When someone asks me what I do, I like to tell them I'm a musician who makes pens. The music part is pretty self explanatory, but the pen making isn't really the whole truth. Though I do walk into a room, spend some time, and when I walk out, I have pens that weren't there before, the blunt fact is that in terms of true output, I don't really make pens so much as I make shavings.
The sheer amount of unusable material that pours out of my workshop is staggering. Last night, I finished a run of pens, and I swept the floor and filled up a trash can with plastic shavings. Later, I dropped something on the floor, and while I was down there, I saw just how much more stuff I didn't sweep up hiding against the wall. Staggering.
Every pen starts with a solid piece of material–a block of wood or plastic–and from there, I slowly start removing everything that isn't a pen;
When I'm done, you see what you have, but what you don't see is everything that couldn't be.