Back in May when I had the opportunity to attend the 2009 National Stationery Show, and write some posts about my experiences there, I mentioned that I got to meet Jac Zagoory, designer of some really nice pen holders and pens. After chatting with Jac a bit and inspecting his products I decided that it would be great to be able to do a review of some of his work, and he agreed to send a few samples my way so I could write about them. The following review takes a look at three Jac Zagoory Pen Holder, and one of his pen designs, so this is a bit longer than my usual reviews, hopefully you enjoy nonetheless.
When I spoke with Jac, he explained to me that he uses only the best quality, lead free pewter in each Jac Zagoory Pen Holder, and they are all made in the USA. The higher quality lead free pewter will resist tarnishing, making these products an investment that will always look great even as time goes by. It is also nice to know that when you buy his products you are supporting a American company, and someone who just seems to be a genuinely nice guy.
For this pen stand, Jac took the classic “See no Evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil” and added something that any pen lover or writer can appreciate, and that is the concept of writing no evil. The picture above shows a close up of the detail on the “Write no Evil” pen stand, and although its hard to tell from an image, all of the surfaces on it where your pen would rest are very smooth to the touch with no sharp edges, so there is absolutely no fear of scratching up any delicate finish on your favorite pens when you use these. When you pick up this piece (or any of his others that I examined at the Stationery Show) you can pretty much feel the solid construction and quality that goes into the creation of the item.
Although I didnt take a photo of the bottom of the pen holder, it is worth noting that each corner has a small swatch of felt to keep it from scratching your desk. One thing that I was always curious about with these pen holders was the finish on them, I wasnt quite sure from images I had seen on line how glossy or not they were, and I really like the fact that there is not much gloss to the item because I think it would distract from the overall message of the piece and come off as too flashy or loud.
The thing I enjoy most about this piece, and many of his other pieces is that they are not only art work that you enjoy looking at that serves a purpose, but they are also very unique and creative, with the potential to be great conversation starters.
A quick note on the size of this item, it measures about 6″ long by 2 1/8″ wide, with the base being about 1/4″ thick and height of the highest monkey (hands up) is a shade under 2″. If you are looking for something more than just a generic pen holder, the size and creativity behind this pen holder would make a great addition to any desk.
The next Jac Zagoory pen holder that he sent over to me is the individual monkey shown above with his (or her) hands in the air, and chained together, with the “Write no Evil” message on the base. This pen stand is slightly more subtle, but still conveys the same message as the larger version. This version has the same quality and characteristics that make the other version great including the smooth pen laying area, soft felt bottom, and high quality craftsmanship. The base on this one measures about 1.5 inches across, and the spread hands above the monkey’s head are about 2 inches wide and the stand has an overall height of 2 inches.
As you have probably noticed in the pen holder photos, Jac has designed a matching pen that is an excellent compliment to that piece. The pen is designed with the four monkeys in almost a totem pole alignment with the top monkey having its hands tied above its head, and the reverse side of the pen has the “write no evil” text written multiple times in a nicely disbursed pattern.
When it comes to writing with this pen, it performs very nicely. The pen is a rollerball and comes loaded with a Schmidt Safety ceramic roller refill which is a standard size, that I’ve used many times in the past and have always enjoyed the smooth and skip free writing experience that they provide. When writing with the pen, the screw top cap posts nicely to the back of it, which sometimes is not the case with other pens. I have experienced some screw tops that when posted either feel like they will scratch the barrel of the pen, or dont feel like they are secure when posted, this is not at all a concern with this pen. Much like the quality that you can feel in the pen stands, the metal body of this pen gives it a very nice feel in your hand when writing. I do usually enjoy writing with a heavier pen, so for my personal preference, this pen is a good fit. Not so heavy that you feel like you are writing with a brick, but not so light that you feel like it has the stability of a bendy straw from a cheap juice box.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Ripple Stand pen holder. This small and elegant looking pen stand is made of chrome plated brass and measures about 1 5/8″ across and about 7/8″ high with the opening for the pen to rest in being almost exactly .5 inches wide. The Ripple Stand is designed specifically to fit the Ripple Line of pens that Jac offers.
When you look at this stand, you can immediately see the reason why he chose the ripple name for it, as it reminds you of the effect you get when a single drop of water hits the waters surface and you see the rising water and the expanding concentric rings moving out from the center. The idea here as described by Jac on a card that came with the holder is that:
“Your thoughts and writings can ripple out into the world, past your circumscribed inner circle, positively affecting others around the world”
Now this is a pretty neat idea and such simple, yet creative and elegant way to visualize and describe it with this pen holder. Once you take the time to think about the symbolism of this piece, you can also immediately recognize it for its functionality. The heavy and sturdy base serves as a reliable stand for keeping your pen upright while at the same time taking up the bare minimum of the valuable realestate on your desk surface.
All of the items that I have written about here, and all of the items from Jac Zagoory that I had the pleasure of seeing at the Stationery Show are very unique items that are sure to draw attention and start conversations at your desk. If you have ever considered picking up any of his work to give your pens a nice place to hang out, I can highly recommend them based on the quality and functionality that I have seen from him. I have seen his products available at many different pen, stationery, and office supply retailers, but you can go directly to the source and check out what he has to offer outside of the items I have reviewed today. I cant help but think this pen and these pen holders would make a great gift for anyone you know who is graduating or graduated recently.
Since Jac was so generous, I am going to incorporate most, if every Jac Zagoory pen holder and the pen into my next giveaway, so if you like these or have been interested in his products before, keep an eye out and you will have a chance to win some of them.