In Saint-Révérien, Gerhard Wagner creates pen bodies with offcuts from plane trees on the Halles de Decize promenade

The felling of 147 weakened plane trees on the Halles de Decize promenade, as spectacular as it is, aroused emotion. Thanks to Gerhard Wagner, a German craftsman based in Saint-Révérien, some offcuts from these wooden giants will experience a second life. They will become high class pen bodies.

Suggestion from a friend

“I have an acquaintance in Decize. About three weeks ago we had lunch together. She had already bought me a pen made from the wood of the mirabelle plum, which was in my mother’s garden. During their exchange, she suggested to him the wonderful idea of ​​making pens with the wood of these plane trees.

All our articles on the Halles promenade in Decize

“A friend went to see a wood carver who was there during the felling. He works with a chainsaw. She asked if she could pick up some scraps. This will be done and Gerhard Wagner finds himself in possession of pieces with which he could make up to 500 pens. “If I manage to make a hundred, it will already be quite a lot”, confides the artist.

Certificate of authenticity

Work has begun, a first for him on this essence. However, customers – they are already twenty to have placed an order – will have to wait. The first templates are ready, but it takes three to four months to dry before starting to work on these pen bodies. “They are bought for the history of these trees and this walk. I give another life to these trees and each pen will have a specific certificate of authenticity. »

Gerhard Wagner has had a varied professional life since he was born in September 1966 in Germany. At home, he worked for fifteen years as an engineer in high technology for an automotive supplier. “We made parts for prototype cars and for motorsport,” he says. At the same time, he played guitar, acoustic and electric, with a band and performed on stage. “It was more rock music. »

But professionally, he no longer flourishes, “with a boss who always asked for more”. He dropped everything, including the stage, and left for Spain to learn violin making, before returning to his lands where he opened a guitar store coupled with a repair workshop. It was near Basel and this adventure will last eight years. “In the meantime, at the end of 1997, I had bought a first house in France, near Argenton-sur-Creuse, in Indre. It was a stroke of madness but, before renovation, it cost me next to nothing. »

“With pens, I can let my imagination run wild”

Gerhard Wagner (empty)

“At the end of 2000, I got a bit fed up with my business, even though it was doing well. However, he comes from a family of merchants. “But it wasn’t my dream. He sold everything, including the stores bought with two friends, moved to Argenton-sur-Creuse and took a few months’ vacation. While keeping this first house, he bought a small farmhouse in the same town, which he restored with his own hands. But it is still expensive and must be resolved to sell the first house.

Life passes and a lack appears, that of wood. “I then bought a first lathe on which I made my first two pens which I gave to my family. This job was like love at first sight. But then, why this original activity more than the violin making in which he trained? “Because violin making wasn’t creative enough. We were just responding to a request. With the pens, I can let my imagination run wild. Today, he sells his unique pieces in 82 countries.

Practice. Wagner pens: 1, rue de la Coulerie, in Saint-Révérien. Phone. Website:

Denis Chaumereuil

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