THE TRANSPARENCY SECRET
My favurite base material for my penholders is
PMMA (Polymethyl methacrylate) wich is also known with its commercial names: plexiglass, perspex etc..
- Transparency: glass light transmittance is 90%, while acrylic is 92%, so Plexiglas is actually more transparent than glass
- Durability: Plexiglass is a very durable material and more resistant to strokes than glass (10-20 times)
- Lightness: Plexiglass density is of 1,18 g/cm3 slightly more than the average wood (0,3 – 0,9) but the same of a dense wood that can reach 1,0-1,2
Plexiglass is a hard material to work and to form into a slender shape as the one of a penholder and the working time is longer than the one of softer materials like wood
The metals I use for my inlays are Copper (pink metal), Brass (yellow metal) and stainless steel (gray metal). All these three metals compliment very well plexiglas transparency. All three of this metals are durable and water resistent. Stainless steel will remain forever glossy, while brass and copper will tarnish over time. The patina creates a matte effect and deepens the colour of the metals but does not affect in any way the resistance of durability of the metal. It is really a matter of taste you can leave the patina or have it glossy again with a metal cleaner or if you like diy solutions you can use a lemon and salt solutions to bring it back to shine.
With very few exceptions, I make all my marbled inlays in my workshop using a special technique I came up with that reproduce and enhance the dept of real stones and marbles. The technique aims to produce a natural effect with a seemingly random disposition of elements but it is actually achieved by careful planning and thought. The possibilities are endless both in colours, shapes and in the materials that can be incorporated inside these marblings: copper, silver or gold leaf, glitter, diamond powder, flourescent pigments and many more.
From top to bottom:
- ruby marbling with white veins and copper leaf;
- emerald marbling with black veins and silver leaf;
- faux lapis lazuli with gold leaf