Imperial Penworks features a distinctive line of domestic and exotic woods to capture the beauty of nature. Our woods are figured, curly, quilted and spalted from the state of Georgia, Vermont, Andersonville Civil War Prison site, Arlington National Cemetery or from around the world. Each is chosen for its unique qualities to make each wood writing pen, wood wine stopper or refrigerator magnet a work of art.
Olivewood is a favorite for its ties to the Holy Land. Choose Olivewood and receive a Certificate of Authenticity from the supplier showing the source as Bethlehem.
We feature special woods for specific reasons, but these woods are not detailed below. For example:
Spalting is process of fungi and micro-organism growth resulting in rare, stunning character to finished wood. Imperial Penworks features spalted woods from Georgia (Andersonville Civil War Prison and Robins Air Force Base) and Vermont (Soft Maple and Hard Maple). Click to learn about SPALTING.
The images provided on this site are representative of each wood type, turned and finished. Please remember that wood is a product of nature and, as such, every piece of wood is a unique as a snowflake. Match pen plating options with available woods for dramatic results.
All pens available on this website have a drop down menu option called Available Wood Types. Not all woods are suitable for every pen type, so closely compare wood types available under the option and images / descriptions below.
If you have any questions or concerns, wait to order and Email Us to discuss. We will assist in recommending the best combinations of pen types, available woods and plating to exceed your desires.
Spalted Hard Maple from Brownington, VT
Alexander Lucius Twilight was the first African American in the United States to earn a college degree (Middlebury College, VT). He established a grammer school in Brownington, VT which operated as an educational institution for many years. I was allowed to retrieve this wood during a family wedding. Click here to learn about SPALTING.
Quilted White Birch from Richmond, VT
Spalted Soft Maple from Richmond, VT
This Soft Maple was cut from a tree harvested for the winter warming needs from Richmond, VT. Spalting marks are throughout the wood. Click here to learn about SPALTING.
Red American Maple from Arlington National Cemetery
September, 2009, I visited Arlington National Cemetery. Believed to be over 200 years old, a limb of a Red American Maple collapsed and required immediate cleanup. This Red Maple is light, yet richly figured with swirls, dark streaks and occasional quilting marks.
Crab Apple from Arlington National Cemetery
During my 2009 visit to Arlington National Cemetery I discovered a 16 in. wide trunk of Crab Apple. I milled the Crab Apple by orienting the wood to display the darker heartwood and lighter sapwood.
Buckeye Burl is a spectacular wood. The wood is stablized by resin, and allows the wood to reveal amazing character. Because Buckeye Burl is considered rare, Imperial Penworks adds $2 to the cost of any pen where this wood is selected.
Birdseye Maple - Natural
Birdseye figure is found in both heartwood and sapwood of Maple. The irregular grain resembles the figure in a burl. It contains a small "eye" like in a burl, but it is more distinct. Each eye stands out separately. The Birdseye figure is caused by a stunted growth, developed during the years the tree lacked space and sunshine.
Birdseye Maple - Resin
This Birdseye Maple is virtually identical to the natural Birdseye above. The difference is the finished shade of the wood. Resin is impregnated into the wood with heat and high pressure to stabilize the wood, and results in a darker finish on the wood. The Birdseye figure is more prominent on resin impregnated blanks.
Hard Maple from Northern New York
A domestic hardwood commonly known as Sugar Maple. The heartwood is reddish-brown to light tan, and sapwood is nearly white. It has a fine uniform texture and is very strong and hard with close grain.
Crab Apple from Richmond, VT
Crab Apple is similar to Cherry, with a creamy-reddish color and beautiful grain streaks throughout.
Cherry from Vermont
A domestic hardwood, the wood's heartwood is typically medium reddish-brown, and the sapwood is narrow and nearly white. Cherry is a tight, straight grained, and finely textured wood that typically has a gentle waving figure. Characteristic of Cherry, the wood's "patina" causes it to darken as it ages.
State of Georgia Woods
Magnolia from Andersonville Civil War Prison
Magnolia varies in color and figure every few inches throughout logs. This Magnolia was recovered from a tree cut by a homeowner “opening up” their back yard.
90 Degree Cross Cut Magnolia from GA
This Magnolia is cut 90 degrees to the grain pattern. Magnolia is rich in colors, but this cross cut pen blank displays those colors and other figuring, as well as growth rings in a unique manner.
Peach from Fort Valley, GA
I was invited to enter the orchards of one of America's largest peach producers, and another orchard no longer producing fruit. Peach wood is available for any pen size, but is best for larger diameter pens to show off the grain.
Our Sycamore is highly figured. The grain patterns you see are characteristic of Sycamore, but I found one log with intense grain figuring.
Cherry from Robins AFB, GA
This Cherry was obtained from Robins AFB, GA. I took special care to mill logs carefully to display the best figuring and grain.
Walnut from Robins AFB, GA
This Walnut was obtained from Robins AFB, GA. I cut pen blanks to display both the darker heartwood and lighter sapwood.
Spalted Red Oak from Robins AFB, GA
This Red Oak was obtained from Robins AFB, GA. During recovery, I uncovered sections of spalted wood partially buried in the shade of surrounding trees. Click here to learn about SPALTING.
Spalted Pecan from Warner Robins, GA
This Pecan was retrieved from a cleared lot. Exposure to weather created the perfect environment for Spalting to occur. Cut then milled, I stabilized the spalted wood to highlight its natural state. Spalted pecan is not available for many instrument types. As with peach, it is best for larger diameter pens to show off the grain. Click here to learn about SPALTING.
Figured Pecan from Warner Robins, GA
I occassionally receive offers for Pecan. Typically, Pecan presents a range of color from light to figured. This figured wood is carefully milled to display the transition of the darker heartwood and lighter sapwood.
Silver Maple from Bonaire, GA
All three images above are from the same Silver Maple tree removed to protect a foundation. Though the tree was still standing, I uncovered multiple stages of spalting. If you prefer this figure in your pen, specify in comments at ordering. Click here to learn about SPALTING.
Wild Cherry from Bleckley County, GA
This Wild Cherry is chock full of character ranging from the flecks of the grain, to dark streaks throughout.
Bradford Pear from Bonaire, GA
Bradford Pear ranges from a light beige to medium beige with fairly even grain throughout the wood. These blanks present an attractive, yet distinctive grain.
Spalted Bradford Pear from Warner Robins, GA
This Bradford Pear was downed by winds on the grounds of a Houston County, GA school. The wood is darker than “fresh” Bradford Pear, and reveals black streak characteristics and unique white pockets. Click here to learn about SPALTING.
Olivewood from Bethlehem
Olivewood from ancient trees grown in the Holy Land is one of the world’s rare and beautiful woods. Olivewood can be fairly tame to wild in its grain appearance. These aromatic blanks are cut from the pruning of young olive trees, then hand selected for figure and color. Olivewood has long been associated with history and religion in the Holy Land. (Our pen blanks come directly from Israel).
Cocobolo Rosewood is one of the finest and most beautifully figured woods in the world, is very hard with brilliant colors and amazing black stripes. Oranges, yellows, reds, browns and blacks all swirled uniquely together are a trademark of this fantastic wood, and produce an attractive variegated appearance.
Tulipwood is a hard, dense wood with a pinkish to yellowish heartwood, with pronounced stripes of violet, salmon, and rose. Its finished appearance can vary from a variegated cream to a deep pinkish-red.