This pen starts with a piece of Spalted Maple Burl that I stabilized in my vacuum pot with wood hardener. It was a bit too soft on it's own, so after a week of vacuum and wood hardener it turned more like plastic! hard, dense, and a whole lot going on in this piece. Notice the little sliver of wood that hasn't started to spalt (rot). The natural design of the wood is lovely, I think. It's mated to a Sierra Chrome/Satin Chrome ballpoint, and is a superb writer.