One pen and package was created for the SAFC (Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs) and another pen and package for the AFCA (Alberta Fire Chiefs Association). The pens were offered as part of a free draw and would be given away to one of the attendees of each of the conventions.
The hardware of the pen is comprised of a chrome nib that is the shape of a fire nozzle, the retractor (clicker) is a chrome axe and the upper barrel of the pen has a gun metal finish and is etched with a fire engine and the end cap is embossed with a Maltese Cross. The supplied ink is a Parker style refill.
The barrel of each pen is made of driftwood cedar that was reclaimed from a beach in West Vancouver. An exotic wood called redheart found in Mexico, Paraguay and Brazil makes up the red ring which emphasizes the thin red line.
The exterior packaging is made up of 1.5” canvas fire hose. Red thread is used to seal one end of the hose and to protect all of the exposed edges from fraying. The stitching has been hand done and the choice of red was used to again re-enforce the thin red line but also to emphasize the strength of unity. A copper toggle closure has been used to secure the flap to allow for the pouch to be closed.
Depression can leave you feeling empty, alone and without purpose — as if you were a piece of driftwood. On bad days, you float aimlessly across the water with no land in sight. Waves crash on top of you, the force of the water pushes you below the surface and holds you there making it difficult, if not impossible to catch your breath. On good days, a gentle wind can direct you towards the shore and push you up onto the beach, high enough, where the waves are unable to grab you and drag you back in. If you land on the right beach, someone may pick you up and offer you the tools needed to apply meaningful change. It isn’t easy, and it takes effort, but like this driftwood pen, with all its knots and weathered imperfections, you can re-discover the value and beauty that you present to the world.
My personal experience with firefighters did not involve a fire but occured after an accident I had. When I was released from the hospital, outfitted with a hip to toe cast, I was greeted at my home by a fire truck, four of Coquitlams finest and a wheelchair. The guys helped me into the chair, strapped me in, hoisted me up two flights of stairs, got me comfortably into the house and did so with compassion, efficiency, humour and well, raw strength. What resonates with me, is how easy the crew were able to normalize, what I thought was, the embarrassing situation I was in. I am very appreciative of the way that crew treated not only my plight but the way they treated me. It takes very little effort to offer kindness and that can be the difference in helping one navigate through the stressful and difficult times that may arise.
The driftwood for this pen was hand selected from the Tsawwassen Causeway Beach in Tsawwassen, BC, Canada. The thin red line on the barrel is an exotic wood called Redheart and can be found from southern Mexico to southern Brazil and in Paraguay. The wood used to make this custom pen was carefully selected, individually cut to size, shaped, sanded, sealed, and then the pen was finally assembled by Trevor Neuman in Coquitlam, BC.