In 2018 we began searching for an Ebonite manufacturer who was not only willing to work with us but who shared our values for openness, quality and craftsmanship. This proved a challenge but we eventually located an incredible factory nestled on the banks of the Elbe river near Hamburg in Germany who produced the most exquisite and colourful Ebonite using traditional processes. After some initial tests in 2018, we decided to go ahead to produce our first collection which we launched in late 2019.
During the production of our bars, we made a visit to Germany to oversee the production and learn more about the unique process behind this beautiful material. We had the honour of being shown around the factory by the inspirational entrepreneur Mrs Meike Huijssen who brought Ebonite production back to Germany just over 10 years ago. Below is a little more information about the process so you can appreciate the beauty and story behind the new collection.
Ebonite is an organic polymer, commonly known as “hard rubber” or vulcanised rubber and is produced by combining high-grade latex with sulphur and linseed oil. There are still many technical and industrial uses for Ebonite, however, what we want to share with you is in reference to the beautiful hand made material that we work with to produce our Pens.
The Ebonite is produced by the combination of two core ingredients: natural rubber latex and sulphur. The mixture of materials passes through multiple production stages before it becomes the ebonite material that we can machine.
The best way to describe the process is that of a kind of baking bread, taking flour, making dough and baking as at every step measurements, temperate and time are critical to ensure a perfect result. The process to produce Ebonite takes a similar form; time-intensive, technical and requires a tacit knowledge that only years of experience can give you.
Below we have outlined the steps needed to create our Ebonite Collection.
The steps to make our ebonite Pen collection?
Ebonite is a unique material with a range of features unmatched by modern alternatives. It is durable, light, grippy (even when polished) and warm to the touch, making it a perfect material for a Pen. There is something extremely timeless about Ebonite which is extremely hard to describe and can’t be easily translated through photographs.
Unlike modern mass-produced materials, Ebonite is unpredictable. The variation of colours and patterns makes each Pen extremely special as each Pen in the collection is completely unique and individual. No two pens will ever be the same.
Only by understanding the craftsmanship and time involved in producing this collection of Pens can you begin to truly appreciate the beauty of the Ebonite collection.
We would like to say a big thank you to Mieke and the team at Schönberger Ebonite Manufaktur for their time and openness in sharing their story.