is also nice, but not opal. There is however an alternative: lab-grown Synthetic Opal, consisting mostly of silica. Which is what we have used on these pens.
This Synthetic Opal has the nice lattice structure of opal, with the open space in between them filled with resin to stabilize it. Very hard, difficult to turn and finish, but oh my god it's beautiful. It shows so much different colours at all different angles and I can not capture it completely in photo or video. If you want to come by our workshop in Best and have a look, get in touch.
In these pens, we have combined the opal with black ebonite and nickel silver details, all of them have been nicely polished to a shine.