Pandemic Woes

Posted by

It’s been nine months since our last art show. That is a long time to stay at home in near quarantine conditions for a couple of art show warriors like Laurie and myself. I do make the short drive to my day job almost every day. But all the other people who work there are working from home. Going in to work is actually more isolated than staying at home. Laurie stays at home and works on web sites while making a few pens.

The inventory is piling up even though we only made a small fraction of the pens we would usually have made over the past nine months. Online sales have picked up, not great, not a replacement for the shows we did not attend, but better than in other years. Pens are not a great online product. Not many people sets down in front of their laptop or pulls out their mobile devise and thinks about looking online for pens. But if you are reading this, you did. It does happen.

One thing that has done well this year is the corporate gift business. We make pens that companies use as customer or employee gifts. Quantities typically range from 10 to 200 pens, but we can handle larger orders. We have had several corporate orders this year and would be happy to get a few more. Get in touch with us if you are looking for gifts.

Also we have participated in a couple virtual art show online projects. A few show promoters have organized virtual shows and invited artists like us to put product in their virtual shows. Results of the virtual shows have been extremely disappointing. It sometimes takes many days to load up products for the show sites. Sales have repeatedly been close to zero..

We are attempting to sign up for a few real shows in the early months of next year. We have serious doubts that the shows will happen, and if they do take place, will there be any shoppers? 

The inventory may be piling up, but we still love to make pens and are making some interesting new pens for when the shows return. 

Wood Notes

Customers at shows often ask about woods that I’ve made pen from. These are my shop notes about wood species I've used and my experience with them. There are probably twice this many wood species that I’ve used, but I only made notes about these.Cocobolo – Mexican Coco is the best color, more red. Avoid Honduras, starts orange [...]

Read More »

Pen Size & Weight

I’ve learned that the size and weight of a pen is a matter of individual perception. There is nothing I can do to convince someone that a pen is not too big, too small, too heavy, or too light. If someone feels that a pen is too much or little of anything, then it truly is too much [...]

Read More »

​Wood Pens

In the late 1970s I was working in the greeting card industry, and like most everyone else on the fringes of the industry I paid close attention to what Hallmark Cards was doing. They introduced a new product, wood pens, and I loved them. I promptly bought one and took it apart to see how it was made. Then [...]

Read More »

​Six Months without an Art Show.

It is early August 2020 and we haven’t been to an Art Show with our pens and glassware since the end of January. We had planned to take off the first weeks of February, by late February the cancellations began. Very few shows have taken place anywhere since then, and there is no end in sight. Recently we learned [...]

Read More »

From the Art Show Circuit--Winter in Flordia

Posted by Gerry on March 23, 2016We just returned from our last Florida show for the winter. A large number of artists from all over the US and Canada make their way to Florida in the winter because there are many good art shows available and because a large number of potential buyers are wintering in Florida. In [...]

Read More »

Difference Between Roller ball and Ballpoint Pen

What is the difference between a ball point and a rollerball pen? We have been asked that question many times. It is easy to be confused, both of them utilize the same technology; a ball in a socket at the end of a tube filled with ink. When the ball rolls over paper it picks [...]

Read More »

Santa Claus, Indiana?

Let us introduce ourselves, we are Laurie and Gerry Wilhite, we are pen makers, glass workers and show artists. We attend and sell at 25-30 major art shows every year, our travels take us from Minnesota to Florida, from New England to Texas with many stops in between.We live in Santa Claus, Indiana. That’s right Santa [...]

Read More »