THERE was certainly a Christmas cheer at the Victorian Christmas Market this season, with live music, magicians, a merry-go-round and dozens of stalls. 

Among the stallholders was Mike Bailey, 61,  a full-time pen maker from North Warrington, where he crafts pens, toys and ornaments out of wood and acrylics. His family business has been established for more than 20 years,  using wood from all over the world including Britain, America, India, China, Russia and Australia.

He said: “I was looking through a magazine, and I saw this course on pen making, and I was sort of like well, I could do that. So, I went to a pen course in Devon, it cost me about £500, so when I came home I [thought I could either] put that down to experience or I can go out and do it, and take the world by storm.”

Bailey can also make pens to request, for example one family asked him to make pens out of their late grandad’s bed, giving them a souvenir to remember him by.

To shape and make a wooden pen can take Bailey up to an hour and a half, depending on the wood used as some are denser than others. An acrylic pen can take around two hours as there is a lot of polishing involved.


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