Handmade pens from the workshop of Neil Sperry

Following is a partial list of the woods from which I make pens. I have been turning pens for 10 years, so the list has become quite extensive. These woods are historic, rare and beautiful and the pens make treasured gifts that can last a lifetime. All are ballpoint mechanisms of the highest quality I can buy, and they use standard Cross refills.

Each pen takes approximately 2 hours to prepare, turn and assemble. All proceeds from their sales go to the McKinney Education Foundation in support of Serenity High, the only public recovery high school in America.

I normally have the pens with me at each of my public appearances. I schedule special showings at holiday seasons as well. If you would like more information at any other time, please e-mail Patti Karamas at patti@sperrygardens.com.

Terms you will see:
“Spalted” refers to wood that has begun to deteriorate. Black-line spalting is the first step, 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 fine projects, from furniture inlay and jewelry boxes to fine automobile accessories.

Photo 1:
Pens shown (left to right)

Fir from ash field of Mt. Ranier (4000 years old)
Boxelder burl dyed gold
Coconut palm
Cottonwood burl
Boxelder burl, dyed teal
California buckeye (white)
California buckeye (gray)
Sycamore burl, spalted
Cherry burl
Pink ivory
Century oak TAMU (darker brown)
Century oak TAMU (lighter brown)
Century oak TAMU (normal brown)
Mahogany Lloyds of London
Vesticola gum burl
Ash, game-broken Rusty Greer bat
Amboynia burl

Photo 2:
Pens shown (left to right)

Olive from Bethlehem
Bois d’arc, 100-year-old post, McKinney
Boxelder burl, dyed green
Koa fiddleback, Hawaii
Gov. James Hogg Pecan, Texas State Capitol
Boxelder burl, dyed red
Red cedar
Boxelder burl, natural color
Live oak, grounds of The Alamo
Smoketree burl
Boxelder burl, dyed blue
Maple flooring, Minneapolis Lakers circa 1950
Sears Distribution Center red pine flooring, Dallas
Rosewood burl
Curly crape myrtle
Live oak, The Treaty Oak

Partial List of Woods:
The Century Oak, Texas A&M University
The Treaty Oak, Austin
Ancient Kauri, New Zealand (30,000 years old)
Old Main Oak, Baylor
Battle Oaks from University of Texas
White oak, Texas State Capitol
Live oak, The Alamo
Olive burl, Bethlehem
Sam Houston Campaign Oak
Live oak, TCU
Maple flooring, Daniel Meyers Coliseum, TCU
Huon pine from Australia (4000 years old)
Dyed boxelder burl, various colors
Sears, Texas red pine
Fir, Mt. Ranier ash field (4000 years old)
Cypress rail, Ft. Sam Houston
Cuban red mahogany, Batista
Minneapolis Lakers maple flooring
Byron Nelson mahogany
Juan Gonzales game-broken bat
Rusty Greer game-broken bat
Redwood, Muir Woods
Suwanee River sinker cypress
Gov. Hogg pecan, Texas State Capitol grounds
Ponce de Leon lighthouse pine, Florida
Ameriquest Field/Ballpark Oak (post oak)
Hawaiian koa
Cocobolo crotch
Plano Bicentennial bur oak
Smoketree burl
Curly purpleheart
Curly crape myrtle, Collin County
Minneapolis lilac
Portland Oregon rhododendron
Spalted persimmon
Bamboo laminate
Spalted boxelder
California buckeye
Curly mango
Spalted sycamore
Poison ivy
Poplar burl
Juniper burl
Richardson smoketree
Curly magnolia
Western yellow cedar burl
Boxelder root burl
Cedar of Lebanon
Amboynia burl
Walnut from Brasstown, N.Car.
Curly walnut
Chinquapin oak burl
Mahogany burl
Texas mountain laurel
Mahogany, Lloyds of London
Rosewood, figured
Coconut palm
Bois d’arc 100-year-old fence post, McKinney
Cherry burl, North Carolina
Oregon madrone burl
English yew
Elm burl, Denton
Wormy chestnut
Spalted burford holly
Cottonwood burl, McKinney
Paela burl, Mexico
Birdseye persimmon
Spalted hackberry
California potatotree
Honeylocust burl
Desert ironwood (Arizona)
Redwood from California’s Tall Trees
Texas mesquite burl
National Champion mesquite (from Texas)
Texas ebony (Brownsville)
Thuya burl (North Africa)
Spalted sweetgum
Flame cottonwood (California)
Australian York gum burl
Curly pink ivory (Africa)
Grapefruit (Arizona)
Cedar of Lebanon
Flooring from Studebaker Plant
Curly bubinga
Tiger myrtle
Vesticola gum burl, Australia
Camphor burl
Black ash burl
Arizona cypress burl

(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.)

Posted by Neil Sperry
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