This Crushed Mussel Shell Pen is masterfully created by Maine maker, David Tabbutt. Over the years, Tabbutt has dabbled in wooden arts, but now specializes in wood turned pens and has even begun to make some out of antler and crushed shell. Most of his findings are from the lovely state of Maine.
David Tabbutt did his first turnings as a child in his father’s basement shop. With no real purpose or projects in mind, he turned spindle work like candlesticks and ornaments. Without constant supervision, it wasn’t long before a gouge went flying through the air. Following this shock, he decided the table and band saw were safer, and went back to making birdhouses in his free time.
Fast forward sixty years. After a career in the boat and boatyard business, he was setting up his retirement basement shop and remembered the joy of wood turning. He purchased a very old and cheap wood lathe – this time following safe instruction from a woodworker at the boatyard. He was instantly hooked. Shortly thereafter, he upgraded the lathe with the intention of turning tree stumps into bowls. He had a purpose, striving to make useful, ornate objects.
After filling up his shelves with wooden bowls, he realized that due to an abundance of other talented bowl turners, there was no foreseeable market for his work. He upgraded the lathe again thinking plates and trays would become his niche, but he lost his interest in these pieces.
Thinking bigger isn’t always better he went in the opposite direction: pen making. Here was a path without creative limits, one that could be produced relatively quickly (with commercial possibilities)! Now a featured artist at Lisa-Marie’s Made in Maine, David Tabbutt provides beautiful pens created from composite wood combinations and local Maine wood procured from locations like Boothbay, Wiscasset, Cape Elizabeth, and Inner Heron Island. He has even challenged himself further by making pens from deer antler as well as crushed Maine lobster, oyster, and mussel shells!
The Crushed Mussel Shell Pen is part of a selection of unique, handcrafted shell pens made in Maine. Each pen is made one at a time, by hand, causing them to be one-of-a-kind with no two looking exactly alike.