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2014 MAPG: Group Discussion Panel - "Marketing your Pens"

Panel Discussion

Friday night, May 2, we had our first discussion panel, "Marketing your Pens", where the panel guests discussed strategies for choosing the right shows to attend, the steps needed to take to get accepted to juried shows, how to capture the attention of retail and corporate sales, and using social media to increase your customers / revise your market strategies. Thanks to the following guests for participating in our panel:

==> Barry Gross (2bgross) Website: ArizonaSilhouette.com

In August 2012 Barry Gross purchased Arizona Silhouette and moved it to PA. He is an artisan with over 30 years of varied experience working in several diverse media. Barry is inspired by nature and loves the texture and rich feel of each piece of exotic wood that he turns. He has published over 50 articles in several woodworking magazines, is an author of three books on turning and just released his second DVD.

==> Alan Shaw (ashaw) Website: ShawPens.com

As of 2014 Shaw Pens has 32 retail locations plus a number of corporate accounts. Shaw Pens has been featured in both Stylus and Pen World a number of times. Shaw Pens has also been written up in the Philadelphia Business Journal and a number of national and international newspapers. In addition to making custom pens Alan has also been designing pens and pencils for PSI.

==> Tina Wissen (MrsPTownSubbie) Website: PTownSubbie.com

Tina Wissen has worked in various fields of retail business for over 20 years and has specifically marketed pens and supplies since 2009. She recently completed a college degree in business and will be sharing updated information learned on how to use social media to sell your pens or pen products.

==> Roy Robaldo (OKLAHOMAN) Website: ClassicNib.com

ClassicNib.com has grown from one product line with 6 items to what we are now today with over forty product lines with hundreds of items and at last count 18 Vendor Partners. Our family of vendor partners is the backbone of Classic Nib and we are proud to give them a place to sell their works of art.

2014 MAPG: Saturday Demonstrations

Saturday, May 3, we had an all day event of both visiting and local demonstrators, sharing their talents with the MAPG community.

==> "A Pen from Start to Finish" by Barry Gross (2bgross - Bensalem, Pennsylvania)

Barry is also a guest speaker / presenter at many woodworking shows and turning clubs throughout the northeast and has twice been chosen twice to demonstrate his pen techniques at the most recent AAW symposiums in Albuquerque New Mexico and Hartford Connecticut.

==> "Making and Anodizing an Aluminum Pen" by Bruce Robbins (BRobbins629 - Richmond, Virginia) & Brett Ransom (hard hat - Norfolk, Virginia)

Bruce has been making pens for about 9 years and always enjoys a new material or design challenge. As a prelude to the demo on anodizing aluminum, he turned an aluminum click pen on a wood lathe, tapping threads for the mechanism and shaping the nose cone/nib with some homemade tools.

As he loves any new challenge, Brett's wonderful wife, Kindra, bought him a metal lathe and then he set up for anodizing aluminum. The focus of his pen turning is challenging himself to do something he's not done before.

==> "Photographing a Pen" by Eric Rasmussen (Sylvanite - Hillsborough, North Carolina)

Eric used a simple tabletop light tent and walked us through a sample pen photography session, showing why and how to choose appropriate camera settings to control photo perspective, exposure, white balance, focus, depth-of-field, and noise.

==> "Clear Casting" by Fred Wissen (PTownSubbie - Portsmouth, Virginia)

Fred demonstrated his various clear casting examples using Alumilite, and also discussed PR (polyester resin) brands he has also used to clear cast pen blanks such as labels, bottle caps, metal foil pens, painted blanks, snakeskins, carbon fiber, and other alternative materials. Fred's demonstration is available in PDF format.

==> "Celtic Knots" by Rick Crook (rfcrook - Richmond, Virginia)

Rick works at the Glen Allen Woodcraft and showed the jigs and methods he uses for making Celtic knot pen blanks.

==> "Pentel Pencil Conversions" by Bruce Robbins (BRobbins629 - Richmond, Virginia)

Bruce demonstrated converting a pentel pencil using the commercially available pentel mechanical pencil, removing the mechanism and installing it and the rest of the parts into a pencil body turned from your favorite pen blank.

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