Life of an Artful Pen from beginning to end, part 3 the "finale"

Artful Pen title with buttons

Ta-da, it’s the “finale” of my Artful Pens in process series. Now you can see my Bee Artful Pensbuzzing” through my blog in living color. But first things first. My last entry ended with the process of mold-making. Now I’ll discuss what happens after the molds and castings are made.

bees attached to pen

The photo above shows my bee pieces attached to the pen clip with some strong glue. Note, the pen clip was first covered with a layer of Apoxie Sculpt to ensure a good foundation to build my design upon. And the beauty of Apoxie Sculpt is that it adheres to itself and beomes a “solid” piece after being placed on another piece. This characteristic of Apoxie Sculpt ensures that my design is solidly attached to the pen clip.

bees on pen

After I attach the bees to the pen clip with glue and I patiently wait for the glue to set, I go back and fill in any “open” areas with some Apoxie Sculpt. To help smooth out the Apoxie Sculpt, I use some water on my fingertips. This can be a sloppy/drippy process. If I get any drops of water mixed with some Apoxie Sculpt on the pen surface, it will be permanently be there once it’s cured. And that’s not the result I want to end up with. Thus, I use a clear sheet of plastic beneath the pen clip to help prevent drippy drops from messin’ up my pen surface. Another method I recently used to prevent this messy problem is using a coat of liquid mask on the pen cap surface. It’s a bit smelly, but works pretty nicely and after I’m done with the pen, the liquid mask peels away. You can see the liquid mask “in action” in the next couple of photos. That gummy yellow looking surface is the liquid mask safely protecting the pen surface.

bee pen after dremeled

There’s the liquid mask on the pen cap of a bee piece that just went under the Dremel treatment. I try to clean up and smooth out the surface of my pieces when needed. And my Dremel stone grinding bit works wonderfully to tackle this cleaning task.

bee pen

In the photo above, I used a yellow colored Apoxie, to touch up areas on the bees. Yes, Apoxie Sculpt comes in a few different colors, but my preference is using the neutral gray color for most of my work.

pens getting gesso coat

After the Dremeling is completed, it’s time to put a coat of gesso on the surface. This helps me see if there are any remaining areas that need to be cleaned. Plus, it provides a nice surface/foundation to start painting.

So, now comes the fun part, the painting. The pens go from this:

bee pens pre-gesso

. . . to this, pens with a colorful coat of paint . . .

bees painted

. . . and finally, pens coated with some glaze to protect the painted surface.

bees finished

What pen design is your favorite, A, B, C or D? Please comment below.

pens finished

One other thing I wanted to share is that one of my spotlights that I created at the ByHand site is featured at the ByHand Gallery blog. Yay!!! Stop by and check it out. I created a spotlight of some the adorable and colorful items from some of my “hearted” Etsy stores.

ByHand Gallery spotlight

About christine

A watercolor and sculpture artist and avid crafter/designer. Working creatively with my hands is what gives me joy and contentment and makes me want to get up in the morning.
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