Artist Profile: Scott Coats

Artist Scott Coats offers an amazing variety of handmade instruments through his studio at Blue Sky Pens. We spoke with him about getting started, and building an art business.

Handmade Pen by Scott Coats. See his artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

ABI:  How did you get started making handmade pens?

SC:  I was a dentist and had to retire due to health problems after 20 years in practice. I took some woodworking courses because I liked the idea of continuing to create things with my hands. One day I received a catalogue showing handmade pens on the cover and felt that I could do something like that. I ordered a lathe and the supplies needed, and was completely hooked once that first pen was done.

Handmade Pen by Scott Coats. See his artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

I started in 2015, and quickly began experimenting with inlaying crushed stone into woods using over 25 different crushed stones. I began doing organic designs, and since have moved to using the stones in ring patterns. I like the symmetry created with the rings, and it is much easier to work with stones this way as many of them are extremely hard, making them a challenge to shape and polish.

Handmade Pen by Scott Coats. See his artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

ABI:  What is your newest collection?\

SC:  I now am incorporating Cigar Bands along with custom stone finials to create unique themed pens. The idea came from making Cigar Band Pens for my brothers-in-law for their 60th birthday. I became very excited when I saw the variety and possibilities of artwork on so many of the bands. Combining them with all of the wood and stone colors will keep me making original work for years to come.

Handmade Pen by Scott Coats. See his artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

I have been working on this collection for about 4 months now, and have found them a consistent focus of conversation when people visit my booth. I had a great response this year with the cigar band pens at the Dallas Pen Show in September, as that was the first show where they were featured.

Handmade pen by Scott Coats. See his artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

ABI:  How do you sell your work?

SC:  I have a website, which has not done well. I attend around 6-10 juried art shows in the Texas area each year. I have also attended pen shows in Texas and Ohio over the past twp years. The plan next year will be to attend 5-6 pen shows around the country and limit the art shows, as they are inconsistent.

Bloodstone Rings Pen by Scott Coats. See his artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

I just started advertising in Pen World magazine which will hopefully generate more interest in the new collection called “Smokin’ Hot Cigar Band Series.” I am also going to try the wholesale approach in the cigar stores in the area as I see that as the ideal market for this specialty item. My price point is high and very specific, so I am still working on finding the right market. After looking into the cigar industry these past few months, which is a fascinating culture, it is clear that I need a large presence there.

 

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Comments

  1. Your pens are incredibly beautiful. Much success in finding your ideal market.

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