Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Anatomy of a Marker

What, you might ask, is she talking about?!?! Today's lesson is actually the next phase of my creative avoidance effort ... I still have not cut that card stock for Sunday's workshop kits. Saturday night is looking like the time this might finally get done!

Today's distraction occured while I was waiting for the furnace/heat-pump service guy to show up and do the Spring maintenance. Yeah, I know, it's July, but I had the Fall service done in January, so I am right on schedule.

Back to the story. In the 3+ years of my Stampin' Up! Demoship, nothing ordered has ever arrived broken or damaged in any way. Thus my surprise when a marker arrived in my last shipment and it was fractured - the end had snapped clean off.

SU immediately shipped me a replacement and graciously allowed me to keep the massacred one. I took this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to examine the anatomy of the marker, and thought I'd share my findings here. C'mon, you know you're curious!

Most markers, both SU and other brands, have two ends - one thick (the brush) and one thin (like a pencil point). If you store your markers vertically, the end on top dries out, so I store mine flat. I'd always assumed this drying-out thing was because of a shared reservoir of ink, and the top end was just ink-deprived. In fact, leaving it level for a while would usually bring the dry end back to life. Well, now we know that shared reservoir thing is true, but I'd never pictured it quite like this.

I am not sure what I DID expect, but this looks totally cool.

First, we have the marker re-assembled. It looks normal enough. But wait ... check out that left end! It is not really attached - just cleverly set next to the rest of the marker to give you the idea of what it should look like. In reality - it is snapped right off!

[Since Blogger won't let me put my pics where *I* want them, or maybe I should say since I have not learned how to accomplish this in Blogger (closer to the truth, I imagine), I have lined them up to the left. You might have to do a little scrolling...]

Now look at the tip that is broken off. It has a pointy thing that sticks into the reservoir. The reservoir is that orange thing poking out of the right side of the opening.

Next I pulled out the reservoir, and it is like a squishy tube (a technical term, I am sure!)

Here is a close-up of the end of the tube, and the hole that takes the pointy thing from the now broken-off top. There is a hole in each end of the tube.

Hmmm, I thought. If this thing is truly a reservoir, I wonder if the end could be un-screwed and the reservoir re-inked? If so, these things could live forever! I tried to un-screw the good end, but no luck. Bummer.

Just for grins, I tried the brush end of the mangled marker, and it works! My Customers and I should be grateful this thing did not spew all over the rest of the very valuable stuff in that shipment. Can you imagine schmeared, stained rubbah? Oh, perish that thought!

So now that I have the blog entry out of the way, I think I'll go finish my Man Packs for Saturday's Farmer's Market. I'll post that when I get them done.

Thanks for scrolling this far. ;-)


  1. Hey that is good news! I know you can just pull the brush part from the blender pen and fill it again with a nasal syringe. That has saved me money, because mine were always dry. You can make your own refill for it too.
    I had know clue how the markers worked. Thanks for the FYI

  2. Hey, cool! And a really FUNNY post!


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