Portland Made: Kairos Pens
Monday, October 05, 2015
While looking at a woodworking catalog in 2005 (one of his hobbies at the time was making Shaker furniture), he found patterns and instruction for making cross-style pens. His curiosity was aroused (but little did he know how that curiosity was going to direct his future). After a few months of making these pens Scott became bored. He wanted more of a challenge, and so he started investigating different materials and methods of construction. “Problem solving is the best part of the process,” Scott says. “I like finding unique or new ways of doing things, uniquely my own.”
He has acquired materials from far and wide – woods from all over the world, vintage plastics and polymers, even a small piece of a meteorite – all of which are ripe and ready to be transformed into a one-of-a-kind writing tool. “I never make two of the same pens,” says Scott.
Scott and his wife moved to Portland to be near family, and he says this is where he wants to stay. He feels like Portland is unique in its own style of “quirkiness” and sense of values, and he has found a welcoming community amongst other Portland Makers. And though he sells some of his pens locally, most of his customers are in Europe and Asia - countries where the tradition of personal handwritten
communication is still strong.
All the materials he uses have a story behind them, and customers sometimes commission him to make a pen with a specific material, one that has personal meaning – in one instance, a piece of floorboard from the house where the customer was raised.
Scott admits he couldn’t make a living from his handcrafted pens, but for him it is truly a labor of love. “I have spent my whole life living in my head…now everything is involved with touch, smell, sight. It is very satisfying to think I am making something that will outlive me, be passed down to a future generation.”
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Portland Made is a digital storytelling platform and advocacy center for Portland's Maker Movement. We do 2 features a month on Portland Makers; connect makers with more local, national and international markets; connect makers with local professional and manufacturing resources; advocate for makers with politicians at all levels of government; work with PSU on an annual survey that captures the economic power of the Maker Movement; help makers find real estate; and promote Portland makers with local and national media.
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