Glasgow-based designer Fraser Ross created his DIY pen with the masses in mind. “While my other work is more sculptural, more like fine art, this is a product anyone and everyone can enjoy,” he says.
The pen is designed to be constructed by the user. Its laser-cut structural components are first punched out of a postcard-sized sheet of plywood and used to build a torpedo-shaped skeleton. The nib and button are then added to each end. Finally, a hairdryer or oven – the only tool required – is used to set the pen’s heat-shrink exterior coating, producing an object that resembles an oversized bullet.
The flatpack design originated when Ross composed a list of everyday objects that he felt deserved a redesign. “For some reason, the pen appealed to me, but I knew I didn’t want simply to create a pen that had a special method of being turned or moulded,” he explains. “I wanted to step out of the box. I didn’t want to approach it in a normal way.”
The product was finalised over a lengthy period, with more than 100 prototypes – a process deemed necessary by Ross to ensure the pen could be constructed by adults and children. “Every person who I have given it to has managed to build it,” he says. “Most people seem to really enjoy the process. I guess that is what it is all about – the more you design something, the more prototypes that you make, the more successful the final product will be.”
The pen is currently available to purchase directly from Ross for £14.99, but he hopes it will go into mass production soon, ultimately for a lower price.
“The process of creating the pen is more important than the pen itself,” he adds. “The pen is something that becomes a part of yourself – your own piece through the fabrication and customisation of it.”