A now well-known staple to our community, Karas Kustoms (AKA Karas Pen Co), has just released a new series of some of their copper and brass pens called the Knox Series. Karas has been creating a full line-up of machined ballpoint and fountain pens in a variety of unique designs now going on five years, and this edition is something I was pretty taken aback by when I first laid eyes on them...
They were kind enough to provide one of these new pens for review so special thanks to them for sending it my way. The pen I received is one of their smaller, pocket friendly retractable pens called the EDK in copper.
If you are unfamiliar with the EDK it is a portable, around 5" total in length, rugged pocket pen that is built around the popular Schmidt P8126 rollerball refill. It uses the same knock mechanism as their other "click" pen, the Retrakt, but just in a much more compact size.
Also, the EDK has machined into the grip section concentric lines to add texture and interest. The copper version is a weighty pen, coming in at just over 2oz which could make it a little heavy for some.
The best way to describe the Knox Series is like if we went scuba diving in the Caribbean and stumbled across the remnant of an old sunken ship from the days of the Spanish Armada. Littered about are various artifacts like cannons, coins... oh, and a copper retractable pen, all of which have been corroding and aging under the salty waves for centuries.
I would give the Knox Series a nickname of "shipwreck' as it seems to describe perfectly what the artist they've partnered with, Don Knox, is trying to convey in his work.
All across the pen, the copper is eaten away exposing various nooks and crannies all now filled in with blue and turquoise colored oxidation. Except for a few parts which seem to have withstood the tests of time and are still shiny and brilliant; a stark contrast of old and new.
If I am being a bit artistic in my language, it is on purpose. Pens like these I would consider to be just that: art. Are pens like this practical or does their appearance in any way improve function or utility? Certainly not, but that isn't the point.
Not every pen can be this way, but at least some can. I feel like Don has done such an amazing job of transporting this pen to somewhere I know it doesn't belong, but does so incredibly well. I look at it and it tells a story that isn't real, but could be, which is is pretty fantastic.
With heavy use, I'm not certain how the finish on the pen will hold or whether the greenish/blue will eventually wear off, but even with just the corroded metal it would still have a cool aged appeal.
Now, the pricing on these pens is a bit steep when compared with again, more "practical" options, but being that they are all individually hand treated and altered, they are all unique in their own way and warrant the price for the buyer that is looking for something just like this.
Since these are small batches and are each different, they are sold as one-off listings on the Karas Kustoms blog rather than on their main website. If interested in the selection they have of of not only EDKs, but Bolts, and Render Ks as well, definitely give these a look.
Thanks again to Karas Kustoms for sending this one my way to review and share.