Months before I opened the shop I was scrolling through Instagram and came across Dudek Modern Goods' walnut pen displays. As I was planning the design of the store I kept picturing them on all of the desks and surfaces. When I reached out to inquire about having them made with pencil sized holes proprietor and maker Mike Dudek not only willingly made the perfect pencil displays for me but also helped introduce me to the so very vast pencil community.
Finally we're stocking them online and thought it'd be a great opportunity to learn a little bit more about the man himself:
Tell us a little bit about yourself/your background/anything you want us to know. I am originally from Michigan but now live in Mesa, Arizona and have always been a bit of a maker/tinkerer. I’ve done pottery, made coin rings, pen holders… When I see something and think, “I could make that”, this is generally when I start doing research and buying tools to figure out how to do it. I love handmade things and find so much satisfaction in buying products like wallets, notebook covers, or other creative things from crafty people that put some soul into their products. There is a value that comes when you buy something that another person has made for you. In addition to being the maker/creator of Dudek Modern Goods I also write the pen blog The Clicky Post.
What inspired you to start making pen displays?
A growing pen collection with nowhere to store them that fit what I was looking for as I wanted something minimal, modern, and made from darker wood. Since I couldn’t find what I wanted I decided to make my own. Out of some scrap walnut I picked up from a local specialty lumber store I designed and made my first batch of Cube pen holders for myself as well as some friends.
I posted about them on The Clicky Post and instantly received requests for me to make them for readers. Next thing I knew I had them listed on my site and Dudek Modern Goods was born.
Everything you make is made out of walnut. What is it about walnut that speaks to you as a material?
Walnut has a beautiful grain, is a dense hardwood, and I love the color which speaks to me aesthetically. I see walnut as a bit of an elegant material that I felt would fit the overall feel of what I was trying to achieve with my pieces. It stands out, but doesn’t attract too much attention, and carries a timeless look. I like that my pieces could be seen as sitting on a desk in the 1920s, today, or in 40 years from now.
What is your favorite part of your process?
I really enjoy the creative process of coming up with and balancing out a new design. All of my pieces fit within a certain design framework for the most part and I enjoy finding new and useful ways to solve desk organization problems in an attractive way. Who says decluttering can’t also look awesome?
Have you ever had any odd requests for products?
I have received (and fulfilled on) a few Tabasco Hot Sauce holder requests…
What are your favorite analog tools?
From a paper standpoint I tend to sway towards Doane Paper
by Chad Doane out of Kansas City. Lately I’ve been using the Blacking 211 pencils, and as a true favorite pen, the very useful Papermate Flair
. I find the Flair to be my go-to pen for doodling or when I’m drawing up diagrams/designs. And, it makes your handwriting look good…
How would you describe the things you make in one sentence?
Modern designed, functional, and elegant products that are made for those that enjoy buying quality goods to last a lifetime.
There you have it! If you need something extra special to display your favorite pencil things, you can find them here.
Photos by the wonderful Ed Jelley