An insight into a beautiful creation - the bespoke Lady with Lilies...

01st March 2007
Over the years Henry has been asked to produce "bespoke" designs for some of his clients. What follows here is a narrative of the various stages that Henry has gone through before achieving the final, high quality end result that both Henry and the client are aiming for.

In this case, Henry's client, Mr George Protopapas, gave Henry the instruction " could you produce an overlaid pen for me with a lady in the design?". Henry hesitated for a moment. He had never incorporated a human figure in any previous design, but he accepted the challenge and advised George that he "would see what he could do".

So, back in his workshop, the challenge begun. Several failed attempts later, Henry had drawn a design he was content with (see fig 1).
This design still had to be copied and altered many times before Henry was happy to transfer the design to sheet silver. For example, the fruit bowl had to be discarded because of the difficulty in recreating the fruit onto the sheet silver. As Henry recalls "I didn't want the girl to look like she was carrying a waste paper basket!".

Fig.2 shows the reduced original drawing, at this point still with the fruit basket. Henry then considered that the girl was tilted too far too the left, although he didn't correct this until later in production.

Fig.3 shows the first outline design attempt at the area that was to surround the girl. This design was also changed later because Henry considered that the Acanthus leaves looked out of proportion to the main subject - the girl. Henry and his client (George) both have a love of the Art Nouveau period, hence Henry's decision to incorporate the classic Lily into the design.

Fig.4 shows the amended design with the girl in a more upright pose although with a sense of movement. The surrounding area has changed again but was later discarded as Henry was not happy with the balance of the design.

Fig. 5 and the final design is nearly there. The surrounding area is curvacious, and the Lily is strong in the foreground (yes, it's a Lily, not an umbrella!).

Figs. 6 & 7 show the cap designs that simply ooze the Art Nouveau period. Henry has also rather cleverly added his clients initials (GP) subliminally into the cap design.

Fig. 7 shows clarification of the letter "G" in red.

Needless to say, George was delighted when he saw the final design of his pen. To see the finished article in all its glory, pleaase visit the "Bespoke Commissions" gallery on the home page.

We hope that this insight gives you an idea of the amount of time, skill and effort that Henry puts in to creating his beautiful fountain pens.