One day I was going through a bag of mechanical pencils that were superfluous, had been extras alongside pencils I’d really wanted. One of them was this PILOT MP of rather ordinary stature. It’s like about 5 other models that have been made. This one featured a satin finish of an aluminum alloy. It looked pretty nice… when it was new. This one had a few nasty scratches on it. They were in such a way that there wasn’t a possibility to correct it. And the pencil wasn’t so coveted that I’d want to invest in that. What could I do?
And that’s when it hit me. Why not abrade it? Intentionally scuff/scratch/mar the finish. I experimented a little in one spot using a dremel with a brush grinder wheel, then kind of got a random motion going. I taped up the clip and kept going. Eventually, I stopped. Not bad! I decided to make another run across it, to “average out” the abrasions. Maybe it might start looking like an intentional design rather than, “behold my pencil that survived a tornado!” What really made this work was the serendipity of the alloy. While firm, the metal would soften a little under repeated rapid abrasion. Not quite like clay, but it definitely seemed to soften under duress. I think that helped create this rather interesting finish:
So then, I had this PILOT Knight capped rollerball I’d bought rather cheap. It was used with some of the black body rubbed off in spots. Wabi-sabi. Then while fidgeting with it, my thumbnail caught a lip of a chip and subconsciously started fiddling it. It widened. Now, it looked a bit of an eyesore. So I used a Sharpie. That worked initially but didn’t last. Then, I used some Testors enamel paint. That worked longer, but still… not enough.
It was then, I knew… it was time to abrade!
Of course, this was different from the pencil. The Knight is a brass bodied writing instrument with an anodized exterior (silver and black are the colors, possibly more). In this case, I did the abrading differently. I was tempted to try imitating leopard spots, but thankfully I nixed that idea before it was too late. This was fun. And the pen now has so much personality!