Friday, March 6, 2009

Guest Artist - Keith Henning - Creativewriting

One of our newest members and one of three gentlemen in our Guild is Keith Henning. Keith’s beautiful pens are elegant, classy and have a definite masculine quality. Although he does have one pink one in his Etsy shop I have my eye on. He also makes tie tacks for the discerning GQ man.

He has been been making polymer clay pens for a little over a year and considers himself a rookie in the field. Making pens is something he stumbled upon in his search for a hobby. He changed jobs several years ago and came into a situation where he was no longer working weekends and nights (the normal chef life). With new found time on his hands, he needed to find a hobby. His first choice was woodworking. He says, “The intrigue of power tools growling away in the garage and the man verses wood excitement kept my interest for a few years. During one of my many trips to man world (the Woodcraft store) I saw a demo on pen turning. Suddenly I felt the need to make pens. They were smaller, more intimate, and everyone needs a good one. The first problem I had was no lathe. A lathe is essential when trying to turn something (duh) and not having one wasn’t going to break my spirit. It would have been easier to go buy one, but it was the premise of trying to figure out how to make a pen without a lathe that drove me to polymer. ”
“Wood has many constraints and I wanted to make pens that were only limited to my creativity and imagination. I grew up around polymer clay and usually helped my mom kneed it when her hands were tired, thank god for reformulation and pasta machines, and I was curious if it was durable enough to make pens. In my research I came across a few kit pens, but mostly Bic style pens covered with clay. As I delved deeper into the world of PC I started to see different techniques and uses than what I remembered as a kid. Faux effects, mica shifts, caning and that was only the beginning - I was hooked. So here I am making pens and having a ball. The power tools and memories of man-world are gathering dust, except for a few (tools not memories) I still use for my pens.”
He now scans the newspapers for clay sales and hangs out at Michael’s - just like the rest of us.


Pips said...

Keith's work is amazing - I love his pens. Really enjoyed reading this feature. Thank you!

Marcia P. said...

Great post! Keith's pens are fantastic! I must save up for Father's Day.

Tejae Floyde said...

beautiful post Linda. Awesome pens!

A Little About Me

I'm retired from Stony Brook Hospital (administrative), and since then have been exploring the wonderful medium of polymer clay. I have two children, and two grandchildren, 5 years old and two years old. They are truly a joy. I am married to the same guy for 41 years. He's supportive of my art and teaching. I'm a Law and Order Junkie and love all books by James Patterson, the Eagles music and Billy Joel.

Proud member of the Polymer Clay Artist Guild of Etsy

Since May of 2007 I have been a member of the Polymer Clay Artist Guild of Etsy. Etsy is an online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade. The website, which launched in 2005, has an online community that includes tutorials, downloads, blogs, and a variety of articles on the latest in handmade artistry. In 2006, started by Ilysa Bierer, the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE) was formed. Today 87 members strong, PCAGOE provides a forum for polymer clay artists to showcase new and exciting techniques, discuss designs and materials, problem solve, and even encourages friendly competition with a monthly challenge. The Guild has supported with the artistry, time and consideration of its members, many different charities. This past spring, tiny clay decorated Bottles of Hope were designed by many members to be donated to cancer patients at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts.