Just me


photo courtesy of Aaron Lee, www.aaronleephotography.com

Kairos pens is just me — Doug Scott. I make every part of every pen (except the nibs), photograph them, run the website, answer the correspondence and do the shipping. When you purchase one of my pens, you are dealing with an individual, not a company.

After a full working life as an Episcopal priest, an author, and a licensed psychotherapist, these days I am doing just a couple of things — making pens, spending time with my grandchildren, and caring for my garden in lush and sunny Portland, Oregon. An Eastern seaboard transplant (via the American Southwest), I find Portland decidedly offbeat, non-establishment and homey.

Like many custom pen makers, I started by making wooden slimline pens from kits. In short order I grew tired of the limitations and ubiquity of kit pens and started making pens from scratch. I found that the creation of fine writing instruments is an endeavor with no upper limit as I will never exhaust the possibility for more beautiful or complex pens. I soon decided that I was only interested in making fountain pens; that ballpoints and rollerballs, as utilitarian as they are, lack a certain elegance.

I chose the Greek word kairos because of its profound implications. The Greeks had two words for time: chronos indicated the passage of minutes, hours and days (our words chronograph and chronometer are derived from it), but kairos meant a significant time, an important time or propitious time. In an age where the act of writing by hand is quickly disappearing (and the art of cursive writing is no longer taught in public schools) it is a significant time when an individual writes anything from the Great American Novel to a grocery list.

As a psychotherapist, I have known for years that the act of writing by hand is a whole-brain activity. Unlike keyboarding or texting (the worst form of communication), writing by hand uses the entire human brain — the frontal lobes (where the formation of ideas occurs), Broca’s Area and Warnecke’s Area (where language is formed and expressed), the parietal lobes (the brain’s “transmission” where thought and intention are translated into muscle movement), the temporal lobes (where much of our memory resides) and the occipital lobes (where we “see”). When we write by hand, we exercise the brain far more efficiently than when we type on a keyboard. This has been confirmed by a number of studies — see, for instance, this article in a recent Huffington Post.

Living as I do in a very “green” city, I am poignantly aware of the staggering amount of indissoluble refuse clogging our planet from disposable pens. Yes, they’re cheap, but they’ll be with us forever. Your new fountain pen will last you a lifetime and perhaps a lifetime or two more.

I maintain an occasional blog of non-fountain pen musings at www.silentsage.com.  Take a look if you’re interested.

I love the fact that my pens are enjoyed around the world and will be in use long after I’m gone. I would be honored to provide one for you.

Kairos Pens recently received a nice write up in Portland Made, an online showcase for artists, designers, and makers here in Portland, Oregon. Take a look:


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