If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my story about doing “something big” with relation to pens. Well, that something big was completing my ARTUS Four Elements set. I already shared the new pens there, and even took a week where my “rotation” was just the set. Like the Water and Fire, the two new ones, Earth and Air, are beautiful. Air will get its own post tomorrow. Today, I’m focusing on Earth. The leaves and swirls are beyond stunning. And the flowers are masterpieces in their own rights. Note: You can view the images a little larger — much larger if you’re on mobile — by clicking on them.
Enjoy all of the delicious pen porn contained within this post. I take no responsibility for purchases resulting from them.
I want to start with a short overview of how I came to own the full set. Feel free to skip this if you want.
I hadn’t planned to get the Earth and Air. In fact, I’d passed over the Air in favor of the Water at the DC Pen Show. But, when I saw Earth — which I fully expected to be brown for dirt — I was blown away. And when I showed Jim, he was, if anything, even more impressed. I commented on the post, and ARTUS — in a brilliant business move — sent me a message with the price.
Now, owning two of four isn’t a problem. I wouldn’t feel the need to own the set. But three of four? Yeah, completionist alarms were blaring. So, for giggles, I asked how much it would cost for both Earth and Air. Then Jim and I had a discussion, because I’m not making that level of purchasing decision without letting him have some input.
I’m sure you can figure out the decision we made. And, honestly, neither of us have any regrets. It’s on me to find a good case to display some of our magnificent pens when they aren’t in use. Something to do next year. Do you have any interest in seeing it when I eventually find one?
On to the Pen Porn You’re All Here For
Let’s start with how it arrived. Unlike the other two, it came in a branded wooden box with an interior well. I like this one better. I actually plan to ask ARTUS if they can bring two extra wooden boxes to the DC show next year for me to buy. I’d like to have the same box for all four pens.
I’m fairly certain the four pens were created by two different artists, based on the signatures on the bottom finial. The Earth’s true “sister” pen is the Fire. You can really tell when the two are together, and even more so when comparing all four pens.
The cap has more of a gradient than the body, which really pulls attention to the flowers. As if they wouldn’t grab your attention anyway.
Again, there is a capital A for ARTUS on the cap finial. The gradient from light to dark green is perfectly executed.
I can only imagine the artist bent over this pen, adding a dot of paint at a time with a single-haired brush. Because, really, the dots of color on the flower petals are miniscule.
Like the Fire, the Earth has a section without any inlays. But I think it’s a great complement to the barrel and cap. It lets them shine, not detracting from them by being either over or under done. The gradient is perfect, fading from a deep, green to gold and back again. The swirls mimic the vines on the cap and barrel.
Earth has a great transition from the shaping at the end of the barrel, to the shell inlays, to the painted flowers and vines. It could look like three separate elements tacked onto a pen, but the artist was skillful enough to flow smoothly between them.
And speaking of the shaping at the end, it’s amazing how much they look like mushrooms growing on a tree. They’re fantastic! And the little blots of color merge seamlessly to create a fantastic duochromatic look.
Look at all those details. The layers of color, the miniscule details, and the sprays of gold leading to dotted outlines around the flowers really lead your eyes on a merry dance around the full body of the pen.
And, of course, the barrel finial features the artist’s signature. I can’t read the Cyrillic alphabet, so I can’t tell you what it says.
So, have I inspired pen envy with these fabulous macro shots? I hope so!! Which pen do you prefer, Water, Fire or Earth? Are you looking forward to tomorrow’s post about Air? Let me know in the comments.