Hand crafted pens wern’t far away from Gareth Ritters original career path…
Gareth Ritter originally wanted to be an electrician but changed his mind and ventured into carpentry and wood turning which was initially intended to become a profession. He then took an entirely different route becoming a successful music teacher, brass band conductor and highly talented exponent of the euphonium.
His love of working with wood has never left him and recently he has turned what was a hobby into a rapidly expanding business creating Welsh love spoons, wooden bowls and dishes and more recently superbly crafted pens and pencils.
‘Ritters Writers’ is the aptly chosen brand name of Gareth’s bespoke, designer writing equipment in wood and acrylics. The business has really taken off, largely in part to the sheer beauty and quality of every pencil and pen that Gareth creates – Yes every one is different and superbly crafted.
I caught up with him at the Ritter’s Writers workshop near his home in Monmouthshire, Wales in the UK to see how he makes each unique pen and to look at the process.
Where did you get the idea to create hand crafted pens and pencils?
I came across videos on Youtube. The pens being produced were very good and I was certain that I could produce them myself and take it up a gear. To me quality and finish are everything and I set out to produce the highest quality pens and pencils with a personalised touch that would really appeal.
I get some on line but also use locally grown wood. Monmouthshire is a stunning county with an abundance of trees of many different species.
It’s easy to find naturally sourced wood on my doorstep. Some customers also make their pens extra special by providing the wood.
A branch from a grandparents apple tree was a recent request which gave the pen priceless sentimentality.
Some customers ask for wood to be sourced from a specific location such as a place where their family roots come from.
Requests like these make it very special for me and I take great pride in turning wood from a much loved source.
You personalise your products which is a key element of your success. How do you add text to the pens and containers?
All personalisation is laser printed onto the pens and boxes. The reason for using a laser comes back to my quest for absolute quality. A laser gives pinpoint accuracy and a finish that is crystal clear.
Ritter’s Writers is a superb logo for your business. Did you design the logo?
I was just lucky to have the right surname which works really well. My designer has made the perfect logo out of the name. It’s clever, simple and works really well saying exactly who and what my product is.
What is your process for making the pens?
Every part of wood turning and assembly of all parts is carried out in my workshop. I do everything by hand and each pen and pencil produced is slightly different.
I have a specific way of producing the finish to the pens and pencils and I don’t want to give too much away. Let’s just say that I use finishing products that are not widely available and techniques that are a bit different to produce a very special finish.
No I have customers globally. I often get requests especially from the US for pens with wood sourced from different parts of the UK.
Increased interest in ancestry has seen more enquiries from American folk who would like to write with a pen made piece of wood from the area of their roots… please excuse the pun! I can source wood from all parts of the UK and from other parts of the globe.
It has been an amazing experience as so far and has been mainly by word of mouth and my Facebook Page.
If someone would like to commission a pen where can they find you?
They can find me on the Ritter’s Writers Page on Facebook. I am also about to open a Ritter’s Writers shop on Etsy.
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