Becoming to prominence as the only designer specializing in fountain pens in Turkey, Oruç Gazi Kutluer reaches to fountain pen lovers and collectors around the world via the Kilk brand.
Kutluer, who also invented different filling systems that are integrated into the fountain pen, is continuing its R&D activities that will create a difference in the body material. Taking orders for 7 months in advance, Kutluer’s biggest dream is to produce fountain pen nibs.
He realized his dream alone
Following his adventure in Yıldız Technical University, Department of Music Theory, Oruç Gazi Kutluer graduated from the University of Sarajevo, Department of Visual Arts and Communication Design. He had worked in the media sector. When he realized that the media sector was not suitable for him, Kutluer, who had established his own workshop with several artisan friends in Üsküdar, said that his dream was to design fountain pens since the first day. Kutluer, who realized this dream 4 years ago and gave life to the fountain pen designs bearing his own signature with the Kilk brand, said: “As I did not have a master to learn this work from, I learned everything through trial and error. It took me about a year to learn supplies, raw materials and the technique. As a user of fountain pens, I keep both diaries and special notes. I use a fountain pen in my diaries. Because I need a special writing session to be able to write with a fountain pen.” In addition to the personalized fountain pen designs, Kutluer said that they have been designing according to the demands of the institutions, and he continues: “Within the scope of personalized designs, I can make 1 pen in a month and sometimes 5. In custom corporate designs, I take about 20-100 pieces of fountain pen order by taking into consideration the vision, mission and design expectations of the institution.”
He has designed 100s of fountain pens
Emphasizing that the nib and body were imported in the fountain pen design, Oruç Gazi Kutluer commented: “I design every detail except body material and nib. End production is an important part of development for me… If there is an evolution, I’m trying to evolve towards it. The body material is the main material of the pen. We purchase the resin part as raw material and shape it according to the design. I bring the body material from Italy, England, Germany, America, and Japan. I prefer using German nibs. I moved into my second workshop in Üsküdar, which I also use as a showroom because I need a larger area in the design process besides the PürSanat Atölyesi. I am very active in social media because I have clients from all over the world. Every day many e-mails are coming. Checking emails and WhatsApp messaging take about two hours of my day. For the first two years, the fountain pen lovers reached me through my Instagram account @kilk_kalem. The collectors that I designed fountain pens for were my biggest references. The friends of these collectors are reaching me now. I haven’t had a client who ordered only a single fountain pen. Collectors always order the second, third or fourth fountain pens. I’ve sent hundreds of pencils to England, Germany, America, and Canada. 90% of the demand from Turkey is for gifting purposes.”
He focuses on plain designs
We asked Oruç Gazi Kutluer about his fountain pen designing style and we got the following answer: “I had to give away every fountain pen I had made for myself because I cannot break anyone’s heart. Though, I still keep the first fountain pen I made. I enjoy plain and simple designs. I’m focusing on giving the strongest message possible with the least amount of lines. I find Japanese and Italian designs closer to my style. Japanese and Italians have been intertwined with writing for too many years as it has been in the Anatolian geography. Those who come to learn the fountain pen designing realize how difficult this is. Therefore, apprentices come and go. Managing the workshop and the production are hard work. While a pen is being shaped on a lathe, you are also being shaped. Your sensitivities are being shaped. I also learned that the one-tenth of a millimeter can change many things in the design process. Having to respond to the desires and demands of others within my design vision can sometimes be challenging. It is necessary to have the fountain pen that you will design with your own craftsman spirit and the fountain pen in the mind of the pen enthusiast meet in a common denominator.”
Preferences change from one country to another
Oruç Gazi Kutluer who underlined that preferences may change from country to country in fountain pen designs said, “For example, I produced a model called Elhamra for the Arab market. But I was never able to sell to Arabs. I received two orders each from Germany, the UK, Canada, and the USA. I’m currently designing a fountain pen for two collectors, one Japanese and one British.” When it comes to the stages of the personalized fountain pen design, Kutluer states that an agreement on design should be reached at first and summarizes the stages of design: “It is extremely important to capture the unity of style in the spirit of the work and the main theme wanted to be reflected via the fountain pen. This process lasts an average of one week. Then the design line is determined. Production begins after the 3-D modeling process. Silver, gold or bronze craftsmanship is decided. It is determined what percentage of the fountain pen will be focused on casting technology and hand-workmanship. Then there is a 3-day pen making process. A pen is designed in an average of 15 days. If the message to be given in the fountain pen design is not clear, sometimes 1 to 5 months can be expected. At this point, my dream is to have masters who will take over this flag after me. The greatest legacy for me would be knowing that a fountain pen master would have the same feeling when he held my fountain pen in his hands 150 years later.”