S.H.I.N.E. Leadership

On Wednesday, KnotStar held its S.H.I.N.E. Leadership and Life Skills retreat in Atlanta Ga. Sophomore, Jordan Wright facilitated the first session for building self confidence.

She spoke on “Self-ie Awareness” and coached them through an activity involving affirmations and tapping into their confidence to be leaders for themselves, families, and community. She shared the stage with the Goodr Co team who served as hosts and showed how they use STEAM to end hunger and be influential in keeping food out of landfills.

Jordan will be presenting her work on February 7th as part of FCCLA regional STAR events in the National Programs of Action category with her Dunwoody Chapter members under the direction of Erica Alcox. We wish her the best of luck in her endeavors and look forward to hearing more about what she will do to serve our community. KnotStars learn how to S.H.I.N.E. during Atlanta leadership and life skills retreat.

For more information on bringing the KnotStar retreats to your group, contact shine@knotstar.com


Pride Pen Redo

I wanted to make some improvements to the pen so I made a few changes. First, I changed the wood from pine to maple. Pine is very porous and absorbed some of the coloring I used. Maple has tighter grains and sanding to 600 grit reduce that from happening. I also replaced the red and purple colors to make it brighter. I made larger grooves in the wood to make painting easier and cleaner reducing bleed over. Slowing the process improved the quality also. There is still room for improvement but I’m very happy with this one.

Pen 1: Pine

Pen 2 Maple

Glass Ebony

I plan on relabeling the name to “Glass Ebony” cause of its look. I did the pen 6 months ago as a test and someone purchased it this week. I wanted to put a new spin on it. I wanted it to be dark and a satin sheen to it.

This is Ebony wood. I cut and drill a 7mm hole in it to get two pieces. I placed a piece on top so you get view of how it begins.
Below is a link to a video of the pen turning process.
Here it is completely sanded and ready for the next stop of finish and polish.
Finish and polish is applied here. I’m still perfecting this process but I’m getting the hang of it. I’ll apply this technique to all my wooden pens.
The finished the pen.
Photo quality finish…lol I went with a simple but powerful background to contrast the pen. I look for different backgrounds to draw you in. Think I nailed it.

Thank you again for reading my blog!
Click here to purchase pen!

Amber Waves Pen!

I’ve made this pen before and this one is for a customer. I like this one because it has a pop of color. This pen is acrylic and not wood. These pens take longer because of the material and polishing needed to complete them.

Each pen starts out like this as a block I cut into two parts. In the center of each block is a 7mm brass tube I glue in for support. On the left is the block trimmed down to size. On the right is the original size.
This is what is looks like after I trim it to size. Its rough and not polished yet. You’ll see the steps I use to finish it.
I use water and sanpaper strips starting at 100 going up to 600 grit. It removes all the scratches from the tool. This process is crucial and I won’t proceed further until all tool marks are gone.
Another view of all the tools marks left over.
Step 2 I use 9 polishing pads that go all the way up to 4000 grit. This creates the high polish look.
Lastly, I learned this trick from youtube. I use scratch and swirl remover to get what you see in my pictures. It took several months of trial and error to get to this stage. It takes about 1.5 hours to complete an acrylic pen. 30 minutes are in the finish alone.
Before Polish!
After Polish!
End result. What you see on my hands is glue residue from installing the brass tubes inside the pen. Small price to pay for a beautiful pen.
Photo finish. I’ve been working hard to impove how I show pictures.

Again…thanks for reading.
Click here to purchase pen!

Pride Pen! Take 2!

I decided to create another version of the pen where both top and bottom match. I used pine in this one to see if the color would any different. It popped more than the other. Below is the base wood after its been cut to size. I tend to make the bottom piece slightly larger than the top. The hour glass look at popular I see.

Next I drew lines to show where I would cut the grooves to separate the colors. This is tricky cause I have to make sure they don’t bleed. A process I’m still perfecting. I have some other ideas to improve this in verson 3. Yes there is a version I’m working on.

Here you can see I drew in the lines for the six colors I’l add.

After I cut the grooves , I use a q-tip to get the stain in. In the next one I will use paint to get a better professional finsh. I will use a laquer this time for the polish after its all dry.

This is how it looked after staining.

Finished pen after staining my hands….lol

This is not an easy pen to create. You need a lot of patience and a steady hand. I improve it each time I make one. The next will done on hard maple. It should provide a better finish. I like looking at the improvents at each level. I do love this one. It makes a statement at any distance. Thanks for reading.

Pride Pen

I had the idea of a pride pen since and thought I’d give it a try. I purchased some stain and painted it after I carved the wood. This was very different than any other pen I’ve done. Definitely, very colorful and fun to do.


I wanted to create something special to remember Prince so I made this pen from purple heart wood. Employing some coloring techniques, I’ve enhanced the color to get this rich purple you see below. I didn’t know if it would work but it came out better than expected. I was so excited, I took it outside and put it in the sunlight to show the color. I have several laser engravers I use for designs. I wanted to give customers something you can’t get anywhere else. When you get a product from me, I want it to make a statement. I have a true obsession with perfection and will not ship it until I’m satisfied. I love this pen so much and I took it for a test spin. 😉

Thanks for joining me!