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Millermark Pens and demonstration at ArtWalk

Article Published: Aug. 4, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 19, 2011
Millermark Pens and demonstration at ArtWalk

James Miller began Millermark Pens after discovering wormy chestnut tobacco sticks in an 80-year-old barn in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.

"I thought it would be such a waste not to use every piece of this precious and rare wood," he said.
He now hand-turns pens in a variety of materials and styles.

Each pen is created individually and is priced by the value of the material and the turning difficulty of each style. His pens come in a wide range of prices, providing an option for everyone. The pens use refillable ink cartridges, come with a gift box and are guaranteed against splitting.

Miller crafts his pens in a variety of sizes, and custom orders are also a possibility.

In addition to his lucky find of wormy chestnut, Miller also finds materials in the woods around his house, including dogwood, maple, cedar, honeysuckle and grapevine.

Much of the material for his corn-cob pens is grown in his own garden. He also utilizes woods from South America, deer antler from the Midwest, coffee beans, split peas, honey dippers, bird seed, bullet shells, acrylic, and a variety of other woods, such as rose bush, bacote, osage orange, sumac tree, walnut, wormy black locust, olive tree, ebony, heart pine, oak and wormy, curly and spalted maple.

Miller was raised in the Laurel Springs community of Alleghany County and now lives with his family in Boomer.

Miller will be giving a demonstration at ArtWalk for the Downtown Boone Art Crawl this Friday, Aug. 5, beginning in the late afternoon and continuing throughout the night. Stop by to see the artist at work on his early 1900s pedal lathe.

James Miller's pens are located on ArtWalk's main level. With three and a half floors and more than 300 local, regional and national artists, ArtWalk is located at 611 W. King St. (across from Mast General Store) in downtown Boone. Hours are Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, or to inquire about individual gallery booths for rent, call (828) 264-9998, e-mail ( or visit

Gallery Times

Gallery Times is a weekly news feature of The Mountain Times, featuring short news items submitted by local galleries.

For more information or to make a submission, contact editor Frank Ruggiero at ( or (828) 264-6397.

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