Sometime late last year I contacted Brian Gray of the Edison Pen company and asked him if he would kindly answer some questions for Writing and Scribbling, he graciously agreed and here are the results.
What are your hobbies? or What do you like to do when not working on Edison Pens?
Before pens, I did woodworking, woodturning, and marquetry furniture. I travelled and studied with some of the best, and really enjoy it. The woodturning turned me onto pens, but I never liked pens made from kits. This led me to investigate how to manufacture my own parts, which took me from woodworking tools to machining tools. The woodworking equipment is still in my shop, but I don’t get to use them as often as I would like, as I’m pretty busy with pens.
What ink(s) do you currently have loaded and in what pens?
I have Waterman Blue, Waterman Blue/Black, and Waterman Havana loaded in an assortment of these pens…..
Lamy Safari (3 or 4)
Lamy Vista (2)
Bexley 2007 Owners Club
Various pens of my own making. Some are legitimate models that I haven’t sold for whatever reason. Some are prototypes that I’m testing, some are failed prototypes.
What is your most popular model?
Probably the Pearl. Maybe the Huron, but it hasn’t been around as long as the Pearl, so it’s hard to gauge.
Which filling mechanism is most popular?
Cartridge converter sells the best. They are easy to manufacture, easy to maintain, easy to convert to an Eyedropper.
But the bulb fillers definitely have a “cool factor”. However, they are difficult to manufacture, so the price goes up.
So based on sales, definitely Cartridge/Converter. Based on which give my clients bigger smiles, probably bulb fillers.
Have you had designs that just didn’t pan out once the prototype was turned?
Lots of times. I had a piston filler that never made it to market at all. I now have much better mechanisms, and there will be a piston filler sometime this year.
Most of my prototypes that never see the light of day or more related to shape and aesthetics, however. I’ll make a pen with a certain shape, certain dimension, etc…and then it just doesn’t “speak to me”, so it goes to a drawer where maybe someday I’ll revisit it.
What do you use your Fountain Pens for most? (letter writing, Journalling, note taking etc…)
I don’t journal on a regular basis. My pens are used for drafting, prototyping, note-taking, letter writing, and just overall joy. I am definitely am a user. I’m not always a fan of buying a pen, and not using it. Nothing wrong with this, however, especially if someone plans on reselling for a profit, or if it’s considered an investment. But for me, I don’t want a pen to sit. I want to use it.
What does the future hold for Edison Pens?
I just introduced a smaller line of pens called The Mina. I’m about a week away from announcing an overlay pen. I’m almost finished with a collaboration with Brian Goulet of Goulet Pens that will be ready to announce in a few weeks. I have some new models that I will not sell direct. These will be non-custom and go through retailers. A piston filler is on the agenda. I will be approaching a lever filler sometime this year, as well. Things have been growing so well that my wife and I can’t handle it on our own, so an employee is coming very soon.
Well there you have it. A little insight into one of the more interesting vendors out there. I must agree with Brian than those Bulb fillers have a hell of a cool factor.