Milen: Can You please write me the story, when and how did You start?
Rainer: The story of my pens is connected to my way of learning Calligraphy.
With learning I first feel like just scratching the surface, like to go deeper.
My love to writing tools began at school, sometimes writing and my fountain pens were more important than what I had to write and learn.
Beginning with western Calligraphy felt there is more than the form, found a chinese Calligrapher (Chung Wei Jie) to teach me about Qi (energy) in the lines. When I trained the Roman Caps I realized that I had to learn to carve them in stone, and I did it. When I learnt Anglaise I did realize that I have to learn engraving in metal, and I did it. Found a teacher in Idar-Oberstein, drove to him and asked him to teach me. I got his last masterpupil and we became good friends. (Now he is dead, I engraved his gravestone.)
Milen: How did the idea came?
Rainer: Alfred Bauer was open for my ideas and I told him about my idea of a pen. When I tried the Rulingpen for me the tool was not sharp enough. The metal is too weak for good vibrations on glossy paper, not sharp enough. Did try harder metal, built some Colapen, but they did not stay long, or did not work good enough.
The idea was, to get a similar tool like the Rulingfüller and Colapen, but with a hard steel tip, a good scratching line, and keeping the form for a long Calligraphy life. To make fine fines, broad ones, scratching ones, organic, all in one tool, this could be great, and to put in my pocket to have it always with me! It sounds like the idea of a child, may be I'm still one.
At this time, around 2007, I was teaching with Parallelpen at schools, and realized that there is what I searched for. With the help of Alfred I made the slice in the nib, and made my first try for the splashing ones. Friends (of course Calligraphers) like Hans Maierhofer and Richard Lempereur had to try.
Around 2008 I began with my production, did need a name: RULINGFÜLLER is for Germans clear, Füller means fountainpen.
Space is clear, too, so I called this other model SPACEFÜLLER. (The RUNDFÜLLER came later, german "rund" means round).
I did like my idea, that this is "my" pen, and engraved numbers beginning with "1", and "R" for Rainer in the nib. Now I am at 1028.
Milen: How long does it take to create 1 ?
Rainer: RUNDFÜLLER and SPACEFÜLLER take around 15 minutes to be ready. The RULINGFÜLLER is more tricky, sometimes one takes 20 minutes, if I am fast and have a good day.
After the pen is ready I have to test: I take out the tip and put in my own pen with ink: even after 1000 pens some don't want to work precise. And then the hard work begins again: try, polish, make sharp, less sharp, test again. Every pen has his personality. Like a violin they have a part, where they work very good, and I reduce the bad parts as much as possible. Only pens, which work like I want are for selling. On a sheet in the size of the box I make some lines with it for the clients to see how this tip works.
Then I clean the tip and put back to the new penholder and in the box, put in this sheet and a copy of my sheet I have created for it to explain (in German) and show the way how to use. To calligraphy this, make the copies, to fold them, I did not count the hours.
Some pens need more love and time, some more than one hour. But it is a way of learning, too.
I don't say that I'm fast:-)
Milen: Where can people order?
Rainer: Internet is cool for this. Just write me Your order to firstname.lastname@example.org with Your name and post adress. I will write back, if the pen is ready I directly can send.
I like PAYPAL, it is fast.
At the beginning it was mouth to mouth propaganda ( is it the right translation?).
Now some Calligraphers like to show my pens in classes and order regularely.
Facebook now has made it international, and Calligraphers like Denis Brown and Julian Waters know my pen. This way I can explain to many people in one time.
My internet page does not make this job ("only" german at the moment).
Sometimes I need a little bit time to order the Parallelpen and build, then my clients wait, and are happy, because they get a nice parcel, normally with calligraphy adress, sometimes I write a nice letter, I enjoy Calligraphy. For me it is not only a way to earn money. My idea is not concurrence, I want to give a good toy to my colleagues.
You will find my pens in workshops and who likes to sell get's good conditions. He can take what he wants, my price does keep nearly the same since the beginning.
Milen: And more info, which You might think will be helpful and interesting?
Rainer: If a client is not happy with my pen, there is not a fixed warranty, but I take back or change or ask for the problem to help, may be sent another pen. It is my philosophy to put a good thing in the world.
Now there are others to build this pens. I have no patent on it, so it is o.k.. Of course I earn money with it, but I will not get rich, and my main part is to be a Calligrapher. It is to compare the quality.
It is good to try by Yourself to make these pens. For example in the newest "Bound and Lettered" is an article how to build the SPACEFÜLLER. May be the easiest of my three models.
The RUNDFÜLLER is not wellknown at the moment, not many did understand or try, for what this is good for. So let me say it is for fast free styles and interesting, because You manipulate the thickness of the stroke by turning. Most of the other tools like pointed nibs work with pressure.
The time for this toy will come, too.
The newest versions (since nr. 1000) have a coloured coin at the end, the idea to help the design of the pen, and to recognize "done by Rainer" :-)
Thanks to all who did help me and good splashing for all who have one RULINGFÜLLER !
Thanks for this interview, Milen.