Each Chiaroscuro is machined, faceted and finished by hand, by me, one at a time.
What's the result? An astounding interplay between light and dark made to live in the palm of your hand. I don't want to overstate this, but the beauty of these is devastating. I did my best to capture the elements of this in the photographs, but it's the nature of the product that it can't form as strong an impression here as it can when you roll it in your hands.
Wintergröene is made from ebonite which has a very dark blue woodgrain running through a black base color.
No ink windows.
More on ebonite:
The classic hard rubber. What they sometimes make bowling balls from.
Made by the slow vulcanization of natural rubber with sulfur, ebonite (or vulcanite as it was called in the early twentieth century) absorbs hand warmth and radiates it back in such a way that when you hold an ebonite pen, it feels like an extension of your hand. Much more so than with plastics.
Not to be hyperbolic, but working with this material is like being in a lucid nightmare. You have a certain degree of control over the finished product, but in the meantime–everything stinks, your tools never stay sharp, everything is always at the brink of overheating and for the time you’re working with it, you live your life covered in dust–and there’s nothing you can do about it.
But it’s worth it. The “hand-feel” of using an ebonite pen cannot be overstated. About the only material that feels more natural to hold is wood.
Note: Colors can dull over time with air and UV exposure. Black is the most stable, but it can fade to a pale green if you don’t take care of it. Vibrant colors can fade. Don’t boil it, and keep it out of direct sunlight, and with normal use, this happens on the order of years, if ever.