A Lucky Find: Schon Design’s Pocket Six “Shop Shuffle”

I’ve been meaning to write about this wacky little delight for some time now, as it’s been almost continuously inked since I purchased it in July 2022. This was a case of being in the right place at exactly the right time. While mindlessly scrolling through a social media platform one summer evening, I came upon a post by Ian Schon of Schon Design offering a small batch of “Shop Shuffle” Pocket Six pens—pocket pens assembled with mismatched parts at a significantly discounted price. As I quickly scrolled though the offerings, this particular pen called my name and I was lucky enough to beat everyone else to the punch.

Measuring just 3-1/2″ when capped, the pen extends to a very comfortable 5″ length when the cap is threaded onto the body. I already owned one “normal” Pocket Six so I knew that it fit my hand well. The draw with this one is the “Shop Shuffle”aspect—the combination of swirled colors and patterns that clash just enough to be interesting but not jarring. The cap’s splashes of turquoise against the orange background represent two of my favorite colors in both ink and pens.

The body features swirls of rusty orange—reminiscent of Diamine’s Blood Orange, a favorite ink of mine.

The fiery orange grip section is my favorite part of the pen. The machined ridges add visual interest as well as superb “traction” for long journaling and letter writing sessions. I ordered my pen with a broad (#6) nib and it’s a gem—smooth, pleasantly juicy, and with no hard starts or hesitation (unlike my brain).

As a pocket pen, the Pocket Six only accepts short international cartridges which is fine with me as I own piles of them. I’ve been using up some OLD Private Reserve Lake Placid Blue cartridges of late, and noticed a peculiar thing—that the ink inside the unused cartridges seems to have evaporated over time. I checked another pack of the same vintage (Private Reserve Copper Burst) and found the same thing. Strange!

At least I’m blowing through cartridges faster than normal because the ink level is so low. (I thought I’d see how many cartridges I can go through in a year, but counting these seems like cheating.)

It’s taken me too long to write about how much I enjoy this quirky little pen made of mismatched, but complementary, parts. Now I have. Better late than never.

Everyday Carry Giveaway: Revisiting Ian Schon’s “The Pen Project”

I’ve been thinking of revisiting some of the pens I reviewed in the past to see how my original opinions and experiences have held up. Ian Schon handed me the perfect opportunity to do just that by sending along one of his aluminum “The Pen Project” pens.

Since I already own one of Ian’s pens (I backed his Kickstarter project) and it’s still going strong, THIS pen will end up in the hands of one of my readers. Yes, this is a follow-up review AND a giveaway. (Thank you, Ian.)

My EDC tools
My EDC tools. (Mmmmm…lobstah!)

When Brad Dowdy (Sir Pen Addict) recently asked for EDC pen recommendations, I tweeted “The Pen Project” without a moment’s hesitation. I reviewed this pen back in October 2012, and I think it’s safe to say that it’s been in my front pocket almost every day since I received it. And on the odd day when I forget to carry it, I feel a little bit undressed— like when I forget my watch or earrings. Shudder.

Fisher pressurized refill

I wrote the rough draft of this review in my sloppy, “just get it down” handwriting on plain old office supply cabinet paper because this is a pen primarily designed to be used on the fly— when you need to sign for a delivery, make a quick note in your pocket notebook, or jot down some directions. This pen shines in its ability to remain unobtrusive until you need it, then work without fail, thanks to the Fisher pressurized refill. I’m probably not going to sit down, pull out my best paper, and write a letter with this pen (the refill is quite good but not my hands down favorite), but for my “throughout the day” needs, it’s simply perfect.

Brass set screw

As noted in my original review, Ian’s pen is compact, but extends to a comfortable size for writing when the threaded cap is posted. It’s meant to be used, not babied. Mine is starting to pick up some fine surface scratches and dings— a bit of character— from living in my pocket with coins and keys and a tiny Leatherman tool. That said, the pen has held up extremely well considering the length of time I’ve been carrying it. (If only I looked so good.)

Posted pen

Ian now offers three versions of his pen, which he describes as follows:

  • Aluminum (DSGN #0001)— $58.00; Machined and finished in small batches with a high level of precision and care from American sourced materials. These weigh 1 ounce.
  • Black Anodized (DSGN #0001B)— $64.00; These aluminum pens are anodized by a local (MA) vendor and have a very  uniform look and smooth feel.
  • Titanium (DSGN #0001T)— $320.00; These are made from domestically sourced grade 5 titanium, which is precision machined and finished by hand. The set screws are made by one of the oldest screw manufacturers in Massachusetts and are hard gold plated. These weigh 1.8 ounce. LIMITED RUN of 200 pens. 

Take a peek into Ian’s website and workshop HERE. (I always enjoy Ian’s videos.)

My original review, which includes details for changing the refill, etc., can be found HERE.

Machined detail
Machined detail

The minimalist/timeless design, quality materials and workmanship, and perform-through-anything refill makes this my go-to EDC pen. That was true in 2012, and it’s still true now.

My pen and the giveaway pen
The well-protected giveaway pen and my well-used pen

Now for the fun part…the GIVEAWAY!! YOU can win one of Ian’s aluminum pens (DSGN #0001)!!

  • Open to US and International readers!
  • Leave ONE comment on this post—maybe tell me about YOUR favorite EDC tools.
  • The contest closes on Wednesday March 19th at 11:59 pm.
  • All names will be placed into a New England Patriots cap (these ARE Massachusetts born pens, after all), and my impartial husband will pick the winning name from the hat on Thursday March 20th.
  • The winner will be contacted by email and will have one week to respond with a mailing address. In the event that there is no response within a week, a second name will be drawn from the same hat.

May the EDC pen gods be with you!

Ian Schon graciously donated the pen for this giveaway. I was not compensated in any way, and this review reflects my own experiences with Ian’s pen. 



A name has been pulled from the New England Patriots cap and it is……


“I would love to win this. My EDC pen is a Kaweco Al Sport rollerball & at work lately it’s been a Render K. Work EDC varies between a Render K & one of about 7 Retro 51 Tornadoes”

I’ve contacted the winner by email. Should I not receive an address within one week, an alternate winner will be selected.

Thanks to all who commented!