Día de Muertos, Making of the Pen

Instagram 3/26/21

I’m back with the second entry in the chronicle of my Día de Muertos pen. If you read my first entry then you know that this means I received permission to share the mock-up images for my custom pen.

Be forewarned, it will likely be a while before my next update. I’ll explain why I think so a bit later. For now, let’s pick up where I left off.

Getting Things Started

After finding out that Mr. Cypress was accepting custom orders, I asked about a Día de Muertos pen. He confirmed I was interested in a raden pen, and asked for some reference images. I sent him the following, asking for 1-2 sugar skulls as the main feature, likely on the body of the pen; with some Día de Muertos motifs to fill in space, perhaps on the cap. If possible, some papel picado bunting would be fabulous as well, although I acknowledged that was likely too complex for raden.

A couple of days later, I was sent this glorious image (minus the watermark, that’s my addition). It was much more than I had hoped for, and I accepted it instantly.

Mr. Cypress original mockup image

I asked for a cost estimate, which was almost ridiculously low. However, Mr. Cypress informed me that his artist was working on additional design elements.

The Back-and-Forth

In the meantime, we settled on the shape of the pen — flat top — and I asked for a flower on the cap finial like was on the grip.

The next mock up featured flowers scattered on the pen body. But they didn’t speak to me. The flowers didn’t have the right feel. Instead, I suggested some type of bunting (see below) and perhaps candles near the bottom of the pen body.

My Bunting Mockup

The next iteration added both the candles and bunting, but also replaced the floral motif on the cap with candles. Not quite what I was going for.

But with a bit more back-and-forth, each one making minor tweaks, we settled on a final design, and all I can say is W-O-W!

Mr. Cypress final mockup image

Finalizing the Details

Once I’d OK’d the final design, I got a bit of a shock. Mr. Cypress told me he’d check with the artist/designer and “let [me] know if it can be done.” I’d assumed we were working through, or with, the artist/designer the entire time. I waited anxiously for the verdict.

Thankfully, all was well. The artist/designer confirmed the pen could be produced. After asking, I learned that payment is not required up front, not even a deposit. I found that a bit surprising, but I suppose he has no problem selling pens.

And Now, We Wait

I’ll keep you updated as I get updates. I’m so excited, but I know it will likely be months before it’s ready, and perhaps just as long before I receive any update. I can be patient, though. It’s going to be such a fabulous expression of culture, and I look forward to using it, especially around the Día de Muertos holiday. I have a feeling this may be my only raden pen ever, because realistically, what could possibly be better than it?

What do you think? Are you excited to see the final product as well?

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