Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Introducing the Karas Pen Co Stonewashed Series...Plus lots of NEWS!

Some big things are happening here at Karas Kustoms. Things that we are really excited about, and we hope you will be just as excited about them as well. We have been teasing some of them via Instagram but we have quite a few other topics to discuss in brief this week before we begin to expound on everything. So on to the news!

Karas Pen Co is proud to announce the Stonewashed Series. What’s that you ask, well here’s a little background on this series of pens. We had some downtime on one of our machines and decided to run a few of our pens through this “stonewashing” process. The result was awesome as you all saw in our previous blog post. The pen looks like it has had a lifetime of use, with softened edges of the aluminum peeking through. My favorite aspect is the actual feel of the pen. The ‘stonewashing’ process makes the anodizing feel “warm” and “soft” when compared to a one of our regular pens of the same color. 

After writing with a few of these pens and giving a few away, we realized there might be a desire for these among our followers and fans. The issue is that they tend to take up a lot of time in a machine that is usually used on our other products. This is the reason for the small batches. We decided to run off a combination of extra pens that we had lying around in pieces. Every batch we send out to anodize we get parts that are unusable and their corresponding caps, tips, etc. get set aside as spare parts. We have been doing this long enough that we have quite a few of these spare parts. Perfect for use in some small batch pen wizardry! And that’s how we got the pens parts for the Stonewashed Series.

What does this mean? It means that we might do a color or material combination that won’t be done again for years. It just depends on the parts. It also means, when we are sold out of the stock that we have, we have to wait for some downtime on that particular machine. So you are going to have to jump on these if you want them. Lastly it means we really can’t create custom website space to sell these on. Our website doesn’t work that way and would require hours of work for us to list a single pen. So we are going to be selling these a little differently. We will be selling them via the @karaspenco Instagram account exclusively, so if you don't follow that you may want to. 

How is that going to work?!?! Well we will announce the sale in advance and give you a time that we will go live. We will then post particular images with instructions on how to purchase. And it all depends on how quickly you respond following the instructions. This is the easiest way for us to get these into your hands without having you all be blog followers and selling them directly off the Karas Kustoms Blog. So that’s the skinny on the Stonewashed Pens. We have a second small batch of pens that need to be assembled, you can check out a quick photo of those below.

Moving right along with some other exciting news.

If you don’t know who Nock Co. is you might want to remedy that now. Nock Co. are the creators of some stellar pen accessories, specifically pouches and cases for pens and notebooks along with a few limited release pens. We use their pouches exclusively and recommend them to anyone looking for quality Made in USA pen accessories. They carry a limited “Red, White and Blue” Render K G2 that is currently in stock on their website. I suggest you head over and take a look!

For all the fountain pen geeks, this one’s for you. Nope it’s not about the Fountain K, look for an update on that further down the blog. This is all about the NIB baby! We have long thought that only offering our nibs in Fine, Medium and Broad was a disservice to our loyal fountain pen customers. Dan and I began to actively look at ways to change that. Merely offering other nib point sizes wasn’t an option as Schmidt controls all of that. So we looked at custom ground nibs. If you are into fountain pens at all then you are familiar with the concept. Having been a fountain pen nerd for a little bit, I was familiar but had never tried a ground nib. Let me tell you, once I did my life changed. I have a hard time writing with my stock nibs now. I almost always reach for a stub or italic grind as my nib of choice. Why all the hoopla on nib grinds. 


We are proud to announce that we will be carrying custom ground nibs from Arthur Van Haselen. Who’s that, you ask? Art (@arts_nibs) is the sole proprietor and nib guru at Art’s Nibs. He is a self-taught nib grinder that also does nib modifications, tuning and fountain pen repair. His work is quality, and I don’t say that lightly. I have used Mottishaw and Masayama ground nibs, and personally I prefer a nib ground by Art not only because of the lack of wait time, but also because he gets the feel just write for my hand. It wasn’t hard for us to come to the decision to work with Art, having tried some of his nibs we knew right away that we had to have nibs ground by him. So he has a number of our nibs right now and is working away at grinding them. As soon as they are in our hands we will add them to the website and you guys can snatch them up. If you have more questions about Art’s nibs you can contact him here or if you need to contact us about our availability of these Karas nibs done by Art hit us up here.

More fountain pen news! We are also pretty excited to announce that you can now purchase standard international cartridges when you get an INK. Or if you want to just have some cartridges around for easy use, you can buy them in packs of 5 for a total of two dollars and fifty cents. We are currently offering Monteverde cartridges in Black, Blue and Blue-Black. I know it’s not a huge piece of news, but it’s important for us to know that we are trying to address some of the feedback that we get from our customers, this is one of those areas of feedback that was relatively easy to fix. These are available right now via one our website -> Here.

Fountain K News! Fountain K News! 

Yes you have been seeing images all over the place of the Fountain K. Whether you follow us or Dan Smith aka The Nibsmith, Ana at WellAppointedDesk, or several other people that we consider to be our initial product testers; you have been inundated with teaser photos of this pen. So we figured we could give you an update on the actual project. Things are moving along nicely. After receiving feedback from the above mentioned people, we realized that we needed to make some minor, MINOR, design changes to improve ease of use and overall aesthetics. These aren’t “back to the drawing board” kind of design changes, they are relatively small tweaks to our overall machining design. And they are being done to legitimately improve the pens overall function. So we are at a very tiny hiatus but are actively working on the pens knowing that you are all eagerly awaiting the release.

 What’s that?
Free what?

Free Shipping is coming. Yes you heard me right we are hard at work on the logistics of implementing a free shipping option. There will be some minimum purchase requirements and other normal hoops that retailers use when offering free shipping, but we are working on making this a reality. We will still offer shipping upgrades at the normal rates (3 Day Ground, 2nd Day Air, etc.) but the ability to offer free shipping has been something we have wanted to offer. We just have to nail down the specifics. If you are interested in learning more you should sign up for our newsletter, as this will be officially announced in a Newsletter post.

So that’s all the down and dirty for this week. Make sure to like our Facebook page, follow our two Instagram accounts, @karaskustoms and @karaspenco as they are designed to act in different ways. In fact, our original account is quickly approaching 10,000 followers and we have been prepping for a HUGE giveaway. You might be skeptical, but trust me this giveaway is going to be EPIC, next level stuff. We have partnered with other "Made in USA" small companies who have graciously decided to help provide some of the giveaway prizes. Yep, I said “some of the” and “prizes” that means multiple prizes, lots of ‘em. You will not want to miss the opportunity. And the grand prize is going to be one of the BEST pens to come off our machines.

Until next time, keep writing, keep creating. Show us your pens, we want to see them. We want to see your artwork, your journals and your doodles. Post them to our FB page and our Instagram, we love seeing what you are doing with our pens.

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