The idea to develop a production line in the UK for Gold nibs began in 2014 when a small group of specialists in pen manufacturing came together to discuss the project of making an all British pen. A British made nib was required for this special pen production. While the ideas for the pen did not develop further, the idea of developing a British nib struck a chord.
Over the following years, a lot of time was spent studying how nibs are produced, interviewing numerous people connected, in various ways, with Nib production recording every detail discovered. Each step was meticulously documented and updated with any new information identified for that step. Investigating the tools, equipment and customisation for each stage of production consumed the most time over the last two years.
The science behind a nib and how the production process affects the finished product is quite complex. Various specialists in a variety of fields have been consulted to refine the processes involved. This knowledge is either a trade secret or in many cases, lost or forgotten since the manufacture of gold nibs ceased in the UK. The test was to attempt to resurrect this knowledge from the few remaining people originally involved in the industry.
It was a big step to begin purchasing the equipment for the production line. An even bigger step was the tooling up. At every stage, obstacles, delays and challenges arose and had to be resolved to move forward. In several cases, issues in testing and development resulted in months of delays. As each station was complete, individual testing began and often resulted in changes or enhancements in at least one other area. The intricate web of dependencies between each part of the process only became clear as it started to come to life.
While final touches are being applied to the production line, these have put back the scheduled commencement of operations. These minor issues are resolvable, but it is not possible, at this time to confirm when operations will begin. We expect it will be before the end of 2018. Attention to detail with the aim of producing a high-quality nib, in small volume production and the ability to customise for clients has been the key driver to each decision.
There were very few who knew this project was going on, and efforts were made to keep it quiet for a very long time. Those in the know did make requests for specialised products, possibly at some future time. Principally, strict control was maintained to focus on the production of a standard 6mm 18kt gold nib as the main product. This has been designed to fit a standard Schmidt feed. Nibs can be purchased without a feed or with a 2- or 3-part feed. Selection can be made from the order page.
Once the production line has been established, the development of other nibs, including 18kt 8mm and 5mm, 14kt nibs, including the flex nib are all on the list for further development.
Customer service is also important to the business. One thing that was abundantly clear, was the lack of service to the craft manufactures and small pen manufacturers (orders under 2,000 pieces). Our aim is to deal with the pen manufacturers and pen repairers. We provide a clear pricing policy applicable to all, a low minimum order quantity and the ability to customise the nibs with a manufacture’s mark. There is a set up charge and minimum quantity applied to each method of customisation.
For the larger manufacturers, we can stamp the nibs with your design or engrave them. A rhodium finish can also be applied to give them a white appearance. In addition, a regular draw down on large orders can be agreed to reduce cash flow pressure on clients and reduce the need for them holding high volumes of nib stock.
We want to hear from you to get your feedback on the products, services and considerations for future productions. You can contact us through the website or email us directly
Much of this would not have been possible without the help, consultation, advice and encouragement of a few people in the pen community who have put up with numerous questions, telephone calls and discussions over the past few years. They know who they are, so no names are mentioned here. Sincere thanks go out to these few for the invaluable input that they have given.
We look forward to you using our nibs for many years to come.
PS –Surname alone is the only connection with the famous pen manufacturer that shares it. All investment, investigation and development has been totally independent of that company.