Handmade Pens from the Workshop of Neil Sperry

Neil Sperry's Handmade Pens

VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE for Christmas Season 2016:
Due to a prolonged bout with migraines and vertigo since mid-summer, I have temporarily stepped away from my lathe and will probably not be able to offer all of the pens listed below this holiday season. The problems are getting better, but I’ve decided not to rush back into my turning too quickly. I’ll keep you updated here. In the meantime, I appreciate your support and your well wishes!


I have been turning pens since 1996, and it's been an exciting and enriching experience. That's partly because of the treasure hunt of finding historic, rare and beautiful woods. It's also because of the people that I've met.

Substance abuse crops up in many families, and people who are steadfast in their recovery have my utmost respect. It's even better when it's youth who are trying to right their lives and get things back on track.

In that light, I'm proud to pledge 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of my pens to Serenity High in McKinney (through the not-for-profit McKinney Education Foundation).

Serenity High in McKinney opened as a part of the McKinney I.S.D. in 1999. It is, we are told, the longest-running sober high school (public or private) in America, and we believe it is still the only public recovery high school in the U.S.

Neil Turning Pens

Each of the pens that I turn takes approximately 2 hours to prepare, turn and assemble. I use only the finest mechanisms available, and the pens accept Cross ballpoint and roller ball refills. I will repair or replace any pen in the unlikely event of any problem.

I normally have my pens with me when I am making public appearances. They can also be ordered from my magazine office. To do so, or for any questions, please call or e-mail Gretchen Drew at (800) 752-4769 or gretchen@sperrygardens.com.

I currently have more than 400 woods in my inventory, including those in the list below. I typically bring all of the best-selling woods with me to my pen sales, including the various historic and university woods. If you are interested in one of the other woods, you probably should contact Nancy at my office to be sure I will have it with me (see contact info above).

It might be helpful if I were to explain some of the terms you will see:

"Stabilized" wood has been impregnated with an acrylic resin under vacuum pressure. I turn only stabilized woods, to ensure the durability and permanent good looks of my pens.

"Spalted" refers to wood that has begun to decay. Black-line spalting is the very first step in that process, giving those woods incredible detail. Once I have those woods stabilized, they are even more durable than standard wood.

"Burl" is a growth of trunk tissue that develops with wildly erratic grain. It is the most revered wood for exquisite projects, from furniture inlay and jewelry boxes to fine automobile accessories.

(Note: Some of these woods are of very limited supply. Although I normally carry more than 100 pens to store appearances, no guarantee can be made as to whether each type will always be available.)

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