Tuesday, 3 September 2013
Flamed Cane: The True Bamboo with Garnet Thread Wrap and Ruby End Jewels
In my last couple of blog entries, I introduced a technique of thread wrapping used in fly fishing rod construction, particularly in that of the bamboo, or 'cane' rods. Another technique widely used in bamboo rod construction is that of 'flaming'. In this process, the raw bamboo is subjected to flame (usually in the form of a blow torch of sorts) in order to carmelize and lightly charcoal the bamboo to give it the colour and texture. As you take off the outer layers of more burnt cane, the deeper, browned cane appears, giving the bamboo a rich tan or brown colour.
Here I have applied that same technique to a small culm intended for use as a fountain pen. Having flamed the culm, I took off the outer scorched enamel, smoothing it with steel wool, and then giving the outside (and inside) a good soak in thin (low viscosity) cyanoacrylate to stabilize and seal it. I buffed the outside to a matte finish before adding the garnet thread wraps (as mentioned in my last post, the blonde bamboo is often paired with spring green thread, and the flamed cane with a darker thread such as garnet).
The end jewels in the last post were convex, like the end jewels in most popular pens. I didn't think it looked right with the bamboo, so this time, I tried plain flat end jewels in ruby red flake acrylic, and am reasonably pleased with the result.
The nib section, cap thread, and barrel tenon are all in black acrylic.
I think I have gotten some of the bamboo obsession out of my system. For now....
Thanks for looking!
PS - here is a group shot of these last three bamboo pens: