The White House Custom Inlay Ink Pen is Handmade from 131 Individually Cut Pieces
The White House Inlay design is made up of 131 individual cut
pieces. Once cut, the 131 pieces are assembled one at a time much like a jig
saw puzzle. Once assembled the pen goes through another couple of dozen steps
from sanding through 14,000 grit to the application of fifteen individual
polishes and wax.
The wood used in the White House Inlay is Basswood that has been
dyed very dark blue (almost black), Yellow Cedar, American Holly, Pear Wood and
additional Basswood dyed blue,
yellow, green and red.
Basswood, from the Tilia family is one of a
group of about 30 species of trees comprising this family. Basswood is native
throughout most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere, in Asia (where the
greatest species diversity is found), in Europe and eastern North America. They
are generally called lime in
Britain and linden or basswood in North America. The leaves
of all the Tilia species are
heart-shaped and most are asymmetrical, and the tiny fruit, looking like peas,
always hang attached to a curious, ribbon-like, greenish yellow bract, whose
use seems to be to launch the ripened seed-clusters just a little beyond the
In Europe, Tilia trees are known to have reached
ages measured in centuries, if not longer. In the courtyard of the Imperial
Castle at Nuremberg is a Tilia
which tradition says was planted by the Empress Cunigunde, the wife of Henry II
of Germany. This would make the tree about nine hundred years old in 1900 when
it was described. It looks ancient and infirm, but in 1900 was sending forth a
few leaves on its two or three remaining branches and was, of course, cared for
The Tilia is recommended as an ornamental
tree when a mass of foliage or a deep shade is desired. The timber of Tilia trees is soft and easily
worked; it has very little grain Ease of working and good acoustic properties
also make it popular for electric guitar and bass bodies and wind instruments.
It is known in the
trade as basswood, particularly in North America. This name originates from the
inner fibrous bark of the tree, known as bast.
A very strong fiber is obtained from this, by peeling off the bark and soaking
in water for a month, after which the inner fibers can be easily separated.
Bast obtained from the inside of the bark of the Tilia tree has been used by the Ainu people of Japan to weave
their traditional clothing, the attus.
Yellow Cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis)
nootkatensis is a species of trees in the cypress family
native to the coastal regions of northwestern North America. This species goes
by many common names including: Nootka
cypress, yellow cypress, Alaska cypress, Nootka cedar, yellow cedar, Alaska cedar,
and Alaska yellow cedar.
Also known as Alaska Cypress and Pacific Coast Cypress, this
rare and remarkably beautiful softwood is only grown in the Pacific coast
region of North America but is not a true "Cedar" species. This
light-yellow wood, with its straight and uniform grain, has been used in the
boat building industry for many years because of its exceptional resistance to
Due to its short growing season, Alaskan Yellow Cedar is
remarkably dense. It dries quickly, works easily and performs well either
finished or unfinished due to its natural oils that give the wood a wax-like
With the same insect, rot and decay repelling tannis and oils
as Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar is heavier and denser giving it
excellent strength and stability with very little shrinkage. Its most
popular characteristic, however, is its beautiful, pale yellow color. Left
untreated, it weathers to a very attractive light silver grey.
Pink-ish or blue-ish stains that may appear on Yellow Cedar
are not a wood defect or problem but are from naturally occurring oils that
come to the surface during the manufacturing process that will disappear after
exposure to the sun.
Ideal for high traffic applications such as decking and
flooring because of its shock resistance and durability, it is also a popular choice
for handrails and ramps because it does not splinter. With a higher resistance
to flame than other softwoods, Alaskan Yellow Cedar is an excellent choice for
siding in a wide variety of custom patterns,
shingles, shake roofing
and paneling. Due to its high tannin content, care should be
taken when selecting corrosion resistant fasteners when installing
species has been one of the finest timber trees in the world. The wood has been
used for flooring, interior finish and shipbuilding.
Used in landscaping,
the drooping branchlets give the tree a graceful weeping appearance. It makes
an attractive specimen tree in parks and open spaces. It can also be used as a tall hedge. Nootka cypress can
also be used in bonsai.
For firewood, the
Nootka cypress has extreme heartwood qualities that make this one of the most
desired sources of heat on the west coast. A dead tree can last up to 100 years
for firewood. This wood burns very hot and lasts a long time as embers.
American Holly (Ilex opaca)
American Holly is a species
of holly, native to the eastern United States, from coastal Massachusetts south
to central Florida, and west to
southeastern Missouri and eastern Texas.
It is a
medium-sized broadleaved evergreen tree growing to 32–65 feet tall,
exceptionally up to 98 feet tall, with a trunk diameter typically up to 1.5
feet, exceptionally 4 feet. The bark is light gray, roughened by small warty
lumps. The branchlets are stout, green at first and covered with rusty down,
later smooth and brown.
wood is very pale, tough, and close-grained, takes a good polish, and is used
for whip-handles, engraving blocks, and cabinet work. It can also be dyed and
used as a substitute for ebony. The sap is watery, and contains a bitter
substance which possesses tonic properties. It is often planted as an
ornamental plant, although a slow growing one.
Holly is a
popular Christmas decoration. In English poetry and English stories the Holly
is inseparably connected with the merry-making and greetings which gather
around the Christmas time. The custom is followed in North America, and holly
and mistletoe are widely used for decoration of homes and churches.
Pear Wood (disambiguation)
pear is a fruit tree of genus Pyrus and
the name of the tree's edible pomaceous fruit. The cultivation of the pear in
cool temperate climates extends to the remotest antiquity and there is evidence
of its use as a food since prehistoric times. Many traces of it have been found
in the Swiss lake-dwellings. The word “pear”, or its equivalent, occurs in all
the Celtic languages.
are native to coastal and mildly temperate regions of the Old World, from
Western Europe and North Africa east right across Asia. Most pears are
deciduous, but one or two species in Southeast Asia are evergreen. Most are
cold-hardy, withstanding temperatures between −10 °F and −40 °F in winter,
except for the evergreen species, which only tolerate temperatures down to
about 5 °F
to Pear Bureau Northwest, there are about 3000 known varieties of pears grown
worldwide. In the United States only 10 heirloom varieties are widely
recognized: Green Bartlett, Red Bartlett, Bosc, Green Anjou, Red Anjou, Comice,
Forelle, Seckel, Concorde, and Starkrimson.