As the world shifts from one global crisis to the next (without actually resolving any of them) it’s understandable that people are looking for ways to burn off an abundance of nervous energy. If your fidgeting often involves endlessly clicking a retractable ballpoint pen, artist Noah Deledda has created one that turns into a work of art with every flick.
If the name Noah Deledda sounds vaguely familiar to you, it’s because a few years ago the artist made a name for themselves with an unorthodox approach to sculpting. Instead of starting with a formless lump of clay, or a giant slab of marble, Deledda starts with empty aluminum cans. Through a complicated process that starts with a can being cleaned and then polished to a mirror finish, Deledda then dents, pinches, folds, and bends the wall of the can to create complicated geometrical patterns that look seemingly impossible to have just come from an artist’s thumbs.
Creating each can sculpture is a time-consuming process, but in addition to the satisfaction of turning a disposable item into a work of art worthy of display, Deledda also sells their creations online which can fetch as much as $2,700. That’s a bit pricey for amateur collectors, but Deledda has taken their expertise in the art of artistically crushing cans and created the SwitchPen.
Unlike Deledda’s aluminum can sculptures that will never return to their perfectly cylindrical forms, the geometrical pattern that’s created when the ballpoint tip on the SwitchPen is extended and the pen’s metallic body contracts will completely disappear every time the tip is retracted again.
Seeing the pattern appear and disappear every time the pen’s switch is flicked back and forth is a very satisfying effect, and although the pen is refillable and uses standard Pilot Gel ink cartridges, it remains to be seen just how comfortable it is to hold in its crushed state with the ballpoint tip extended. Deledda also recommends the pen not remain in its crushed state for extended periods and should always be stored with the tip retracted, as presumably the dents and crinkles could become more permanent over time.
The SwitchPen is available through Deledda’s Crushmetric online store for $8, but you can save a few bucks by buying in bulk as five will cost you $38, and 10 is $72. From the looks of it 2022 isn’t going to get any smoother, so maybe it’s a good idea to stock up on a bunch of these as a sweet distraction along the way.