Copper in the Arts

August 2016

Where Form Meets Function: The LTS Solid Copper Pen

By Robyn Jasko

First prototype for the LTS solid copper pen. First prototype for the LTS solid copper pen.

Photograph courtesy of Liam Tower.

After being disappointed with what was currently in the marketplace, Liam Tower took matters into his own hands, creating a sculptural pen made out of solid copper.

"I was inspired to make the pen from copper because of the way the metal changes in time," says Tower. "It continues to develop characteristics in the different hues or changes of patina. Each person's pen becomes unique because of their oils and environment giving individual character to the pen."

Tower has been in the copper trade for 20 plus years. He had his first chance to work with copper when he was a slate roofer, working all over New England on high end estates, steeples, and ornamental copper fabrications. In his spare time, he loved creating sculptures in his Vermont shop, and soon his work evolved and took on a new shape.

"About 5 years ago, I was offered an opportunity to make some copper products and pens for a few companies," he recalls. "This led me into a new direction and gave me more time to design and create new products for development."

"This pen is different than most copper pens because I designed with a more classic or traditional style," he says. "I feel that gives it an appealing look for the everyday user."

Unlike other pens, which are only partly made of copper, Tower's pen gives the user the experience of holding a pen designed with as little parts as possible---and all created out of a single metal.

"You will not get the same feel from a plated pen as you do from a solid copper pen," says Tower. "This gives the pen a different feel."

Based in Vermont, Tower prefers to use materials as close to home as possible.

"My company obtains about 95% of the materials locally," he reveals. "The other 5% is outsourced from companies outside of New England. About 85% of what we do is made in my shop. The other 15% is local companies within New England."

All of his parts are handmilled, and unique to each pen.

"My process is simple, parts are milled to the needed size, tubes are cut to the needed length, then assembled,"he says. "The pen is a simple design which makes it work well. There are no extra parts."

Tower has several other projects in the design and prototype stage, including plans to create a copper fountain pen, new copper flasks, and cribbage boards.

To help bring the LTS copper pen to life, Tower turned to Kickstarter to help fund the project and keep costs down.

"The cost to make one pen at a time drives the price up a lot," he says. "I knew that the Kickstarter support was large enough to help get quantities up to lower the price.

Resources:

LTS Copper Pen, Liam Tower, Enosburg Falls, VT, (802) 848-7679

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