About the Pen Makers Guild

Creation of the Pen Makers Guild

The Pen Makers Guild was formed in July of 2003. The Guild was an outgrowth of the explosion in new pen makers joining the Yahoo Penturners Group. The Yahoo Penturners Group had grown from 20 to over 2000. It is now over 3000 strong. With the large numbers of new members, the topics were always returning to the very basics to accommodate that continuing influx of very beginner penturners. There was little opportunity to expand into the more advanced topics of pen turning and pen making. The Pen Makers Guild was formed to provide a forum for those more advanced topics. It was planned that as penturners advanced their skills, they could migrate to the Guild as appropriate.

Membership in the Guild

To help keep the Guild topics from continually returning to the fundamentals and keep the number of members at a manageable level, it was decided that membership in the Guild would require application. A structure, reminiscent of the middle age guilds, was put in place to have applicants submit a masterpiece to the Guild Council for review and potential acceptance. Initially, applicants submitted a photograph and description of their work as their application. This was determined to be unworkable after a short time since a photograph doesn’t really show the flawless fit and finish that are required as a minimum for entry. The Guild now requires that the actual pen be submitted for examination by one of the Council Members for physical review. Potential members are accepted into membership after a vote of the five Council Members. The Council Members of the Penmakers Guild are Kurt Hertzog, Rich Kleinhenz, Pat Lawson, Jay Pickens, and Mike Roux.

Application to the Guild

Any pen maker is welcome to apply for membership into the Pen Makers Guild. They should execute their “masterpiece” for submission along with a write-up of why their submission helps move the state of the art of pen making further. Perfection in fit and finish is expected along with a new or novel application in materials, construction, decoration, design or other unique feature(s). The pen and description is mailed to the selected Council Member  for review, photographing, and sharing with the other 4 Council Members. This receiving responsibility is rotated among the Council Members. The Council reviews and discusses the application piece and then vote on the applicant’s submission. With five Council Members, there are no ties and a decision is made. Applicants that are rejected are encouraged to reapply. After a decision is made, the applicant’s pen is returned to them. More details available here.

Benefits of membership in the Guild

Membership in the Pen Makers Guild is not needed for following the discussions on the Yahoo Pen Makers Guild group and viewing the contents of the Pen Makers Guild website. However, only members of the guild can post to the discussion or add photos of their work to the website galleries. Members are also allowed to use the Guild logo on their personal websites and in their trade show booths.