I'm Joseph Ali Freedman, and I'm a dual citizen. I was originally born in İstanbul Türkiye, but came to America as a baby. Having been to my mother's village Arslanköy on many summers as a kid, I got to see and experience traditional life. Villagers growing their own food, raising animals, making their own butter and cheese, making clothes on foot-powered sewing machines, woodworking, hunting and foraging, kids riding donkeys with wagons selling produce, etc. Those experiences made me wonder what life was like in the past which inspired me to start pursuing homesteading and wilderness survival skills in my late teens.
I've also always had an obsession with technology, and as a kid I was really into electronics, robotics, and my dream was to be an inventor of robots for space and the military. I built a device that shuts off TV's, and I made many other devices back then. This childhood passion has made a comeback ever since I dived deep into programming and electronics last year, and I'm almost done building an industrial robot for making pens, and software for financial markets.
As far as making pens, it all started in my last year of high school when I took classes at the Blue Ox Historic Village. They teach traditional arts such as woodworking, blacksmithing, stained glass, etc, and their atmosphere reminded me of being a child in Arslanköy.
I decided to start making pens from salvaged Victorian-Era old growth redwood lumber, and then sell them. As an introvert, I wanted to challenge myself by selling. I got inspired to sell pens in particular, since the "Sell me this pen" is a common interview question for sales positions, plus I thought that if one can sell pens then one could sell anything. Though to my surprise at the time, people saw value in them and I sold hundreds of them in the year of 2019.
Many people in Humboldt County recognize me in public places as "The Pen Guy" and many people see value in these pens, and if you're one of them, I have the specifications listed below and a link to my website where you can grab one right now. And while you're at it, check out the reviews from my customers so you can hear their experiences and make an even more informed decision.
• Handmade sustainably from salvaged old growth redwood Victorian Era lumber.
To add to this story, I attached a picture of me a few years ago sitting on top of a foot-powered lathe I built from 2x4's and my imagination, and a picture of me in the lathe room at the Blue Ox Historic Village right before I started making pens.